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Are professional movers worth the investment?

If you’re planning on moving home, you may be thinking about using professional movers.

While there are some key benefits in hiring someone to do the packing and heavy lifting on your behalf, professional movers can also be quite a big investment. Plus, there are several options to choose from – including standard removalists, packers and unpackers, transport and shipping firms, and even businesses that will take care of your entire move from start to finish.

But are they worth it?

To help you evaluate the options, here’s a list of important things to think about when deciding on whether or not you should use a professional mover:

1. How much time do you have on your hands?

If time isn’t an issue, and you can happily move your furniture and household items from one home to the next over a longer period of time, you may want to complete a move yourself.

While it’s important to move bulky and essential items across quickly – like beds, clothing and appliances – you may want to work out a plan for moving non–essential items across. However, be aware that even with a good plan in place, living between two houses can quickly become quite difficult and stressful, especially if your homes aren’t nearby.

Of course, if you’re on a deadline (if you’ve taken time off work to move, for instance, or if you have a shorter settlement window) it may be simpler to just hire a firm to move you in quickly and easily. If time is very tight, it may be worth investing in a packing/unpacking service – to ensure you can move in and out quickly.

2. Do you have a young family?

For anyone with a young family, professional movers can be extremely valuable. Moving can be difficult and emotional for children, and for this reason, it’s important to get settled into a new home as quickly – and with as little disruption – as possible.

Of course, if you can arrange for someone to help look after your kids while you move, it can still be possible to do the manual labour yourselves – particularly if it’s a simple move. Don’t forget that even once the initial move is done, there’s still a huge amount of unpacking and settling to be done in your new home.

3. Do you have the necessary gear?

If you’re going to move house on your own, you’ll need to have a suitable truck or trailer to transport heavy appliances and furniture. Remember that some items – like pianos – require specialist removalist services. When evaluating costs, weigh up the cost of hiring a truck/trailer, and be sure to add petrol and toll costs to the overall fee. You may find that the cost difference between the DIY option and a professional mover is not as significant as you first thought it to be.

4. Do you have help?

If you’ve got a big group of willing friends and relatives to help you move – particularly if they have a truck or trailer they can provide – you may want to move yourself. If you do decide to take this option, be sure to think about how safe your furniture and household items will be – and if there is any significant risk of them becoming damaged or ruined in transit. Professional movers often have insurance to cover this – whereas it’s unlikely that friends and family will!

5. How big is your home and how is it set up?

This may seem like an obvious point, but it’s really important to think carefully about it. If you’re single and moving from a small apartment to another, it may actually be smarter to pack and transport your furniture and things on your own. However, if you have a large home that’s full of furniture, you may wish to consider calling on some professionals. Many removalist homes will provide a quote based on the number of rooms in your home – as well as the distance they will need to travel. Don’t forget to consider outdoor furniture and equipment such as BBQs in your overall estimation.

It’s also important to consider access to your home, and how you will get goods in and out. Do you have a lift at either end? How many stairs? Will some items need to be lifted in/out windows or over balconies?

6. How far are you moving?

The location of your new home can make a huge difference in terms of your removalist options. If you’re moving interstate or overseas, it may be almost impossible to move your furniture and goods yourself.

7. How big is your budget?

Lastly, one of the most important considerations is whether or not you can afford to hire a professional. If you’re on an extremely tight budget, it obviously makes sense to forgo to the removalist costs and do the hard work yourself. However, don’t forget you will need to factor in any hire costs (if you need a truck or trailer) as well as petrol costs, and road tolls between your locations.

Whether or not you choose to hire a professional removalist is, of course, completely up to you, and depends on your personal circumstances.

Finally – regardless of which option you choose, here are a few other helpful tips when it comes to moving:

  • Invest in some decent boxes. Your move will be faster and easier if you pack your things into good quality boxes that can be stacked, and which aren’t likely to split or fall apart mid–move. If you’re moving on your own, choose small boxes that can be easily lifted and carried without a trolley.
  • Label everything! While you may think that you’ll remember what’s in a particular box, err on the side of caution. Write detailed descriptions. Write the name of the room in capitals – and under that, summarise the key items in the box (e.g.: KITCHEN: saucepans, frying pans, plates, cutlery). This will help ensure that anyone helping you move can simply put the box in the correct location at the other end – and also makes the unpacking process much easier for you (especially if you don’t have time to unpack everything all at once).
  • Wrap everything! Again, it’s wise to err on the side of caution here. Assume your boxes will all be handled pretty roughly (even though most professionals do take care), and pack items in bubble wrap, towels, or newspaper as much as possible.

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