Are you sick of hearing me complain about how HARD moving is? Seriously, Freebs, I feel like I'm about to die. And, spoiler alert, since misery loves company, I probably won't quit complaining any time soon. But there's hope! Amidst the misery there is light at the end of the tunnel by way of tips, tricks, and lessons learned along the way to hopefully make your experience as good as it can possibly be. (And don't worry, I'm sharing tons of #ThePageProject before and afters on Instagram and Facebook so follow over there to see the progress – aka MESS – we are making!)
When I asked y'all for moving advice one of the most common pieces of advice was…HIRE MOVERS! This came as a shock to me because it's so darn expensive (or so I thought), I was sure most people would think it a luxury rather than necessity. Boy, was I wrong! We had used them before and only had a so-so experience. But thanks to my Freebs' advice (plus the fact that I'm 33 weeks pregnant…) we hired movers and decided…
…it was worth EVERY PENNY!
My friends at HireAHelper.com asked me to try movers from their database and give an honest review, so I accepted the challenge! Now I'm sharing it with you as well as my best tips first on
- HOW to afford hiring movers,
- WHY it's worth the money, and
- how to do it the RIGHT WAY and not get scammed or get all your stuff broken in the process.
Let's get on with it, shall we??
Why you Should Hire Movers, How to Afford Them, and How to Do it Right!
When Bubba and I moved from our first home 4.5 years ago we decided to hire movers because we had a newborn. It was a huge stretch for us financially, but we did it anyway. I did what I knew how – did a quick google search, called around and found the best price, and booked two guys to help us for a few hours.
Over-all the experience was…ok. Yes, we got help moving our stuff! And that was great. But they were late, I'm pretty sure one showed up high, the other was about half my size and 3x as lazy, and I recall being annoyed that there was a lot of standing around, figuring out what to do next. It put a mildly bitter taste in my mouth and we decided that next time we moved we would just enlist the help of family and friends (to the point of being blacklisted) and save the money.
Flash forward to now…moving from a much bigger house with way more stuff, über pregnant and not much help, 4 little kids running around. We decided to follow the advice from the bazillions of you who commented on my cry for help and hire out again.
Around that same time the Heavens parted and a website, HireAHelper.com, reached out and asked if I would try their site.
At first glance I assumed it was a site to help you find the best deal on movers, which I was not interested in, because we learned that simply shopping for the cheapest price results in a lot of wasted time and broken furniture. I looked into it further and realized their site takes on more of the role of a general contractor, of sorts. They partner up with moving companies that they've qualified and know are good workers, you hire the movers (of your choice) through HireAHelper, then HireAHelper becomes your “general contractor” and manages them and is the one you go to with any problems or mishaps. If they are late, don't show up, break your stuff, show up high, whatever, HireAHelper has got your back!
I wrote about how their website works in detail below. But basically I scanned their site, compared prices (because I'm no fool, after all), looked into the ones that I liked and found the best fit, booked them, secured a truck (trucks are separate), and BAM. Done.
Now, in general here are some tips and things to consider when hiring movers:
1) It's worth the money…but it's definitely an investment.
I was completely jaded.
I thought “we don't have that much stuff, and we've already taken a few loads over in our truck – I'm sure it'll only be a few hours at most”. BOY was I wrong. 8 hours later we were scrambling to finish in time. EIGHT HOURS!!! We moved within the same city, so it was a very short move. Sure, it would've only taken a few hours to load things up…but I didn't factor in the time to drive to the new house and unload everything into it as well. Just know going into it that hiring movers isn't “cheap” and you should have the mindset that it's an investment; a want, not a need, and if you want it (which, I mean, who doesn't…) you'll just need to go into it with the right mindset and cut dollars from other budgets to make it fit!
Which leads us to my next point…
2) Work it into the budget!
Hiring movers to help you move all day can easily approach $1,000+, depending on how many guys you hire and how big of a truck you need. Here are some things you need to keep in mind when budgeting for movers:
- Assume it's going to take all day and calculate accordingly. Then, if it goes faster than expected you'll be pleasantly surprised and not blind sighted!
- Ask if there are taxes, fees, mileage, or overages involved in their pricing, and factor that in to the budget as well (and try to avoid additional fees at all cost, of course).
- Cut out spending or make extra money to pay for it! If you did a spending freeze just before moving (which should be easy because really, who wants to go grocery shopping right before moving day??) you could save several hundred dollars to put toward hiring movers! We decided to sell as much stuff through the classifieds as possible, and held a big yard sale which brought in a few hundred dollars. See “how to become a yard sale ninja” for my best tips and tricks!
3) Save money WITHOUT sacrificing quality.
Because I'm Jordan, and it's in my blood to stretch every dollar, I will say that there are definitely ways to hire quality help and stretch a buck at the same time. Here are a few quick tips:
- Enlist help from friends and family. Just because you are hiring a company doesn't mean you can't bring reinforcements! After all, “many hands make light work”. The more, the merrier! Have the movers focus on the furniture and extra heavy stuff, and put fam/friends to work on boxes and smaller things. No shame in recruiting backup!
- Work alongside the movers. Don't plan on it being a day off! You should be sweating and working right next to them. Again, many hands make light work and every set of hands makes a difference!
- Quality control!! Working alongside the movers not only cuts down on hiring time, but also allows you to keep a close eye on what's going on to make sure they aren't dinging your walls or breaking things in the process.
- Prepare as much of your furniture as you can BEFORE they come! As I explain in my moving hacks video, you can buy some packing saran wrap online and wrap furniture, take out dresser drawers and wrap them, wrap paintings and art, etc. The less they have to do on the day of the move, the faster it will go. Our philosophy was “we are hiring them to HAUL our stuff, not PREPARE our stuff” which helped cut down on time (believe it or not).
- Rent your own truck. Many moving companies don't even have their own truck; they rent it as-needed from Uhaul or the like…and they are up-charging it! You find the best deal on a truck and secure that yourself, then just hire the labor from a company. Chances are you'll save a pretty penny that way.
4) DON'T HIRE BASED ON PRICE ALONE!
I can't stress this enough. Based on personal experience and horror stories from people I know, just trust me on this one. Just because someone is the best “deal”, doesn't mean they are licensed, insured, or even legit. Sometimes it's a guy with a google number and he'll bring along whatever buddies need to earn money that day. Who knows if they are trustworthy, safe, or hard workers! Stop the insanity!
One thing I like about HireAHelper is that they are open about the fact that you can find cheaper prices elsewhere. Their specialty is making sure it's quality service and a good experience for you. So something to consider is “if I'm going to pay for this, I want it to be done right” and you may need to pay even a little extra to do so.
The movers (helpers) you see on HireAHelper do loading and unloading jobs for a living. Many are professional labor-only moving companies (cheap movers without a truck) that specialize in load and unload services. Others are full-service moving companies willing to send their workers out on labor-only moving jobs.
So there are my best tips!
Hopefully they help you make your (exhausting, stressful, difficult, sleepless, inconvenient…) move much more enjoyable for you and your family!
Now, here's how HireAHelper works:
#1 – Compare Prices
Simple, and upfront pricing. With straightforward hourly rates, it takes the guesswork out of comparison shopping.
See availability. The “helpers” themselves manage their availability on HireAHelper, so you know exactly when someone may, or may not be available for your job.
Customer reviews. Every single customer has the opportunity to leave an honest, and unbiased review. You will see EXACTLY what other people are loving most on HireAHelper, which may help you make your “helper” decision!
Business details and credentials. Equipment lists and business credentials are clearly listed for every helper; you know exactly what they will have, no questions asked!
#2 – Book Your Moving Labor
Select the helper you want on HireAHelper, and select your preferred start time. You get to pick!!
Reserve with a credit card. It's fast and secure. Your card won't be charged until the day before your move. No sneaky hidden charges, it's all very upfront, and I LOVE that.
They'll call you to confirm. Your helper will give you a call to confirm the details. You can ask any questions you may have, and get a good feel for how the move will operate — I'm a planner, so this is super appealing to me!
Straightforward cancellation policy. Cancel up until 24 hours before your job start time with no fee. And, though I am a planner, I have been known to change my mind on things, too! Being able to cancel, and reschedule within 24 hours? That is AMAZING!
#3 – Enjoy a Stress-Free Move
Your payment is held in escrow by HireAHelper. When the job is complete, we'll send payment to your helper – this means it's in their best interest to show up, on time and ready to get the job done!
#4 – Leave a Review
Honest customer reviews are what make HireAHelper awesome. Reviews are what can help make, or break your opinion, right? RIGHT! The reviews on HireAHelper offer peace of mind, and reassurance that others have had a good experience with your selected “helper”, and that chances are, so will YOU!
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Whew! Lots of info but hopefully it saves you money, time, stress, and that oh-so-precious back of yours 🙂 But I have to say, I'm curious…
…Do you agree that movers are worth the money? What are your best tips? Share with us below!
Happy Moving Day!