Preparing for a move and trying to decide your next steps moving forward? Debating between hiring professional movers or moving yourself? Finding the middle ground with a portable pod/container? You’re not alone with this internal struggle; this is a pretty common conflict for most people gearing up to move.  Moving forward, you definitely have options, and knowing those options can be beneficial for your time and your wallet.

Before you start your research, try to sort out your moving budget and your time frame. Knowing these two things will either allow you flexibility to spend more time looking into your options, or require you to make a decision with a little less thought.

Professional Movers

Professional movers are a pretty popular trend when it comes to favored moving methods.

Pros:

Having help – If you are moving from house to house (or some variation of sizable condo or apartment) you are going to quickly realize how much ‘stuff’ you have. It’s going to be easy to get overwhelmed with how much you’re going to have to pack up and move. With professional movers, you have several sets of professional hands to speed up the process and take on the majority of that physical labor.

Time – Since these are professionals, they are going to save you loads of valuable time you could be spending organizing your things in your new home.  They already know how long your move is going to take based on the quote you received from them when you decided to pursue the company.

Liabilities – If you drop something breakable during the move, it’s completely your fault and responsibility to replace it. However, if the movers drop something valuable (which they are less likely to because they’re professionals) they are responsible to fix or replace it with your mover’s insurance.

Cons:

Price – The main reason people consider renting trucks and moving themselves is because movers can get pretty expensive. Not only are you paying for the actual moving truck, but also for the labor, which can get pretty expensive pretty quickly depending on the size of your new move.

Scams – Sadly not all moving companies are as legitimate and reliable as they advertise. In order to avoid this, check and make sure they are Better Business Bureau, or BBB, certified. You are also encouraged to ask the company for references of previous customers they have moved. Following up with references lets you hear first-hand how someone else’s experience was.

Lost Items – Accidents happen, it’s inevitable. Things get pushed to the side and forgotten. Unless you are the one personally packing your items and ensuring they are accounted for, you can’t be sure everything makes it in the right spot and on the truck.

When it works: If you have lots of large and/or breakable items such as mirrors, televisions, glass-top dining table or china, that needs to be moved. If you have a flexible budget, or if you aren’t able to do much heavy lifting.

Truck Rental

Truck rentals basically mean you are your own moving team. Before you are quick to jump and rent, here are both some pros and cons:

Pros:

Cost – it is typically far cheaper to rent a truck and pay by the hour than to hire professionals and pay for their service.

Control– knowing exactly where and how your belongings are being packed can definitely bring a sense of comfort and ease to anyone moving themselves.

Time – since rental trucks are typically day by day, you don’t have to be as stressed during the day, rather just stay on schedule with your rough time frame. This works well for the most part for local moves, and starts getting expensive and time consuming if you are moving out of state.

Cons:

Physical Labor – packing all of your belongings AND packing the boxes in the truck is extremely extraneous. If you aren’t getting any help from friends or family, this is pretty ambitious. Unless you have a small place with only a few rooms and are moving in to another small place, this could be pretty hard to do even with a team of helpers.

Gas cost – Trucks definitely don’t have as good of gas mileage as your standard compact car, and depending on how far you are going, the cost to fill the tank is going to add up.

Small chargers – such as the fee that is often added upon the return and fees added for heavy items.

The fine-print – there are a lot of small regulations to consider and read up on before signing the contract and paying for the service. A major example of this is the fact that all drivers must be listed on the contract and registered with the insurance.

When it works: If you are moving a small apartment or house with a small budget, there are no minimum volume charges to worry about or additional labor costs, since you’re moving everything yourself.

Moving Pods

Pods are portable moving/storage units. For moving, the company will drop the pod off at your house (usually in your driveway, if you have one) and you are able to pack it yourself. The moving company then comes back to pick up and transport the pod.

Pros:

Cost – you are not required to pay for any labor because you are performing all the physical labor yourself.

Transit – you are not required to move the pod or attach it to any type of truck, the moving company will come and take care of the transportation.

Time – you are not pressured to pack the pod at any rate, because you pay by the day. If you are behind in packing, just pay for another day and keep going.

Cons:

Space – this is probably not going to be the best option for you if you are moving from one large place with a lot of furniture to another.

Location restriction – If you are living in an apartment or some kind of housing complex, you might not be able to have a pad due to lack of a driveway or easily accessible loading area. You need to have a parking spot, yard or driveway in both areas.

Billing – A lot of pod companies don’t give you a total for your bill prior to rental, because of the fact that the rental time is not definite. This has led to many people being dissatisfied with their final charges, having included extra charges for additional time.

When it works: If you are moving from one small space to another, pods would be very beneficial for you. They are compact and can be filled at your own convenience.

All three options will get you from A to B, so make sure you choose what’s best for your situation, and continue to check back for more advice on the before’s and after’s of moving!