The Great Debate: Long-Distance Professional Movers vs. DIY Moving

By: Nik Watson Last Updated: Jun 19, 2024

  • Share article:

When moving long distance, you’re stuck with two options. Either hire a professional long distance moving company or do all the heavy lifting yourself. In this article we’ll discuss the pros and cons of each and we’ll even give you an expert recommendation based on your specific situation.

The Great Debate: Long-Distance Professional Movers vs. DIY Moving

This is the greatest debate in the moving industry, whether to hire a professional moving company to handle the stress of moving or to do it yourself. The choice comes down to several factors including, your priorities, budget, and personal preferences.

We’ll lay out how to hire a professional moving company and what to keep in mind throughout the process. On the other hand, we’ll show you the proper steps on how to move yourself, giving you some game-changing tips and tricks to a seamless and stress-free move.

Long Distance Professional Movers

Professional movers handle logistics, loading, driving, and unloading your belongings at your new home. Each company has its own set of services they provide, some better than others, so make sure to do your research beforehand and compare different moving company packages/deals.


1. No Heavy Lifting

If you opt for a moving company, you don’t have to lift a single box if you don’t want to. Full-service movers will get your belongings on and off the truck. All you have to do is direct them where you want the boxes. They’re trained for any unexpected problems as well and can be a lifesaver in tough situations.

2. Efficiency

Assuming you’ve hired a reputable and experienced moving company, expect efficiency above everything. They’ve completed jobs like this hundreds of times, so they know how to be the most efficient when packing. They should arrive on time and ready to work, saving you the stress, time, and effort of moving.

3. Specialty Items

At an additional cost, you can find moving companies that specialize in heavy/bulky items like pianos or furniture.


1. Less Flexibility

When hiring professional movers, you gain more hands, but also lose control over the process. If you’re someone that loves being in control, we would definitely suggest choosing DIY moving, even if it can be taxing.

There’s honestly not much you can change if you hire professional movers. You are subject to their schedule most of the time. In the worst case scenario, your date could be moved back weeks if they don’t have any trucks available and are overbooked.

2. It’s Expensive

Professional long distance moving companies can range from $4861 – $9630, according to our research. However, you may also have to pay additional fees for stairs, elevators, long hallways, and many other factors.

If you’re on a tight budget, a professional moving company might not be for you. We would suggest investing in a moving container service or truck rental instead.

3. Choosing the Wrong One

We suggest spending the most time vetting moving companies, as it can be difficult to back out once you’ve committed. Use our list here.

DIY Moving

Doing it yourself can be a difficult, but rewarding experience in the end. Some people love being in control of their move, while others don’t. It all comes down to personal preference.


1. Cost Savings

By rolling up your sleeves and doing the heavy lifting yourself, you can save a significant amount of money. Renting a moving truck for long distance moves typically ranges from $1,500 to $2,300, which will help you save thousands.

2. Complete Control

This is arguably the greatest advantage to DIY moving because you are in complete control of the process. If you’re a meticulous planner, this is the way to go. Not only do you get to safely pack all of your most valuable belongings yourself, you also get to choose the best route for your family.

Choosing a DIY move means you have the flexibility to move at the most convenient time. You’re also in control of loading and unloading the truck, which means you don’t have inexperienced movers dumping boxes in the wrong places.

3. Pack Your Way

By moving yourself, you can make sure nothing gets damaged along the way. You can be creative when it comes to shielding your items by using old blankets or towels instead of purchasing expensive supplies.


1. Planning

You’ll want to plan efficiently and carefully to make sure everything runs smoothly while in the process of packing. You’ll have to figure out the logistics of getting everything from point A to B without any hiccups.

Don’t forget to fully plan out how you’re arranging the items in the moving truck. Research the best packing methods to ensure no items are damaged in transit. And if any unexpected problems arise, the responsibility falls on you.

2. Heavy Lifting

This is the most tedious task out of all the steps.

Trust us, turn on some music, invite over some friends and family, and try to have a good time while packing. It’ll make the worst step go by that much faster.

Be careful not to scratch up any walls while carrying heavy furniture down stairs or across long hallways. This is when the expertise of professional movers is missed, as they know the best ways to carry awkward, bulky items.

Our Recommendation

It’s essential to weigh the needs of you and your family when deciding for professional movers or a DIY move. Do some reflecting on what you truly prioritize.

Is it saving money? Or is it saving time, effort, and stress?

Here are our suggestions:

If you’re a family of 3 or 4 and are moving to a 4 bedroom house, go with a professional moving company. Making your life easier for this move will save you wrinkles on your forehead and hours upon hours of heavy lifting. Focusing on your kids during this stressful and significant change is most important.

If you’re single and strapped for cash, try the DIY route and see how it works out. If you give up halfway through, no biggie. You can always hire a professional moving company to take it off your hands.

Hopefully, this article will come in handy for you when deciding between professional movers or DIY.


The cubic feet of your items, the distance of your move, your budget, and your level of experience in packing and moving items.

The cost of hiring long-distance movers can vary greatly, with estimates ranging from $1,200 to $16,500, or even higher. The actual cost of your move will depend on several factors, including the weight of your belongings and the distance of your move.

Yes, as long as you choose a reputable moving company. Be sure to do your research, read tons of reviews, and verify the company’s licensing and insurance before hiring them.

Some common scams include lowball estimates, holding your belongings hostage for more money, and delivering damaged or missing items.

To avoid these scams, do your research and choose a reputable moving company.

It’s important to use high-quality packing materials, such as sturdy boxes and packing tape. Label each box clearly with the contents and room they belong in. When loading the truck, place heavier items on the bottom and lighter items on top to prevent damage. Use straps to secure items and prevent them from shifting during transit.