Self-Moving 101: How to Save Money and Avoid Stress

Moving to a new home can be an exciting but stressful experience. Between finding a new place, packing up your belongings, and hiring movers, the costs can quickly add up. However, self-moving is an alternative that saves money and reduces stress. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the benefits of self-moving and provide practical tips on planning, budgeting, and executing a successful self-move. Whether you’re moving across town or the country, these valuable insights will help you easily navigate the self-moving process.

What is a self-move?

A self-move refers to a relocation where individuals or families manage the entire moving process themselves without hiring a full-service moving company. In a self-move, people typically handle tasks like packing belongings, renting a moving truck or portable storage container, loading and unloading their possessions, and transporting them to the new location. This approach allows for more control over the moving process and can often be more cost-effective, although it requires more effort and coordination from the individuals involved.

Benefits of self-moving

Self-moving, or the act of moving oneself from one place to another, can offer several benefits:

Cost Savings

One of the main advantages of self-moving is the potential for significant cost savings. Hiring professional movers can be expensive, especially if you have a large household or are moving long-distance. Doing it yourself eliminates the need to pay for labor, transportation, and any hidden fees for hiring movers. Additionally, you can choose budget-friendly options for packing supplies and moving truck rentals.

Flexibility and Control

Another benefit of self-moving is the flexibility and control it provides. When you take charge of the entire process, you can set your timeline and decide based on your preferences. You won’t have to rely on the availability of professional movers or worry about mishandling your belongings. Self-moving allows you to customize your move according to your needs and handle your possessions carefully.

Learning Experience

Self-moving can also be a valuable learning experience. It allows you to gain practical skills such as packing efficiently, organizing your belongings, and driving a moving truck. These skills can be helpful not only during your move but also in other aspects of life. Self-moving provides an opportunity for personal growth and empowerment as you navigate the challenges and triumphs of the moving process.

Comparing self-moving & full-service moving

There are significant differences between handling your move and hiring full-service movers.

Cost-wise, self-moving is much cheaper.

Doing it yourself is much cheaper. A long-distance move might cost around a thousand dollars compared to five thousand or more with traditional movers. This difference is like the price of a large TV versus that of a used car.

Workload stands out

Full-service movers come with a team of strong individuals to handle heavy items like an antique armoire. On the other hand, with self-moving, it’s usually up to you and maybe a friend who’s occasionally into CrossFit to do the heavy lifting. However, you can also hire helpers if needed.

Other important considerations

Some other important aspects to having more control over how your belongings are handled when you self-move. It also offers greater flexibility in scheduling. Additionally, if your move-in and move-out dates don’t align, moving container companies like Secure Space provide convenient storage options.

What are your self-moving options? 

If you’re going to do a self-move, you have two routes (assuming you have more than just a carload of stuff): The portable container route and the rental truck route. So which is best for you? Let’s walk through the differences. 

Comparing PODS containers & rental trucks 

Are rental trucks just moving containers on wheels? False! But don’t worry. Whether you answered true or false, you’re still doing great! There are some key differences between PODS containers and rental trucks.

PODS Containers vs. Rental Trucks

Feature/ServicePODS ContainersRental Trucks
Cheaper than full-service movers
Loading & Unloading Responsibility✓*
Driving Done for YouX
Option for Home/Storage Facility StorageX
No-contact MovingX
Delivered Directly to Your DoorX
Multiple Sizes Available
Ground-level LoadingX
No Extra Charges for Gas/MileageX

*Secure Space can connect you with local professional packing and loading services to assist with loading and unloading.

Need storage during your move?

Storing your belongings during home renovations, downsizing, or quick relocations can be a hassle. However, using storage containers can significantly ease this process. Unlike renting a truck multiple times and dealing with the repetitive loading and unloading between home, truck, and storage unit, containers simplify things. With containers like those offered by Secure Space, you load and unload just once, whether you keep the container in your driveway or at a Secure Space Storage Center. This approach saves you from the exhaustion of multiple rounds of loading and unloading.

Moreover, using Secure Space eliminates unexpected expenses like fuel since you don’t have to drive the container yourself. This means avoiding the stress of driving a large box truck for countless hours, which is a significant relief.

Opting for a moving container rather than a truck for your cross-country move opens up exciting possibilities. You can turn your relocation into a pleasant road trip experience, leaving you free to explore various routes and destinations. You can gain valuable tips and insights from someone who has experienced this process multiple times.

Sizing it all up

Let’s delve into the aspect of sizing when it comes to moving. When tackling a four-bedroom home move independently, the traditional method might involve multiple trips using a large rental truck. However, Secure Space moving containers offer a convenient alternative. These containers allow you to order specific sizes tailored to your needs, delivered straight to your doorstep and picked up when you’re finished.

Here’s a helpful strategy: Consider staggering your container deliveries, obtaining only one at a time. This saves space in your driveway and allows you to cancel additional containers if they become unnecessary.

PODS Containers & Rental Truck Size Guide

Let’s delve into the comparison between the sizes of Secure Space moving containers and rental trucks based on home size:

  • For a small studio apartment under 400 square feet, a cargo van or a 10-foot truck suffices, while an 8-foot PODS container fits the bill.
  • Studios or one-bedroom apartments around 600 square feet can utilize an 8-foot or 12-foot PODS container or rent trucks between 10 to 16 feet.
  • Moving from a 1 to 2-bedroom apartment of about 800 square feet could be managed with a 16-foot PODS container or rental trucks ranging from 15 to 16 feet.

When looking at larger spaces:

  • A 2-bedroom apartment or home with 1,000 square feet might require a single 16-foot PODS container or a combination like a 16-foot and an 8-foot container. Alternatively, opt for rental trucks ranging from 15 to 16 feet.
  • A 3-bedroom space of around 1,200 square feet could be handled with a single 16-foot PODS container or a mix of containers, along with rental trucks spanning 15 to 18 feet.

As the size of your home increases:

  • A 4-bedroom home of 2,000 square feet might necessitate two 16-foot PODS containers or a 26-foot rental truck, which could involve multiple trips.
  • For larger 5 to 6-bedroom homes exceeding 3,000 square feet, three 16-foot Secure Space containers or multiple trips using larger trucks might be suitable.

Ultimately, your approach depends on your specific needs, and Secure Space containers offer a flexible, tailored solution for DIY moves.

How can I move without a moving truck?

There are other choices if you’re not excited about driving a big moving truck. You could go for a full-service moving company—they handle everything: loading, driving, and unloading. Another option is using a moving container company like Secure Space for a DIY move. They bring a container to your place, you pack it, and then they haul it to your new home.

The price difference between Secure Space & rental trucks

The price contrast between using Secure Space and renting trucks is noteworthy. Generally, the initial rate for PODS tends to be higher than renting a truck. However, when renting a truck, additional costs can accumulate based on factors like your specific location, the distance you’re moving, fuel consumption, and various fees. These expenses can escalate significantly, particularly if you’re moving nationwide. Moreover, there’s also an intangible cost in terms of stress when driving a large box truck through congested city streets and fast-paced highways.

How do moving truck rentals work? 

If you’ve opted for the rental truck route, kudos on taking that bold step! Here’s a step-by-step rundown of what lies ahead:

  • Determine Truck Size: First, figure out the size of truck you’ll need for your belongings.
  • Pick a Rental Truck Company: Choose a company that offers rental trucks for your move.
  • Reserve Your Truck: Make a reservation for the truck you’ve chosen.
  • Pick Up Your Truck: Head over to collect your rental truck.
  • Load Your Belongings: Begin loading your possessions into the truck.
  • Hit the Road: Time to drive! Make sure you’ve got some enjoyable audiobooks or music for the journey.
  • Unload Your Stuff: Upon reaching your destination, unload your belongings.
  • Additional Loads: If needed, repeat the loading and unloading process for extra trips.
  • Refuel the Tank: Fill up the gas tank before returning the truck.
  • Return and Pay: Return the rental truck and settle any extra fees incurred during the move.

If this process feels overwhelming, you might consider using a moving container company for a smoother moving experience.

How do moving containers work?

Moving and storage containers have become a popular choice for many individuals. Wondering how the process works? Let’s break it down step by step:

  • Get an Estimate: Start by obtaining an estimate for your move. Secure Space offers a detailed and free quote to help you plan.
  • Reserve Your Container: Once you have the estimate, reserve your container through the service provider.
  • Delivery to Your Current Residence: The container is delivered right to your home, making it convenient.
  • Loading Your Container: Now comes the part where you pack your belongings into the container. This involves loading your items securely.
  • Container Pickup: After you’ve loaded everything, the container is picked up from your residence.
  • Storage or Delivery to New Home: Depending on your needs, the container is transported to a storage facility or your new home.
  • Unloading Your Container: When the container arrives at your new place, it’s time to unpack and unload your belongings.
  • Final Pickup: Once you’ve unloaded everything, the container is picked up, completing the process.

While the service takes care of many steps, you’re responsible for packing, loading, and unloading. However, these tasks need not be daunting. Tips for self-packing can make the process smoother. Consider using bubble wrap for fragile items, and if needed, you can hire hourly labor to assist with heavy lifting during loading and unloading.

This method saves money as you handle the packing yourself. Additionally, if you’re concerned about physical strain, hiring labor for lifting can ease the burden during the move.

Moving to a big city?

If you’re moving to an extremely crowded area where leaving a moving container or parking a rental truck is challenging, Secure Space City Service might be your perfect solution. Specifically available in select ZIP codes, this service caters to urban movers. Similar to the standard Secure Space service, a driver brings a container to you, but it remains on the truck while you load or unload using a built-in lift.

The driver stays with the container to prevent tickets and ensure your belongings are safe during loading and unloading. Afterward, your container swiftly moves to your new location or to a Secure Space Storage Center if you cannot move in immediately.

How can I move by myself?

When opting for a self-move, there are various DIY options available. You could gather friends and entice them with pizza while packing a rented moving truck and driving it yourself. Alternatively, you might delegate some tasks. Consider using a moving container service like Secure Space, where they drop off and pick up the container for you. Additionally, you can hire helpers to assist with the heavy lifting involved in packing and loading your truck or container.

Self-Moving Mistakes to Avoid

While self-moving can be cost-effective and stress-reducing, people often make common mistakes. By being aware of these pitfalls, you can avoid unnecessary stress and setbacks during your self-move. Here are some self-moving mistakes to avoid:

  • Underestimating time and effort: Self-moving requires significant time and effort. Many people need to pay more attention to the workload involved and end up feeling overwhelmed. Be realistic about what you can handle, and give yourself ample time to complete each task.
  • Not properly securing items: Failing to secure your items properly during transit can result in damage or loss. Take the time to secure everything tightly and use padding or blankets to protect fragile items.
  • Overpacking boxes: It can be tempting to fit as much as possible into each box to minimize the number of trips. However, overpacking boxes can make them too heavy to lift safely and increase the risk of damaged items. Stick to weight limits and distribute items evenly throughout multiple boxes.
  • Neglecting insurance: Accidents can happen during a move, so it’s essential to have proper insurance coverage. Check your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy and consider purchasing additional coverage.
  • Not asking for help: While self-moving means taking on most of the tasks yourself, it doesn’t mean you can’t ask for help. Enlist the support of friends or family members to assist with heavy lifting or to provide moral support during the process.

By avoiding these common mistakes, you can ensure a smoother self-moving experience and minimize any unnecessary stress or setbacks.

How to choose self-moving companies

While self-moving means taking on the responsibility yourself, certain aspects still require professional assistance. For example, you may need to rent a moving truck or hire labor to help with heavy lifting. When choosing self-moving companies for these services, consider the following points:

  • Reputation and Reviews: Research the company’s reputation and read reviews from previous customers. Look for companies with positive feedback and a track record of reliable service.
  • Insurance Coverage: Ensure that the company provides insurance coverage for any damages that may occur during the move. This will protect you in case of accidents or mishaps.
  • Pricing and Packages: Compare prices and packages offered by different self-moving companies. Look for transparent pricing and consider any additional fees or hidden costs that may be involved.
  • Availability: Check the availability of the company’s services, especially if you are moving during peak seasons. Ensure that they can accommodate your moving dates and timeline.
  • Customer Support: Evaluate the level of customer support provided by the company. Are they responsive to inquiries? Do they offer assistance and guidance throughout the moving process?

Considering these points, you can choose self-moving companies that align with your needs and ensure a smooth, stress-free move.

Comparing Secure Space & other moving container companies

Regarding moving, the differences between Secure Space and other moving container companies can be summed up in various aspects. Let’s break down these factors for a clearer understanding:

  • Local and Long-Distance Moves:
  • Secure Space: Yes, they facilitate both local and long-distance moves.
  • Other Companies: Local moves are common; long-distance options might vary across providers.
  • Nationwide Coverage:
  • Secure Space: Impressive coverage with 230+ US, UK, and Australia locations.
  • Other Companies: Coverage varies significantly among different companies.
  • Loading/Unloading Time Allowance:
  • Secure Space: Offers a generous 30-day allowance for loading and unloading, with an option for extended storage at a monthly rental fee.
  • Other Companies: Allowances can vary widely, ranging from 3 to 30+ days, depending on the company.
  • Container Material and Quality:
  • Secure Space: Known for its durable steel-framed and weather-resistant containers.
  • Other Companies: Container materials might vary, and some companies might use wooden crates, potentially impacting durability.
  • Storage Inclusion:
  • Secure Space: Provides complimentary storage for 30 days, extendable with a monthly rental fee.
  • Other Companies: Storage inclusions range from no free storage to periods varying from 30+ days, depending on the company.
  • Storage Options:
  • Secure Space: Offers flexibility with on-site storage or at a secure storage location.
  • Other Companies: Some may require storage specifically on-site, limiting options.
  • Online Quotes and Fast Responses:
  • Secure Space: Online quotes are available for local moves; they also provide swift quotes over the phone.
  • Other Companies: Availability of online quotes and response times may vary from company to company.
  • Contents Protection and Cancellation Policies:
  • Secure Space: Provides options for content protection and facilitates easy cancellations with refunds.
  • Other Companies: Policies concerning content protection and cancellations differ among various providers.

While various moving container companies exist, Secure Space distinguishes itself through its comprehensive coverage, container quality, flexible storage options, and customer-friendly policies for quotes and refunds.

How much does a Secure Space move cost? 

Moving with Secure Space comes with varying costs depending on different factors. Using a PODS container typically falls within the range of $350 to $500 for local moves. However, the price is more varied for long-distance moves due to factors like distance, container size, and location. On average, long-distance moves with PODS can range from $499 to $4,999.

Want to know how much your move will cost? Get an online quote for local moves easily! Request a quote now for an accurate estimate. For long-distance moves, it’s recommended to call Secure Space at 855-706-4758 to discuss specific details. This way, you can get the best deal tailored to your unique moving situation.

Is moving anxiety a thing?

Moving can be an emotional rollercoaster, causing a lot of anxiety. Studies show it’s one of life’s biggest stressors. Moving brings challenges, whether you’re staying local or relocating within the same town. Leaving behind memories and the familiar can be tough. But there’s a simple remedy: preparation. Visiting your new place at different times helps you adjust to things like traffic and neighborhood activity, easing your worries.

Selecting the right method for a DIY move can significantly alleviate stress. Opting for services like Secure Space offers advantages by allowing flexibility. With your container securely parked in your driveway, you can take breaks whenever needed without any rush. You control the timetable, allowing you to proceed at your own pace, contributing to a smoother moving experience.


How much money can I save by self-moving?

The amount of money you can save by self-moving depends on various factors, such as the distance of your move, the size of your belongings, and the cost of hiring professional movers in your area. On average, self-moving can save you anywhere from 50% to 70% compared to hiring movers.

Are there any hidden costs associated with self-moving?

While self-moving can save you money, it’s essential to consider any hidden costs that may arise. These can include rental fees for moving equipment, fuel costs, insurance, and additional supplies. Be sure to factor in these expenses when creating your budget.

How far in advance should I start planning my self-move?

It’s recommended to start planning your self-move at least 8-12 weeks in advance, especially if you have a larger household or a long-distance move. This will give you enough time to research and gather supplies, book a moving truck, and make necessary arrangements.

Can I rent a moving truck for a one-way self-move?

Yes, many moving truck rental companies offer one-way rentals, allowing you to drop off the truck at your destination instead of returning it to the original location. However, remember that one-way rentals may be more expensive than round-trip rentals, so be sure to compare prices and consider your budget.

Is self-moving suitable for everyone?

Self-moving requires physical labor and organization skills. It may only suit some, especially those with physical limitations or time constraints. If you have concerns about your ability to handle a self-move, consider hiring professional movers or seeking assistance from friends or family members.


Self-moving can be a rewarding and cost-effective way to relocate. Following the tips and advice in this guide can save money and avoid unnecessary stress throughout the self-moving process. Remember to create a detailed budget, gather all the necessary supplies, pack efficiently, and stay organized. Take your time and ask for help when needed. With proper planning and preparation, your self-move can be a smooth and successful experience, allowing you to settle into your new home with ease.

Start planning your self-move today and experience the benefits of saving money and reducing stress. The first step towards a successful move is creating a detailed budget and gathering the essential supplies. Remember, self-moving is a journey, so stay organized, take breaks when needed, and ask for help when necessary. Happy self-moving!

Ready to make your move stress-free? Secure your space with Secure Space today! From convenient storage solutions to hassle-free moving containers, we’ve got you covered. Start your journey to a seamless move with Secure Space now!

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