Is Hiring A Moving Company Actually Worth The Price?

Moving. The phrase that drives fear into our hearts, and costs into our wallets. Even if you're happy to be moving, the expenses and stresses of a move can pile up pretty quickly. With a big move on the calendar, you may find yourself weighing the pros and cons of begging friends and family for free help, or paying for professional assistance. Is there really a perfect option, or a truly cheap one?

Unless you work for a company paying to relocate you and all of your stuff to a new location with the power of ultra-tidy, time-traveling, magical super-packer beings (aka, professional movers), the chances are your moving process will come at some sort of cost. Time, money, and your sanity are all on the line, while moving distance, the amount of stuff you have, and the need for speed are all key considerations in the decision-making process of any move. So let's investigate the cost of hiring professionals and whether or not the benefits of working with a moving company is actually worth the price.

When a moving company is worth the price

While moving companies can be pricey, keep in mind that all worthy companies work on a contract. This means clear terms and conditions apply to your move, however big or small, which protects the moving company — and you — in the event those terms are broken. Further, moving companies also typically insure moves. This insurance can provide peace of mind, along with monetary recompense should something happen to your stuff or property during a move.

Most moving companies also offer customers a range of services to make the moving process even easier. You also have the added benefit of shopping around for the right company, rather than getting stuck with your best friend's strongest cousin to help you on moving day. (On that note, check out common money-saving tips you should ignore.)

In addition to professional packing services (e.g., for heavy, awkward items or fragile pieces) and transport, moving companies also offer customers speed. What might take a nonprofessional mover days or hours to pack and move is accomplished at seemingly hyper-speed by professional movers. While hiring movers for a local move might pan out to be cheaper depending on the company, the biggest savings lies in the shipping and coordination of long-distance or interstate moves.

When the DIY route might be cheaper

If you aren't moving very far, then skipping the professional movers and going the DIY route might prove cheaper for you. Local moving-van or small-truck rentals, such as from U-Haul, can usually fit a room or small apartment's worth of furniture and boxes, especially if you're able to make multiple trips in a day. When renting and driving your own moving vehicle, be sure to calculate in your budget the cost of gas, food, and lodging (if necessary). Doing the math based on your location and the move type might come out far cheaper than hiring professional movers — plus, you could save the money you would tip movers to spend on other moving costs, or yourself.

If you're just changing floors in an apartment or moving across a street, you might be able to rally some friends to help easier than if you were getting the gang together to help you move states away. Plus, some apartment buildings might even have materials you can borrow to help you move, such as carts, dollies, and the use of a building elevator for the day. This said, whether moving yourself or hiring movers, whatever time you can log on the front end donating items, taking out the trash, and even selling things you don't need will help to offset your costs. Maybe you'll save enough to buy yourself dinner the first night in your freshly moved-into home.