Is It Worth It To Hire Movers?

Yes. The answer is yes.

Photo via Flickr

Here’s a good question from a dear friend and reader about a subject that many people grapple with: Is it ever worth it to hire movers?

He writes:

I’m moving in with my partner at the end of this month and as we look at all the costs associated with this task, I have one very important question: should we hire movers or not? We don’t have that much stuff: just an ottoman; a TV and TV stand; a bed; a dining room table; 40 boxes; 20 plastic bags full of stuff; three very light and easy armchairs. It sounds like a lot, but really, it isn’t; I know that we could do all of it ourselves.

A moving company gave me a flat fee of $966.75 before a $100 tip, bringing that to $1,066. There’s another place that will charge me $60 per hour for two movers; they’re not liable for anything, but I estimate that they’ll cost about $600. Or we could just rent a Sprinter van for $129 for an entire day and schlep all that stuff up and down four flights of stairs on either end of the journey. The difference between the most expensive and the least expensive option is a lot. Is our discomfort worth $900?

There are many things in life that probably aren’t worth the money — fancy shampoo, gadgets that promise to change your life in some imperceptible way, strawberries when they’re out of season. And, like paying the $2 for the guacamole at Chipotle, there are some things that are. One of these things is movers. Please, hire movers. Hire the movers.

You don’t have to spend $1,100 to hire the fancy movers, though I understand they come with insurance and things of that nature. The reassurance that comes from the insurance provided with the most expensive option is nice, I will give you that. And yes, it is very alluring to throw $129 at the problem and just do it yourself, especially given the difference between the highest and the lowest option. I understand that moving is expensive to begin with and throwing the extra cost of movers in at the end when you’ve already given a realtor every penny you’ve saved feels like an unnecessary punch to the gut. But hire the movers. It’s worth it. It’s one day.

One of the beautiful and horrible things about money is that if you have enough of it, you can throw it at whatever ails you and buy yourself something infinitely more valuable — time. Movers are professionals. They do this precise task for a living. They will know how to place the boxes around the bags but not too close to the bed frame to make sure that nothing scratches. They will take all of your things out of your house in the amount of time it might take you to figure out your placement strategy in the back of the truck. They will plop everything in your new home, accept the wad of bills you press into their hands and leave. The entire process will take maybe three hours — four hours, depending on traffic and weather and general mood of the group. Like visiting Ikea with the intention of buying a duvet cover and leaving with outdoor furniture, tupperware and a floor lamp instead, moving causes fights, undue stress, anxiety. Consider blessing your new home with vibes of contentedness and thoughts of drapes and furniture placement, instead.

Paying three men to put all of your things in the back of a van and drive it from one neighborhood to the other is a luxury, but I strongly believe that it’s a necessary one. Money certainly doesn’t grow on trees, but if you have a job that is steady, barring any great disaster, it generally comes back. Throwing $1,066 at a problem feels fanciful and rich and careless, especially if it is a problem you could solve yourself, but please, do it. It will be painless. You will be surrounded by all of your things in your new home, ready to unpack and settle and order a pizza. Congratulations, you moved.

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