Just like other home service companies, there are different types of movers and moving services available to tailor to your individual need and how much work you’re willing to put in! It’s easiest to start just thinking about what you actually want done for you.
STEP 1: Which of these things do you need help with?
- Provide a truck, load it, drive it, and unload it
- Load and/or unload a rented truck or portable storage container (pod)
- Pack stuff into boxes and crates
- Move items on-site (not moving to a new address)
Full Service Moving Companies:
If you answered “Yes” to #1, be confused no longer — you want a Full Service Moving Company. Depending on the move distance and the US state(s) involved in the move, there may be licensing requirements for a mover transporting household goods with their own truck (a “household goods carrier”).
If moving across state lines (interstate move), your full service mover must have an active USDOT license to move household goods between states. This government oversight in theory protects you, your belongings, and others on the road by making sure the mover meets minimum safety and quality standards.
If moving within the borders (intrastate) of any non-regulated state (Alaska, Arizona, DC, Delaware, Idaho, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, Mississippi, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Wisconsin), your full-service moving company does not need a license.
If moving from, to, or within a regulated state (all other states not listed above), your moving company must be licensed to move household goods by your state’s regulatory agency.
If you answered “No” to #1, you might be able to get away with hiring simple Moving Labor. These companies can help you pack your stuff, load/unload your rented truck or storage pod, move items around your house or to the garage, and they can even drive your rented vehicle without a special household goods license. These companies run the gamut from day laborers getting most of their business off Craigslist to well-established and well-rated companies that just happen to specialize in small moves.
Warning: Be careful when hiring Moving Labor. The lack of regulations also lessens their responsibility to perform a well-executed move with minimal damage and loss. Also, since many are not established businesses, they lack robust scheduling systems and may not be reliable or even show up when you need them the most — on moving day!
Portable Storage Container Movers
These companies (like PODS, UPack, and others) deliver a portable storage unit or pod to your home or pickup location. You then can load the container yourself on your own time or hire Moving Labor to do it for you. When you are ready, the Portable Storage Container Mover will pick up your container and move it to your new location, where again, you can unload it yourself or hire Moving Labor at your destination.
Some things to keep in mind regarding Portable Storage Container Movers:
Estimate your belongings: Make sure you have a large enough container for your move.
Where will you keep it? Make sure you have a legal place to park the container at origin and destination. For example, some tight urban areas or high rise buildings will not accommodate a container for more than a few hours.
If you don’t want to load or unload yourself, you may have to hire additional moving services. Moving is already a stressful time — you may not want to have to deal with additional companies to handle your actual move.
Specialized Moving Companies:
There are also movers that specialize. These are piano movers, safe movers (movers who have special equipment and skill in moving safes), art and antique movers, jacuzzi movers, pool table movers, and more. If you hire a Full Service Moving Company and own any of these items that also must be moved, make sure they are capable of handling them confidently. Otherwise, you may need a Specialized Moving Company to handle your special item.
Still confused? Hit us up at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll help you out.