Moving to a new home is a big step, whether it’s across town or on the other side of the country. Unfortunately, it can also be an expensive one. Families looking to save money often assume that the best way to do so is by trying to do everything themselves, but planning and executing a DIY move is harder than you might think. If you’re not sure hiring a local moving company is worth the money, don’t take our word for it. After all, every situation is different, and there are times when taking a DIY approach is appropriate. This article will focus on the pros and cons of hiring professional movers vs. taking on the entire process alone so that you can make an informed decision.
What to Expect From Professional MoversProfessional movers make it their job to take the stress out of your move, whether it’s across the street or the state. When you work with an experienced moving company, the first step will be to come up with a plan that meets your needs. Most movers offer a range of options to suit every circumstance, including everything from packing and unpacking to temporary storage, but you won’t necessarily need all of them. If you’re working with a low budget, make that clear from the beginning so that the person responsible for helping you plan the move can make suggestions about how to save money. You don’t have to do everything yourself to keep expenses reasonably low. Scheduling your move well in advance and handling the packing and unpacking without professional help will go a long way toward keeping your budget low without forcing you into a DIY move. When you work with professionals, you can expect to get a clear estimate that outlines all of your costs. There will be no hidden fees. Working with professional movers even eliminates risks such as having to pay for damaged or lost belongings because moving companies carry comprehensive insurance policies. Once moving day rolls around, your team will show up on time and ready to work. They’ll have all of the equipment required to move large, heavy, or unwieldy objects safely, navigate stairs and hallways, and secure everything for the ride to your new home. You should stick around to answer questions, but the movers will handle all the rest.
What to Expect During a DIY MoveHandling your entire move alone is a stressful ordeal that most people try to avoid at all costs. If you have an exceptionally low budget and don’t have the credit to take out a moving loan, it may still be your best option. When you opt for tackling the entire move yourself, you’ll have to worry about:
- Finding a rental van or truck that you can safely drive.
- Packing 100% of your belongings.
- Taking out insurance if you’re concerned about fragile items breaking during the move.
- Finding people who are willing to help with your move.
- Moving heavy and difficult-to-carry items out of the house without injury.
- Loading everything into the moving truck and securing safely.
- Unloading and unpacking.
- Gassing up the rental van and returning it on time to avoid late fees.
The Benefits of Working With ProfessionalsYou may assume that our assessment of whether you should hire movers or tackle everything yourself is biased, but only if you’ve never handled a DIY move. If you have, the chances are good that you already know about all of the extra challenges it creates before, on, and after your moving date. What you might not realize is the full extent of the benefits you’ll get by working with professional movers.
Maximum ConvenienceWorking with a team of professional movers is by far the most convenient way to get all of your belongings from point A to point B. If you have it in the budget, you can even pay for add-on services like packing and unpacking. All you’ll need to do is be available to answer questions during the move.
Years of ExperienceProfessional movers aren’t unskilled laborers. They have years of experience with packing boxes, loading trucks, and handling fragile items. They know how to pack delicate belongings so that there’s no danger of damage during the trip, drive a moving truck safely, and unpack everything without making a mess of your new home.
Licenses and InsuranceMoving companies carry licenses and insurance, which means that you won’t be left on the hook in the unlikely event that your goods get damaged. A professional driver will be available to transport the home’s belongings, which can minimize the number of trips that must be made, and fully insured, experienced movers will take responsibility for the safety of your items.
Help Dealing With ContingenciesEven if you’re a careful planner, some aspects of a move simply can’t be controlled. Inclement weather, furniture that is difficult to maneuver through doorways or downstairs, and items that require specialty transport all fall into this category. The great thing about hiring movers is that you won’t have to worry about contingency plans. They’ll take care of everything.
Avoiding Injuries and Keeping FriendsEveryone needs help with moving, whether they’re packing up a studio apartment or a single-family home. Unless you have exceptionally dedicated friends, you’ll find it surprising how many people have plans for your specific moving date, even if you ask them two months in advance. If you can find people willing to help, that doesn’t necessarily mean everything goes smoothly, either. Injuries are common when moving heavy furniture, as are fights that break up lifelong friendships.
When to Attempt a DIY MoveIn most cases, we agree with the many experts who recommend working with professionals to facilitate your move. However, some circumstances lend themselves to DIY moving. This might be your best option if:
- Your possessions are few and light enough to fit in an easy-to-drive moving van.
- You’re in good enough shape to pack and load everything safely, then unload and unpack it when you get to the new destination.
- You’re working on a very tight budget and don’t have good enough credit to take out a loan.
- You have plenty of free time in which to plan every aspect of the move.
- You don’t have kids to worry about.