Hire Movers or Do It Yourself?

The stress of upending your life leaves you with decisions about where to move, what to pack, strategies to pack in the most efficient way, and how to transport your items to your new home. One of the biggest decisions new homeowners face is whether to hire professional movers or rent a truck and move themselves. It may seem like an easy decision, but there are many factors you should consider. Ultimately your final decision will depend on what resources are available to you and what your priorities are. 

What Options Do You Have When Moving? 

Option #1 – Hiring Professional 

If you hire professional movers, this typically involves you packing up your own belongings and having hired movers load and transport your things. There are moving companies that offer full service moving which includes professionals to pack your things, load, transport and unload for you. This is usually the most expensive option, but if you have the means available is the most stress-reducing choice. It gives you the free time to focus on other aspects of your move. 

Option #2 – Do It Yourself Move 

When you move yourself, you typically rent a truck, pack your own belongings, load it on and travel to your new home, unload your things yourself or with the help of a few friends, and return the truck to the rental location when you are finished. This is probably the most cost effective way to move, but is definitely more time consuming and exhausting. A D.I.Y. move is best if you have an apartment or smaller home, less items, and have family and friends willing to help you out. It often requires multiple trips between your old and new home which means you need to have time and patience. 

Option #3 – Shipping/Containers 

This option involves packing your belongings yourself and loading them onto a container that will be transported by truck or shipped to your new home. There are some companies that offer the VIP service, where movers will pack your belongings for you and load them onto the container for you. This gives you time to take care of the smaller items in your home that you can bring with you in the car. Shipping/containers are a good option for long distance moving, especially if you are driving your car to your new home. 

Things to Consider with Your Move 

For many people the best method of moving is obvious, but it is important to take a look at every option before committing. There may be a method you thought was out of your price range, but you could have afforded and saved yourself time. 

Consider your Timeline – Are you on a deadline? If you are relocating for work or have a limited time to get from your old home to your new home, you may not have the time to pack and transport your things while continuing to work and organize your move. This may require hiring someone to pack for you and move your belongings to your new home. If your schedule is more flexible you may have the time to pack your things yourself and move on your own. 

How Much Stuff Do You Have? If you have accumulated a lot of items and furniture over the years, the amount of stuff you have to pack can be intimidating. If you are moving a household full of furniture and 

years of belongings, professional movers can pack and load quickly and alleviate some of the stress for you. 

Cost & Distance – If you are trying to save money or have a limited budget, having friends and family available to help you move yourself may seem like the cheaper option. But in the end, there is more than just the financial cost of moving that you must consider. The amount of time you put into your move – getting supplies, packing, cleaning, loading, unloading and transporting your things – plus the physical exhaustion of manual labor and the risk of damage to your property while lifting heavy items can make the cost of your move more than you anticipated. Hiring professional movers may be worth it in the long run when you consider all the other external costs. How far you are planning to move is also an important factor to consider. If you have a short distance to your new home, moving on your own may be the best option. If you are moving long distance, sending your belongings across the country, using a shipping company or container is the way to go. 

Monetary Value of Your Items – If you own a lot of fragile or valuable items, paying for the top of the line moving company will give you added protection and insurance that your items will arrive safe and unscathed. Additionally, if anything did get damaged during the move, professional movers offer insurance to mitigate the loss. 

Stress & Other Life Factors – Moving is stressful and can be a very emotional experience. Sometimes it is easier to use a moving company to avoid adding additional stress to an already difficult process. Hiring professionals will give you the time and energy to focus your attention on other important tasks needed to transition to your new home. 

Ultimately the option you select will depend on your specific needs. Whatever option you choose, start to plan your move early on and make sure you hammer out all the details so that your move is easy and less stressful. 

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