During our recent move, we researched the different ways of moving our stuff. We knew we wouldn’t likely choose a full-service move. I like to be in control of my belongings. Plus our budget for the move was low, so it made sense to do the move ourselves. But here is what we found out about all of the move options during our research.
The self-move is usually the cheapest option. Why? Because you do all the work. That’s also where the negative comes in for many people who are moving. It’s a lot of work to pack every single belonging yourself. Then you have to load all of those belongings — including all the heavy furniture in your house.
After loading you have to drive a huge truck through traffic to your new house. If it’s a local move like ours was, the drive isn’t as big of a deal. If you’re moving out-of-state, it can be stressful driving a huge truck through traffic, especially in unfamiliar areas. You then get to unload all of your belongings at your new house. You’ll be quite tired at the end. Make sure you have plenty of helping hands on both ends of the move.
Many companies, including U-Haul, Ryder and Penske, rent out moving trucks for you to use. They come in various sizes so you can choose the option that fits your belongings. You typically pay a rental fee plus mileage. You’ll also have to fuel up the truck along the way and before you return it.
The biggest drawback of a full-service move is the cost. Since the company handles the packing, loading, driving and unloading, you’ll pay a lot more for the services. But you reduce your workload greatly during an already stressful time. You also leave the work to professionals who should be efficient at packing.
Your stress level leading up to the move is also usually less and you won’t have to start packing up your belongings weeks before your move. This means your home stays basically the same until the day the movers come to pack and load. In our house, we had boxes stacked for weeks before the move and we lived on the basics once we started packing.
A full-service move may be particularly beneficial for long-distance moves. Moving to another state or across the country requires a lot more coordination. When you let the movers handle all of your belongings, you just need to get yourself and your family to the new destination. The movers handle the rest.
A full-service move can cost thousands of dollars. You can save money by packing your own belongings and just letting the moves load and unload the items. Work with the moving company to find out the options and get quotes for different options.
A compromise for some people is the moving pod option. The company delivers pods — big box-style containers — to your house. You pack and load your belongings in those pods. They can stay at your house as long as you need. When you’re ready, the company picks up the pods and delivers them to your new house. Expect the pod option to cost more than a self-move but less than a full-service move.
Another perk of the pod method is the storage option. If you don’t have access to your new home immediately, you can pay for storage of the pods. You’ll save time using this option over moving your belongings to a storage unit, unloading, then packing the belongings back up and moving them to your new home.
Don’t delay the decision on how to move your belongings. You need time to get quotes and compare the options. If you’re moving during a busy time, you’ll want to reserve your truck or movers early so you know you’re set.