Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Do-It-Yourself Move or a Moving Company?

With growing mistrust in relocation companies and increasing budget constraints, more and more families prefer to rent a truck and move on their own rather than hire professional movers.  A DIY move certainly offers many benefits: you are likely to save on moving costs especially if your friends will help you carry the furniture for free;  you can be more flexible with dates and timeframes;   you know to treat your possessions with the utmost care because you don't want any damage. However  there are undeniable advantages of hiring a relocation company to handle your move:

- Damage control. Surprisingly, your belongings are at a higher risk of sustaining damage if you do your own move. You would think that you will be more careful than a moving crew since those are YOUR things, but without professional training and the needed experience you will lack knowledge and precision to handle the furniture the right way. Even if you rent moving blankets, they can be tricky to work with due to their size and thickness. Highly skilled movers know how to secure a moving blanket so that it doesn't slide off a furniture piece while on a truck. Even if your stuff is not that fancy and you don't care much about scratching it, there's still risk of damaging walls and doorways in your old/new apartment, and you may lose your security deposit as a result.
- Cost savings. Occasionally it does pay off to move on your own locally, but when it comes to long distance moving, you actually might spend less money if you hire a  relocation company.  The main reason is that they have the advantage of a scale: there are multiple shipments on a trailer and the gas, mileage and toll costs get divided among several customers, whereas if you rent a truck, you'll be the only one paying for everything.
- Injury prevention. It's not uncommon to sustain an injury during a move: a heavy piece gets dropped on your foot, you strain your back while lifting that weighty dresser or fall down the stairs, losing your balance while trying to navigate a couch on a narrow stairwell. And what if one of your helping buddies gets hurt in the process? Movers are more skilled to handle bulky, heavy items so as to avoid injuries, they have all the necessary equipment to facilitate the move and even if one of the movers gets injured on your job, their company's Workers Compensation policy will cover all treatment and disability costs.
- The opportunity cost of time. A do-it-yourself move can stretch into endless hours and even days if you are the one doing everything. You have to pack, organized your friends to help you load and unload the truck (and then treat them to thank-you-drinks), arrange for a truck rental, fill it up with gas and return once you are done, unpack, take out the boxes. It's absolutely more time-efficient to let the moving crew take over . If you value your time highly and would rather apply it elsewhere than get stuck on your moving job for days, movers is a way to go.
- Stress transfer. If you find the preparation for the move too much to handle, it pales in comparison to the actual move. Where do you begin? Who carries what? How do you position items on the truck so that everything fits? What to do if the couch doesn't go through the doorway? Paying movers equals buying yourself some peace of mind.  Remember, you still need your energy and calm to go through unpacking and settling into your new dwelling, so why waste it?
Many people end up saying "never again" after handling their own move. As painful as they are, muscle aches and bruises are not even the worst consequences of a DIY move. Carefully assess your situation, estimate the costs of hiring a moving company vs. moving on your own, throw in the time and stress variables and make the right decision.

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