Hire Movers Or DIY?
This doesn’t have to be an either-or proposition. You can handle some of the responsibilities yourself, and hire a moving company to do the rest. For example, you may be willing to do the packing and loading, and hire movers to drive the truck. Or, you can do the packing and hire the movers to do the loading and driving. What you decide ultimately comes down to which resource you’re willing to use: time or money.
Most people are willing to do their own packing. We all have personal stuff that we would rather take care of ourselves. Plus, it’s an opportunity to take inventory and get rid of stuff that we no longer want or need.
Though, if you feel that your time would be better spent doing other things, you can certainly hire packers to do this for you. I’ve talked to a few people who hired packers and were very pleased with their service. They talked in amazement at how fast and efficient they are. These are professionals, so they’re well-trained and know exactly how each item should be packed.
However, be prepared. They will pack everything, even the garbage, unless you tell them otherwise.
Another option is to hire packers to pack your most fragile items, while you do the rest. This is a good way to save some money, while increasing the likelihood that your most prized possessions will be kept safe. If you have antique furniture, consider having it custom crated.
Loading And Unloading
If you only have a small amount of stuff, you can probably get by without movers. However, most people own a ton of stuff these days, so in most cases you’re better off hiring movers.
I don’t know too many people who actually like loading. So even if you have friends that are willing to help, they probably really don’t want to. Plus, how would you feel if they got hurt while lifting a heavy piece of furniture? It’s not that far-fetched. I’ve heard horror stories of people having back problems for years because of lifting heavy furniture. Paying for movers probably wouldn’t seem so bad if something like this occurred. Friends are also more likely to break something compared to movers.
Do you feel comfortable bossing around friends if you have to? It’s hard to get mad at someone who is helping for free. Will your friends work with the sense of urgency that you need them to? Or will they mess around too much for your liking?
If you do have friends help, give them the moving date as far in advance as possible so they can clear their schedule. Tell them to mark it down on a calendar so they’ll remember.
Treat them to breakfast and/or lunch. Have everything packed before they show up so they don’t have to wait. Be sure to have as much help as possible so it gets done faster and takes stress off of each person.
Whatever you do, don’t try to guilt your friends into helping you, even if you’ve helped them before. If they don’t want to do it, they probably won’t be much help anyway.
Just keep in mind that loading a truck requires a tremendous amount of physical labor, time, and skill. It’s not just a matter of getting everything into the truck. There’s a right and wrong way to arrange everything. If one box is out of place, an entire stack of boxes could tip over.
A compromise would be to pay movers just to load the heavy stuff, while you and others load the smaller, lighter boxes.
If you’re going to hire movers to do anything, loading is at the top of the list.
How long is the drive? How comfortable would you be driving a truck? I know the do-it-yourselfers out there love the idea of hopping into a moving truck and hitting the open road.
Will you have to drive in heavy traffic? Even if you’re moving a short distance, would you feel better if someone else drove the truck?
Also keep in mind that trucks can always break down. Is that something you could handle if it happened?
You’ll save the most money by driving if moving long-distance. But do you want to drive for 2-3 days, or longer?
Of course, you can hire a moving company to take care of everything for you. If you have more money than time, this is probably your best option.
If you do go this route, then expect to pay a small fortune. I read one story where a company paid to move one of their employees and his wife. The movers did everything, from packing, creating detailed checklists of all the contents, loading/unloading, and transporting. The total cost: approximately $12,000.
It should be noted that movers aren’t always perfect either. They’re not all created the same, as some are certainly better than others. Do your homework to make sure that the company you hire has a good reputation.
The primary benefit of hiring movers is the burden they take off your shoulders. Much has to be done when moving, so anything that you can pay someone else to do helps, even if it’s just loading or driving the truck.
If you own a big house, hiring movers is almost a must. It will save you and others a lot of time and hard work.