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Moving Yourself vs Hiring Professional Movers

moving with kids DIY or use movers

Moving from your home is stressful enough without the added complication of moving to another country. How do you choose the right professional moving company for your household items? In this PropertyTalk post, we consider the key things to keep in mind and do to ensure your move is successful.

DIY Your Household Move

If you were moving a few blocks from your current residence, then managing the move of your household goods is doable. You can hire a van and get your family and friends to help you quickly move heavy and oversized items. You’ll save money but do your homework on the cost of van hire and gas, as it may not save you much more than using a moving company.

Plus, there is always a risk of injury when lifting, pushing, or pulling heavy things. If the access is restricted too, you risk getting seriously hurt if you go up and down steps and multiple stories with heavy items. A DIY move may cause physical damage that puts you out of action for other activities like work or recreation.

We all begrudge spending our hard-earned wage on moving, but when faced with the reality that our furniture and appliances may arrive at our new home damaged, paying for a professional and safe move makes sense.

Tips For Choosing A Professional Moving Company

Therefore, when choosing a professional moving company for a more complex relocation or an international move, there are a few key things to keep in mind and do to ensure that you select a reliable and reputable company that can handle the complexities of an international move.

1. Research different companies

Do online searches and read trusted reviews like Google Reviews to create a short list of professional movers.  Look for international moving companies with experience and a good reputation in the industry. Remember the adage: you’re only as good as your last deal. Therefore, the reviews must be from customers who have had recent experiences with their moving company.

As well as reading reviews, view comments on social media sites and movers’ ratings on sites like the Better Business Bureau.

2. Get multiple quotes

Contact multiple companies and get detailed quotes.  Don’t accept the cheapest quote without fully appreciating what you get for your money.  For example, the section should include:

  • packing
  • crating
  • shipping
  • customs clearance
  • insurance
  • unpacking

Verify credentials

Ensure the company is licensed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and is a member of the International Association of Movers (IAM).

Ask about insurance

Ensure the company offers adequate insurance for your belongings during transit and that you understand the terms and conditions. Consider getting your insurance cover that will last for a few weeks in your new premises and country while you are sorting out permanent contents insurance cover.

Ask about their experience with your destination country

Ensure the company has experience with your destination country and is familiar with the customs and regulations.

Schedule an in-home estimate.

It is essential to schedule an in-home estimate so the moving company can see the items you need to move and give you a more accurate quote.

Get a detailed inventor.

Before the move, make a detailed inventory of all items you plan to move and ask the company to provide a copy for your records. Take photos of each item to prove the condition before the move. Claiming damage will require proof of state before the action occurs.


Get everything in writing.

Ensure you have a written contract that includes all services and costs, the company’s contact information, and any guarantees or warranties they offer. The agreement will state the pick-up, expected delivery, and tracking details.

Take extra steps to care for your belongings.

Take more steps to protect your household and personal items during the move. Movers will use airtight plastic to move your mattress, box spring, and other sensitive belongings so they don’t get dirty during a move. You can supervise the wrapping or pre-wrap some items you believe are more protective.

Summing Up

For short moves, you may get away with doing it yourself with the help of family and friends and a hire van.  However, working with professional movers makes sense for trickier activities like long distance, interstate, or international.