The costs involved with a move are always a factor to consider. Even when your moving costs are being reimbursed by your employer, there are generally limits to the amount they will cover. At the same time, there are many other considerations in a move that are hard to assign a dollar value to, such as your time, stress, and worry. When deciding whether to rent your own moving truck, do your own packing, loading and unloading versus hiring professional movers for some or all of these tasks, your individual circumstances weigh heavy into these decisions.
How much time do you and your household members have available to commit to the packing and moving process? The answer to this question is key to your decision of whether or not to hire professionals to help you with your move. If your time constraints are greater than your financial ones, common sense dictates that services that will save you time are worth paying for.
The more limits you have on the time you can dedicate to the move, the more aspects that you may want to hire out. If you don’t have enough time to get everything packed, hiring a professional moving company that includes packing services can be a wise choice. At the same time, exercise prudence in choosing your moving company. Compare billing rates and whether they charge by the hour, the piece or by the number of rooms “Moving companies have no incentive to create extra hours of work for themselves, IF they work for a flat fee,” counsels Lior Rachmany, CEO of Dumbo Moving + Storage, a top Brooklyn-based moving company which services the greater NYC region.
Loading and unloading furniture and boxes from a truck requires a significant amount of physical labor. Recognizing your own physical limitations in this area is another important aspect in the decision of whether to hire professional movers to handle this task or to do it yourself. If you have plenty of strong, healthy friends to help you load and unload your truck, this may be a task that you can take on yourself. On the other hand, injury to yourself or family member is not a risk you want to take if it can be avoided.
Fine Art and Other Valuables
There are some possessions that should always be packaged and handled by professionals. Fine art pieces and other breakable or irreplaceable items fit into that category. Art galleries are your best resource for learning about how your art pieces should be packed and shipped. They may even offer packing services themselves; if not, they should be able to direct you to the professionals they use and trust for these types of shipments.
All-inclusive or Limited Moving Services
When making the choice between DIY moving and hiring professional movers, it doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing decision. You can hire an all-inclusive mover that packs, transports and unloads your possessions, leaving you free to focus on all the other details involved with a move. You can also pick and choose the aspects of the move you want to do for yourself and those you want to hire out to a professional. You could hire a professional organizer to help make your move go smoothly, but still do the actual packing yourself. You could handle all the packing, but hire a service to transport your goods. You might decide to hire professionals for moving only specialty items like a piano or art pieces and handle the rest yourself. The variations are almost endless.
Peace of Mind Comes in Many Forms
The Betty Brigade, a personal assistance and concierge service based in Ann Arbor, MI specializes in moving coordination and organizing. Sharon McRill, owner of this specialty service, offers this advice for lowering stress levels at moving time, “Take the time to create a plan. Planning reduces stress, confusion and broken items. A good timeline will help you capture the important elements of the moving process. You want to make sure you allow enough time for packing, trash & donation removal, as well as any deferred maintenance you may need on your home.”
Lowering your stress levels and knowing that your possessions are being well cared for during your move are just as important as maintaining your financial budget. Spending extra time researching the professionals you choose to assist you in your move can add greatly to your peace of mind. Rachmany, of Dumbo Moving + Storage, suggests that choosing a highly reputable moving company can have strong paybacks in lowering your moving stressors. “Good companies guide you through the process and minimize surprises on moving day. They have local knowledge and a proven track record.”
Knowing that your possessions will arrive unharmed and on-time is important when you move. Be sure you understand who you are hiring. Ask companies if they are a moving broker or if they are the actual moving company that will be handling your goods. If they are a moving broker, make sure you know who the moving company will be that will be physically handling your possessions. Do reference checks on the moving company, as well as the moving broker who arranges the move.
The Best Choice for Your Move
In the end, the best choice between a DIY move and a move that involves hiring professional movers depends on your priorities, the specific circumstances of your move, and your budget. Take the time to weigh your priorities. There’s no formula – only you can truly determine the best choice for each move that you make.
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