Are professional movers worth the money?

When deciding whether to move or hire professionals, ask these questions before moving day.

When you factor in packing supplies, van rentals, and gas for long-distance moves, moving can be expensive. Hiring professional movers is the biggest expense that many people want to avoid, but it may be worth it depending on your situation. Ask yourself these questions before attempting a move.

Which of my possessions is most valuable?

If your laptop and a ring you never take off are your most valuable possessions, a move is low-risk.

Professional movers may be worth it if you have heirloom furniture or large and fragile electronics. Moving companies are insured and can help you replace broken items. If something breaks during a DIY move, you’re out of luck.

How difficult is packing for my move?

You and your volunteers should be able to pack clothes, books, and most household items easily in a DIY move. However, large furniture like couches, heavy dressers, and tables that need to be taken apart or maneuvered through doorways and stairwells should be left to the professionals. You don’t want to be exhausted and trying to put your bed frame back together at your new home.

How far am I going?

For a long move, you’ll save more by hauling your own belongings, but you’ll still have to pay for truck rental and gas. Professional moving services charge by the pound and mile. If you’re moving within the town, you can save by hiring movers for furniture and large items and driving smaller items.

How much is my time?

Hiring movers saves you time and stress. If moving your own belongings requires taking time off work, hiring a babysitter, boarding your pets, or buying special equipment, factor those costs in. If those costs aren’t worth it for you, a DIY move may be better.

How much should I spend on moving?

Online or in-person quotes from movers. For a local move, hire a licensed and insured mover with many positive reviews. Ask several major interstate moving companies for quotes on a long move. You can get a rough estimate online based on the size of your house and a general description of your furniture and appliances, or a professional mover will come to your house and estimate the weight of your belongings.

Why travel?

Moving is a good time to downsize. Propane tanks and harsh cleaning supplies can’t be moved for safety reasons, so be prepared to let go. Get rid of large items you don’t use to save money on a professional moving crew.

Donating qualifying items to charity may qualify for a tax deduction. If you were planning to replace large appliances like refrigerators and washers in your new home, consider selling them to the new owners.

Can my movers adjust their schedule?

Summer and month-end are peak times for hiring professional movers. You may be able to negotiate a lower rate if you move off-peak.

Will my family and friends help me?

You can save a lot of money if you can find a small team to help you move. Be gracious and repay the favor when the time comes.

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