What Type of Mover is Best for You?

About 11% of Americans move every year; if you’re part of that statistic, don’t let panic set in. You can do this.

There’s a new start just ahead. Maybe it’s a job, or the completion of your dream home here in Greenwich or elsewhere. It’s exciting: it’s the dawn of new adventures and future memories for you and your family. But wait! Now you have to move, which may rank as the least enjoyable aspect of bounding joyfully into home ownership. Time to consider what type of mover is best for you.

When weighting options, consider:

Do it yourself. This is what the largest majority of people do – 45% of people use their own vehicles or borrow a friend’s truck; 33% rent a moving truck, pack & drive it. (Source: American Movers Association – AMA)

You pack. You load. Hire a driver. This isn’t as common, but a choice worth investigating.

Hire a full-service mover. Only 22% of people choose this option (Source: AMA).

Here’s the information on each option.

Do it yourself. If you’re comfortable with the idea of driving a big truck on busy roads and narrow streets, live in a fairly small home, and have willing helpers, moving yourself is possible, and economical. It also gives you the most control. Hidden costs:

  • Insurance for the rental truck (your auto policy probably doesn’t cover this, and neither will the credit card you rent the truck with);
  • Gas;
  • Rental or purchase of special equipment you’ll need, like dollies and quilted furniture covers.

You pack and load; they drive. Several nationwide and local companies offer “self-move service.” A trailer or a van appears at your house, and you (hopefully along with several strong friends) load it. A professional driver is provided, and you unload at your new home. Some self-move providers have limitations based on how far you move. Shorter moves can be more expensive if minimum charges apply. This option saves you the hassle of driving a truck, and it is less expensive than using a full-service mover.

Hire a full-service mover. If you’d rather go to the dentist than move, if you have little time to get into your new situation, if you are moving a long distance, or you have a lot of stuff, this is your best bet. Good professional movers have the experience and equipment to move you quickly while avoiding damage to your property. Expect professional movers to protect your property by putting down floor runners, covering railings and doors, and putting down floorboard when moving heavy appliances. Many movers will even pack everything for you ― a convenience that can be worth the additional cost, especially if you have limited time or ability.

Be sure to get references before hiring a moving company. Carefully check out any company you’re considering. Ask around for referrals and check references. Hop on your town’s forum – there’s probably one on Facebook – and ask your neighbors for input. Or go to Angie’s list. Several moving companies offer helpful online calculators to help you determine which service is best for you. Real Simple has a great moving checklist.

Did you find these tips helpful? You can read all my articles about home buying and selling here on LinkedIn. If you want to look at gorgeous properties in Greenwich, Connecticut, click here.