Moving all your worldly possessions from point A to B can be an expensive endeavor, and many people are eager to cut costs wherever they can. However, moving is also time consuming and stressful, so it can be tempting to pay extra for packing services for the move.
Are packing services really worth it, and are they right for you?
Go ahead and get quotes for packing services
Even if you think you can’t afford it, go ahead and ask for quotes for packing services (a moving agent will be at your home to give you a moving estimate anyway). This will help put the cost-benefit in perspective for you. Make sure to ask for multiple quotes, such as a quote for packing everything and a quote for packing just the kitchen or certain fragile items.
Put a dollar amount on your time
To determine whether packing services are worth it for you, put a dollar amount on the value of your time. Then estimate (realistically) how much of your time it is going to take you to pack. Though chances are it is going to take you MUCH longer than you estimate. Now go back to the quote you got from the moving company and see which is more valuable to you: the money or your time.
Don’t forget packing supplies
One of the benefits of using professional packing services is that they bring over all the packing supplies, and the supplies are included in the price of course, you could get free packing supplies from furniture stores, supermarkets (though those boxes aren’t recommended because they can have bugs and mold on them!), or Craigslist. But, if you are using free boxes, it is going to take up several hours of your time, plus money on gas driving back and forth to get the boxes.
Consider your moving insurance needs
All moving companies will offer a basic insurance. However, movers cannot offer full coverage on items that they did not pack themselves. If you want more insurance for your move, you may be required to use their packing services.
Can you handle your home being in disarray for weeks?
If you are going to pack yourself, you should start the process at least a few weeks in advance (though it is better to start packing seasonal items 4+ weeks in advance of the move). As you get closer to moving day, you pack up more items. The day before and on moving day, you pack up essential items like the remaining cups and dishes, toiletries, and bedding. This DIY packing approach means your home will be in complete chaos for a few weeks. You will probably pack something, only to find out later that you need it and have to hunt it down in the boxes.
By contrast, professional packing services are usually scheduled for the day before the move. A team of 2-6 packers will come over and pack everything in a matter of hours. You are spared the stress of having to live in chaos, and don’t have to worry about which essential items to save until last.
Let the movers pack the difficult items
Even if budget is a big concern, you don’t have to completely dismiss packing services. You can do most of the packing yourself, and then have the movers pack up the tough items like the kitchen and breakables.