So, in 10 days the movers are coming to take all of our stuff to New Mexico, leaving us with only some clothes, some food, an air mattress, 2 sleeping bags, 2 folding chairs, and one 14 year old cat to move ourselves. And once they are gone, we will be spending a night or 2 in our apartment and a few nights in our new house with only these items, until they show up at our new place. After having 2 moving companies bail out after giving me estimates, I finally secured a mover that I felt really comfortable with and offered about the same estimate as the other two companies did, so I have a feeling they are being reasonable with the pricing. When the other two companies backed out, I did start looking at renting a truck and doing it myself – but with the price of gasoline right now, it was not that attractive of an alternative. Add in the back-breaking work of moving all of our stuff (which I have done myself several times), and I really had no interest in doing everything on our own. Here is how the numbers broke down for us in comparing the do-it-yourself way versus hiring some movers:
Moving Everything Ourselves
Let’s first look at what it would have cost us to move ourselves with a rental truck. The truck alone would have cost about $1,100 just to rent, plus the gasoline. The truck gets 10 miles per gallon, and it is 900 miles to our new address, so it would require at least 90 gallons of fuel to get there. At the current price of a gallon of diesel fuel ($5.15) X the 90 gallons I would need, the fuel cost would be at least $463.50 if I got a solid 10 MPG, which I doubt I could get while climbing all those mountains. So far the price of the truck is now $1,563.50. But wait, there is more! We would need to rent a dolly or two ($20 each), blankets and padding ($50-$70), rolls of that saran wrap stuff ($20-$40), and then I would still have to hire professional local movers at each location to move the really heavy awkward stuff out of our apartment and into the new house, and that would cost about $60 per hour, per body. Adding in those additional costs would put an extra $300-$400 onto the truck fee, making the grand total $1,963.50 or so. Then, I would not have been able to drive straight through (it is a 12 hour drive at 80 MPH and barely any stops), so we would have to get a hotel for the night, adding another $100 or so. Without taking into account any other incidentals, renting a truck, doing most of the moving and all of the driving, would have cost us about $2,000, give or take. Without insurance. That sounds like an awful lot of money to be spending when you were going to do it yourself to save some cash!
Hiring Movers To Move For Us
And now let’s look at the other side of the equation – the hired movers that I secured. They are a national moving chain with good reviews, I liked the guy who gave me the estimate, and someone answers the phone when I call the customer service number – all good things in my book. The estimate came in at right around what the other two had given me, so I figured they were all pretty good at making the right estimations. The movers are included on both ends, the blankets and the dollies are included, the wardrobe boxes are included, and I can drive my own car at my own pace and get there when I get there, all in one day. Add to that fact that I don’t have to do the heavy lifting at either end, and I signed on the dotted line. Total estimate? $3,377, or only $1300 more than doing it ourselves. That price includes all the work, the truck, the materials, the gas, the driving, and $40,000 in insurance…all for $3,377. And all the estimators from the different companies said they were over-estimating, so we might even get some of that back when it is all said and done. I could not be happier, really.
Sometimes it is worth it to spend the extra money to have someone do something for you, and for us this is a perfect example. Saves me from breaking my back, damaging my stuff, damaging a truck that I have no idea how to drive, and allows my wife and I (and the cat, of course) to drive together and get our house ready for the movers to arrive a few days after we get there. Knowing what moving myself is like (and always hating it so much), I feel like this could be the best extra $1,000 I have spent in a long while!
Photo by Clav