Should I Move Myself or Hire a Pro?

Seven sure signs that it’s time to hire a moving company

It’s true. Moving the contents of your home isn’t a traditionally difficult task – after all, at some point most of us have moved ourselves from one apartment to the next. But it can be physically demanding, requires a little know-how in order to keep yourself and your things safe – and arranging the proper vehicles and friends to help you can be a logistical nightmare. That said, it can be done. But should it?

How can you tell when it’s time to hire professional movers as opposed to performing yet another DIY move? Here are seven signs that a pro may be your best bet:

  • You’re moving across country. Sure, you can pack a few boxes and suitcases, toss them in your car and go, but unless you’re in college and/or single and don’t have a lot of “stuff,” the odds are good that you’ll need a big truck to get your things from point A to point B safely. And really – nothing spells misery like packing up your things and hitting unfamiliar roads in a huge truck that you don’t truly know how to drive.
  • You need help loading and unloading your furniture. If this is the case and you don’t have friends with strong backs, arms and legs to help you, it’s safer to hire movers than attempt to do it all yourself.
  • You have precious artwork, an expensive wine collection, an autographed baseball collection, sensitive musical instruments or electronics, or other items that require special handling. If so, a pro is the way to go – even if they only move the items in your collection and you move the rest of your stuff yourself.
  • You just don’t have the time or can’t take the time off work in order to get yourself settled in a timely manner.
  • You have young kids and you’re moving to a new city or town where sitters aren’t readily available. Moving is tough enough without having to keep an eye on your little ones in a space you’re not yet familiar with. Consult our guide for tips on how to facilitate this move.
  • You’re moving during the school year or around important family holidays and need to get your home settled quickly – disrupting your family’s routines and traditions as little as possible.
  • You don’t have the equipment it takes to make the move yourself. A truck or trailer (or both), a trailer hitch, hand truck, moving blankets, ropes and tie-downs can all rack up the cost of a DIY move – but movers have all of that at their disposal, and won’t generally charge you to use it. So the cost of moving yourself vs. hiring a moving company might be about the same when all is said and done.

If you recognize yourself, your family or your situation in any (or all) of the scenarios above, it may serve you well to hire a team of professional movers. Just make sure that when you request estimates, the responses cover all the same things, including the same amount of belongings, the same dollar amount for valuation, etc. That way, you’ll be able to make an apples-to-apples comparison and choose the right mover for your family and your budget.


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