You are using an unsupported browser

For the best experience on this website, it is recommended that you upgrade your browser. Please consider downloading: Chrome / Edge.

Return to articles

Money and Time Saving Tips for a Do-it-Yourself Move

Do-it-yourself moving can cost more than hiring movers. Find out how you can save money when moving by yourself and what services you should spend on. 

Money and Time Saving Tips for a Do-it-Yourself Move

David Gregg, new product reporter and senior editor at shares some suggestions to help spare you from the headaches associated with moving while helping you save money and time.

1.  Apps to Help You with Your Move

"Moving Van" — This iPhone app helps you as you pack and unpack.  Use the app to detail the contents of each box you pack, take a photo of the contents and assign the box a unique name and number.  If you need to find something that has not been unpacked, simply check your moving van list and find the right box.  You also can use this app for putting things in long-term storage or for insurance. Cost: $1.99.
"Moving List" — This iPhone and iPad app helps you create a to-do list for the move.  It comes with 95 items already on the list, but you can add your own. Items are listed by categories including movers, packing, new address, friends and family, etc.  The app allows you to set a timetable of how far from moving day the item should be completed, as well as a status report.  You can organize your tasks by due date or by category. Cost: $2.99.

2.  The Last Box Packed in the Moving Truck Should be Your Most Important Box

Your last box packed or “Survival Box” should contain all those items (i.e. coffeemaker, children's favorite toys, bed sheets, blankets and pillows, an alarm clock, etc…) you'll need for the first day and night in your new home.

3.  An Alternative to Packing your Own Breakables

There’s a service is available through most full service moving companies that will pack and label your delicate items (i.e. glassware and antiques), and tech devices (i.e. big screen TVs, receiver, DVD player, etc). It will speed your packing and alleviate the fear of breakage due to improper packing. That’s peace of mind you deserve. 

4.  Before You Rent Your Moving Van…

Negotiate your upfront mileage usage allowance.  Make sure to factor a mileage overage of 15-20% above what you may need.  This tip should save you money on your overall move.

Call your credit card company to verify your insurance coverage on do-it-yourself moving vans prior to accepting the expensive collision and liability coverage you will be offered.

5.  Packing Boxes

Save money on moving boxes by asking local school janitors to hold boxes for you before they are discarded.  Boxes from schools typically have not been used to ship perishables. Boxes found in supermarkets may have bugs and unpleasant odors!  This is a green way to recycle an item that typically creates a lot of landfill waste.  Also, moving boxes tend to be a major moving expense, especially when they are purchased from a moving van rental company.

6.  Do-it-Yourself Moves with a Moving Container Company

Consider using a moving container company, such as PODS, for an affordable and simplified do-it-yourself local or long distance move.

Moving containers come in different sizes to accommodate the size of your home’s contents. Container moves offer the convenience of packing at your own pace or you can arrange to have a team of professional packers to help you pack.  Moving containers offer ground level loading -- no loading ramps or excessive lifting is needed.  When you're ready to move, just schedule the pick-up of your container(s). Your packed moving container(s) can be delivered locally or long distance to your new location, or can be stored in a secure storage center.

7.  Security for Do-it-Yourself Moving Trucks

If parking the truck overnight at a hotel, park in a well-lit area.  Lock all doors and padlock the truck’s loading door.  At road stops or restaurants, always try to park where you can see the vehicle.

Get Connected

Find your service provider today. Enter your address to get started.

Enter Address
Moving Tips

Related Resources

Summer Moving Tips And Checklist
Summer Moving Tips And Checklist

Planning a summer move? Check out SmartMove’s extensive checklist of 20 summer moving tips & considerations to ensure a smooth move no matter the weather!

Read More
Change of Address Checklist: People and Places to Notify When You Move
Change of Address Checklist: People and Places to Notify When You Move

Planning an upcoming move? Be sure to review our comprehensive Change of Address Checklist highlighting everyone to notify when you move!

Read More
The Cheapest Time of Year to Move
The Cheapest Time of Year to Move

Learn more here about what makes winter the cheapest time of year to move! SmartMove’s helpful winter moving tips and tricks will help you save even more.

Read More
Ready To Get Connected?

Enter your address to get started