Moving by yourself might seem like no big deal, but is it really worth the trouble? Moving furniture is hard work, and it's not an undertaking to be taken lightly. Luckily, you have plenty of options. If you're able and willing to spend more money, you can hire a moving company to handle much of the stress and strain of the experience.
So, which option is right for you? Here are tips to weigh your options and think through the details before you make your next move.
As you begin planning your move, it's a good idea to create a moving budget and see if all the numbers add up. You can use an online moving calculator to estimate costs, and call a few moving companies to get a quick quote over the phone.
Be sure to price a variety of moving services. Full service will include packing, driving, loading and unloading. Self-service usually means you pack and load the truck, and then the movers drive the vehicle for you.
A do-it-yourself move is least expensive, but you have to rent the truck, pack it and unpack it. (Don't forget to include the cost of boxes, packing materials and gas for a rental truck.) Consider whether moving furniture yourself will be feasible. Do you have a lot of large and bulky items that are difficult to relocate or mostly small pieces that are manageable? Do you have friends or family that you can enlist to help?
Once you've figured out the services that require actual cash from your wallet, add the less tangible costs to your list. These are things like vacation time away from work, how comfortable you feel asking your friends for moving help and added stress for you and your family. Although these factors don't have a dollar sign attached to them, they can be equally as important. Try ranking them on a scale of one to 10 to assign weight.
Once you know the rough costs, it's time to list your priorities. It doesn't matter how small any of the particular details you list. It's your move, and your priorities are important.
The moving question seems to come down to money vs. convenience, but there may be other crucial factors. Time may be more valuable to you than money. You may not be physically able to conduct a move on your own. Sometimes, personal relationships take the lead when making these decisions. Remember to factor in the little things about moving that irritate you. If, for instance, you hate to pack, dislike long drives, have a bad back or live with excitable pets, you may want to lessen the stress by hiring professionals.
Do you have fragile items that you are concerned about protecting? Do you have a flexible schedule and prefer to take your time to get your new place organized at your own pace? Or, are you in a hurry to get settled and would you rather pay someone else to do all of the work? Does the idea of doing everything by yourself stress you out? Deciding whether to hire movers or move by yourself largely depends on the complexity of the relocation and your own personality.
Now comes the moment of truth. You've listed out all the factors that will contribute to your move. Then, you've assigned priority values to these concerns. When you see how your priorities stack up to the costs, the answer is often crystal clear. This exercise also helps take the emotion out of the decision, so you can make a smart move that works best for your situation.
Deciding how to move is a personal decision. Moving by yourself can be a great way to save money, but it can also add responsibility and stress. Before you book your rental truck and stock up on boxes, weigh your options carefully to see whether the extra effort is worth the trouble!