DIY Moving Tips for the Budget Conscious

Relocating can sometimes be costly, especially if you're on a budget. That's why exploring alternatives like undertaking a DIY move is worthwhile. This cost-saving measure doesn't mean it must be challenging or hectic. 

Our guide has practical advice and strategies to help you achieve a successful self-move. We'll also include expert advice from a leading moving company New Rochelle, who have generously shared tips to make your move more manageable and affordable. 

From packing and transportation advice to how you can minimize unexpected costs, this guide will arm you with all the information you need to ace your DIY move.

How to Create a Moving Budget

Creating a moving budget requires effort. This manual will take you step-by-step through the full budgeting process for moving.

A well-planned budget will help you prepare and anticipate the costs of moving. You can calculate how much money you must spend by researching average moving costs.

Creating a budget may be challenging, despite its importance. To assist you in setting up a moving budget and locating the top moving company.

Take Stock of Your Belongings

Inventorying your possessions is the first step to creating a budget for moving. Take pictures or videos of your items before you begin packing. Document any valuable items such as jewelry or fine art in case of a claim. Uploading photos, videos, and documents to cloud storage solutions will keep them safe and easily accessible.

Create an inventory list. You can do this while packing. Create a system for keeping track of the contents of each box. You can color code boxes to indicate which room they belong to. Your moving inventory will be easier to organize and detail the more you do. This will make it easier for you to estimate your items' weight, size, and value. You should add the following details to each item on your moving inventory:

  • Weight: Local movers charge an hourly flat rate. Long-distance movers factor in your belongings' weight. Online calculators are available on several moving websites that provide the average weight of household items, furniture, and appliances.
  • Size: You must calculate the number of cubic feet your items require if you rent a moving van or portable container. This will help you determine the size of truck or container you require and, therefore, the cost. Many self-service moving companies have guides on their website to help you.
  • Value: Insurers charge more for valuable items. Consider hiring professional movers if you have many fragile or expensive items. These items are handled by specially-trained and certified movers, which minimizes the risk of damage.

Purge your belongings as you pack to streamline the process and reduce costs. You can sell the items you don't need through online marketplaces such as eBay and Facebook Marketplace. You can donate gently used items at a local non-profit. The less you move, the more you save.

Compare Average Moving Costs

Google can be used to research moving costs, or you can use free calculators provided by companies. Distance, weight, and size can affect the cost of moving. The cost of a move will vary depending on whether it is a DIY or a full-service move.

Moving insurance, fuel, rental equipment, packing supplies and services, taxes, tolls, and other costs are common. These and other moving costs are divided into three categories.

Moving Costs for DIY?

Most people refer to a DIY move when they rent a moving van. Renting mobile storage and moving container from a self-service company is another option. According to our survey, this service costs between $500 and $1500.

The following categories are usually used to break down the cost of DIY moving:

  • Rental charges for trucks or containers
  • Transportation costs (fuel, mileage, tolls, etc.)
  • Rental fees for other equipment (dollies, ramps, etc.
  • Insurance for moving
  • Packing materials: furniture covers, packing tapes, bubble wraps, etc.

Professional Moving Costs

The survey respondents who hired full-service movers reported spending between $1,000 and $3,000 on their move. You could pay more depending on the size of your home and the distance you're moving. 

The following expenses are associated with this kind of move:

  • Base rate
  • Packaging services and materials
  • Additional services (unpacking, cleaning, etc.)
  • Additional charges may apply (stairs, heavy items, etc.).
  • Insurance for moving

Additional Moving Costs

Moving costs aren't limited to the amount charged by a moving firm. 

Additional costs include:

  • Closing costs or security deposits are also known as down payments.
  • Start-up costs for utilities
  • Cleaning Services or Supplies
  • Storage unit fees
  • Taxes and tolls
  • Moving tips and refreshments
  • Hotel and travel costs
  • Take-out or dine-in meals
  • Buy new furniture and household items.
  • Shop for groceries, including pantry staples.
  • Pet or child care boarding

Budget for Moving Template

Creating a moving budget from scratch is possible, even though you can find templates online. 

How to create a budget for full-service moving:

  • Create two columns. Label one column as “Category” and the other as “Cost.” You can do this by hand, in a notebook, or with a computer program like Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel.
  • List the categories of expenses. Expense categories may include moving insurance, packing service, specialty services, and extra fees for full-service moves.
  • Input the cost of each expense. Estimate the costs for each category of expense based on the research you have done.
  • Add any additional expenses. This list includes childcare costs, pet boarding fees, fuel expenses, airline tickets, storage, and any items or furniture you intend to purchase immediately after moving.
  • Repeat the process if necessary. Consider creating separate budgets for each company if you request quotes from several companies. It will be easier to decide which company is offering the best deal.

Create a second budget if you need to decide whether or not to hire a professional moving company. You can then compare the two options. Use the same steps above, but adjust the categories for moving costs incurred by self-service.

Select a Moving Date

You may be unable to choose your move date if you're moving because of work. Those with little flexibility can save money by strategically choosing a move date. The cost of full-service moving and truck rental can be affected by the time of year, the month, and even the day.

Late spring and early summer are the busiest seasons for moving companies. During this time, many college students and recent graduates move. Families with children in school can also move at this time. Prices are highest in these months. This period may be best for you and your family, particularly if you sell your home.

Winter is usually the most affordable time to move, but also the one with the greatest risk of delays due to weather. In the shoulder seasons, which are fall and early spring, temperatures tend to be milder, and prices for moving services and homes are lower.

If you're stuck in a certain month, you can save money by scheduling a move mid-month and mid-week. The demand is highest at the start and end of each month, as most leases begin the first day of the following month. Also, on weekends people are trying to minimize their time off.

Compare Moving Quotes

You should get quotes from three moving companies offering full service and three providing self-service. You can then compare and price your options accurately and select the most suitable solution.

Get Full-Service Moving Quotes

You can request a quote from most full-service moving companies via their websites. Some companies provide both an instant estimate and a binding quote. 

To request a quotation, you'll need to provide the following information:

  • What will you be moving to
  • What will you be moving to
  • Date desired for moving
  • Number of Bedrooms
  • Full Name
  • Email Address
  • Phone Number

After completing an online form, you will receive a ballpark estimate, if one is available. A customer service representative will contact you if you still need to complete the online form. You must complete a moving list, book a virtual consultation or an in-home visit, or make a video tour of your house. Each company has a different process.

Self-Service Moving Quotes

Online quotes are also available from these companies. You will again need to give details about your move, including the date, destination, and size. Many companies offer a variety of truck and container sizes and will guide you on the best option for your move.

Remember that self-service businesses do not offer loading or unloading services. They can recommend third-party services that provide packing, loading, and other services. Ask about the hourly rate and include it in your budget if you need help.

Budget Moving Tips

Use the following tips to create a more accurate budget and prepare for moving costs.

Compare the Cost vs. Convenience

You can move on a tight budget. Be realistic and consider the cost versus convenience tradeoff. Renting a truck to save money will require you to spend more time and effort on the move. Professional movers are more expensive but provide an invaluable service.

When evaluating each item on your budget, consider the accompanying tasks. A good example is packing. Packing yourself will reduce your costs but increase your to-do list. You are the only one who can decide whether that extra effort is worth it.

Account for Hidden Costs

Even full-service moving companies do not cover all moving expenses—budgets for hidden moving costs, like restocking the fridge and pantry. You may need to pay extra for cleaning, furniture assembly, and appliance installation.

Examine all moving quotes carefully, and note what they include or exclude. It would help if you also inquired about additional fees, such as elevator or stair fees. Also, companies can expect to charge extra for heavy, bulky, or fragile items.

Create an Emergency Fund

Many things could derail your move, from a broken-down truck to a mistimed injury. One or more things will likely go wrong. Set aside an emergency fund for unexpected events affecting your bottom line.


The process of moving doesn't have to be a financial burden if well-planned. Whether you hire movers in New Rochelle or handle the relocation yourself, having an accurate and well-thought-out budget is key to a successful and cost-effective move. Remember, while you can conduct a DIY move, professional help from companies like Movers New Rochelle Ltd significantly simplifies the process and ensures a smooth transition to your new location.

If you're considering a move soon and need professional hands to guide you, contact us at Movers New Rochelle Ltd. Our highly trained professionals will provide excellent service and cater to all your moving needs. Contact us today and make your next move your best with Movers New Rochelle Ltd.


How can you estimate the cost of moving a piano?

Ask different moving companies how much they charge to move a piano. International Van Lines charges $150 for upright pianos and $350 for baby grand pianos.

What should your budget be for moving?

Budget between $2,000 and $7,500 if you want to move out of state for a two-bedroom home. The cost of moving will vary depending on the moving method you choose, your home's size, and distance. You should budget for other costs, such as travel, childcare, and pet care.

Does the mover charge by volume or weight?

Moving companies that offer full-service charges by the weight of your items for long-distance moving and by the hour you do local moving. If you rent a truck, portable container, or large vehicle, volume is more important.

What are some ways to reduce your moving costs?

Reduce your moving costs by following these steps:

  • Move mid-week or mid-month
  • Move during the off-season from late September to April.
  • Book at least two months in Advance
  • You can get free cardboard boxes by asking local businesses.
  • Use household linens as a substitute for bubble wrap.