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Do-It-Yourself Move

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A DIY (do it yourself) move to a new home requires planning, organization and a lot of effort. Even though a DIY move can be tedious and overwhelming, you can save a lot of money and time.

The key to a successful DIY move is to break it down into smaller tasks. This gives you a greater sense of control over things around you. A DIY move can be broadly divided into four types...

Types of DIY moves

  • Rental equipment: A truck or a trailer is rented and you are responsible for packing, loading, driving, unloading and unpacking the shipment
  • You load/they drive: The packing, loading, unloading and unpacking of a commercial moving van or truck is done by you; the movers will be responsible for driving your shipment to the destination
  • Privately owned vehicle DIY: A privately owned vehicle must have current registration and be a cargo-type vehicle, not a passenger-designated vehicle
  • DIY move with government-arranged mobile home shipment: Household goods like furniture and heavy appliances like refrigerators and air conditioners can be shipped at the expense of government, only if they are removed from a mobile home and shipped somewhere safe

DIY move process

Deciding on the type of move 

A decision about what type of DIY move you are going to employ is vital as it dictates the other steps in the moving process.
  • Will you be doing all your packing?
  • Will you be using movers to help with transporting your goods?
  • Will you be doing the entire move all by yourself?
The next step would be arranging for rental equipment and packing supplies. You can get free packing supplies like boxes from Craigslist or a grocery store.

Insurance coverage

Car and accident insurance should be updated. Double check your auto insurance if you are using a trailer and make sure you are covered. Educate yourself about local laws, as they vary regarding liability for accidents for a DIY move.

Weight ticket calculation and moving receipts

Weight of a privately owned vehicle or a rented trailer should be calculated when it is empty and once again when fully loaded with your belongings. Empty weight means an empty trailer with a full tank of gas and no drivers or passengers inside. This weight, when deducted from the weight of a fully loaded truck, yields the weight of your belongings.

TIP: Any moving receipts during the move should be retained. The expenditure incurred on a move is not taxable and will be deducted from the allowances which you receive for the move.

Packing and loading

Packing and loading your entire home can be exhausting. You can alleviate this problem if you:
  • Break it down into small tasks instead of doing it all at once
  • Use ramps and dollies for loading heavy items into the moving truck
  • Use the help of your friends and neighbours to assist in loading the truck
  • Keep young children and pets away during this time to prevent any injuries or accidents
  • Serve some drinks and food to the people who have helped you with the move
Dealing with family issues 
Moving can be emotionally stressful for children as they have to leave all their friends. It would be good for them if you could arrange a going-away party to bid farewell. This way, the children don't feel neglected and will be willing to participate in the move process.

You should engage everyone in the family in the relocation process and they all should be delegated with their respective chores and duties.

Safety on the road

Planning is essential to have a safe road trip. A fully charged cell phone, a GPS and an emergency contact list should be kept with you while you are on the road in a DIY move. It is important to pace your trip to avoid burning out on the road. It is also advisable to take intermittent stops during the road trip to stretch out your legs and get some rest.

Unloading and unpacking

At your new place, a little bit of boldness is required on your part to ask your new neighbours to help you with the unloading of your belongings. Be prepared with all the necessary equipment like ramps, dollies, gloves and ladders.

A DIY move can be tiring and complicated, but if planned carefully and if your tasks are broken down, then it can save you a lot of money and time.

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on January 15, 2013 - Moving Expert
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