Should You Hire Movers? These 5 Questions Will Help You Decide

First, the bad news: Moving is stressful no matter how much help you have. But you can take calculated steps to make things as easy as possible. When it comes to moving, it’s essential that you make a plan, stay organized, expect the unexpected, remain calm, keep a sense of humor, and focus on the positive. After all, you are getting a new place to live, and that’s exciting!

One of the biggest issues you’ll face before you embark on your big move is sorting through all that glassware (seriously, does anyone need that many cups?). A second issue is deciding on the crucial matter at hand – should you hire movers, or should you bribe your friends and family with pizza and try to accomplish the whole thing yourself?

Deciding to hire movers or choosing to do the heavy lifting yourself isn’t complicated. Ahead, check out all the questions you need to ask before deciding if you need movers or not.

couple carrying big cardboard box

Moving | iStock.com/SolisImages

1. What is the true cost for each option?

You may think that choosing to do it yourself is automatically cheaper than hiring movers, and of course, that might be true. However, when you’re figuring out the cost of moving, be sure to take into account every expense you’ll incur.

If you’re moving by yourself then you’ll need to rent a truck for one or several days — that’s not cheap. You’ll also need to purchase moving supplies like boxes, tape, a handcart, bubble wrap, and any other unexpected supplies that might come up. Plus, you’ll have to buy pizza for your helpers, of course.

Professional movers are expensive, it’s true. But there may be alternative moving companies in your area that you may consider if you’re on a budget. College students or other people in your community may be willing to assist with your move for less money than that professional moving company. You’ll just need to do a little research and ask around.

2. What will the time commitment be?

Here’s another thing to think about: Will you need to take days off work to pack for the move if you do it all yourself? If you’re doing the heavy lifting, then you almost certainly will, and you’ll need to calculate lost wages into the overall cost if you don’t have spare vacation days. When you hire movers, you can spend considerably less time on the entire project.

3. What is the size and scope?

Moving down the street? You’re probably better off just packing stuff into a small truck and driving back and forth a few times. Moving across the country? Yeah, you’re going to need to call in the professionals.

Deciding whether to hire movers depends a lot on the size of your move, too. If you’re moving from a studio apartment, then renting a truck yourself makes the most sense from a financial perspective. But if you have a sprawling 3,000 square foot abode and a penchant for collecting heavy furniture, then it will take you way too long to move all by yourself. That’s when hiring movers is your best option.

movers unloading van

Movers | XiXinXing/iStock/Getty Images

4. Are your valuables safe?

No one wants to think about it, but hiring movers adds a bit of extra risk to your move. It may be rare, but it is possible for items to go missing during the move. And even if you carefully carry your own valuables, there’s always a risk for theft when you entrust a stranger with your belongings.

If you do hire movers, ask about insurance and check the BBB for any complaints against the movers before you sign the contract. Sometimes paying a little more for peace of mind is worth it.

5. Can you come up with an alternative option?

Maybe you just need movers for the heavy furniture and not the boxes. That kind of service can run cheaper than hiring full-service movers to tackle the whole move. Look into what options are available, including offering to pay friends and family members who might otherwise say no.

There is no magic answer to deciding whether you need movers or not. But if you take time to think about your move realistically and weigh your different options, then you’ll be able to pick the best option and have the easiest move ever!