The Home Front Blog

The Big Move

Well, it’s time to move out. As you can recall, we have already provided you with tips to make the move go as smooth as possible, but now comes the activity of actually moving your possessions from house A to better house B. As far as I see it you have two options. Option #1: Hire a moving company. They have the necessary equipment, vehicles and muscle power to come and do it for you. Option #2: Moving Party! Friends, family, twitter followers, or whoever. Flatter, bribe, extort, do whatever you have to do to get them to come help. I am going to weigh the pros and cons of both options and hopefully by the end you will be able to come to your own conclusion as to what the better choice is to move your stuff.

OPTION 1

Pros to hiring a moving company:

–          No heavy lifting: One of the hardest things and most daunting tasks of a move is dealing with all the heavy furniture. From your couch to your desk to your TV, hiring a moving company will save you from exhausting a lot of sweat and effort.

–          Faster Move:  Hiring a moving company will speed up the process, and will be able to finish the move hours before you could doing it yourself. This will free up time to enjoy your new place and celebrate. Plus, this may allow you to take less time off of work.

–          They’re Professionals: These workers move people every day. They know the best way to package your fragile items, pack the truck, and keep your items secure during the move. And let’s be honest, they are probably going to be more efficient than a handful of your best friends.

–          Insurance: A professional company is going to have insurance in place to provide basic protection in case something happens to your possessions throughout the move. Also, be careful to use only licensed or bonded companies that have workers compensation in place. Otherwise, if a mover gets hurt on the job you may be liable.

Cons:

–          Cost: Depending on how much you have to move, hiring a company can be extremely expensive. Even if you have a lot of stuff to move, you’re going to be spending more with a company than you would by using your friends.

–          Less control: When you trust others to move your things, you won’t have as much control over the process as you would if you did it yourself. If you have anxiety over trusting strangers with your things, you may be better off doing the move yourself.

–          Timing: When hiring a moving company, you may have to work around their schedule to get your move done. This may mean taking time off work, or moving sooner/later than you were hoping for.  Also, life tends to get in the way, and if you have an emergency or something that comes up that prohibits moving on the day you have arranged, you may be charged a cancellation fee for the inconvenience.

OPTION 2

Pros to a Do it Yourself move:

–          Cost: A DIY move should only cost you packing supplies and perhaps the rental of a u-haul truck. Depending on who you get to assist you in the move, they may expect pizza and a few beverages as well. However, in the end it is a much more affordable option than hiring a moving company.

–          Control: if you are stressing about having others handling your belongings, this is an easy way to be in charge of how your things are packed, handled, and when the move takes place.

–          Care: A moving company will take special care of the things that hold a monetary value however other items such as family heirlooms that are valuable for entirely different reasons may get overlooked. Moving yourself ensures that all items get the attention they deserve.

Cons:

–          Efficiency: Hiring professionals will ensure your move gets done quickly. Hiring Uncle Bob and your flakey friend Scooter may not. Let’s not forget the many pizza breaks you’ll probably have!

–          Sweat Equity: While you are saving money by not hiring professionals, you are also doing more hard work yourself. This could put you at risk of an injury or simply require more effort than you are hoping to give.

–          Time off: Moving yourself is going to require more time to complete the move than getting professionals to do it, which may mean you having to miss more paid work time than you would like.

Ultimately you are going to have to weigh the pros and cons specific to your own situation. Maybe you could afford to take extra days off work, or have somebody you trust to conduct the DIY move while you are at work. Or maybe you have some extra money to hire professional movers and would rather watch them lift the heavy things than doing it yourself. Hopefully now you have a broader understanding of the two strategies and are able to make an informed decision that will tailor to your needs.