So, you’re moving. Should you do it yourself? Or should you hire some help? Some moves are easily handled on your own while other situations call for backup. Will it be worth saving $500 when you get your armchair stuck in a door frame? Here’s how to determine when to go it solo and when to call a mover in California.
Ask Yourself These Questions When You’re Moving
How Much Stuff Are You Moving?
If you’re moving a lot of cumbersome items, like heavy furniture, working with a mover will be your best bet. Movers are experts in packing, lifting, and getting all of your stuff transported as efficiently as possible. They might only need to make one trip in what could take you six. Plus, you won’t throw out your back trying to get an armoire to your U-Haul.
How Far Are You Going?
If you’re only moving across the city, doing the move by yourself is often feasible. Even interstate moves are manageable with some help from big-armed friends. However, the farther you travel, the more logistics become involved. There may be overnight stays along the way, insurance requirements, and other issues that don’t crop up during a local move.
Costs also go up exponentially the farther you’re moving. Why? Because moving across the country can be hard work! It may also require a special permit. Think of it this way: Would you rather save money? Or would you rather save time? You can go it alone and save the cash, but if you hire movers may be able to fly to your new home, or at the very least drive much faster.
Are You Comfortable Behind The Wheel?
Moving trucks can vary in size from about 12 to 30 feet. If you are towing your vehicle, you can add on at least another 10 feet. Do you have any experience driving a larger vehicle? It can be intimidating and large moving trucks are difficult to park.
It’s true that you’ll save cash by moving your items yourself, but if you’re not comfortable driving a truck of this size — it may not be worth it. Especially when you’re driving through metro areas.
How Much Is Your Time Worth?
If you are moving across the country with a large moving truck, the process will take several days. There are stops for gas and food, pit stops to stretch, and you will be traveling much slower than if you were driving just your vehicle.
You might need to make a few overnight stops as well. Once you factor in the time packing, loading, driving, unloading, unpacking… you might want to consider bringing in the pros. Professional movers are adept and efficient when it comes to getting you moved in quickly.
Will You Have Any Help?
If you are moving across town, you will likely be able to recruit (bribe) some friends or family to help you out. You’d be surprised how many people will help out for some free pizza and an IOU. If you are moving to a new city entirely, you probably can’t count on the same support. You’ll have friends to move stuff into the truck, but what about unpacking? Unless you have family at your new location, you may be going the second leg alone.
A couple of things to remember for any move (with movers or without):
- Keep items you will need right away with you. Pack a suitcase as if you were going on a long trip. Keep toiletries, clothes, items for work/school and other daily items close by. There can be delays when using moving companies, so be prepared. If you’re going solo, you don’t want to have to dig through your moving truck for something important.
- You might also consider moving important items in your car, not the moving truck. If you’re calling movers, always leave the furniture to the pros. Load up your vehicle, and embark on that cross-country road trip you have always talked about! Make it an adventure!
- When it comes to many belongings (like furniture and heavy stuff): If it is more expensive to ship than it’s worth, leave it behind. You will be better off selling or donating the item, then replacing it once you are in your new city. Unless, of course, it has serious sentimental value.