Pros and Cons: Doing It Yourself vs. Hiring Movers

In our Pros and Cons series, we weigh the advantages and disadvantages of important decisions that apartment dwellers are making every day.

Just because you’ve found a new apartment doesn’t mean your moving journey is over. Now, you have to pack all your belongings, move them to your new apartment, and unpack and arrange them. It’s all stressful work that takes a lot of physical labor and time, and the hot temperatures of the summer season – the most common time for moving – might present even more challenges. That’s why some people hire movers, but other people might go the DIY (do it yourself) route. If you’re wondering whether you should be doing it yourself instead of hiring movers, find the pros and cons of doing it yourself below.

doing it yourself instead of hiring movers

Pros of doing it yourself instead of hiring movers


Doing it yourself instead of hiring movers will almost always make less of a dent on your bank account. If you can move all your belongings from your old apartment to your new one with just your car, you’ll have an especially low-cost move, but even if you rent a moving van or truck, your costs will be lower than if you hire professional movers. 

You can also rely on friends to help keep your move low-cost. If you’re transporting large furniture pieces such as beds, couches, and desks, you’ll want to ask a friend or two to help you move, and DIY moves tend to involve your friends’ free help. That said, although the pizza and beer that many people offer their friends who help them move is a nice gesture, you should still expect to return the favor in the future. For more considerations when it comes to having friends help with a move, click here.

Full command of the move

Moving professionals may have certain ways they like to do things or best safety practices they need to follow. When you do it yourself instead of hiring movers, you can execute your move exactly how you want, meaning that you’ll always know the exact location and condition of your belongings. This consideration can be even more important for long-distance moves, during which your belongings may be stored with complete strangers for several days in a row. 

Cons of doing it yourself instead of hiring movers

Physical stress

If you worry about the lifting and physical exertion (and, during the summer season, the excessive sweat and dehydration) that accompanies a move, you may want to avoid doing it yourself and opt for hiring movers instead. Movers are professionals who know how to carefully lift and transport your belongings without damage to your items or apartment (or injury, which you might not be able to say for yourself). No matter how many DIY moves you’ve done in the past, chances are that movers will be better prepared for the exertion involved with your move.

Far slower

Professional movers aren’t just good at lifting and minimizing damage. They’re also experts at moving large items through narrow spaces quickly and safely while efficiently organizing and arranging them in moving trucks. If you worry that doing it yourself would take too long, turn to movers, who can load and unload your boxes and belongings far faster than you can even if you have friends to help you.

More unexpected issues

If you get your bed frame stuck in a stairwell when moving yourself, then you’ve hit a major snag in your move that you could’ve avoided with professional help. Professional movers are acutely aware of potential issues such as couches not making it through doorways and large dressers struggling to clear corners. When you do it yourself instead of hiring movers, you increase your potential for highly stressful mistakes that can bring your move to a standstill.

No packing help

In general, you should be all packed and ready to go far before your move-out date. If doing so feels infeasible for any reason, some movers offer same-day packing and moving services. Greater costs may be associated with these expanded services, but they alleviate you of the burden of packaging all by yourself.

Potential safety concerns

With nobody to help you transport some of your heavier household objects such as dressers, desks, and chairs, you could seriously injure yourself while improperly lifting items or fall down the stairs while moving a heavy, unwieldy object. Having friends help you move can lessen this danger.

In other instances, bringing friends along may pose dangers to all of you. For example, moving with friends means coming in close contact with them, a prime factor for COVID-19 transmission. Professional movers are far more likely to follow risk minimization policies that you and your friends may be more willing to overlook or ignore.

Do you prefer doing it yourself or hiring movers? Sound off in the comments!

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