Move Myself or Pay a Company?

moving truck

So, you’ve scoped out potential Greystar communities, taken community tours, found the perfect apartment for your needs and signed on the dotted line. It’s time to move in, so … what now?

You’ve got a million decisions to make as far as the direction you’ll take with moving services, but they all boil down to two basic categories: move yourself or look into what a specialized moving company can do for you. The American Moving and Storage Association lists the cost for local movers to be around $1,760, and  an interstate move costs roughly $5,630. That’s quite a chunk of change, so the do-it-yourself approach can understandably be really attractive. There are pros and cons to each avenue, so let’s get down to business.

Where to start?

Moving, especially if you haven’t relocated in quite some time, can seem like a daunting task. It’s best to begin by determining the size of the truck you’ll need. Whether you’re planning a self-move or talking to a moving company, knowing how much space your belongings take up will give you a foundation for some real decision making.

Large truck rental companies like U-Haul and Budget Truck provide realistic estimates of how much their moving trucks will hold. However, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and get the next largest size if you’re unsure. Having a little bit of extra room is always better than running out and still needing to stuff a couch in.

These companies allow you to reserve a truck online with little fuss and also provide the option for add-on supplies like pads, boxes and packing tape and other equipment including dollies and hand trucks.

DIY or hire professionals?

First, while moving yourself definitely can save money, it isn’t free. You’ve still got to buy boxes, packing supplies and miles of packing tape, then rent the truck on top of that – assuming you don’t have friends or colleagues with pickups. None of this includes the cost of your time.

If you’re lucky, you can bribe your friends with free pizza or solicit help from family members. But what if everyone is “busy” that weekend and you truly need help? At this stage, it’s probably going to be a wise idea to call in the professionals. To get an idea of what that’s going to cost, this handy guide will assist you in estimating your approximate expenses for a move of any distance.

Moving yourself isn’t easy. Watching experienced movers carefully pack up your belongings is. Weigh the true costs of DIY moving against what professionals in your area charge and you may be surprised at the comparison. Whether seeking moving services in Houston, Austin, Denver, Atlanta, New York or even Los Angeles, companies including North American, Atlas Van Lines, United Van Lines, Bekins, Mayflower, National Van Lines or Allied are ready to provide free quotes as to how much a cross-country trek could cost. Locally owned companies that move within a city or regional also are available.

When the truck pulls up

Once you get to your new home, it’s time for action. Timing can be critical here, as certain communities require reservations for elevator usage or have limited parking options for trucks. Be sure to coordinate with your apartment community manager to make sure you don’t miss your window of opportunity. Move-in dates are typically the same as when your lease starts, but double check with your community to make sure that all is well before showing up with a full truck and not being able to unload it.

Having an organizational system, like clearly marked boxes, will drastically reduce your unpacking time, especially if everything is dropped off in the right room from the very beginning.

Whether you decide to undertake a move yourself or choose to pay a professional to haul your belongings from community to community, city to city or state to state across the country, rest assured that with Greystar, you’ll always know you’re coming home.