Moving season is right around the corner and more than 42 million people will be moving throughout the United States from April to September. For some of these people, it won’t be their first rodeo, but for others, it will be an experience that they will never forget. All of us has made some type of move in the past. Whether it was your first move out of your parents, into an apartment, into college, or with your significant other, at one point in time you packed your belongings into a box and moved some pieces of furniture into your new place.
Before you know it, time passes, life happened, and now, instead of moving just a couple items, you’re standing in the middle of your house with a family’s worth of furniture, overwhelmed with the thought of moving all of it into a new house. What should you do? Should you hire a professional moving company or try to do it on your own? Therese no clear cut answer to that question; however this article will demonstrate the differences between DIY and hiring a full service moving company.
From 13 years experience as a mover, I can attest to you packing is the most tedious part of moving. Depending on the size of the house, a typical 4 BR house can take 4 packers, 12 hours to pack up all of your belongings into boxes. That equates to typically 120 boxes. Only 12 hours to pack up 120 boxes! Sounds great, right? It does sound great, but full service packing comes at a pretty penny. Moving companies do not charge packing by the hour. Instead, they have fixed prices for each size box. The fixed prices include the cost of the box, labor and packing material. Prices range from $10 (small book box) all the way to $50 for a large box (T.V. box). 120 boxes could cost you thousands of dollars. If you’re not on a budget or your company is paying for the move, then by all means pay for the full service packing; however if you are on a budget then I recommend these few tips.
1) I highly recommend purchasing some packing from the moving company. Remember you’re only paying per box, not hourly, and you choose what you want them to pack. You definitely want to have the kitchen, dining room, and any delicate glass laying around professionally packed. Any boxes that the moving company packs, they are the ones responsible for lost or broken items occurred during the move. Any boxes that you packed yourself, the moving company is not liable for anything that got broke in the box, even if it was their fault. So any glass or delicate items I suggest paying for the service, especially stemware and china.
2) Do not pay to have your clothes packed. Most moving companies will pack all your clothes from the dressers and closet in boxes. 99% of these clothes can be thrown in a trash-bag . Hanging clothes should also be thrown inside a trash bag. In fact, all clothes except fine linens and suits should be thrown in a trash-bag. This trick alone will save you hundreds of dollars because wardrobe boxes cost up to $35 and you can estimate 3-5 wardrobe boxes used per closet in the house.
3) Pack all lamp shades. Most moving companies will use 1 box per lampshade. These boxes normally cost $15. So if you have 15 lampshades throughout the house, you can expect to pay $225 to have them professionally packed. Most of the time you can fit 2 lampshades per box and buy those boxes needed from places such as Walmart, Home Depot, Amazon ,Ebay or Uhaul for as little as $3. You’re looking at $25 to pack them yourself compared to $225.
4) Pack your books & files. Book boxes are the easiest boxes to pack. It takes a minute or two to dump books in a box and they are the cheapest to buy. $2. A moving company is going to charge you $10. Is the 2 mins it takes to pack yourself, really worth the $8 difference?
5) Pack your Pantry. Packing the pantry is also one of the easier tasks to do. You can literally throw the items in a box and not worry about anything breaking (unless its glass of course). A professionally packed pantry could cost you $250$-300 compared to the $25 it will cost you.
These few easy tips alone will save you hundreds of dollars off your next professional move. If you’re really on a budget or you have enough free time to pack all your stuff by yourself, I recommend watching a packing tutorial. I can’t stress how important it is to use paper. PAPER PAPER and MORE PAPER. You would be surprised the amount of people that pack glass in their boxes with no paper and wonder how their items got broken. Also watching a tutorial will help you understand how to pack your glass efficiently to prevent any damage during transit.
When it comes to moving yourself or hiring a professional, unless you live in an apartment or 2 BR House, I suggest the latter of the two options. As a mover I can honestly say if I had to move myself, I would hire someone to do it.
Who really wants to carry a bunch of dressers down from the second floor or in some cases even the 3rd floor?
Who wants to carry that 250 pound treadmill or fridge from their basement up to the truck.
After that’s finished then you have to drive the truck and do it all over again on the other side. The money you save by doing it yourself isn’t worth the headaches and muscle aches that comes along with it. Its so much easier to sit back and relax and watch someone else do it. If you are on a budget however, then these few tips will help you save a ton of money.
1) Rent a trailer. If you plan on driving your car to your new location and your car has a hitch then I recommend renting a 6 x 11 cargo Uhaul trailer to take with you. These trailers can hold up to 1000 pounds and since moving companies charge you by the weight for long distance moves, 1000 pounds equates to hundreds of dollars saved. The trailer costs only 29.95 plus taxes a day. If you don’t have a hitch then packing your car with boxes could still shave a couple hundred dollars off your move.
2) Disassemble. If you’re moving locally and hired a moving company who charges you hourly, then disassembling your complex pieces of furniture will save the movers a lot of time which translates into money. You’d be surprised how long it takes to disassemble and re-assemble some pieces of furniture. Also make sure any items that don’t fit through a door is dissembled a head of time. Also any appliances that need Disassembly should be done prior to the move.
After reading this article you should have a little more knowledge on what to do during your next move. These few tips mentioned above will save you hundreds even thousands of dollars.