Should I try to move myself or hire a pro?

Ready to enjoy your new home, but dreading the actual move? Consider the pros and cons to both moving yourself and hiring professional movers before you lift that sofa or pick up that phone.
So you finally bought that elegant dream home in the 'burbs, or maybe you decided to rent that must-have studio apartment in the trendy part of town. Or maybe your employer decided that you'll have to transfer to an office location in another state if you want to keep your job. With any of these scenarios, the $64,000 question arises: do I bribe my friends/family with beer and pizza to give up a sunny Saturday and help move my belongings to my new place, or should I hire professional movers to take care of the hassle? There are several pros and cons to consider before deciding what moving solution works best for you.

Moving Yourself

When you decide to move your belongings without hiring professionals, you'll know just who you're "hiring" for the job. But that can work for you and against you. If Uncle Frank has a heart condition and you want him to help move that sectional sofa to the 4th floor in your apartment complex, you might be in a bit of a pickle. Here are some other pros and cons to consider:

  • YOU are in charge. You get to determine what time to get started with the move, what day to move, what size truck to get, and so on. Just be aware that driving a large moving truck can be difficult for some people. Most moving trucks come with a "mom's attic" to store packed boxes. You can stand up mattresses and position furniture inside the truck in a certain manner (secured with ropes) to keep items from shifting during the move.

  • Family and friends are NOT professionals. They may love you and appreciate you as a person, but family and friends are not as invested in your belongings as you are. They may not take as much care in moving delicate items or trying to avoid nicking the freshly-painted walls with the corner of that large dresser.

  • You will save money. Though you may be out a few hundred bucks after paying for supreme pizzas, sudsy brews, and a moving truck returned full with gasoline, it pales in comparison to what it would cost to hire professional movers.

  • You still get to participate in the physical labor of it all. Though you've asked your family and friends to help out, you'll still be doing your fair share of moving belongings (and taking on the same aches and sprains they might obtain).

One final thing: make sure you box your belongings ahead of time. There isn't enough beer and pizza in the world to convince your family and friends to help box your belongings and move in the same day!

Hiring Professionals

When you decide to hire professionals to move your belongings, you can rest easy: they take on all of the physical work and eliminate the headache of trying to track down empty boxes for packing purposes. Whether it's your current state or another state far away, professional movers know how to take on the difficult tasks and transport your belongings to your new abode. But choosing a professional mover isn't always easy because there are thousands from which to choose. And how do you know if a professional mover is legit? Here are some other pros and cons to consider:

  • Professional movers should be insured. You will be safe from any losses due to improper packing or breakage during transportation and handling, including those flowery antique dishes you got from Aunt Edna after getting out of college.

  • You will pay more money. Professional movers probably like pizza and beer, but they won't be compensated in that manner for moving your belongings. Expect to pay thousands of dollars for moving to a medium-sized home. If there are long distances to consider, expect to pay an even steeper price. If extra labor is involved-for example, longer walking distances between the moving truck and the new home-you will pay more money. Make sure you get quotes from different companies of all anticipated expenses so that you can avoid paying too much money.

  • Do your research. Always do your homework when it comes to selecting a mover. Start with the Better Business Bureau and read customer reviews. You don't want to choose a mover who will lose your belongings during the move or (even worse) hold your belongings at ransom before tacking on extra fees that were not originally agreed upon. Reputation is everything! Ask work colleagues, neighbors, or family and friends about any moving companies they've enjoyed using before. Or better yet, check out our list of professional movers in your area.

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