Moving Yourself vs Hiring Movers

We know all too well moving house sucks, but when looking at the moving costs involved in hiring removalists you may be tempted to consider moving yourself. We've broken down the benefits of moving with professional movers versus moving yourself.

Moving Yourself vs Hiring Movers

So, you are moving house, you have a date in mind, then comes the age old question - should you hire a moving truck and move yourself or find a professional moving company to complete your move?

This depends on so many factors, including how much you need to move, whether your move is a cross country relocation or local move and the timing of your move. Hiring movers comes with its costs, but will save you the stress of a DIY move as well as a few relationship breakdowns, if you decide to enlist your friends to help.

We're not dissing moving yourself, but if using a rented moving truck and roping your mates in to assist is the path you want to go down, be prepared to experience a few bumps along the way. Hot tip: to make it a bit easier, we've put together a handy moving house guide with everything you need to know about your move. Check it out here.

To avoid experiencing your own moving day horror story, we've broken down the benefits of moving yourself versus moving with professional movers below.

Exploring the costs

If you are looking at reducing moving costs and want to do it yourself along with the help of friends or family, it's important to think about how you will thank them for their help and agree on this before you start the heavy lifting. Not doing this before hand could result in sour friendships and an IOU tally system.

When you hire professional movers, everything you pay for is outlined and agreed upon before you pay for the service. If you call on helpful friends to move all your belongings, it makes it harder to keep track of costs and therefore budget appropriately.

Using professional movers

Hiring movers offers you the advantage of taking control of your moving costs. To save money, you can manage a budget around the services you need or you can accommodate your budget by finding a removalist at a cost you can afford, plus they have all of the moving equipment needed for the move so that's one less thing to worry about.

Either way, you pay what you agree to with your moving company. Furthermore, you don't simply pay for manpower. Many removalists offer packing materials and packers as part of their service.

PS If you book your move through Muval, we can help you save money and match you with a suitable removalist within your budget 😉

The financial costs of a DIY move

When you enlist the help of friends, you assume that your move will be done for free or for cheap. It may help you save money, however, there are a few costs you have to account for:

  • Finding and hiring a moving truck for moving day
  • Paying for your friends' meals during the move
  • Sourcing and purchasing packing materials such as bubble wrap, cardboard boxes and packing paper
  • Potential out of pocket expenses to recover or replace any lost or damaged items

Sometimes, depending on your relationship with your helpful amigo, you may even need to compensate for their time off work. It's a good idea to lay some ground rules for both sides before you shake hands on the move to avoid disappointment.

Reliability and recourse

It is within reason if you are afraid of complete strangers handling your precious belongings. You've worked hard to accumulate your things and the last thing you want is to see them mismanaged in the midst of moving house.

That said, who would you feel more comfortable moving your items? Friends or trained, professional movers?

Finding a reliable and professional moving company

Do your sanity a favour and reduce your chances of experiencing a moving day disaster by doing some quality control.

In addition to asking trusted friends and family to recommend a team of removalists, do your own research online. Look at sites where you can compare removalists, read reviews, and get details about each service.

We have some handy tips on how to avoid dodgy removalists. Check them out before you begin your search for professional movers.

Finding friends to help using a rented moving truck

When you tell your friends you're moving yourself, what is the typical response? Do they run to your aid or do they back away into the bushes, Homer Simpson style? 

When people offer to help others with their move, they usually only do so when they know the response is going to be "No, that's alright I've got it sorted."

If you are offering little besides a pizza and some refreshments, you might find it hard to gather friends who are reliable and as helpful as you need them to be.

Moving house is hard work, and the truth is, people actually don't like doing it unless they are rewarded in full.

Dealing with no-shows

Can you imagine being organised and ready to move to your new home, yet the help that you counted on is nowhere to be found?

Dealing with a no-show on moving day is frustrating regardless of whether you hire movers or a group of friends. However, the way you can deal with unreliable helpers depends on whether you booked help or enlisted it informally.

The downside to moving with friends is if they don't show up, you don't have any legal backing and you may just get annoyed with your mates. In this case, it's always good to get them to confirm, closer to moving day if they are still happy to help.

On the other hand, if you are thinking of hiring professional movers and they fail to show up on the day you are protected by your legal agreement with them. If you've booked your removalist through Muval, all you need to do is chat to your dedicated Move Specialist and we'll handle it. [insert something about staff being trained in industry standards and regulations??]

That said, paid professionals are less likely to back out of a job, last minute, as it is in their best interest to adhere to your contract and uphold their reputation.

Help with packing


63% of Aussies say that packing is within their top 3 most loathed tasks when moving house. Our one piece of advice is to start packing early. You can find heaps of handy packing tips in chapter 2 of our moving house guide, to help the packing process go smoothly.

Many professional removal services offer packing and packing materials. You have two options: do it yourself and get your friends to help, or find removalists who offer packing as part of their service offering.

Hiring professional packers

When you hire professional packers, you are in control. You can specify how you want things packed where you want them packed, without lifting a finger. Packing supplies such as cardboard boxes, moving blankets, and other materials are provided by the company, so you don't have to worry about sourcing these.

If you have delicate or precious items to pack away, experienced packers are trained to handle them with care. For instance, you should not entrust anyone to secure and move your piano unless they are trained to do so. Moving a piano is a delicate process and our range of removalists are trained in doing so.

Chat to your Muval move specialist to organise packing as part of your move.

Injuries and insurance

Moving house is a strenuous task. Accidents can happen during the process, resulting in injuries. There are a few things to consider if you are looking at moving yourself and using your mates or hiring movers.

If removalists are injured

If removalists are accidentally injured while moving your belongings, you have little to worry about. Such accidents come with the territory on the job.

Therefore, all reputable removalists are insured. Their injuries are covered and compensated for without putting you out of pocket.

If you are looking to protect your items during your move, keep in mind that their standard insurances don't extend to customers. This is why we created Muval cover. You have the option of choosing what items you want to covered during your move for that extra peace of mind. Find out more about Muval cover here.

If friends are injured

Firstly injuries are not ideal in any case, especially if it is a friend who has been kind enough to offer to help you with your move. If your friend gets injured during the move, depending on how well you know them you may be up for a huge compensation fee, and in the end, a lawsuit between friends is a definite end to a friendship.

If you do have to compensate your friend by law, you may be more out of pocket than if you had hired a removalist.

Preserve your friendships and precious items

Yes, moving with friends and hiring your own moving truck might seem like a good idea for saving on moving costs, however keep in mind that it comes with a different kind of stress - you don't want to end up losing friendships, over moving furniture!

We've all dealt with the dodgy ones, however finding the right moving company that has the right moving equipment, moving trucks, and most importantly (and obviously), will do all of the heavy lifting of your precious belonging will mean a stress free experience for you. All Muval removalists are approved through our detailed verification process and require a minimum customer rating to retain their place, so you have peace of mind.

Leave the stress up to us and invite your mates over for the house-warming instead.

Chat to our team - 1300 168 825

Article by: Alana Lowes
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