We all know how stressful moving can be. It’s not just that it requires a lot of organization and commitment– it’s time-consuming, complicated to organize, and often back-breaking work (the last time I moved I legitimately injured my back– this is not an exaggeration).
So while you may save money by packing and moving everything yourself, hiring movers to do the heavy lifting for you could save you a lot of stress during the whole process– despite the added moving costs.
Hiring professional movers is a good idea because you can totally customize the service to fit your needs. Do you want them to pack all of your stuff, load the truck, drive, and unload the truck at your new place?
Or would you rather take care of the packing and unpacking yourself? However, that’s part of what makes using movers complicated– there are a lot of factors involved in moving that can affect how much hiring professionals will actually cost. Here’s a breakdown of some of the things that may affect your moving costs:
How Much Help Do You Need?
The factor that will most affect the amount you pay for your move is how much work you’re willing to do yourself. On the most luxurious end, movers could even take care of things like packing and unpacking, but those added services will cost you a pretty penny.
The next priciest option is to pack everything yourself, then hire movers to load their truck, drive everything over to the new place and unload. The least expensive option is to take care of the packing yourself, rent a truck separately, and then hire movers to haul everything.
Companies often offer moving packages for a slightly less expensive rate, but you can expect the cost per mover to be at least $30 an hour, not including expenses for renting the truck, paying for fuel, and adding packing services.
How Much Stuff Do You Have?
Your moving costs will also vary depending on how much stuff you have. The amount of belongings you’re moving directly influences the size of truck you need and the number of movers you’ll need to hire.
So, moving from studio to studio will be much less expensive than, say, from one three-bedroom apartment to another.
How Far Are You Moving?
Even for local moves, if you rent the truck separately, you’ll be responsible for paying for whatever amount of fuel you use. If you’re moving long distance, though, you’ll be charged a bit differently by most moving companies.
Many companies charge based on the weight of your belongings (typically per pound), which is usually much more costly than short-distance moves. Remember that each moving company defines long distance differently, so check what each company’s definition is before committing to them.
Where Do You Live?
As with most things, if you live in a big city, you can expect to pay more in moving costs than if you were to move in a small town.
Moving companies in big cities charge as much as $20 more per mover per hour than companies in smaller cities and towns, which can add up quite a bit.
When Are You Moving?
One aspect of moving costs that people don’t think about is that when you move matters a great deal. Summer in particular is one of the most popular times for people to move, which means rates will often be higher during June, July, and August than they are for the rest of the year.
To some extent, there isn’t a lot you can do about this – if your lease runs out in July, you’ll need to move during the summer. If you want to try to lessen your moving costs, though, see if you can sign a short-term or month-to-month lease to get out of the priciest time of year.
Do You Need Insurance?
To get insurance or not to get insurance? This will largely depend on your personal preferences and how valuable your possessions are to you, but if you opt to cover your belongings through the moving company, you’ll be paying more overall for the move.
If you have renters insurance, check with your policy to see if it covers moves.
4 Tips for Hiring Movers:
1. Ask For Recommendations
There are a few ways you can make sure you’re getting the best deal when you hire movers. The first is to ask your friends for recommendations on who they’ve used to move in the past. They’ll be able to tell you first hand about the moving costs and the quality of the move overall.
2. Get Several Quotes
Don’t jump right into a contract with the first company you find. Make sure you look into several different moving companies, and get quotes from three or four. Then, compare the quotes and decide which one makes the most sense for you.
Remember that the price shouldn’t be your only consideration when choosing a moving company, but if one charges astronomically more than another, you could save quite a bit by going for the less-expensive option.
3. Check for Hidden Fees
Some companies charge extra under certain circumstances, like say, if an elevator isn’t working or if the moving van won’t fit down your street. Ask each of the companies you’re considering about these extra fees so you can be prepared to pay a bit more.
4. Get Everything in Writing
Signing a moving contract before even loading the first box is crucial– this will ensure you don’t get charged an exorbitant amount above the company’s estimate. There are three main types of contracts, but if you can, find a company with a non-binding to exceed agreement. With this, the company can’t charge you any more than their original estimate, even if the move ends up taking longer than expected.
Moving costs are hard to estimate because they’re often decided on a case-by-case basis. That’s why it’s so important to get several different quotes and choose your moving company carefully.
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