I have moved all sorts of ways with all sorts of things. I have moved long distances, across the county or across town. I have moved little by little and all at once! Whether you use professional movers or do it all yourself, it’s a chore and doing what is best for you and your situation (and with your budget) is really an individual choice. However, there are some pros and cons to both choices. Here are a few of those to help you make the best decision you can for your household:
Before you determine your moving budget, you need to address the needs you have for your move.
Who is Moving? – Is it just your family, or are others (like a parent/grandparent) moving with you as well? This may mean a combination of moving some things yourself and a professional moving company. When my family moved into a new home that was going to include my family and my mother, we moved a lot of our household on our own, but when it came time to move some of her things, we got help from a professional. We had time to get all of our things organized before she moved in, and the day she came, the movers moved all her furniture in and had it set up for her that night. It was wonderful for her to have everything in place in one day. It made the experience a lot less stressful. Also, you need to know your or a loved one’s limitations. It wasn’t that we weren’t willing to move her belongings, it was that she had Alzheimer’s and having her surroundings all settled helped her feel safe and settled. If you are physically unable to do some of those things, having a professional is a good choice as well.
What are You Moving? – Do you have lots of large furniture items and huge appliances? What about special cabinets that hold keepsakes or treasured heirlooms? Some things are just best being handled by professionals, while others you don’t want anyone to touch! Take inventory of what all will be going in the move to see if you and your family and friends can handle the items or not. Also, do you know how to transport those items correctly? This may take some research, too, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t handle it. Knowing what is going will help you make the right choice.
When are You Moving? – What time of year, or how fast the move is happening may all play a part in whether you do it yourself or get professional help. Do you know how to drive a big U Haul in the snow? Do you need to be at your new place by a certain time because you are starting a new job or do you have time to take to get to your destination? These are all things to consider when you are deciding which is better for you.
Where are You Moving? – This goes along with when as well. If you are moving across town and can take a little at a time, doing it yourself may be a piece of cake and you may only need a small truck to get the larger things because you can drive back and forth. But, if you are moving across the country and you need to be there by a certain time and don’t have a week to drive a truck yourself, then using a professional may be the way to go. Also, think of the topography of where you are going. Maybe driving the truck yourself isn’t the issue, or getting the help, but lets say your new home sits high on a hill and navigating a large truck around an area like that isn’t something you are used to. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. You don’t want to damage anything on the property or be terrified driving a winding road somewhere.
Why are You Moving? – If you are being transferred because of your employment and they are helping to pay for the move, using a professional may be the way to go. Not just because they are paying for it, but because there is generally a timeline that goes along with a move of this nature so as easy and seamless as possible is a good general rule. Also, when it’s a move for a life change (like a parent moving in with you, or moving because of health issues) using a professional may come in handy in these cases as well.
What is Your Budget? – For a lot of us, this one sometimes tries to push its way to the number one place in priorities when it comes to moving. However, when you consider all the other reasons that you may have for your move, you may want to be sure you have the budget to hire a professional. Truth is, when you know how to drive a truck, have plenty of help, the time to move and know how to pack a truck and your belongings correctly, doing it yourself is about ½ the cost of hiring professional movers. But if you don’t have all those things, sometimes getting the help you need is worth the extra cash. So be wise and plan the best way you can so you and your family can have a safe and seamless move.