Planning for a DIY Move

So you’ve decided not to hire a moving company and do it yourself instead. Often, a DIY move can save you money—but you’ve got a lot of research and planning to do if you’re hoping to avoid surprise costs. We’ve written up a brief Survival Guide for the Do-It-Yourself mover in order to help you avoid unexpected charges, last-minute rushing, and a lot of unnecessary anxiety.

Calculate Your Costs

If you plan to save money when you’re moving to a new home, get out your calculator. DIY moves sound like they’ll involve fewer expenses, but people often don’t account for everything that’s involved. This can include renting a truck and paying for help packing and loading it up, to everything you’ll be spending on travel, including gas, tolls, and—if yours is a long distance move—hotel rooms and meals out. You’ll should also consider all of the packing supplies you’ll need, from mattress covers to book boxes, and from dish savers to packaging tape. You can definitely save some cash by getting used boxes from friends, the grocery or liquor store, or your local U-Haul. Plan for some additional expenses, like getting a pro to help you pack up your truck and pizza for anyone who lends a hand. You’ll need to plan out your total budget, which should include every possible moving-related charge.

Make Use of Your Planner

A DIY move is not for the faint of heart—or for the unorganized. You’re going to have a lot on your To-Do List, including scheduling a truck, ordering supplies, making arrangements for your utilities to be turned on (and off), getting your internet setup, and changing your mailing address. Start planning 4 months or more before your move-in date, and decide what needs to be done each week. You’ll want to be sure that you’ve scheduled enough time to take care of everything on your list, so include some free days when you can tackle tasks you may have forgotten or others that have run over their allotted time.

Make an Inventory List and Give Yourself Enough Time to Pack

List everything in your house, and divide it up: what you’ll be bringing with you and what you can sell or give away. You can use this inventory to estimate what you’ll need in the way of packing supplies, which you should order in advance. Begin packing seasonal items and other things you don’t use very often as early as possible. Label each box with the room it belongs in and its contents while you pack. Don’t overload the boxes, either, especially since you’re the one who’s going to be moving them. Put pillows, blankets, and cushions in plastic bags so they can work as bumpers between furniture in the truck. Leave your clothes in dresser drawers, and wrap your furniture in blankets or bubble wrap.

Be Safe and Smart When Loading Your Truck

Reserve a moving truck with a ramp and rent a dolly for unwieldy or heavier items. Load in order of weight, with the heaviest objects toward the driver’s end of the truck. Lighter items should then be sandwiched in by more heavy items at the back, which will help keep everything from shifting around during the drive. Make liberal use of pads, and load items as tightly as you can. Don’t get discouraged if you have to move things around a few times in order to get it right, don’t forget to lift with your legs, and don’t be afraid to ask for help!

For more DIY moving tips, read this article from Angie’s List.

Home Inspections and Beyond offers home inspections and other related services. If you are planning a move in Eastern North Carolina and require inspection services, contact us today to discuss how we could best serve you!

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