How to Pick Your Movers

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Picking up and hauling your whole home somewhere is a monumental feat of organizing from start to finish. Once you've chosen a new place to go, signed all the papers, and packed all your things, there's still the actual act of transporting your life in boxes somewhere else. That's where movers come in — genuinely some of the best money you can spend, if it's within your budget. However DIY you do the haul, you'll want to figure out the best way to shop for people to help.

Apartment Therapy has interviewed a number of moving experts to help out with this question. If you're hiring helpers, you'll want to know first thing whether you want hourly movers or flat-rate. Each one has its advantages, but you'll want to understand a few things about your process before you commit.

If you're only moving a short distance, including within a big, dense city, consider hourly rates for movers. You'll be able to see everything you're paying for, in effect, since you're only paying for time and materials actually used. Of course, because there's no way any move will go smoothly, you will probably underestimate how long a move takes. (These things happen.) Plan to be surprised, but not too surprised.

If you're moving a larger amount of stuff, or if you've got possessions and furniture you'd prefer be handled carefully, think about flat-rate movers. The pricing might be higher, but you can budget for the total cost with far fewer ambushes. Moving can be a headache or a nightmare, but if you give yourself the right structure, you'll get it done with plenty of support.