By Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group
Three months ahead of your move, you're thinking "sure, I can handle the packing myself". Three weeks before the trucks show up in the driveway, your thinking has shifted--"there aren't enough hours left for me to finish this packing". There's an easy way to avoid the no-time-to-pack nightmare--include packing services with your household move.
There are any number of factors that go into your decision to pack your belongings yourself or let your professional moving company do it; most people think that they can do it themselves and save quite a bit of money. This is true from a strictly financial standpoint, and if your move is small in scale--from a condo or apartment to another in-town location, if you're single or a small family, if one of you can basically devote your life to packing for the next six weeks. Otherwise, the actual cost of hiring a professional packing crew is easily offset by your improved quality of life.
Before you go raid your nearest big box store for boxes and tape, consider these realities surrounding your move.
You Are Really, Really Busy
In the real world, your life doesn't stop so you can manage your move. You've still got work, family commitments, and the unending minutiae of paperwork involved with your move--and there simply isn't the time to pack your boxes. Moving is emotionally draining in the best of circumstances--when you're cleaning out drawers and closets you're also cleaning out memories. Many a home packer has found herself on the floor hours later, surrounded by elementary school art projects, with nary a ceramic turkey wrapped and boxed. When you hire a professional moving company to pack your belongings, they're more efficient--without any heartstrings to tug, things go a lot faster.
Organization Is Not Your Strong Suit
Packing for a move is a lot like painting--it's the prep work that kills you. Prepping for a move means being super-organized--you'll need to know everything in your house, where it belongs, and which box it's in. Professional movers with packing services manage those logistics for you. Inventories are taken, boxes are labeled, and your belongings are packed so that unpacking them makes sense. When your moving company does your packing, they're your partner in the move--you can discuss the layout of the new house and pack to accommodate changes, so that unpacking and settling in is easier.
Shopping bags are cute, but they're not practical for putting in a moving van. Packers don't get bored and toss stuff in bags like you will--and you and your belongings will be happier in the long run with proper packing.
You Have A Lot of Stuff
Most moving companies will tell you that any house with three bedrooms or more needs professional packing. Once you start digging out closets and cabinets you'll be shocked at how much stuff is crammed in your house, and it's going to take a lot more time than you thought to wrap and pack boxes so that breakables don't break, boxes aren't too heavy, and everything is labeled and organized.
You're Moving Long Distance
Any long distance move almost demands professional packing. Your fragile and breakable things, electronics, and antiques need special care when they're being transported. A professional crew knows how to wrap the crystal, china, mirrors, artwork, light fixtures, and other fragile items exactly right--some may need newsprint, others bubble wrap, and others might need a custom box with padding to make the trip intact. If you're moving across town you can throw your paintings and mirrors in the back of your car and pad them with beach towels; if you're moving three hundred miles away, you need proper crating or boxing.
The takeaway is that you should weigh your quality of life preceding your move against the actual cost of a professional mover to help you pack. Ultimately, it's a relatively small price to pay so that you can not only enjoy your last few weeks with old friends and co-workers, but that you start your new life stress free and relaxed.
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