As exciting as a move can be, it’s also fraught with tough decisions and emotional strain. On top of wondering if your kids will like their new school and if you will be able to make new friends yourself, you’re also deciding about painting a new home, finding a good doctor, and a multitude of other chores. Add that to a career change and it’s overwhelming.
Of course, many of these decisions are things you’ve been through before, even if you’ve never experienced a major move. You found your current pediatrician with research and contacts; you’ll just duplicate the process in your new city. You’ve also painted the house before, identified a favorite grocery store, and assembled lots of other routines.
But if this is your first adulthood move (after marriage), you’ve never had to make the decisions that are unique to moving. And that means your decisions about the actual process are new territory for you.
The most obvious thing is the move itself. You have the choice between hiring a moving company and improvising on your own. Evaluating whether the added expense is worthwhile is a difficult decision, so here is a depiction of one possible thought process to follow as you work your way through the situation.
What Are Your Other Options?
Apart from hiring a moving company, you have two other basic choices: Rent a van or use the vehicles you own or can borrow. How do these options compare?
The first thing to remember is the size of the load you’ll be able to manage. The money saved by moving with pickups and minivans is quickly gobbled up with the added fuel consumption of making extra trips.
Consider protection from the elements for your belongings. An open pickup, perhaps pulling a trailer, can in fact transport quite a few items. But the wind and rain they may be exposed to, as well as water and dirt kicked up by tires, can damage your boxes and goods.
So perhaps that compels you to rent a moving van. Your protection and space are comparable to professional movers, of course, but you must have access to a competent driver who can negotiate the tough parking of loading and unloading, and who is capable of driving through unfamiliar streets in a large vehicle.
Will Your Belongings Be Protected?
Even if you safely ensconce each box in a true moving van, then drive it yourself, you still have the risk of broken items. With a professional moving company, you can get full-value upfront insurance for items that may be damaged in transit. With a self-move, the loss is all yours.
And speaking of boxes, consider whether your heirlooms and fragile items can be properly packed in empty diaper boxes and beer cartons that you’ve gleaned from neighborhood businesses and dumpsters. Professional moving companies will also have packing goods–and the experience to use them–to protect what’s important to you.
It Isn’t Just The Hauling
It’s the loading and unloading. The clock is ticking with every borrowed or rented vehicle. If you fail to assemble enough willing hands to get those boxes into and out of your chosen transportation, you could run into overtime on rentals or create great inconvenience for those who were kind enough to volunteer their wheels.
Professional movers bring a crew that is task-oriented, strong, and experienced. They will get items into and out of the two homes quickly and efficiently.
There are things worth spending money on and things that are not. Movers will fall into one of those categories for you; just do a proper assessment to be accurate in how you choose.