If you have a big move on the horizon, you may be asking yourself if you are up for the challenge of handling the move yourself or if you should hire professional movers. It is a question that crosses the mind of nearly anyone who is about to be in transit, but it can be a difficult one to answer. There are many things to consider when making this decision, so let’s dive right into it.
The Case for Moving Yourself
One of the reasons many people don’t even consider hiring a moving company is that they simply don’t have the money for it. Moving to a new home is expensive in and of itself, and it may be appealing to save as much money as you possibly can by tackling the move on your own. Start with considering your budget. Most professional moving companies charge around $25 an hour for a local move. Of course, the price goes up if you are moving out of state or long-distance; in the ballpark of around $3500.
Another reason people opt to take care of packing and moving alone is that it gives them more control over the move. They can fit it into their schedule as they like and they handle all packing. This may be appealing if you have particularly treasured items that you don’t want a stranger handling without care.
Most moving companies will require that all of your belongings be packed up and sealed in a certain way. This is usually for insurance purposes so they can’t be held liable for any goods that get damaged or break during the move. But let’s face it, not everything needs to be vacuum-sealed and wrapped like a mummy.
If you have a lot of oddly-shaped items that would be tough to pack but durable enough so that they don’t need extra protection, you may want to consider moving by yourself.
So what are the pitfalls of moving your own possessions? Take a look at this list of some of the most common problems that DIY movers encounter:
- Personal Injury – Moving can be a dangerous endeavor, especially when you have a lot of heavy furniture, equipment, and appliances. Smashed fingers, strained muscles, and even bone breaks are not uncommon with the heavy lifting that usually goes part and parcel to moving yourself.
- Mental Drainage – In a perfect world, moving could be done in a matter of hours. We have electric cars, drone delivery services, and devices that carry out voice commands, but we are a long way off from instant moves. Coordinating a move by yourself takes a lot of time and planning. With all the things you have to consider when moving apart from the actual packing and moving, you could find yourself overwhelmed and emotionally drained.
- Unforeseeable SNAFU’s – Even if you manage to plan every aspect of your move carefully, and you think you have it all covered, DIY moving is notorious for giving rise to unforeseeable complications. Things like running out of packing materials, furniture not fitting through doorways and appliances that require disassembling are all situations that can cost you hours to fix.
The Case for Hiring Professional Movers
Professional moving companies are in business for a reason: they can be accommodating and take a lot of the stress out of an inherently stressful situation. Some of the arguments for residential movers include:
- Not Having to do the Heavy Lifting – Maybe you have sustained an injury that makes it impossible to haul heavy furniture and appliances into a truck or maybe you just don’t feel up to the task of lugging large possessions to and fro. Whatever the case, hiring a professional moving team will negate the need to do any heavy lifting.
- Efficiency of Time and Effort – On average, it should take a team of 3 professional movers about 6 hours to move a 3 bedroom 2 bathroom home or apartment. That’s not even a full day’s work!
- Dealing With Less Stress – Chances are there are a lot of things weighing on your mind during a move. Leaving the menial stuff to professionals can help you avoid stressful situations and allows you to focus on the more critical aspects of your relocation.
There are two sides to every story, and hiring a professional moving company comes with its fair share of cons. For instance, it can be pretty expensive, especially if you are moving a big home or you have a lot of things in your home and in storage.
When you hire a moving company, you will be moving on their time as well. There will be a fixed schedule, and you will have to be ready when they are. They will pack things their way, and in extreme cases, you may have to wait a long time for them to transport your belongings to your new home.
If you have a lot of items that are delicate, valuable or are sentimentally important to you, it may be better to handle the packing and moving yourself as opposed to handing these belongings off to a stranger who has no semblance of their value.
Other factors will guide your decision to hire movers or tackle the move yourself. For instance, do you have a few willing friends or family that can help? Do you or anyone you know own a pick-up truck? Do you not have a lot of things to move? If so, then it may be better to take up the endeavor yourself.
If you are working within a narrow time-frame, have a lot of heavy items, will need special moving equipment or will need custom crating services, you may want to seriously consider hiring a moving company.
Another significant consideration is how far you are moving. Long distance moves can get extremely expensive; the budget will play a significant factor in your decision.