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Old 06-30-07, 10:46 PM   #1
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Hire a moving company, or do it yourself?

I've probably moved seven times in the past 15 years, not counting the times I've helped others move. I'm getting ready to move again and I think I'm just going to hire someone. We have so much heavy stuff, the though of once again carrying all that stuff up and down stairs, in and out of a truck... I can't do it.
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Old 06-30-07, 11:02 PM   #2
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I hired movers when moving cross country (Boston to Los Angeles). A first rate moving company, but one that gives steep discounts to American Chemical Society members. I saved myself some money by packing loose stuff into boxes myself (so that I didn't have to pay for packing/unpacking and packing supplies) and dumping some heavy but easy to move stuff (my books, mostly) into the car (since the transport cost was calculated by weight) and letting the moving company take care of the rest. Of course, being a young bachelor, I didn't exactly have much to move anyway. Ended up moving a bit over 1000 pounds for about $1/pound. To me, it was well worth it because it allowed me to enjoy a road trip while the moving company dealt with transporting the bulk of my stuff.

If you're wondering what it will cost in your case, the major companies are happy to send over someone to take a look at your place and make an estimate for you, without obligation.
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Old 06-30-07, 11:29 PM   #3
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I'll be moving in December... and having someone do it for me. I just hope they don't break anything this time.
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Old 06-30-07, 11:39 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skiahh
I'll be moving in December... and having someone do it for me. I just hope they don't break anything this time.
When my uncle retired from the Air Force, they moved his stuff for him. He took a long, slow ride home via the Northwest to New England from Texas and when he got there all of his possessions were neatly stacked, in boxes, in the barn. Including one carton marked: "Trash receptacle, 1 each, full".

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Old 07-01-07, 12:14 AM   #5
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I don't have much stuff, so if I had to move, easy choice. Get a friend to help load up the few heavy things, and do it myself.
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Old 07-01-07, 12:16 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by efrobert
I've probably moved seven times in the past 15 years, not counting the times I've helped others move. I'm getting ready to move again and I think I'm just going to hire someone. We have so much heavy stuff, the though of once again carrying all that stuff up and down stairs, in and out of a truck... I can't do it.
Well, if its a long move (like to a different state) than it can be outrageously expensive.

But if its a short move (same city, close city), then its TOTALLY worth it. The last two short moves I hired a company and was very happy. They are very quick and efficient. I remember the first move, they got all my stuff, heavy stuff, took it downstairs from the apartment I was in, loaded it, moved it to house I was going to and into the house. They did it all in like 2 or 2 1/2 hours. I think my total bill was like $160.

I said then, I'd never try to move on my own again.
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Old 07-01-07, 04:08 AM   #7
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Have some friends,family and neighbors to help you move . After the truck is completely loaded, have a beer and pizza party.
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Old 07-01-07, 04:24 AM   #8
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I enlist my friend/family's help too. Treat everyone after.
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Old 07-01-07, 05:17 AM   #9
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You've got a lot of stuff then? Particularly large stuff?
I know when my parents moved from San Francisco to NH, they hired a moving company (MayFlower). Those guys were pretty good, nothing was broken at all. If I myself was to move, I would just do it myself. I don't have a lot of stuff, and the few heavy things I've got can be moved myself.
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Old 07-01-07, 06:12 AM   #10
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I owned a moving company for 8 years. We moved throughout the eastern seaboard. If money is no question, hire a mover and get a "not to exceed" price. Then get competitive bids and show each estimator the exact same stuff. For example, if you change your mind about taking a sofa, still show it to everyone so that in the end you will be comparing apples to apples.

If you want to save some $, then in most markets you can hire the movers labor if he's slow. This is especially doable if the mover is an independent mover. Pack yourself and don't try to save money on packing material. Buy real movers cartons and unprinted newsprint. Forget getting your boxes at the liquor store. Start early and set a goal for yourself everyday. You'll be amazed at how easy packing is if you don't wait until the last minute. Also, figure in extra time for dealing with the stuff in drawers and cabinets that you have been meaning to deal with, but haven't. Rent about a 2 dozen furniture pads per ton of stuff. It takes less if you use real movers pads.

At origin you only need one trained loader and 2 laborers (which can come from anywhere) unless you have an upright piano or something equally bulky and heavy which will require one more person. There will be a minimum requirement for the labor that you hire from the moving company, usually 4 hours. Obviously the loader will be a high dollar expense so don't waste his time. Have the truck on site before the labor shows up. Also, have as much of the move as close to the truck as you can get it without being in the way. Leave the complicated pieces in place and let the loader oversee moving them. Hope this helps.
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Old 07-01-07, 07:14 AM   #11
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I just did a crosscountry move with ABF-YouPackWeMove and it was great !
They drop off the truck, you pack it, they pick it up and drop it off ! The price
is set....no last second rip-offs, horror stories etc. Highly recommended especially
because they are so cheap
Diametrically opposed to that, was my experience moving from PA to VT.
Mover USA....all the horror stories you hear about moving we suffered. The
van was packed and ready to roll when the head of te crew says we miscalculated
and need 1800.00 more, RIGHT NOW or the truck goes to the warehouse for an
unload and re-weigh. Not a pleasant situation. Almost 6,000 to go 350 miles !
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Old 07-01-07, 07:29 AM   #12
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Last time I had somebody move it was 1k . Most of the times i move myself
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Old 07-01-07, 07:44 AM   #13
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I'm way to anal to let people move my stuff.
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Old 07-01-07, 09:38 AM   #14
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Quote:
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I'm way to anal to let people move my stuff.
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Old 07-01-07, 11:51 AM   #15
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I work in self storage and from tenants I hear about their experiences with movers all the time.
Pack everything yourself. Move light stuff on your own, rent a truck and deal with the boxes and easy items that you can. Most of the good movers like to go fast which isn't good with delicate items.

When it comes to the heavy stuff watch them but don't get in their way. Be friendly and offer them water and such, they'll be much nicer to your stuff if they like you. Make sure they use pads on the furniture when carrying, loading, and transporting. If you can also pad your walls, doorways, and any hardwood floors before they arrive.

Moving might be one of the biggest pains in life, but it's alot less stressful when you know your stuff is safe.
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Old 07-01-07, 01:24 PM   #16
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Guy I'm renting a room from right now who just bought the house had some, ahem, local illegals move his stuff into a large Uhaul he rented. Everything was great and cheap, 'cept one of them stole a nice watch he had.
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Old 07-01-07, 03:32 PM   #17
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I heard a funny storry about how friend hired movers who used a big Allied truck (you know the big orangish with yellow stripes trucks) tipped over and broke everything this family owned. Supposedly didn't get reimbursed either.
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Old 07-01-07, 06:07 PM   #18
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Quote:
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I heard a funny storry about how friend hired movers who used a big Allied truck (you know the big orangish with yellow stripes trucks) tipped over and broke everything this family owned. Supposedly didn't get reimbursed either.
I don't see the humor. Maybe you just didn't tell it right?
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Old 07-01-07, 06:11 PM   #19
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I worked for a local moving company for two summers in college and will second everything Houston says above about boxes, paper, and pads.

And do not pack like a woman. Fill the boxes so that you can close and tape the tops - do not overfill and leave them open. You would think this is common sense, but it's not.
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Old 07-02-07, 02:52 AM   #20
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If you are thinking of having friends pitch in to save you money, I would suggest putting cost aside, and instead hiring pros.

Reasons:

1. You don't want your friends to get hurt moving your stuff.

2. Your friends' time is valuable. By having them do the work, you are basically saying: I'll make you, my friends, pay for this move (with your time and sweat), instead of paying for it myself.

3. Your friends will be less efficient and slower than the pros, and if one of them should break something of yours, you don't have much recourse.

Mainly, though, I'd think about #1 and 2. I just don't think it's worth it to impose on friends to do something that you can hire brute/skilled labor to do. Especially since you mention having some heavy items.

If you need money to pay for the move, sell some of your stuff. Two birds, one stone: you have a few less items to move, and more money to do so.

If you do go the do-it-yourself-route, look into truck options other than U-Haul. For example, if in my area, we can rent trucks from movie-shoot oriented businesses. It is a MUCH smoother process than dealing with U-Haul, and the trucks are better maintained.

Moving sucks...hope yours goes as smoothly as possible. Cheers.

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Old 07-02-07, 04:04 AM   #21
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In half a dozen moves, I never broke anything. In one move, I had several things broken, and an entire cabinet full of small kitchen appliances and glasses disappear because they never got packed.
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Old 07-02-07, 05:40 AM   #22
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Add to that

4. When you add the cost of renting a truck and buying food and drinks for your friends that help, the cost of a mover isn't that much more.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Allez Oops
If you are thinking of having friends pitch in to save you money, I would suggest putting cost aside, and instead hiring pros.

Reasons:

1. You don't want your friends to get hurt moving your stuff.

2. Your friends' time is valuable. By having them do the work, you are basically saying: I'll make you, my friends, pay for this move (with your time and sweat), instead of paying for it myself.

3. Your friends will be less efficient and slower than the pros, and if one of them should break something of yours, you don't have much recourse.

Mainly, though, I'd think about #1 and 2. I just don't think it's worth it to impose on friends to do something that you can hire brute/skilled labor to do. Especially since you mention having some heavy items.

If you need money to pay for the move, sell some of your stuff. Two birds, one stone: you have a few less items to move, and more money to do so.

If you do go the do-it-yourself-route, look into truck options other than U-Haul. For example, if in my area, we can rent trucks from movie-shoot oriented businesses. It is a MUCH smoother process than dealing with U-Haul, and the trucks are better maintained.

Moving sucks...hope yours goes as smoothly as possible. Cheers.
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Old 07-02-07, 04:13 PM   #23
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I've always moved my self, up until the last move. My wife and I hired movers when we moved 1.5 miles up the road. We had a moving sale at the old loft and sold off all the crap we didn't want/need anymore. We made enough to pay for the movers (with tip). We bought boxes from Uline, which was cheaper than anywhere else. All of our boxes matched, size-wise, which made it easier on the movers. We had everything that they were to move, except for the bed and sweater keeper, queued up in the lower living area of the loft. I had all electrical cords coiled up and taped or tied to the item, so that they wouldn't worry about tripping on them. We had heavy boxes marked "HEAVY" so that they were prepared. At the loft we were moving from, we had donuts, juice & water for them. At the loft we were moving to we had fruit and gatorade and water for them. We also got a quote based on the items we wanted to move and the number of boxes, and were told how much extra it would be per box for boxes that were added after the quote was given. We had the option of basing the move on the amount of time it took, and I'm glad we didn't do that. They got their trailer stuck in the parking garage of the old loft, and it took them a good 2+ hours to get it unstuck. We tipped them very well because they arrived 2 hours early (they called first), and they only damaged one item -- a $15 bookcase that I fixed after they left. Nothing was broken or lost. It was the best $400 I've ever spent.
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Old 07-02-07, 05:02 PM   #24
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This is not a close call. If you can afford it, pay someone else to move you. If you can really afford it, pay someone else to pack everything, too (but supervise, supervise, supervise).

Moving sucks. Period. Always has, always will. There is no way to make it not suck short of being wealthier than God and thus being able to order armies of minions around to accomplish your slightest whim. But moving sucks a whole lot less if you let someone else do packing and the heavy lifting. This is the voice sweat-soaked, knuckle-scraped, pulled-muscle experience speaking here.
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Old 07-02-07, 06:39 PM   #25
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Move your own stuff if you are not a packrat.

I've been moving my stuff from central Florida to Asheville, NC, and it has not been a big deal.
I load up the trailer (this is the part that sucks), cover with canvas, tie it all down, and drive for 10 hours.
But, I'm doing 3 trips over a span of three months which is not typical.
I can see hiring a mover if you have an enormous amount of crap that you fear parting with, but for your average person, if you can load your possessions in to you car/trailer/whatever, then you are fit to move by yourself.
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