If you're like most Americans, you may move 11 or 12 times over the course of your life. Relocating your entire household, whether to the next block or to the opposite coast, requires a substantial investment of time and money. However, if you engage a professional moving company, you'll find the whole experience is less likely to give you gray hairs. Here are four advantages that set a professional move apart from a do-it-yourself move.
Many high-quality moving companies offer an overall satisfaction guarantee, giving complete assurance that they'll transport everything safely, quickly and politely. In addition, once the company has agreed to move your belongings, it takes on liability for any damage at a pre-arranged rate. Even the most economical moving packages provide basic per-pound valuation coverage, and you can upgrade to a higher rate if your belongings are worth more than 60 cents per pound (which they probably are).
Part of the moving company's job is being prepared to deal with the complex details and numerous setbacks that a move has to offer. This means you don't have to spend weeks packing your belongings little by little; instead, moving technicians can make it happen in a matter of hours. They have not only the tools and equipment, but also the manpower and training needed to safely move your grand piano, refrigerator, bedstead and other fragile yet dangerous items. Most homeowners just don't have moving blankets and straps, dollies, ramps and other moving equipment around the house, and renting or buying these things for the move would take even more of your time and money.
If you've had experience with do-it-yourself moves in the past, you may remember that the person who's moving tends to be responsible for a lot of the important work, such as:
- Truck driving
- Truck loading
- Move-out cleaning
- Furniture disassembly
You can delegate some tasks to friends or family, but you're still basically responsible. It can be stressful and overwhelming trying to keep people on task, organize and direct each step of the plan, and answer everyone's questions while simultaneously doing a large share of the work yourself. Professional movers can release you from most or all of these worries. This frees your time for fun-but-still-important tasks, such as planning where each piece of furniture will go in your new home. Having someone else do the heavy lifting is also great news for your back, hands and feet — which are very easy to injure if you do a lot of lifting and carrying.
One of the reasons do-it-yourself moves are less reliable is that it's hard to tell exactly how much the project will cost. If your move takes longer than expected, you can face a higher rental truck cost, not to mention additional child care fees, fuel costs and so on. If you choose a professional moving service, however, you can ask for a "binding estimate." (This is the actual price your mover is willing to charge for the job, rather than a simple estimate of approximate costs.) While this estimate may look high at first glance, it's important to take into consideration all the costs that would accrue separately if you were doing the work yourself, such as:
- Packing supplies and materials such as boxes, padding, tape and labels
- Time off from work for packing and loading
- Moving truck rental costs
- Fuel costs for the moving truck
- Moving equipment rentals (such as dollies and ramps)
- Shipping costs for your car if you're going long distance
- Assorted expenses such as child care and pet day care on moving day
Since these costs can all be included in or negated by the moving company's offer, your professional move may be a lot more affordable than you initially expected. In short, a professional move can take a load off your shoulders, help you plan your trip budget confidently, and make the whole process smoother and more efficient. No matter how many local or cross-country moves are still in your future, involving a moving company can help turn your move from an overwhelming but inescapable project into a great experience.
Matt Adams is Relocation Manager at University Moving and Storage Co. He began his career in the moving industry as a student working his way through school. Thirty-one years later, he’s been involved with a variety of moves ranging from a one-bedroom apartment to a hospital. Adams is committed to providing the right solution for families and corporations in order to meet their relocation needs.