Which Works Best: Self vs. Full Service Moving?

Which Works Best: Self vs. Full Service Moving?

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Based on new census data, Americans are definitely on the move. In fact, approximately 31 million people in the U.S. relocated in 2019. In response to this great need, there are plenty of moving companies that offer alternatives suitable for every situation. Whether you’re moving locally or facing much more complicated long distance moving or international moving, you’re probably looking for ways to get from point A to point B with the least amount of stress. The trick is to decide which moving option is right for you. To help you with that decision, here are the pros and cons of self vs. full service moving:

Do-It-Yourself Moving:


  • Moving yourself is obviously much less expensive than hiring a full-service moving company, because you don’t have to pay for salaries for a driver and other moving company employees, expensive overhead and tips for the driver and crew.
  • You have more control over scheduling, which gives you flexibility if any of the details surrounding your move change. This can not only help you with the timing, but it might also save you a lot of money if you have to change your move to a peak-time move that costs more.
  • You can avoid issues with rogue movers who will quote a low price, only to raise it when you’re vulnerable because your possessions are on their truck.


  • It takes quite a bit of work to move yourself, which can be an issue for people who don’t have the time or who aren’t physically capable of moving themselves.
  • There’s more potential for injury when you move yourself.
  • You usually have to ask friends and family for their help, which can wear thin if you do it often enough.
  • You have more potential for breakage, because chances are you won’t be able to pack the truck as well as seasoned professionals from a moving company.

Full Service Moving:


  • One of the main benefits of full service moving is that you can be as hands-off as you want. Movers can do everything related to your move, including packing your boxes, moving items from Point A to Point B and unpacking your belongings at your new house
  • By staying out of the moving process, you protect yourself from potential injury and all the pain and downtime that might entail.
  • You can leave your friends and family out of the process.


  • Full service moving is definitely more expensive than a do-it-yourself move. And rightfully so, because there’s a lot involved.
  • Less control over schedule
  • Extra charges for handling bulky items, elevator fees (flight charges), long carry fees, etc

About Rick Doney

Rick Doney is a co-founder of Consumer Authority and Lifetime Entrepreneur. Expert on real estate, home improvement and other topics.