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  • Writer's pictureAron Pinto

Should You Hire Professional Movers or Go DIY?

There’s no getting around it: A move of any kind takes time, causes stress, and costs money. And before you make your move, you have a lot to figure out. How are you going to handle all the packing? Who’s going to actually move your stuff? Are movers worth it? And what is all this going to cost you?

For some, hiring professional movers is the right answer. Offloading the stresses of packing, heavy-lifting, and transporting is well worth the money spent. For others, saving that money through a do-it-yourself (DIY) move is the way to go. There are also ways to mix-and-match your services to get the help you really need.

When asking yourself, “Should I hire professional movers?” you have to consider a number of factors. Ultimately, the right choice comes down to what’s best for you and your family, but here are some tips and pointers to help you make the right decision.

Take a Look at Your Timeline

So you got that new job that’s moving you to the Waterloo Region, but the thing is that you only have a month to move. Or maybe you’ve sold your current home and have told the buyers that you could close in the next few weeks.

Whatever the life circumstance , time is one of your biggest scarcities. If you have the time to organize, pack, load, and transport your belongings, you may be able to move yourself. But if you either don’t have the time or, quite frankly, don’t want to take the time to move, you should consider hiring professionals.

Sit down with your family and be honest with yourselves. Discuss the time it would take to move and compare it to the time life allows. That will help determine if hiring movers is the way to go.

Consider the Different Moving Approaches

Today, there are more options than ever before when it comes to hiring professional movers. But engaging professional help with your move does not have to be an all-or-nothing approach. There are ways to cut down on the stress while also being conscious of your wallet through various hybrid moving techniques.

In order to make the best decision based on your moving needs, you have to know what kind of services are out there — starting with these four broad approaches:

Do a DIY move

This approach is for those who don’t want to inflate their moving budget by hiring professional movers or are just natural DIY-ers. Choosing to move yourself can save you money, but will require extra time, effort, and preparation. You will be in charge of buying moving supplies (like boxes, packing paper, tape, etc.), renting a moving truck, and enlisting help with heavy lifting.

Hire self-pack movers

If you feel like you can handle the packing but don’t want to be in charge of transport and heavy lifting, hiring self-pack movers is a good choice for you. You will be in charge of buying moving supplies and packing your boxes, but can hire furniture movers to take care of the rest.

Another choice within the self-pack approach: Renting a moving container. Companies bring you a moving container that you fill yourself. The company then puts the container on the truck and moves it to your location — where you can either unpack it or pay for it to be stored. This approach is best if you feel like you can handle the heavy lifting yourself.

Pay for professional packers, but move yourself

If it’s the packing that stresses you out most, offload the task to a professional. Professional packers are trained to treat your belongings with care, using the right materials to ensure that your things get to your new location safely. Hiring packers can save you the midnight-box packing and labeling that can cause a lot of stress during the move. You can look for professional packers online through services like Thumbtack.

This is a good approach for those who don’t have the time to devote to the tedium of packing, or for those who have valuable items that should be treated with professional care. But choosing to just hire a packing service means that the heavy lifting come Moving Day is left up to you.

Hire full-service movers

If you’re short on time or just want to cut down on the stress, hiring a moving company to do everything for you could be worth the money. From bringing the supplies to packing, lifting, and transporting, you can delegate the whole process to the pros.

If you choose to engage professional help with your move, understand what you’re paying for. Make sure you understand every moving service included in your quote. There are a lot of questions you should ask a moving company before you hire them, so make sure to shop around and compare services.

Most full-service movers include damage coverage, in case your belongings were to break during packing or transport. This offers a great safety net that isn’t included when you do a DIY move. Just make sure to double-check damage coverage policies with the moving company before hiring them.

A Quick Comparison

So, still not sure what to do? Here we’ve condensed the pros and cons of a professional move versus a DIY move into easy to read charts.

Professional Movers Pros and Cons

DIY Move Pros and Cons

Not sure which companies to compare if you opt for professional moving services? Ask your real estate agent, they have probably worked with most of the local companies and can share with you what they have learned.



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