Moving Options

The guide to everything you need to know before you go get moving quotes

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The average person is expected to move a total of 11.7 times throughout their life. We're not sure what's up with the 0.7. Maybe people just give up halfway through that move because honestly, who wants to move 12 times? No matter what number you're on, making your very first move or your 12th, HireAHelper wants to help you make it to your new home intact, sane, and with a little extra cash in your pocket, which is why we put together Moving101. We packed it full of price comparisons, reviews, and expert moving tips to help you navigate your move. But before you get to researching things like how many portable storage containers you'll need or whether you should get insurance on your rental truck, let's introduce you to the main ways to move.

Your moving options fall into 3 main categories: the do-it-yourself (D.I.Y.) move, the Hybrid™ move, and the full-service move. Each have pros and cons to consider as well as elements that make them uniquely suited for a specific type of move. Below is a quick overview of each option, but for the whole scoop, be sure to visit their detailed profile pages to figure out which move is right for you.

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D.I.Y. Move

Just You
Packing & Unpacking You
Loading & Unloading You
Driving You
Average Cost $660
Local Move: $273
Medium Distance: $576
Long Distance: $1,921
Average Time 31hrs
Planning: 6hrs
Packing: 13hrs
Moving Day: 12hrs

Very cost effective, and you have complete and utter control over every aspect of your move.

You have to ask your friends & family to help you move, again. There goes your weekend, and maybe even your back!

Hybrid™ Move

Helpers + Your Own Truck
Packing & Unpacking You
Loading & Unloading Helpers
Driving You
Average Cost $910
Local Move: $523
Medium Distance: $826
Long Distance: $2,171
Average Time 21hrs
Planning: 5hrs
Packing: 13hrs
Moving Day: 3hrs

You won't break your back or the bank! Takes minutes to book movers on your phone through HireAHelper.

You have to take more time to research your options and spend a little more than the DIY move.

Full Service Move

Movers + Truck
Packing & Unpacking You
Loading & Unloading Movers
Driving Movers
Average Cost* $2,568
Local Move: $1,300
Medium Distance: $3,000
Long Distance: $6,000
Average Time 51hrs
Planning: 48hrs
Packing: 2hrs
Moving Day: 1hrs

Someone else does all the work on moving day!

Takes days rather than minutes to get quotes. You may have to file for bankruptcy after the move. Seriously.

D.I.Y Move


The do-it-yourself (DIY) move is one of the most hardcore and cheapest moving options. You are essentially going solo, except perhaps for willing and able friends and family. You're willing to risk your relationships, your back, and your sanity to save a few bucks and call all the shots. But unless you live in a dollhouse-sized room, you'll probably need to rent a truck. And you better offer up some pizza and cold drinks to your free help. It's the least you can do.

Hybrid Move


Those who want to hedge their bets, go with the Hybrid™ move. (This is our favorite, but we're biased.) It combines the best of both worlds: the affordable parts of the D.I.Y. move and the convenience of the full-service move. You do the easy part and rent a moving truck, but then you hire some help for various tasks, such as packing, loading, or unloading. You can hire pros or average Joes, whichever makes sense for your budget and your stuff. Don't want to drive a big truck? No problem. You might consider renting a moving storage container or space in a freight trailer, so someone else does the driving, but you do the packing while your hired help does the heavy lifting. You can also hire professionals to do the packing for you. While the Hybrid™ move tends to be more expensive than the DIY move, it is much more affordable than full-service. Besides, you'll save your back or keep your perfect driving record intact a little bit longer.

Full Service Moving


This is the move of the rich and famous - rock stars (literal and figurative), politicos, any of those "real" housewives. You don't have to lift a finger. Someone else does all the packing, loading, driving, and unloading. It sounds like a dream, eh? Well, it is, which is why it comes with a hefty price tag. Costing thousands, it is the most expensive way to move on the list. The full-service company you seek depends on the kind of move you're making. National van lines and other smaller moving companies make long-distance, interstate moves, while smaller, local companies tend to handle intrastate moves. Either way, you'll be sitting pretty - granted, your bank account might be empty - while everyone else is sweating to get your stuff from point A to point B.

*Average cost for a full service move calculated from AMSA's report on average cost for intrastate and interstate moves.

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