How can you choose the best moving option – one that fits both your needs and your budget? Getting to know your options (and the perks and downfalls of each one) can help you save money and safely transport your belongings.
Option 1: Full-Service Moving Companies
Hiring a full-service moving company is a lower-stress way of getting all of your belongings from Point A to Point B, advises Nerd Wallet, a BBB Accredited Business. Professional movers manage the logistics of loading, driving, and unloading your things for you. Some full-service movers even offer extra services like packing.
Trained movers can pack and transport large, and/or delicate items (think pianos and antique furniture) in a safe way. They are also equipped to move items into hard to access areas, such as up stairs or down long, narrow driveways. Best of all, all the heavy lifting will be done for you.
The downsides of hiring a full-service moving company are the cost and the time it takes to complete a move. This is usually the most expensive way to move your belongings. If you are making a long-distance move, it may take movers several days to deliver your items as well.
Option 2: Shipping Your Belongings
If you’ve managed to whittle your belongings down to a few boxes or suitcases, shipping them is a cheap and easy way to move—especially if you are moving across country, points out Consumer Affairs.
Big name package shippers often charge a premium to ship large or heavy boxes. But other companies, like long-distance bus lines, may offer cheaper services. Some shippers are even willing to pick up boxes from your home and drop them off at your new address for an extra fee.
While cost and ease are two big pros with this method, there are a few cons too. Boxes shipped by ground may take several days or even a few weeks to arrive at their destination. In addition, this isn’t a good option if your boxes contain items that are fragile.
If you are flying to your new home city, check with several airlines before you buy your ticket. Some airlines offer reasonable prices on additional checked bags, but you’ll probably need to do some searching to find the best deal.
Option 3: DIY Truck Rentals
If you have larger items, but still want to take a DIY approach to moving, a truck rental company could be a good choice. Truck rental companies will provide you with a truck or trailer of an appropriate size, but you’ll be responsible for the packing, loading, driving and unloading.
This option is less expensive than hiring professional movers. It may even be cheaper than hiring a moving container service depending on how far you are going. Move.org has calculated average prices for DIY moves.
That said, loading and unloading a truck is physically demanding. If you have any large or unwieldly items, they could be damaged if they aren’t packed, loaded, and unloaded correctly. To address this, you can always hire movers help you load and unload the truck.
You’ll also need to feel comfortable driving a moving truck, which is probably much larger and heavier than your regular vehicle. This can be stressful even for very capable drivers, and you might need to purchase extra insurance in case of accidents or damage. If you choose this route, be sure to add gas, insurance, and lodging to the quote the truck rental company gives you for an accurate view of the total cost.
Option 4: Moving Container Services
If you don’t feel comfortable driving a rental truck to your new home, moving container services could be an ideal option. Moving container services bring a portable storage container to your home. You fill it up. Then, the company transports it to your new location, where you unload your belongings.
These companies usually give you a few days to load and unload. They can also store your container for a fee if you need time to find a new house in your new city. They are less costly than a full-service moving company, and you don’t have to worry about driving a big truck to your new home.
To take advantage of moving container services, you’ll need space. If you’re current or new home has no parking or a driveway on a steep incline, this option might not be feasible. Some moving container services offer movers to load and unload your items if you pay an extra fee. However, in many cases, paying the fee will make the cost of the moving container service as expensive or even more so than full-service moving company moving company. To get an idea of pricing for this option, see this article on Move.org.
For More Information
Learn more by reviewing the BBB Tip: Hiring a Mover.
You may also find it helpful to review the guidance for consumers moving during the coronavirus outbreak provided by the American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA).