Is It Worth It To Pay Movers?

by Miranda Marquit

I think that paying movers just might be worth the cost. My recent cross-country move involved full-service movers, and it’s been awesome.

pay movers or do it yourselfThis isn’t our first cross-country rodeo; it’s our third. In the past, my husband and I have used a version of self-service moving. We’ve used those “you pack, we drive” services in the past. They are cheaper than paying for someone to load up the truck, but you don’t have to drive yourself. Plus, after running the numbers, we find that, often you don’t save much on a big move by renting a U-Haul. By the time you pay for the truck and pay for the gas, you don’t come out much ahead. You’ve had to deal with the hassle of driving, perhaps getting a trailer for your car, and finding a place to park the massive truck when you stop for the night.

This time, we are working with full-service movers because my husband’s new employer offers a $3,000 stipend to help with moving. It’s still going to cost us some money, though, but not any more than it would cost if we went the “you pack, we drive” route. We will be about a little more than $2,000 out of pocket for this move. (Luckily, the portion we pay out of pocket is tax-deductible.)

And, after this experience, I’ve decided that, even if I had to pay the entire cost, it might be worth it. Here’s why:

  • Someone else to load the truck: While we still packed the boxes, it was nice to have someone load the truck. The moving team did it faster than we ever could, and we didn’t have to lift a finger.
  • Expertise: Not only did someone else load the truck, but they had the expertise to load it most efficiently, and pad the furniture so it wouldn’t break. Plus, they had the knowledge and expertise to easily maneuver the furniture out of the house. No need for us to spend hours doing it.
  • Insurance on the items*: On top of that, using these movers means that we have better insurance coverage on our items. If something is broken, the insurance is enough to replace it.
  • Someone else to unload the truck: Finally, we have someone else to unload the truck. Not only that, but the movers will put the boxes in the rooms we need them in, so it’s less work and hassle for us.

In the end, the saved time and effort is worth it to me to hire someone to do the heavy lifting. I don’t like taking a lot of time to do this sort of work. I’d much rather be using that time to earn more money, or to spend time with my husband and son. This time, we ended up loading the car while the movers loaded the truck. We were able to get something worthwhile done, even while the truck was loaded.

In this case, we’re fortunate that the bulk of the cost is being covered by my husband’s employer. However, if we move cross-country again, there is a good chance that I would be willing to pay the entire cost myself. The entire experience of having someone else do the hardest tasks was much more pleasant. I am willing to trade my money for convenience and more time.

*A note about insurance: Make sure your moving company offers replacement value on the items being moved. Some companies only offer depreciated value., which means you would only receive a small portion of what it would cost you to replace many items. You might also be able to purchase renter’s insurance or a specific policy from your former renter’s insurance or homeowner’s insurance policy. Whatever you do – make sure you’re covered!

What do you think? Would you consider paying for full-service movers?


Published or updated November 17, 2014.
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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Emily @ Simple Cheap Mom

As an adult I’ve only moved in town. We’ve always gone the uhaul route, but I totally get paying movers. Next time we might end up paying someone to move for us. Besides, adding the cost of beers and pizza and the favours you’ll owe to your friends and family after the move, I think it might just be cheaper overall to pay someone!

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2 Jon @ Money Smart Guides

I’ve only moved a couple of times and did the work myself with some friends. I’m not certain I will use movers. My sister and her husband used movers because his job relocation paid for it. The process was fairly smooth, but some things did go missing.

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3 Tim Seidler

It is absolutely worth it to pay movers if you move cross country. The bill is hefty, but the anxiety, planning and stress that it alleviates is worth it’s weight in gold.

We recently moved from Chicago to Seattle and let me tell you. I would give up that extra $5,000 to not have to drive a 26-foot Penske trailing an SUV up those mountain passes again. Not to mention the loading and unloading of the trailer.

This is one of those things where you shouldn’t skimp.

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4 Ryan Guina

Tim, I moved our family about a 6 hour drive (from Ohio to the Chicago area). It was a lot of work, but it turned out well. I don’t think I would do it again if I had to go further. Once it turns into a two day trip (or longer), then I’m good with paying someone to do the heavy lifting. (pun intended!).

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