Cross-Country Moving: DIY vs. Hiring Pros
Moving is rarely a smooth, hassle-free operation, even when it's just across town. When it's cross-country, the challenges multiply. It's likely that such a move is already full of tension. Maybe it's the excitement of a new job, business or educational opportunity. Perhaps you're anxious about leaving extended family, or maybe you're making the move to be near an aging parent in their sunset years.
That's already a lot to manage. Pile a long-distance move on top of that and the stress can really add up. At its most basic, moving entails the complete sorting, packing, loading, transport, unloading and unpacking of all one's personal property. A DIY cross-country move will include all that, plus perhaps significant downsizing of one's belongings. Is there room for your perfectly broken-in bed or grandma's heirloom hutch? You might have to sell or give away a lot of things - and then go shopping to replace them all when you arrive at your destination.
You'll shoulder the burden of scheduling the rental of a moving van and obtaining it at the proper time - hopefully everything is as promised! The work of loading everything will be yours - including careful consideration of breakables, securing all cargo while also protecting it from damage, and ensuring the entire load will travel well. Kids, pets, and additional vehicles will require management, too. Driving to your new residence could require some days to complete.
Plan your route and stops to accommodate your rental truck, make sure it's secure each night and don't expect to use a fast food drive-thru! When you finally arrive, if all has gone well, you can spend the day unloading everything. Hopefully your packing and loading job was well done, and your belongings are in good shape. When you're done, rest your back and return the rental truck while you get to know the idiosyncrasies of traffic in your new city!
Contrast this with hiring a professional moving company. You schedule the movers. They provide materials or even help in packing. On moving day, all you need to worry about are the things you want to take yourself - a suitcase of clothes, toiletries, devices. Focus on what your children and pets will need on hand, and take your time helping them adjust to the move.
An experienced professional moving company knows how to load your furniture and belongings the right way. Grandma's hutch will be in safe hands. In the event that something does get damaged, they will be accountable for it. You are free to plan your move with maximum flexibility. Driving a family car or two? Feel free to use the drive-thru! Enjoy scenic routes and the knowledge that national parks, historic sites, and points of interest will all be able to accommodate your vehicle. Stay nights along the way with family or at quaint B&Bs without worrying about parking or large truck turn-arounds.
Your professional movers will arrive and unload your belongings for you. You can concentrate on making sure the setup of your new home is on track; setting up utilities, change of address, enrolling your children in school, mapping the best route to work. If there was an unexpected complication with your housing at the last-minute - paperwork delays in closing on your new house or the rental property wasn't properly prepared on time - your movers can divert your belongings to a safe and secure storage facility, leaving you free to manage the issue. Imagine the headache of that, on top of having to return the rental truck in a timely fashion while you research storage options!
Moving on your own can certainly save you some money, but what it costs in terms of time, hassle, inconvenience, stress, liability for damage, and plain old physical exhaustion may not be worth it.
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