What Are Self Service Moves?

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General Moving

Moving is always stressful.  There are many decisions that need to be made, including how you are going to get your belongings from Home A to Home B.  This decision alone is stressful.  The task of completing a move on your own is daunting.  You need to obtain materials, get everything packed, and figure out how to transport your belongings.  And while this option can save a pretty penny, it may leave you stressed trying to find free help as well as doing all the heavy lifting.  And if you struggle with your move, you could find yourself paying for broken items or self-inflicted injuries.  Those who are unable to coerce friends and families to help, are unwilling to drive a rental truck on their own, or simply have too much to move on their own turn to professional movers.  While it is nice to rely on experts to do the packing, loading, and unloading for you, it is still stress-inducing.  You have to do extensive research, otherwise you could end up with disreputable movers, putting your move at risk.  And once you have your mover, you will still have to confront a pricey final bill.  For many, both these moving options leave much to be desired.  However, there is a third option that is quickly growing in popularity.  Self service moves, also known as “you pack, they drive” moves, offer a third, middle ground option.

Self service moves give you control as well as flexibility.  When you embark on a self service move, you will set up a portable container to be delivered to your home.  You then will pack and load your items, at your own pace, before having your container picked up and transported to your new home.  You will then be responsible for unloading your items before arranging to have the container picked up once it is empty.  This option gives you the control of moving on your own and a cheaper price than a full service mover.  But, as with any moving option, there are pros and cons to a self service move.

There are a number of advantages to a self service move.  For one thing, it is less expensive than hiring full service movers.  Since you are doing the packing and loading, you are not having to pay for that service.  You also are in charge of packing, so you can ensure that each box is packed to your liking and handled with care.  Time is also on your side.  While each self service company will differ, many are willing to drop off the portable container well in advance so you can pack leisurely.  Unlike a DIY move, you don’t have to spend moving day filling up your car with your belongings.  You can spend several days, or maybe even weeks, packing up all your items and securing them in the container.  The containers are secure and either come with a lock and key that you keep, or you can provide your own.  Either option ensures that only you have the key to the container, keeping your items secure.  Perhaps most importantly, you do not have to concern yourself with transporting all your items.  For many people, a DIY move is a viable option until they remember they will be responsible for driving the rental truck.  Trying to navigate a large vehicle is concerning for many, especially when you remember that the back is you life packed into boxes.  With a self service move, they drive the container to your new home, relieving you of the transportation stress.

Despite the many advantages, there are still disadvantages to self service moving.  You still will face some expenses in addition to the container and delivery charges.  You will need to secure moving materials, such as boxes and packing paper, which can add up quickly.  Also if you do not pack your items carefully, you may find yourself paying to replace damaged items.  Some people do not have the time or energy to pack and load their home into a container.  While it is difficult to drive a moving truck, some people are stressed more by getting everything packed for a move and hire movers to avoid having to do this process.  If you want to avoid the packing or the loading part of a move, a self service move will not do you any good.

You will need to speak with self service movers to ensure that they can meet your needs.  Some, but not all, only operate on interstate moves.  So, you need to make sure they will transport you within state lines if you are partaking in a intrastate move.  Additionally, you should nail down the dates you want your movers to pick up and drop off your belongings.  To ensure that you get your container on the date you want and in the correct size, you should schedule the pickup as well as the delivery dates of your container.  If you are looking to save some money but aren’t ready for a full DIY move, a self service move might be right for you.

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