Calculating the actual cost of a do-it-yourself move is essentially quite easy. Just be sure you take into account the size of trailer or truck and any other equipment and tools you will rent, such as furniture pads, tow bar, dollies, and automobile transport. You should also estimate the amount of packing material (rope, plastic peanuts, boxes, tape) needed. And include the cost of labor you need to hire for packing and loading.
Here is a list of costs that might be needed in a DIY move:
Trailer or truck rental
Car-carrier or tow bar rental
Drop-off charge, if applicable
Other equipment rental ( furniture pads, dollies)
Packing materials (rope, tape, boxes)
Any labors you use to help pack, load, and unload
The largest expense of your DIY move will be the renting charge of a trailer or truck. These are basic guidelines:
One small (14-foot) rental truck can hold approximately 750 cubic feet of stuff or a one- to two-bedroom household.
One medium (18-foot) rental truck can hold approximately 1,000 cubic feet of stuff or a two- to three-bedroom household.
One large (24-foot) rental truck can hold approximately 1,500 cubic feet of stuff or a four-bedroom household.
One professional (40-foot) rental truck can hold approximately 4,000 cubic feet of stuff, adequate for everything from the basement to the attic including your car in the garage.
You can save some money on packing materials by obtaining those free grocery boxes from the favorite market. Also, check the fast-food restaurant for non-food boxes. Unfortunately, using them can be false saving. Moving boxes are tough and of uniform size, they are easier to stack and handle than assorted grocery boxes. Wardrobe cartons, mirror boxes, special dish packs, and other containers will ensure that your things are safer during the move.
Old newspapers are inexpensive and can be used to wrap many things, but the cheap ink will rub off on your clothes and hands as you work and on all things you pack. Try to find clean wrapping paper instead for things that can get dirty easily.
You also can buy packing peanuts and bubble wrap. If you know early on that you will be moving, there will be more opportunities to get packing materials from things you buy. Don't forget to buy rope to tie off the load and packaging tape for sealing boxes. Some suppliers will allow you to return any unused materials and give you a full refund.
Unless you're planning to do all of the works yourself, you'll have to find some help. And those helping hands cost money and free labor isn't entirely free. If you want to hire help, always remember that a small and efficient crew will work a lot better than a big, disorganized group. You can ask the truck rental people. They may know a few idle movers who could use a quick day job. Or contact the nearest employment office for available day laborers. Also call the moving companies. They may have some idle workers that need work and can give you a good deal.
So, how much will you need to pay? Just ask around. Usually, paying 50% higher than local minimum wage should get you dependable and inexperienced laborers, while, paying twice the local minimum wage will get you experienced, but otherwise jobless workers. Pay a moderate wage and you will get good work. If the boxes are all packed and the entire household is ready for moving, a couple of laborers can load your things to a medium truck in 4 to 6 hours or a big truck in less than 8 hours.