Moving yourself can save money, but before you decide to go this route, take some time to read this checklist. It covers all the costs and factors you should consider before taking on the task of DIY moving. Even if you decide to hire pros, you’ll have learned what it takes to ensure that your move is efficient, safe and successful.

Assess the job

  • Do I have the stamina? The contents of an average three-bedroom house (two adults and two children) weighs 10,000 pounds.
  • Do I have enough vacation time to get through the whole process, from packing and loading to unloading and unpacking?

Factor in insurance costs

  • Coverage if someone helping you is injured in the process.
  • Coverage for drivers operating a moving van. Car insurance policies usually exclude this.
  • Cargo insurance to cover accidental loss or damage to possessions while in the truck. Most home policies exclude this, but it’s available from the rental company.
  • If your old home is damaged while you move out, you may need to compensate the incoming family. You may lose your security deposit if you damage a rental property.

Look out for additional truck rental fees

  • The rental of a truck or trailer includes a deposit that will be refunded when you return the vehicle.
  • Check the contract for extra-mile charges or fees for one-way rentals.
  • You’ll pay higher rental fees during the peak summer moving season, as well as on weekends and around the first and last days of the month.
  • Calculate the cost of fuel used for rental vehicles. A fully loaded 26-foot truck will average about 4.25 KM/L (23.53 L/100KM).
  • If you are driving your own vehicle, factor in the cost of wear and tear.

Don’t forget about the costs for supplies

  • Boxes cost roughly the same whether you move yourself or use a moving company.
  • You’ll probably need to purchase a hand truck and several moving blankets.

Consider these additional expenses

  • Factor in the cost of gas, tolls, meals and lodging if you’re driving a long distance.
  • Consider the need to drive slower than you would in your own car and the possible need to modify your route based on clearance or construction issues.
  • Can I round up enough helpers to get the job done at both ends of the move? Are my friends or family up to the challenge?
  • Can I (or one of my friends) drive a large van or truck?
  • Don’t forget the expense of hired hands, plus food and beverages for any friends and relatives who are helping with loading and unloading at both ends of the move.
  • If your children are small, you may need to pay for a babysitter while you load and unload the truck.

Find creative ways to save on expert assistance

  • Self-service moving companies will deliver a truck or trailer to you to load up, then a company driver will take it to your new home.
  • Share the expense with another family, or two. Charges are usually assessed based on how much load space you use.
  • Most moving companies provide workers on an hourly basis if you only need a little extra help. Check the fine print for additional charges.

Call the pros for:

  • Disconnecting or installing appliances such as washers, dryers, refrigerators with icemakers and dishwashers.
  • Moving heirlooms, such as grandfather clocks and china cabinets with curved front glass.
  • Moving recreational equipment, including pool tables, exercise equipment and swing sets.
  • Breaking down or reassembling large items such as waterbeds and wall units.
  • Disconnecting or installing light fixtures and ceiling fans.

Look for specialty transporters for:

  • Cars
  • Motorcycles
  • Boats
  • Pianos