Planning a move is incredibly stressful. There’s a lot to think about, especially if you’re buying or selling a home at the same time. When the big day arrives, is it better to hire a moving company or take care of everything yourself? Here are some things to think about to make your move as smooth as possible.

Make a DIY move

This is the most stressful type of movement you can do. With a DIY move, you handle everything yourself. The first thing you need to do is find boxes, lots and lots of boxes. Some people have success going to their local grocery store and asking the manager if they have any boxes available, but you can usually go to a local DIY moving store for boxes and other packing equipment. You will have to spend weeks packing your belongings and this can be extremely difficult if you have a full-time job and keep up with your regular responsibilities at the same time.

Once everything is packed, you’ll need to borrow a truck, unless you have one. If you have a friend with a truck, ask for their help, but keep in mind that you may receive this request frequently and not be very excited about loading up your belongings and taking them to your new home. Many rental companies offer trucks of different sizes that you can rent by the day. They’re not expensive, but they can be difficult to drive if you’re used to driving a small car.

Pack yourself, but hire movers to do the heavy lifting

Another option is to pack everything in boxes yourself, but hire moving companies to come and move everything. This is less stressful than doing it all yourself, but it’s perfect if you want to save some money instead of hiring someone else to handle everything. If you go this route, you want to interview several different moving companies. Check to make sure they have all the licenses, insurance, and bonds to make sure you’re working with a professional company in case something goes wrong. Be careful to point out boxes that are especially fragile and label them well so movers know which room to put them in so you can unpack things quickly and easily.

Hire a moving company to do everything

This is by far the easiest way to complete a move. If a moving company handles everything for you, they will come with hundreds of boxes, rolls and rolls of packing tape, and more packing paper than you have ever seen. They will take care of packing everything from your dishes to your books to your clothes. However, keep in mind that when they say they pack everything, they will. Be sure to throw away any trash you don’t want moved because it’s not up to the movers to determine what you wanted to throw away or what you want to keep.

Depending on the size of your home, it could take one to three days to move everything to your new home. Most moving companies will come in to do a preliminary inventory and let you know how long it will take to have everything packed up and moved into your new home. Please note that you will need to be there while your belongings are packed, but you will not be allowed to help due to liability issues. Plan to sit down and read a good book, work on your computer, or find something else to keep you busy at home.

Moving is stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. If you’re short on time and need to get into your new home quickly, consider interviewing moving companies to see how they can help.

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