This is a debatable issue and a question that plagues most people on the move. And similar to most decisions in life, the answer can be different for different people based on many important factors like money, time, complexity and difficulty of the move.
If you plan to move across town, a self-move may look more sensible and feasible than if you were moving across the country. Even then, to ensure that you make an informed decision, it’s always wise to weigh in all the options.
Deciding whether to take the services of a moving company or move on your own largely depends on your moving budget, your personality, complexity of the move and proximity to the new location. All these decisions are hard enough to ponder. But take it easy as we’re here to assist you figure out whether self moving or hiring movers is the right one for you.
Many folks are simply unable to carry a mattress or couch down a flight of stairs. On the same note, most friends aren’t normally the heavy lifting or handy types. Needles to say, that gives us a strong excuse to hire movers. However, there are plenty of people who have successfully completed many DIY moves, eventually saving a lot of money too.
Now, before you take a decision, let’s weigh in the pros and cons for each of these options:
Control Over Your Move
The greatest advantage of a do-it-yourself (DIY) move is that you are in absolute control over the entire process of moving. Not only do you have the option of choosing the truck and moving supplies, but you can also freely handle the boxes by yourself, ensuring that nothing breaks in the process. A DIY move indicates greater flexibility on deciding when to start and end the move.
When you hire movers, you restrict your control over the move. Right from the date and time of pick-up to the way the crew loads your items and unloads them, there’s nothing much you can do about the move. In a worst scenario, you may end up waiting for weeks for your truck to arrive, if the mover has numerous stops along the way. If you want to be in complete control, hiring a mover may not be a viable solution for you.
In most cases, a DIY move will wipe out a huge chunk of your time. The amount of time you require to pack your entire household, load, transport, unload and finally unpack will depend on the number of goods you are transporting and the number of family members, neighbors or friends willing to give you a helping hand during the various stages of relocation. Apparently, packing turns out to be a clear winner with respect to the time consuming process during a DIY move provided you have reliable friends and adequate time.
Moving crews are professionally trained to move round the clock, relentlessly. They exactly know what to do, how to do and when to do. This way, any type of moving job gets done rapidly with the least amount of efforts on their part. In simpler terms, the efficiency of hired movers is relatively higher compared to DIY moving attempts. At the end of the day, experience turns out to be a major factor with respect to safe and fast packing and loading of goods in a proper way, particularly valuable or fragile items or heavy furniture pieces or appliances. To sum it up, if you are hard-pressed on time and don’t get reliable friends to help you out, call in the pros.
It’s a common notion that a self move saves you a ton of money. While the statement may hold true in many instances, its validity is closely connected to a number of vital circumstances. For example, if you’ve very little possessions and performing a local move with the help of a set of loyal pals, then a DIY move is the way to go.
For this, you need to rent a rightly sized truck-a smaller truck will propel you to make multiple trips while an overly sized one will mean that you’ll be paying for space, which you actually don’t require.
Here’s a quick guide used by most rental firms to determine the appropriate size of the truck.
- 10’ truck-suited for moving tiny 1 bed apartments, college dorm, or moving studios
- 14’ truck-perfect for larger offices or apartments, or 2 bedroom houses
- 20’ truck-long distance relocation or moving households of 3 bedroom apartments
- 24’ truck-Large apartments with 3 to 4 bedrooms
- 26’ truck-Long distance moves or households with more than 4 bedrooms
Note that these are average calculations. So, if you are not sure of the size of the truck, select one with relatively bigger capacity.
Another point worth mentioning is besides the rental fees of the truck, you should take into consideration the hidden expenses of a DIY move when planning your moving budget-taxes, gas, road tolls, purchasing packing supplies, taking extra help, buying additional insurance, renting a dolly, blankets and/or furniture pads, renting towing equipment for your vehicle etc.
For cross-border moves, we suggest you to hire the services of a reliable moving firm. Start the hunt for the company that will best suit your requirements and relocation budget. Try to get a written binding estimate from at least five companies and make a comparison between their rates and also their terms and conditions. Usually, local moves are charged by the hour. On the other hand, long distance moves are charged based on the weight of your entire household goods. Furthermore, you might be pressurized to shell out some extra bucks for relocation of heavy goods. The binding estimate may or may not include the price of the packing supplies. It’s better to ask the mover to confirm this.
Also, ensure that the moving company you choose is properly licensed by the US Department of Transportation (USDOT). In addition, it’s an incredible idea if you can find some time to read genuine moving reviews about the services of each mover in your locality. These reviews are normally written by customers who have used their services and can help you take the final plunge.
Packing and Unpacking
Based on the number of goods you’ve amassed over the years and the size of your home, the packing process can take a number of days and even months in some cases. However, it’s best if you start packing your goods months before your move since nobody can precisely predict the time it takes.
If you are attempting for a DIY move, get hold of some close friends to speed up the packing process but if you can find sufficient time, it won’t hurt doing things on your own. Secondly, ensure to get the packing supplies you’ll be requiring in the process-moving blankets, boxes of the required sizes, packing tape, bubble wrap, packing paper etc. Thirdly, find out if you have any valuable or fragile items since they need to be packed with utmost care. Next, ask yourself if you are confident enough to get your goods ready for transportation without any help. If you tick all of the boxes, you can pack by yourself or else get the services of a mover.
Once the stress of the moving day comes and vanishes, it’s time to unpack your possessions without any stress at your chosen speed. Start with the boxes containing items that you use frequently and slowly work your way towards the ones you need less. It goes without saying that the rooms, which need to be furnished first, include the kitchen and the bedroom. This will help you get back to your regular lifestyle and do the rest of the chores unhurriedly.
Most professional movers offer full service that represents the most prevalent type of move. In reality, it means that the crew will load your goods on their truck, drive to your new home unload the items and place them inside the apartment according to your wishes. By giving an extra fee, the mover will also pack and unpack your goods.
Undoubtedly, full service moves are the most expensive types of move, but what you get is an efficient and convenient hassle-free relocation where most of the hard work is done by the crew while you stand aside and ensure that things go on smoothly as planned.
Loading and Unloading
Loading and unloading the truck are arduous physical tasks and you should ask yourself if you are ready to take on the challenge. Clever tricks and useful tips when moving bulky and/or heavy furniture pieces will certainly be handy only if you can muster up strong and reliable friends to help you when you need them the most. If not, leave the torment in the hands of experienced movers.
Professional movers are sufficiently trained and have years of experience to impeccably handle the heavy lifting that are inevitably presented at the time of loading and unloading. However, even if we take away the strength of the crew members, it’s the tiny tricks they have learned through the passage of time that make such a huge amount of difference. Making the best possible use of their equipments, packing your personal goods for a smooth long distance haul, expertly using the space of the moving truck, and maneuvering along confined corridors is only a tiny fragment of their storehouse of skills.
If you decide to relocate by yourself, your possessions are not usually insured. In such a case, if they get damaged while loading, transporting or unloading, you can really do nothing but simply blame yourself. However, if you don’t have extremely valuable or expensive items, a DIY move without any insurance can be acceptable. If your items are of immense value, you should get in touch with your present home insurer to see if your policy covers your goods in case of a self move. If not, ensure to make yourself adequately insured.
At the time of singing your moving contract, you automatically get moving insurance coverage. It does not have any extra cost attached to it and offers anywhere between $0.30 to $0.60 per pound per item, which is not a match for the real value of your goods. However, there is something known as Full Value Protection that can be handy if you’re moving expensive items. You can get it either through an insurance firm or your chosen mover. Under this type of insurance, your mover will pay for each and every missing or damaged stuff during the move.
A hybrid move is an amalgamation of the two types of moves described above. It involves the economy of a DIY move and the comfort of a full service move. The mover delivers a compact container at your doorstep, also known as a Pod Container or a Portable Storage. You are then given a couple of days to load your possessions into the container. When ready, simply give them a call and they will send a driver who ships the container to your new location. After the trailer reaches your new apartment, the same process is repeated in reverse order.
This type of move comes with many obvious benefits-someone else does the exhausting and stressful driving and more importantly, you pay only for the space used by your goods. Hybrid moves, however, are not suitable for individuals living in houses with no yards or driveways or in apartment buildings due to the dearth of accommodating parking space.
An ideal move can only be a reality if you make the proper decisions right from the beginning. As mentioned above, a DIY move and hiring movers both have their pros and cons. All you need to do is carefully consider the entire set of determinants in your particular case. To begin with, compare the expenses of both the methods and do not forget to take into account the hidden costs of a self move. The next step is to analyze other important factors like distance, time, dangers and convenience. After having analyzed all these factors, also consider the hybrid type of move that may work perfectly in your case.