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How To Choose A Moving Company Vs Doing It Yourself

Monday, August 16, 2021
Girl moving a huge box during her relocation

Moving can be a tough task, even more so without any planning. When it comes to moving whether it be for work, school or personal reasons, such as retirement, there are two ways that you can transit your stuff. One is by yourself, and the other is using one of the many professional moving companies. Let’s go into both, and see which one is better for you. But first…

Why Do People Move?

Before you decide to move you should ask yourself the following: 

  • Are you willing to relocate, and why?
  • How to relocate to another state or country?
  • Do you have a house or apartment move-out checklist?
  • What are the cheap moving options available to you?
  • More importantly, what are the best moving options for you?

A couple moving, the guy holding a box entering the house and a girl putting a box into the car

The reasons why people move all depend on them and their situations. There are several reasons, but we are going to look at the main ones. 

People often decide to move to a new home due to the fact that their family has expanded. The addition of a new family member equals the need for more space; and hence, a new home. This can decrease the amount of space in their old home. Another reason is work-related, such as getting a new job or moving for an existing one. Many people tend to move closer to their place of work to make the travel time a lot shorter for day-to-day life. 

This thinking can also apply to schooling. Some families want to move to a district that has better schooling options for their children. College and university students want to be closer to their studies, or move in with friends for the full college experience. 

Speaking of experiences, many people simply wantto live in a new home. They could be downsizing or upsizing. Moving from a house to an apartment, or from a small office space to a large one. Or they could just want to live in a better home, starting a new chapter in their lives. 

However, location is also a key reason that many people decide to relocate. They want a change of pace, to be closer to a tech hub or live in a city with more options. And, of course, with more things to do. Another reason that people want to move, certainly in today’s climate, is to live in places that have lower tax rates. Covid has really brought this phenomenon to life, and we have seen many people and businesses move across state lines to take advantage of better economics. 

Retirement is also a major push to move. Retired people generally want to live in a safe area where the daily expenses are not as high, and they have access to the amenities and community that will improve their lifestyle. Retirees often prefer a more relaxing change of scenery. There are countless reasons that people want to move. And with that, let's get into how to have the best relocation experience.

A man in a chair chilling on the beach along with other people in the background

Do It Yourself Moving

As we have mentioned there are two options when it comes to moving solutions. The first is that you can do it yourself or ask for moving help from friends and family, aka not go with a moving company. Now, when it comes to doing anything by yourself there are quite a few things that you have to be aware of.

A couple checking the moving checklist while packing boxes on a moving day

Firstly, you have to create your own moving guide checklist and figure out economical moving options. Secondly, you have to have a car in order to transport your items from place to place. This can require multiple trips. You can ask other car owners that you are buddies with to help, but it would be a good idea to cover their petrol. Either way, depending on how much you are willing to move from place to place it would require many back and forth trips. Also, consider your friends that are helping - they’ll need lunch and a few drinks as a thank you, and you may be asked to return the favor. 

It would be even better if you have a pick-up truck for a DIY move - you can fit more in, and make fewer trips. However, if you do not have one, then you can rent it out. There is a plus side of moving by yourself - for example, when moving from a house to an apartment, you would not have to take everything, only what you need. If the apartment is furnished then you would need to transit even less stuff. Therefore, a car and a few trips would be better for you. 

However, if you have a lot of stuff and your move is quite a big one, whether it’s moving to another state, office block, or a new house, then you would be better off with relocation assistance, professional relocation help, and checking the best moving companies out there. The latter will make it easier for you to do a big move. Plus, it's less stressful when compared to doing it yourself or with your family and friends. Consider this one of the best hacks for moving.

Choosing a Moving Company - How To Find The Right Mover For You

The moving industry's whole purpose is to provide relocation services and to help you move. So, there’s no reason not to use them. Having said that, moving companies come with many logistical questions, such as which moving company is best, and can get the job done well without breaking your budget or causing you more stress aka scamming you? Well, the first thing you should do is…

Moving truck on the rain full of moving boxes ready for a move

Make a Moving Budget

Your budget for moving out has to do with a lot more than simply packing up your stuff. You have to get your belongings out of your current location to the new one in one piece. Therefore, you should research what there is on offer in your area. And from there you can figure out what your budget should be. But, keep in mind that your estimated moving expenses can depend on: 


  • Where you are going?
  • What is the weight of your items, certainly your furniture
  • How long will it take to complete the move 
  • Will the moving company help you with packing or unpacking
  • And which day or season you would want to move on (hint: not on the weekend or during summer)

A girl budgeting the money for the move

When you know this and have figured out what would be best for you (there is a superstition that moving on a Thursday is lucky but, again it depends on your timetable) you can answer your question: How can I estimate moving costs? With a clearer value. One of the best moving pieces of advice we can offer you is...

Referrals

One of the best forms of marketing is word of mouth. This is more so than any social media posts or reviews online since some of these can be brought, positive or negative ones. Keep this in mind if you want to check on moving companies online. 

However, asking people that you know, be it friends, family, co-workers, neighbors, etc. would be the way to go. They can give you good local moving services that they have used themselves or that their friends, family, etc swear by. You can even ask real estate agents, because who else would know at least some moving hacks and tips than those whose job is to get people into new homes? This can help you make a moving checklist and see what they have to offer you. 

Research 

The internet is a great place to start when it comes to finding professional moving companies. You should research ones that can offer you the moving services that you need as well as the ones that are close to your area. You could need someone to help you with the packing or to help you with dismantling certain items like a bed frame etc. Also, check how they transport stuff if it is done safely, or was there a history of broken items?

Girl researching moving companies online

Licensed

When you have required a list of reliable moving companies, we would suggest that you have a list of five of them, then you have to do one thing before you begin booking appointments. That is to check them out. You have to make sure that the companies on your list have a current license to do what they say they do. 

Every safe moving company should have a USDOT number, even more so if they are interstate moving companies. This is according to the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and you can check out FMCSA to ask for the number. 

However, if you are staying in the state then you should still check out the list of moving companies you have created. You can do this by talking to your local consumer affairs agency. 

And if there are any new moving companies that have come to this article, first off thank you for reading, second, you can register for your USDOT Number at SaferSys. They are part of the FMCSA Safety and Fitness Electronic Records (SAFER) System. It would be wise to check out their site for more information and get all your papers in order.

Verify Address

Another important aspect of researching your local or international moving company is to make sure that their address is real. You can do this by checking out their websites and making sure that their address is under the company’s name. That it is not a residential address. Because the truth of the matter is that you cannot run a big moving company with huge trunks out of a backyard.

Compare The Prices

When you have done all your research, found all the necessary information and are happy with your choices it is then time to compare the prices that which company offers. Not only how much they charge, but also what else they offer. 

To figure out the full service moving cost estimate you would have to call them to do in-house estimates. This can be done online, but try to do it in person if it is possible. Also, it would be a grand idea to have a list of questions to ask them when you meet up. 

This is so that you can get all your information and fill in the gaps that you may have. As well as to ask if they have any advice on how to pack, move or decrease costs. Plus, you will get to know how they work, and what they have to offer outside of the cost. 

Watch Out For Scams (And How To Tell If They Are)

With any type of business, there are scams and moving scams do exist. You should be aware of the red flags that pop up before you let anyone take your stuff or money. The easier way to figure out if a company is a scam is by looking for typos, weird information, or no physical address. This is why we brought up verifying their address earlier in this article.

A man holding his head stressed around the move management

However, some moving scams are clever in the way they hide. Other things you should keep an eye out for are how often they change their name. The thing is that when it comes to businesses they want to keep the name for as long as they can for marketing purposes. While name changes do happen, if it is too often or the names do not match up, the best is to look for another relocation company. 

Another way to check if the company is a scam or a fly-by-night operation is by checking out their reviews. If there are no reviews this can be a concern since it may mean that they have deleted their negative ones, or no one has used them before. The latter could be that the company is new but you would have to do a lot of research before you decide to go with them. Also be wary of too many positive reviews. These can be brought and faked.

Alternatives like Shyft 

We did say that there are two options when it comes to moving with the first being a do it yourself move and the second hiring a moving company. But, there is one more, much easier way to move - and that’s to let Shyft take care of the entire experience for you. 

Shyft is like your personal moving concierge - really - it’s moving company software that brings together all the elements of your move onto one simple-to-use app. You are connected to a personal Move Coach who is there doing all the work that you would usually have to do even if you want to use a moving company. They will conduct a contactless video estimate - just one half an hour session at a time that is convenient for you - to create an inventory list. 

Shyft then searches for movers on your behalf on it’s moveboard - this is where moving companies validated by Shyft bid on moves thereby driving the price down. On average Shyft can save you around $600 on a relocation with a professional mover. Plus, they will find the licensed and safe movers, giving you three pricing options, on average, as well as a guaranteed price with no hidden costs. In addition to all this, Shyft can help with any lifestyle services related to your move. These include housing, temporary accommodation, insurance, financial services, destination services and much more. Your Move Coach is there every step of the way to share the tips and tricks of the trade so that you have the best experience.

The idea is that you fill out their short form online and you call them to schedule an online meeting at the time that works for you. 

Shyft is an online relocation software that values your private information - unlike other services that give you quick quotes, Shyft doesn’t share any personal information with other moving companies and service providers (or anyone for that matter). This means that they do not sell your information meaning that you will not get those creepy adverts about moving companies. 

Shyft really does all the work for you so all you would have to do is organize yourself and *gasp* enjoy your move. 

Conclusion

When you want to move you should make sure that you have the right information. And, to make sure that the best moving companies are in your price range. It can take a lot of time to find all the information you need to make the right choice. As well as to do some back and forth to do all work around the relocation management. 

However, if you do not have time nor energy to do this; be it you are in a hurry, have too much to do, etc. Then we would suggest that you check out Shyft. They will do everything for you, and give you what you need. Plus, even get some moving advice. Just fill out their short form, give them a call and let them do the research and heavy lifting while you finish off what you have to do in your old space. 

Moving takes a lot of time so why not let someone else do the “paperwork” and research for you? Check out Shyft Moving and give them a call. It would be easier than looking through millions of moving companies by yourself. Also, while figuring out what to pack and how.

A girl packing moving boxes for her move