Should you use a removal company or try and move your belongings yourself? It's a common question many of our customers struggle with in the initial stages of planning their moves. Moving house can add up to be an expensive experience, so it’s no wonder people consider what work they could do themselves.
So what should you consider when deciding if you should use a professional removal company or hire a van and do it yourself?
In this article we will cover:
- How removal companies can save you time
- How movers have the skills to pack valuable and fragile items
- How using a removal company can help if you're moving with kids
- The benefits of using a removal company if things change during your move
- How removal companies make moving less stressful
- Things to consider if you're sure you want to move yourself instead
- How to hire a moving company
Should i hire a removal company?
If you can afford to hire a removal company then the answer is yes! At first it might seem like a cheaper idea, but there are lots of reasons why using the professionals might be a better option for you and the whole family. Here's our top reasons you should hire a removal company:
1. Removal companies can save you time.
Moving house takes time. From the weeks of packing in advance to the loading of the van, travelling and unloading at the other end - it's a time-consuming process.
- Packing: A professional removal company helps people move every day, so they've got it down to an art! If you've ever moved yourself you'll know how long packing takes - it can take some people weeks on end, especially if you are fitting it in around your day job or taking care of the kids.
- Loading: Think about the time it will take to pack and load a small van (any good at Tetris?) and a couple of cars, especially if items are tricky to handle (how did the delivery company get that sofa in there again?!) plus the number of trips back and forth, unloading, reloading and all the unpacking when trying to do it yourself.
On top of the main points like packing and loading there are lots of other things that can take time or cause delays. You might find there are items of furniture you can't lift properly, delicate or valuable items you need extra protection for or bad weather that you hadn't prepared for too which can cause you delays and make the job take a lot longer than you expected... this can make moving day really stressful, especially if you've got new owners waiting outside ready to move in...
Hiring a moving company means you can leave all of this to them. They will take all of the above into account in planning the move to make sure the right time and resources are allocated to ensure everything runs smoothly and on time!
2. Professional removers are skilled at packing precious, valuable or fragile items.
We've all got things around the house that are heavy, delicate, valuable or even just sentimental - just the thought of trying to move them from one place to another in one piece can be stressful enough. With a professional removal company that needn't be the case though - not only will a fully trained removal crew have the right experience and knowledge of exactly how to pack and transport these kind of items safely and securely, but the company will also be able to offer you insurance to protect your goods in the unlikely situation that something should get damaged or broken while in their care.
They will also have all the right packing materials to make sure everything is fully protected.
3. If you've got young children movers can make the move alot easier.
Moving house is stressful enough, but when you add a baby or young children into the mix the stress tends to multiply rapidly. Finding time to pack, keeping the boxes out of your way or locating items you thought you wouldn't need in the middle of the night when someone is crying can drive even the sanest parent mad.
Using a professional removal company can help alleviate some of that though. By taking care of things like packing and loading, it leaves you free to concentrate on other, more important things. Some removal companies will also help with unpacking, while others even have additional handyman or housemaid services to help with the finer details of a move like hanging pictures and shelves, reassembling furniture, fitting light fixtures, cleaning your old house and unpacking kitchen goods into cupboards leaving you to concentrate on getting set up and settled in.
4. It could be easier to cope if your move situation is subject to change or if problems occur.
Not every move is as straightforward as moving from A to B. If you've moved several times before then you'll be aware that even the most organised of moves can throw up challenges or unplanned surprises.
Moving via temporary accommodation
It might be that you need to go into rented accommodation while you search for a new house to buy, or you might be moving in with friends or family while your dream house is being built, or maybe there has been a delay in your chain? Whatever the reason, it leaves you with one problem - what to do with everything you own while you're in a period of transition. Many reputable removal companies also provide storage services these days, so while you're not directly moving house it's always worth considering this option. Not only will your goods be packed and handled properly, but you'll also have peace of mind knowing they're stored safely and securely for the duration you require.
Move day problems and last minute challenges
When it comes to problems on move day, removal company crews and move managers are highly trained to spot potential problems and deal with them as and when they arise. It might be something simple like finding somewhere to park the lorry at your new house, bad weather or something more complicated like dismantling an item that's been overlooked in the rush to prepare for move day - whatever it is they will deal with it calmly and professionally, allowing you to focus on other things.
5. Already stressed out? Professional removal companies take some of the stress out of moving.
The process of moving house is stressful. If you're buying/selling then it's likely you've just been through months (if you're lucky) or even years of anxiety and stressful negotiations to secure your new home and a buyer for your old one. You've probably had just about enough of chasing solicitors to get back to you, enduring additional fees and dates continously slipping.... If you're renting then we doubt you had an easy ride either, by the time the viewings are done and you've jumped through all the landlords hoops we'll bet you're pretty stressed out too.
If this sounds like you, then the thought of finally being in your new home probably sounds great, but the thought of how to get there isn't so exciting! Luckily, this is the one step of the moving process that you can completely hand off to someone else with minimal involvement. Removal companys can provide such a wide range of services that if you want to, you can wake up in your bed at your old house one morning and go to bed in the new home the same night without having to have done much more than getting in your car, driving there and pointing to where you want things. If that sounds like heaven, then get in touch with a removal company for a free, no obligation quote.
Things to consider if you're thinking about moving house without a removal company
It's easy to assume hiring a van and doing it yourself will be cheaper, but don't forget to evaluate the below in working out your costs for comparison:
- How much is van hire? Take into account the time you'll need to collect and take the van back to get everything done. If you're moving over a weekend you may need to use multi-day hire as some companies close on weekends or have shorter opening hours.
- How many trips will you need to do? How much time will shuttling take if you can't do it in one trip, and how much will the fuel cost?
- How much are your packing materials and where will you get them? Avoid supermarket boxes if you can, these aren't always strong enough for a job like moving your prized possessions.
- Who is going to help you do the lifting? Full up boxes and furniture are heavy, you'll need help! Make sure you've got plenty of helpers on hand that are fit and able enough to do the job without hurting themselves, you or damaging your things! Make sure to take into account for comparison any costs of repaying them for their help, even if that's just a meal or a few beers!
- How are you going to get awkward/large items out? Some items are awkward or oversize and can be hard to get round tight corners or through tight doorways, Make sure to measure up at both properties to figure out how you'll get your items out and in. (Professional movers will be trained to spot these potential issues during the pre-move survey so they can plan in advance).
- Does your insurance cover you for any damage? Most home contents insurance policies only cover the risks of moving house if you use a professional mover, so be careful to check and weigh up the costs of replacing damaged items.
Specific situations when you should really consider hiring a removal company:
For some moves we'd really strongly recommend using a mover because of the higher risk of stress or something going wrong. These include:
- If you're moving a lot of stuff - moving anything above a 2 bedroom flat can be really hard work!
- If you've got difficult access to either property light tight stairwells or a long walk from the road
- If you have fragile or valuable items that you want taking extra care of
- If you have large or heavy furniture
- If you're really busy and don't have much time - especially if you're moving to start a new job and want to get settled ASAP
more great reasons NOT to move yourself
If you're still not convinced you need a removal company, read on...We ran a competition with Rightmove, the UK's leading property website, to find out some of your funniest moving day stories, and some of them were a horror!! Here's what some of the competition entrants told us....
“My husband and his mate drove off from the apartment ready to take a load of our furniture to the new house. Looking out of the window whilst preparing the next load I watched as the sofa cushions and furniture (wardrobe) slid off the back of the van! Argh! No damage - how? The wardrobe fell onto the sofa cushions! Almost a drama...almost!”
“My hubby was driving the big hired van and I was driving my mini, full to the roof with clothes. Half way there and in a busy street, I had a puncture! And to get at the spare I had to empty all my clothes and put them on the roof. It was embarrassing, to say the least.”
“Me and my partner decided to hire a van and move ourselves in order to save money. I was very nervous about driving a van and cautious about not running over any of the boxes scattered around. However, in my caution I accidently ran over my partner’s foot – needless to say, in future moves we have always hired moving men!”
“My husband wanted to save money on removal men so decided to 'pack' himself...Not wanting to rush, he started pack 'weeks' in advance, thinking he was organised... All was going well - no breakages, no arguments, etc...until our beloved cat, Bojangles, went missing. We thought she had run away because she couldn't cope with the stress of all the upheaval and we spent days looking for her, to no avail. Moving day came, with a mixture of heartbreak and excitement. Finally, after reaching our beautiful new home, we started to unpack - box, after box...to cut a long story short....yep, you guessed right; ripping the parcel tape off a large bedroom box...A HUGE SCREECHY MEEEEOOOWWW - my beloved Bo-Bo had been packed away for days with a duvet by my so 'organised' hubby...thankfully she was ok - bedraggled, hungry and very thirsty, but very much alive! Needless to say I was elated - but hubby is still in the dog house with Bo-Bo and me!”
Our tip: The most common reason people give for wanting to move themselves is that they think it will save them money. If this is one of your considerations when weighing up using a professional removal company vs. doing it yourself then think carefully – have you factored in the cost of van hire; the number of trips you’ll need to make back and forth; the fuel costs for doing so; what you’ll need to pay people to help and what it will cost to replace badly packed or damaged items? Although a professional removal company might look like a large outlay on paper, they will usually be able to move you in one trip, using a properly trained crew that can pack and load their truck to minimise damage to your goods. And if anything does get damaged, you should be covered by the insurance policy they offer you. Sometimes, your peace of mind is priceless.
Ok, i'm convinced. How do I hire a moving company?
Check out our free guide: How to choose a removal company for great tips on how to select a reputable moving company or click the button below to get your free, no obligation quote from Bournes.