If you thought moving companies do nothing but put all your stuff on a big truck, you’d be right—if you were living sometime in the distant past.
Today’s moving companies are constantly expanding their range of services and offering them all à la carte. That half-job or heavy lifting you need help with? Sure, you can try begging and bribing your friends, or you can call up a few movers in your area. You might be surprised at what they can help you with.
So What Else, Exactly, Can Movers Help With?
More than you can probably imagine. Heck, you don’t even need to be moving to have them give you a hand! More and more, people are turning to moving companies for all kinds of tasks too big to tackle alone. Movers make great day laborers, for things like:
Clearing out your garage or basement
Having a couple of sets of hands to move stuff while you figure out whether it goes to the curb or your cousin’s house or back into the garage can save you an entire weekend (if your garage looks anything like mine)
This also applies to attics, sheds, or anywhere
Hauling individual furniture from Point A to Point B
From your house to the curb; from your bedroom to the basement; to that cousin’s house; to the municipal trash dump; to your local secondhand store or consignment shop
Moving everything out of the room you are repainting or remodeling
And then moving it back when you are done
Hauling stuff to your home from the furniture store
Or from your second cousin’s house, or from the garage of the guy selling that big beautiful piano on craigslist
Movers can (and often will) also take care of those jobs tangential to a move:
Even if you’ve managed to tackle your entire move on your own, you may be left with a mountain of unwanted cardboard boxes and unusable packing paper that you just don’t want to deal with. Movers, however, see gold in those mountains. So try giving them a call.
Protip: Most movers tend to charge for a minimum of two hours of labor, due to scheduling their business hours. This is not by any means a hard and fast rule, but make sure you ask before you book your help.
Can I hire movers to JUST help me load and unload my U-Haul?
Renting a truck or a moving container and hiring moving labor for all the heavy lifting is a huge trend—and for good reason. You save a ton of money by renting your own truck, and you save your back by hiring movers.
À la carte movers often:
Bring all the equipment
Have all the knowledge necessary to do the job right
Pack stuff you need packed, wrap stuff you need to be wrapped
Load it all up safely and securely
You drive your U-Haul (or Penske or Budget), or have your portable container delivered, and a fresh crew of movers unloads everything at your new home. This is what we call a Hybrid Move. As far as moving goes, it’s the best of both worlds. And it’s what HireAHelper movers do best.
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Protip: If you are moving locally, your movers may be able to rent you moving blankets for a small fee. But if you are moving out of the area, you might be able to rent them from your rental truck company. You may, however, have to buy them. Just please don’t move without them!
Can my movers do my entire move?
Yes, of course. Your traditional Full Service moving company will handle the whole moving enchilada if that is what you want, including packing up your entire home, right down to your last box of biscuits. This is the easiest way to move. It is also by far the most expensive.
Movers Know Best
Of course, we can’t tell you what’s best for you. But we can say with total confidence that movers know how to best handle your stuff. Whether it’s a single item job or a few pieces of heavy furniture; whether you’re moving one room or one door down or one hundred miles away; whether you need loading help, unloading help, or both, hiring moving labor is the best and most economical way to make sure your belongings are taken care of.
If you’re not sure what to do, that’s cool. Calling a mover and asking a few questions costs nothing. And it could end up saving you a lot.
Where you grow up not only determines a lot of your personality (and what you like), but it can determine your overall quality of life too.
There can be drastic differences between someone who grew up in New York vs. Los Angeles … and the difference is even more striking if you grew up in a different country with a different culture. After all, a child in Bangkok will have a drastically different experience than one growing up in Ireland.
Life Comparison Tool
Have you ever imagined what your life would be like if you moved somewhere vastly different from where you are now? Where would you choose to live? What would you spend your time doing? How would life be easier or more difficult?
Comparing things like life expectancy, unemployment rate, average purchasing power, median age and access to the internet can give you a better idea of how other cultures live. So we built this handy tool to let you do just that!
Start by picking your “country of origin” by choosing it from the list below. Next, pick the country you’d like to compare it to and analyze the different statistics.
Feel free to mix and match as you choose—be curious!
You are years olderyounger.
You are % lessmore likely to have AIDS.
Your country would have % lessmore debt.
Your nation would spend % lessmore on education.
You would have % lessmore free time.
You would make % lessmore per year.
You would have % lessmore saved.
Your country would be % lessmore active on the internet.
11 years. 250,000 moves. 100,000 reviews. 1 awesome new look.
Introducing the new HireAHelper logo.
Our New Look Just Moved In
HireAHelper has spent the last decade making moving anywhere in the country simple and affordable. Now we’re bringing that fresh “just moved” feeling straight to our website. Our brand new “H-logo” and green colors mark a moving adventure we can call our very own.
In other words, we just turned over a bright, green leaf.
The new HireAHelper logo in action
Is anything else new? Don’t worry, whether you’re moving or you’re a mover yourself, everything you love about HireAHelper is still here. We’re a nationwide marketplace of local movers that’s easier than ever to browse, with live help available 7 days a week. But more great additions are on the horizon.
We’ve pioneered Hybrid™ Moving, and now we’re giving you even more options than ever before. Coming soon to select cities, we’re giving you the option to search our local mover marketplace for Full Service movers. This is a huge expansion to our moving options that will take even more stress out of your move. Stay tuned to this site for more details.
Moving soon? Want to join hundreds of local movers from across the country already in the marketplace? Come see for yourself why over 100,000 people have given their HireAHelper moves an average 4.7 out of 5 stars.
Moving long distance requires patience, stamina, and grit. But it doesn’t have to be an awful experience. With some planning, a little know-how, plus some research, you can make the process of moving much easier. But just to help you out, we went ahead and did all the research for you.
After all, settling into a new, far-away land shouldn’t be anything less than transformational!
How Am I Gonna Get Me and My Stuff Where I’m Going?
You have a number of options when planning a long distance move. Your options will all depend on these three things:
How much stuff you’re hauling
What if I’m driving?
Some people decide to drive across the country, especially if they are bringing a vehicle or two. Beforehand, however, you should consider:
Car’s age and how many miles it has clocked
How many people and things it needs to hold
If it can handle a long trip without breaking down
If you need to get repairs ahead of time, then trust us, do that first. If that seems like it could be an issue or you just don’t wanna add hundreds of miles to your car, consider getting your car shipped.
Your other options are hitching it (to a truck for towing) or just ditching it. You can always try selling it or trading it in if you decide this is the end of the road for the car.
The most hands-off option for getting you and everything long distance is a Full Service moving company. If you have the money for going that route, you need to find one with proper licensing, especially for interstate moves, as opposed to somebody off Craigslist.
What other options are there? Some people who make a long distance move opt to rent a moving truck for loading up their stuff and driving it themselves, then only hire movers for the lifting part, not the driving. This is called Hybrid Moving and can save a lot of money (if you don’t mind the drive).
If you want to leave the driving to somebody else but still want to save money as compared to a Full Service Move, you can opt for portable moving containers like a PODS container. With those, professionals drive your stuff to and from destinations.
A final option to explore is to rent space in a freight truck that a professional driver hauls to your final destination, or sometimes to a warehouse for pick up.
If you’re taking a plane to the final destination, you should obviously consider bringing some things with you in luggage or handbags to save money on however you’re moving the rest of your stuff. Pack clothes and personal items that won’t break in the luggage, and bring fragile stuff, such as laptops and digital devices, in your carry-on bag. Paying for extra luggage on a flight is sometimes cheaper than shipping it via snail mail! Pile up your stuff, do the calculations and see what works best with your budget.
Looking to maximize your flying budget? In “The 10 Best (and Worst) Airfare Search Sites,” Frommer’s shares some of the best places for you to seek hot deals for air travel. When researching prices for flights, consider the following online travel agents and booking sites, but recognize that being better known does not necessarily mean being the best.
You could theoretically choose to ship some of your things via UPS, FedEx, or the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). Yes, it’s cheapest to send through USPS, but after packages get to only two pounds, pricing typically levels out. (That said, check out media shipping rates if you want to ship out a parcel or three that each weigh around 20 pounds.)
Of course, you probably have more than a few pounds worth of stuff. In this case, moving containers are a savvy pick for getting your stuff driven to where it needs to go for you. Not only do shipping containers come in different shapes and sizes, but you can plan to keep them placed somewhere for usually as much as a month at a time, so there’s lots of flexibility with using a moving container for a long distance move.
There are several things to consider when thinking about using a moving container:
Do you care if it’s wooden versus metal?
How many do you need?
How long do you need it to wait for you before unloading it?
But ultimately, as we’ve explained above, the price will depend on:
Your exact starting and ending points
How much you need to move
Modes of transportation
Who, if anyone, you decide to hire
One more big factor to consider is if you have any specialty items to move, such as a baby grand piano or gun safe.
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Are there any ways to reduce the price?
Here are some money protips you should know as you collect estimates:
Binding vs. Non-Binding Estimates: This is important to know if you’re pursuing a Full Service move. A binding estimate means you will pay the final price of the estimate regardless of whether your stuff ends up weighing less or more than expected. A non-binding estimate means you could end up with a different final tally, either less or more, depending on the weight
You can bring the price down by being flexible with travel dates; weekdays, especially in the offseason (read: not summer) are often cheaper
Ask moving companies for discounts. For example, members of the military and veterans often get cheaper rates for rental trucks and containers
If you have time before you have to move, you should try to start a moving fund
Be sure to keep track of spending and make a written out or digital budget
Those who are moving for work should see if the company reimburses for any or all of the move
What if I’m Moving Across State Lines?
Doing your homework on what is required of you for your specific interstate move is the first step.
Interstate moves are particularly complicated due to state laws. You have to know what you are responsible for when you cross into another state.
Hiring movers? Some moving companies can’t even provide service for interstate moves because they lack the proper license. Check in with your mover ahead of time. (Of course, typing in your ZIP code into HireAHelper filters all that stuff automatically.)
In addition, you have to know both state and local laws and ordinances that may be relevant to you. Both your departure and arrival towns likely have parking rules, which will be a consideration as you’re loading and unloading, especially if you’re leaving a PODS container somewhere for a week or more. (You think you can just park a big truck on a busy New York City road any time you want?)
Also, some states have certain laws restricting what you can bring in. For instance, there are a number of items that are illegal to bring into California, including certain firearms and fruits. Yes, your pet ferret, among other things, can’t join you if you’re headed for the Golden State.
To-Do list for interstate moves
What do you need to do if you’re moving to a new state? This is what your to-do list should look like:
Forward your mail. Regardless of distance or state, do this first. This requires filling out a change of address form with the United States Postal Service (USPS)
Get a new driver’s license and plates. Typically, states require you to get your new license within 30 days, so make this a priority. Unfortunately, this will probably require standing in line at the DMV. One thing we can guarantee is it will be as annoying as nails on a chalkboard no matter what state you’re in
Establish domicile for tax purposes. In other words, that means becoming a resident (No matter where you go, they’ll have taxes!)
Transfer your utilities
Get a license for your pets if you have any (as long as they aren’t ferrets in California!)
How Do I Pack My Stuff?
Anyone who has ever moved can tell you that packing up your entire world is maybe the most stressful part of the journey. Getting sturdy cardboard boxes and wisely packing them is one way to ensure the process is easier. Refraining from making any of the boxes too heavy and keeping items that will go in the same room in one box are obvious tips.
Make sure to label everything. Most importantly, make use of soft items, such as pillows, to serve as buffers between breakables and harder items. Use appropriate packing material – such as bubble wrap and newspapers – to protect glass, china and other delicate items. You can learn more in “How to Pack a Moving Box.”
If you want to be extra cautious with your stuff, then turn to professionals for help with packing your things.
Should I get rid of my stuff?
Take a look over the vast empire you’ve established. You must recognize that the less stuff you have to move, the better off you’ll be. After all, professional moving companies generally charge you based on the weight of the stuff you need to be transported. In other words, both literally and figuratively, you will have lifted a weight off your shoulders if you downsize.
“You’ll almost certainly want to bring some of your stuff, but the vast majority of what you own is replaceable,” writes Scott Meslow in GQ. “And the cost of moving most of what you own across the country is comparable to the cost of just buying something similar—or better!—once you actually arrive.”
The good news? Purging can be cathartic. Discover some ways you can unload your stuff before moving day:
Sell stuff online through Craigslist, eBay, or Etsy
Donate items through charities or religious organizations
Throw away old, worn out, or unusable items
Experts suggest taking photographs, especially for anything of great value. You may want proof of exactly what condition the chosen ones – items with which you simply can’t part – were in before they get on the moving truck (or whatever mode of transportation you choose).
Moving long distance is a tremendous undertaking. But if you prepare and research your options, you can make the move successfully without pulling out your hair. As you deal with the technical aspects of the move, give yourself a break if you – or others in the family – get emotional. Starting a new life in a new place is never easy. A stress-free move is the first step to arriving at this new world.
HireAHelper Named to ‘Inc. 5000’ 2018 Top Entrepreneurs List Four Years Running
HireAHelper has graced Inc. Magazine’s “Inc. 5000” list for the fourth time, earning recognition as one of the nation’s top businesses, with an impressive 99 percent revenue growth year over year.
What can we say? Moving people is what we do, and we love doing it.
The full press release is readable below. To see the full list of companies, check out the Inc. 5000 website here.
SEATTLE – August 20, 2018 – HireAHelper, an online marketplace for those looking to hire well-qualified, local movers by the hour, today announced that it has been named to the 2018 Inc. 5000 list, an exclusive ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies by Inc. magazine. Companies are ranked according to percentage revenue growth when comparing 2014 and 2018. HireAHelper ranked 3,724th nationally with 99 percent revenue growth.
“Being listed among the Inc. 5000 is an honor that every member of our HireAHelper family can be proud of,” said Mike Glanz, Co-Founder and CEO of HireAHelper. “It’s through their collective effort that this honor was achieved. I’m very grateful to serve alongside such a stellar group of highly-dedicated moving professionals each and every day.”
Started in 1982, the Inc. 5000 list represents a unique look t the most successful companies within the American economy’s most dynamic segment – its independent small businesses. To qualify, companies had to be U.S.-based, privately held, for profit, and independent – not subsidiaries or divisions of other companies. The minimum revenue required for 2014 is $100,000; the minimum for 2017 is $2 million.
“If your company is on the Inc. 5000, it’s unparalleled recognition of your years of hard work and sacrifice,” says Inc. editor in chief, James Ledbetter. “The lines of business may come and go, or come and stay. What doesn’t change is the way entrepreneurs create and accelerate the forces that shape our lives.”
Complete results of the Inc. 5000, including company profiles and an interactive database that can be sorted by industry, region, and other criteria, can be found at https://www.inc.com/inc5000.
The 37th Annual Inc. 5000 Conference and Gala will be held in San Antonio on October 17-19, 2018 at the JW Marriott Resort & Spa.
HireAHelper is an online marketplace for moving labor, providing both commercial and residential customers with the additional help they need to complete their relocation project. Since its launch in 2007, the company has served 250,000 do-it-yourself movers from across the United States.
Tailwind Public Relations
The 2018 HireAHelper Dream Team Winners Announced!
#6. Michelle Harvin – All A-list Movers (Dayton, OH)
#7. LB (Levy) – Pack Man Moving Services (Tamarac, F)
#8. April Rose Hernandez – Moms On The Go (Phoenix, AZ)
#9. Jim Tanner – Full House Family Movers (Lowell, MA)
#10. Nate Bendele – C&C Moving Services (San Antonio, TX)
#11. Antoine Jones – Moving Genius Pro Movers (Pensacola, FL)
Player of Honor:
Kelsie Lauren – JTR of OKC (Oklahoma City, OK)
Whoa. What Else Does this Honor Include?
Is there anything else included besides this merry email and virtual confetti?
Each Dream Team Member Will Receive:
A special certificate declaring: “Top Crew Member of 2018”
A badge on the public checkout for all customers to see. It shall read: “Top Crew Member of 2018” (This honor adds even more credibility and increases the likelihood of customer’s final selection!)
Endless bragging rights, of course
Player of Honor, There’s More.
Out of the many submission receives, one story stood out the most.
It was too powerful to go unnoticed. We were called to do something extra special for this dedicated, tenacious person. Our 2018 POH will receive:
The Dream Team Prizes (certificate, badge…) +
Hand-written “thank you’s” from the grateful HireAHelper Headquarters
Well deserved, one and all.
It is thanks to you that HireAHelper has marched on for 11 years in operation; this simply wouldn’t have happened without your continued support. We are so thrilled for each of you and, again, want to send our most sincere thanks.
Please look forward to additional correspondence regarding prizes and good ‘ole fashioned bragging rights.
Congratulations again. Cheers to another successful year!
Loading your truck is like getting ready for prom. You want everything to be perfect.
Unloading, on the other hand, is kind of the same way; take everything off, drop it on the floor and go jump in the pool with your friends, right?
Yes and no. Unloading a moving truck is definitely easier than loading one, but like jumping in the pool, there are good ways and bad ways to do it.
Below are some tips for safety and speed so you can not only do the job right but have plenty of time for the post-party. (And this all applies for moving containers too!)
How to Prepare Your Unload
Park on a flat, level surface
If you are renting a portable container like a PODS, you can expect it will be set on even ground. The same thing goes for a rental truck.
You’ll want to park in a similar level place, to make unloading both safer and easier. If you simply have to park on a sloped surface, point the front of your truck downhill. (You can imagine why.)
Apply the emergency brake
This applies even if you park on a level surface. It also doesn’t hurt to put chocks – or rocks or blocks of wood – under one or more of the wheels.
Open the back of the truck slowly
Your stuff will have shifted around in transit, and the possibility of something tumbling out onto the ground, or on you, is very real.
If something is about to come tumbling out, you may feel and/or hear it pushing against the door as you open it. But not always.
Keep your eyes open and have an extra set of hands ready.
Ramps slide out quickly, be careful
Rental trucks generally come equipped with a loading ramp that slides right out from under the rear door. Unlatching it, sliding it out and locking it in place is simple. So is hurting yourself if you aren’t careful.
That ramp is heavy! And pulling it too hard can turn it into a battering ram with you being the one getting battered. Ease it out all the way and set it down on something not your toes. And remember to set those hooks at the top of the ramp securely in place!
How to Unload Safely and Quickly
Get off to a pretty slow start
That’s right! Even if nothing looks about to topple over, you still want to take it easy when you begin unloading your stuff.
Your stuff will shift and resettle in transit
This goes triple if you have a freight trailer!
The pedal of the bicycle you so carefully placed on top of all those boxes might now be stuck in between two of those cartons, and pulling too hard trying to free your bike can send a whole stack of stuff cascading down on top of you.
Remember, if your truck was packed to the gills, you won’t have much room back there for your feet. Take your time. Watch your step. Ease those first items off the truck, always aware of how close your Nikes are to the edge of that deck. One misstep and there goes your stuff (and you).
Assign a ramp person
If you have someone (or a few people) helping you, assign one person to stay on the truck to break down the load and put everything at the edge of the deck where the others can grab it without having to climb into the truck.
Not only does this save time, it also eliminates a ton of bending over.
Working like this, it’s never long before the person on the truck gets ahead of the others. This is a good time for that person to nominate someone to help carry that sofa or dresser off the truck and into the house. In addition, jumping off the truck and helping get all the stuff they’ve set on the deck into the house is the obvious way to keep the process rolling.
Tackling the unload all by yourself?Try working in a similar fashion. As you break down your load, position as many boxes and other items as possible along the edge of the deck. Then you’ll be able to make a bunch of trips back and forth without having to walk up and down that ramp every time, saving both your legs and your back.
Form a box brigade
Building on above, if you are lucky enough to have two or more people helping you unload:
Keep one person working on the truck
One person carrying stuff from the truck to a staging area (usually the garage or the front door)
One person working inside carrying everything from the staging area to where it all belongs
Naturally, the person on the truck will start getting ahead of the person carrying stuff to the staging area, who will in turn probably get ahead of the person running back and forth inside the house. Periodically jumping off the truck or stepping inside to help your buddy catch up keeps everyone moving – and quickens the process of emptying out that truck or portable container.
Which, of course, leaves more time to enjoy the pool.
Use a dolly
When you are unloading your moving truck, a hand truck (also known as a dolly) is your best non-human friend.
Rolling heavy stuff means you don’t have to carry it. Rolling a stack of boxes means making one trip instead of three or four! The bigger your load and the heavier your stuff, the more you will thank yourself for having that hand truck around. It’s an essential item to rent of your moving truck doesn’t come with one, or if you don’t hire moving labor.
Make sure, by the way, to use that hand truck correctly. You should always be higher than the dolly when rolling stuff down that ramp. If you are hand-trucking something large and/or heavy, have an extra set of hands at the lower end to keep that thing moving steadily—and slowly!
It goes without saying that when you’re unloading major appliances and large pieces of furniture – or anything for that matter – you want to be doubly certain neither your feet nor the wheels of your hand truck miss that ramp.
But you also want your hand truck to hit the ramp squarely; if one wheel starts going downhill before the other your hand truck will start to tip to one side. Your buddy on the bottom end will naturally try to steady it, which can send one of his feet off the side of the ramp, and things will just keep going downhill from there.
Whether you are rolling or carrying that big heavy appliance or piece of furniture, you want to get centered on the back of the truck before you head for that ramp.
Again, when using a dolly, those wheels go down before you do. If you and a buddy are carrying that item, whoever is holding the bottom end needs to travel down first. In either case, the person on the lower end is responsible for maintaining a straight line of forward progress.
Protip: If you have to walk up a slope or up any stairs, it’s good practice to turn yourselves around so the person holding the top of that big bulky piece is again in a higher position.
Going upslope, however, the person on top takes over steering duty. The person on the bottom then will have the responsibility of providing most of the upward momentum. (This is especially true when going up a staircase.)
In other words, the person on bottom pushes while the person on top does their best to avoid banging into the walls and tripping up the steps.
Get Some Quick Help
And if all else fails (or you realize you have more stuff than you thought you did after loading your truck), do yourself a favor and double-check our movers’ prices for unloading trucks.
Get Help Unloading Your Rental Truck
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From my decades of experience moving people, an unbooked mover is pretty motivated to come out, as opposed to sitting around doing nothing. Do a quick fly by on HireAHelper if you were wondering, “But are there any local movers near me available to lend me and my friends a hand?”
I’ve saved plenty of people’s moving day who thought to check, even last second.
HireAHelper is celebrating its 11th year of making moving easy and we have you in mind for the party. How? We’re fielding a “dream team” of amazing Helper crew members. That’s where your crew comes in.
Nominate a Crew Member
If you have an employee that has gone above and beyond on the “playing field”, we want to hear from you.
Send us a story about a time your crew member went the extra mile while moving somebody. Are you a Helper in our network? You will receive an email with a link to the survey. Thinking of becoming one? Now’s a great time!
Your nominating story should be about more than just showing up to work on time; we want to hear about how a crew member on your team saved the day, surprised a customer with unusually great service, or anything you think will wow us. Be as specific as possible so that he or she has the best chance possible to be nominated!
We will pick 22 of the nominated Helpers to go to the “playoffs”, after which your very own HireAHelper customer service reps will vote on your submitted stories to field the ultimate 11-person “Dream Team”!
Deadline and Prizes
The deadline to submit your story is July 4th. After Independence Day, the playoff participants will be announced shortly thereafter. The final HireAHelper 11th Anniversary Dream Team will be announced at the end of summer.
And we didn’t even mention the prizes. Did we mention the prizes? There is more to be announced, but all playoff participants will receive their own HireAHelper gear, a special certificate celebrating their achievement, and will be featured on a live webpage for customers to read about their greatness, alongside their moving company’s name and location. Talk about making the bosses happy!
We can’t wait to see you from the stands. Thanks for making HireAHelper what it is with your great service, on and off the field.
What’s a Moving Container? A Guide for Everything You Need to Know
If you’re planning a move and have done the slightest bit of research, you might be wondering, “What’s a moving container?” Most of us can understand rental trucks, which we often see passing by us on the highway.
Well if you’re still confused, think of moving containers as the younger, hipper cousins to rental trucks.
Basically, moving containers are portable storage units. They are metal or wood containers in which you can store your stuff.
Because they are portable, they can be loaded onto a truck for transport down the block (or across the country!). Moving containers make it ultra-convenient for people to load, pack and transport their stuff.
They can be delivered to your home or office, where it remains on the grounds while someone loads it up with your stuff. When you’re ready to move, you can call the company to have a professional driver pick it up and deliver it to the next location. There, you unload the goods and move in! You might have seen them on the grounds of your neighbor’s home or local businesses.
Once you know what they are, you’ll start spotting them everywhere.
What Do They Look Like?
It varies, but by and large, moving containers just look like big boxes. Container sizes vary. Some are as big as 16 feet long, while others are as small as 7 feet long. Their heights differ, too. Some are skinny and taller to take advantage of the height to pack in more stuff. Others are shorter, which is really convenient for loading but, of course, might not allow you to fit as many things.
Where Do I Go to Get a Moving Container?
PODS claims to be the founder of this niche in the industry, and it is arguably the best known of the container companies. But there are other big names, including 1-800-PACK-RAT, Smartbox, and Go Mini’s, to name a few. Even U-Haul has gotten in on the act with U-Box.
What Are the Differences Between Companies?
PODS offer customers the chance to rent up to three different sized containers based on their needs. Others, such as Smartbox, rent out just one size container. (In their case, it’s 8 feet wide and 7 feet tall.) Containers are also made of different materials, depending on which company you choose. PODS are steel-framed. U-Pack’s containers are made of “weatherproof metal.” Some others are made of wood and usually include some weatherproof type of covering instead.
People frequently debate the merits of each type of container. Some say the metal containers – the likes of which can be found at PODS and 1-800-PACK-RAT – are best because of their sturdy construction and ability to stand up to any kind of weather. Others argue they lack air circulation, which can potentially cause mold, mildew, or at the very least, musty smells. The wooden containers, such as the pressure treated plywood ones that U-Haul/U-Box rents, might allow for more ventilation, but they are not necessarily as weather resistant.
If you really want to dig into all the pros and cons of each company, including average prices, reviews, pictures and more, check out the moving container page at Moving101.
How Much Do Moving Containers Cost?
Moving containers can be pretty affordable relative to other moving services. They are especially good for those moving to and from smaller homes and apartments.
Prices can range between around $500 (to move stuff to and from a small home or apartment in a local move) to $5,000 (for multiple containers making a long-distance move with many items from a large home). The cost really depends on the amount of stuff you plan on transporting and the distance the driver will be traveling.
How do you figure out exactly how much your containers would cost? These are the questions to ask:
How Big Is My Place I’m Moving Out From?
When you have a bigger home, you generally need to rent more containers, which of course elevates the price.
In addition, you have to be able to park these containers somewhere without violating local ordinances; with multiple large containers, you might have trouble—especially in a city where parking can be challenging. Sometimes, more containers also require more drivers or trucks. This all matters when gathering estimates.
Where Am I Moving To and From?
As you might imagine, the cost also depends on which company you choose, based on which container is better for your stuff and if they’re available in your area.
For example, PODS typically charges a little more than $600 for a local move and more than $3,000 for a long-distance move. On the other hand, Door to Door charges about $1,700 for local moves and more than $2,300 for a longer move. (UPDATE: Door to Door has been purchased by U-Haul and absorbed into their U-Box service.)
Moving101 Container Price Comparison
Clearly, all the prices are more than you would spend on a rental truck that you would drive yourself. That makes sense if you think about it. Companies are baking in the costs of the professional driver, their moving trucks, maintenance and fuel. (The cost will also rise the longer you keep the container for storage, as well as the more stuff you have to pack.)
Generally, moving containers remain economical for many of those planning a move and looking for a little more convenience and storage. It will cost more than a full-fledged DIY Move that includes renting a moving truck, but it won’t break the bank in the way a Full-Service Move would cost.
When Would I Use a Moving Container?
Moving containers are a good fit for people who want to conveniently load and unload their stuff in a specific location, on their own schedules. (There’s also no question it’s a better fit for those going a shorter distance and moving less stuff.) But there are plenty of times a portable storage is your best option.
Let’s say you can’t get the key to your place until the 25th of the month, but your lease ends on the 14th. What do you do? You call a moving container company.
How Does Booking a Moving Container Work?
Then typically, you go online or get on the phone, pick out a container, then schedule a date to drop it off wherever your stuff is. A sales representative will help you schedule based on how long you plan to keep the container for loading. You might ask about keeping it longer for storage purposes, in which case you can keep it on the grounds of the old place, or have it transported to the new place if you can get permission from owners or those moving out. Or you could even keep the container in one of the company’s storage facilities if they offer one.
You might need the container a few days to load it up. This is one of the differentiating factors between moving containers and trucks (and sales reps love to point this out). After all, rental trucks usually lock you into a schedule with little to no wiggle room.
But there’s a catch with that flexible schedule. Sure, you can keep the container for long periods of time. However, if you keep containers longer than one month, you will pay much more than the original estimate because moving container companies generally charge by the month.
That means you have one month to load your stuff, schedule a pickup and delivery at the next destination, unload, and finally plan for the final container pick up.
About that pickup: usually, the container company sends out a driver to load up your container onto a big truck and drive it to where it needs to go. Another reason people might find containers appealing is the fact they don’t have to drive a van or big rig themselves. You leave the driving to professionals. Anyone hesitant to maneuver one of those big trucks on a highway or a long distance could see this as a major selling point.
Can My Movers Help Me with Moving Containers Too?
Yes! Professionals can load and unload containers just as they would a rental truck. You just have to ask!
Moving containers can be a smart choice for people who are looking to make a Full-Service Move at a fraction of the cost, or especially to pull off a Hybrid Move. It’s also a great option for those who need storage. Getting professional help moving can make the move actually not stressful. If you want to save your back and your relationships (by not having to ask family and friends for help), then they’re worth consideration.
Where Should I Start?
The first step is learning about the different companies and types of containers they have. Check out Moving101 for all the info you’d ever possibly need. Since every moving container company’s reviews and prices are gathered there in one spot, you can easily find your best option for you, based on your budget, availability and type of container.
The last step is to decide if you’re going to hire professionals to help you complete tasks like loading and unloading the container. Remember, don’t feel boxed in. You have the power to choose how long they work for and what items they move for you.
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With a little planning, moving containers fit nicely into any Full-Service Moving hack or Hybrid Move. You can keep your stuff somewhere while you’re moving, or have someone drive your stuff to wherever you need it. If you’re moving, you’d be a little silly to not compare prices and see if a container could save you a lot of money, or if using one would just be way more convenient.
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