Movers vs. DIY: Which is Better for Tackling a Cross-Country Move?

With several options to move your stuff across the country, what is your best choice? Hiring a mover is a good alternative if you have money to spend but have less time doing it. However, because the distance factors much on the cost, some people think making a DIY move is better. This article talks about the pros and cons of both choices and introduces a third option to give you more choices.

Pros of Hiring a Professional Mover

Hiring a commercial mover is easier if you’re on a tight schedule or don’t have the time to pack your things for the move. Here are more reasons to consider before deciding.

Safer moves

Commercial movers have the experience to handle both long-distance and short-distance moves. It also means they can pack your valuable things properly. Commercial movers also provide insurance coverage. The good ones will recommend the best insurance coverage for your belongings.

Less hassle

Most career people are pressed for time and don’t have the spare time to pack their belongings, load them in moving trucks, and drive to their new house. Instead of taking time off work, all you need is to direct your moving team and let them do their thing.

Less stress

Moving is stressful, and not knowing what to do saddles you with more stress. Hiring a commercial mover saves you so much pressure because after hiring one, all you’ll need to think of is the actual move.

Cons of Hiring a Professional Mover

While there are pros to hiring a professional mover, there are also several disadvantages.


Hiring a full-service commercial mover costs a lot of money, ranging from $300 for short-distance, one-room house moves to thousands of dollars for long-distance moves. ( You need to shell out this money upfront, leaving a large dent in your savings.


Though they generally know what they’re doing, commercial movers have no emotional attachment to your belongings. It is one of the reasons why commercial packers also pack faster than homeowners. Another is you have less control over your actual move. You have to stick with the availability and schedule of your mover.

Hiring a mover is easier if you’re on a tight schedule or don’t have the time to pack your things for the move.

Pros of DIY Moving

A DIY move is your best choice if saving money is your top priority. Here are the top reasons you should or shouldn’t make a DIY move.

Saves you upfront money

Because you’re doing the packing and the moving, you save a lot of money. You can save up to $50 on packing costs per hour. Cross country moves (depending on the distance) may cost you as much as $10,000 for a 3-bedroom house.

Flexible schedule

Making a DIY move allows you more control over when to schedule your move. All you need is an available moving truck, and you’re good to go.

Cons of DIY Moving

DIY moving might save you upfront money, but you also have to deal with other things, some of which you even failed to consider.

Unexpected expense

Making a DIY move may save you money upfront, but you may also incur unexpected expenses that you have not factored in your expenses. It may include insurance costs, property damage when you’re not that good at driving large trucks, or the need to hire a storage unit because you can’t stuff everything in your moving truck.

It may cause damage to your stuff

Packing your fragile furniture and appliances with the wrong packaging materials can cause damage during loading, transit, and unloading. You may save money packing your things, but you’ll also spend much on new appliances and furniture.

Needs additional manpower

Moving needs lots of muscle power. You may rally your family and friends to help you, but you have to work with their schedules. You may also have to provide for their meals, fuel, maybe some allowance to cover for the time they lost at work.

Not enough insurance coverage

When people make a DIY move, they sometimes forget about insurance or take on very basic insurance coverage. Having a professional moving company to guide you on why you need to get good insurance coverage.

Packing dilemma

If you’ve decided to go DIY, you need to round up as many packing materials as you can. However, getting oversized moving boxes is not enough if you don’t know how to pack. Don’t overstuff boxes. Instead, use smaller boxes and fill them with heavy objects like books and plates. Lighter objects like pillows and sheets should go into bigger boxes.


Injuries from lifting heavy objects are common. The cost of surgery and rehabilitation in worst-case scenarios may outweigh hiring a commercial mover.

A DIY move is your best choice if saving money is your top priority.

The Big Decision

It is true that commercial moves are expensive, but for all the hassle that it will save you, it’s a cost-effective option for cross-country moves.

However, if you’re really hard-pressed for money, you can save money by trying these hybrid moving techniques. It will save you money and give you the control you need. However, moving across the country is a lot of road time, so ponder on that big decision before you commit.