The benefits of hiring a professional moving company:
1) You’re less likely to throw out your back
2) You have less on your plate—let’s face it, moving is stressful enough without the heavy lifting
3) They’ll have all the necessary equipment, which you and your friends probably don’t
4) Having that equipment, and expertise, means that you’re less likely to strain a friendship over a family heirloom that was “heavier than it looked!”
Need we go on? But here’s the sticky part: not all moving companies are created equal. How to choose? The following is our quick paraphrasing of myfirstapartment.com blogger Katherine’s excellent advice:
Should be between $65 and $95 per hour. Don’t let anyone fleece you, but also don’t settle for a less-than-professional job, as these are your precious belongings we’re talking about here. It’s easier to budget if you choose a company that charges per hour rather than per pound (unless you’re just moving lots of stuffed animals, in which case the latter might work out for you). Get an estimate ahead of time. Make sure they have insurance, and ask what it covers. Ask if they charge extra for things like plants, mirrors, or anything else, including wrappings or other packing materials. Be suspicious of any fee to “hold a reservation.” And don’t forget to tip (the usual 15-20%)!
You’ve heard of Yelp, right? Use it, or any other consumer feedback system you can get your hands on. But Yelp’s usually a good bet, as you have access to all the comments in addition to getting an overall rating. Some movers might be better at certain tasks than others, so read up.