The long-distance moving process starts around six to eight weeks prior to moving day. The process includes planning, budgeting, setting a timeline, packing, hiring help, cleaning up, loading, unloading, organizing, and moving. 

Packing for a long-distance move can take about four weeks to complete. This includes preparing packing materials. Having incomplete materials on hand can further stretch how long to complete packing. 

To expedite and streamline the process, homeowners may opt to hire expert movers and packers. Read on to find out how packing services work, their pros and cons, and decide for yourself if it’s right for you. 

Full service moving company

Outsource your long-distance move with full-service movers. You may hire the experts for one or two services, or for the entire package. Their services may include the following:

  • Packing and unpacking- These time-consuming and overwhelming parts of moving can be outsourced to trained packers. They are experts at packing and unpacking loads of items including fragile valuables like artwork and a baby grand piano. 
  • Packing and moving materials supplier- It’s easy to underestimate the number of supplies needed which can lead to time and money wasted on trips to the store. Full-service mover and packers will supply all the supplies needed. These include bubble wrap, boxes, packing tape, furniture blankets, paper, and extra padding.
  • Furniture assembly and disassembly- When moving large and heavy furniture, you may need partial or full disassembly and reassembly upon reaching your destination. Full-service movers can take this stress off your to-do list.
  • Transporting- Like professional packing services, you may also get movers-only services when moving on a budget. They will drive your things to your location according to your specified delivery window. 
  • Loading and unloading- Getting the pros to help with the heavy lifting are even essential for the elderly, or those pregnant or with kids.
  • Cleanup and disposal- Hiring full-service movers will give you the above-mentioned services along with handling the mess in your old place and a new home after things are unboxed.

DIY Packing

If you’re on a tight budget and can’t afford to hire the pros, you may turn to self-packing. Also, if you have a schedule and lots of time before moving day, you can do the packing yourself. For others who need to pack their things a certain way and do not have any belongings that require special packing, you can give DIY packing ago. This also works well for those moving short distances.

When You Might Need Professional Packers

Professional packing services are most utilized by relocating companies. But there are other reasons that people hire professionals to do the packing for their long-distance move, such as:

  • Moving out of the state- First, you need to make the move yourself and get settled in–even more, challenging for families. You may need the pros to handle the packing and then ship them off to your new home.
  • Moving in a rush- When you don’t have the luxury of time to make your move, getting the experts in can rid you of the overwhelm of packing up your home. They are professionals at packing which can expedite the process in a safe and efficient way.
  • No time or energy for DIY packing- Your other commitments such as work and school won’t stop while you plan your move. Outsourcing the packing at least can get you off to a good start in long-distance moving.
  • Pregnant, elderly, or disabled- If you’d rather not handle the intense physical work of packing, bring the professional packers in to do it for you. 
  • Special packing required- When you have a piano, an artwork, or other valuable items that require specialist packing materials, this job is best left to professional packers. 

Pros and cons of Packing services

Professional packers are trained and experienced. They also finish the job fast–takes them hours or days which usually takes most people weeks to pack. They will do all the muscle work of packing in less time. Plus, they are always armed with all the materials you need to avoid frequent trips to the store.

However, professional packing services are an added cost on top of your long-distance moving budget. Keep in mind, that packing and unpacking services may cost separately. Also, if you’re cautious about your privacy, you may mind having other people see your things and pack them for you.

How much are packing services?

You may think that you’ll save money by packing your belongings yourself. But, it is not that easy. Professional packers have all the materials needed and they have the streamlined process to pack everything right and on time.

The national median average for professional packing services is $1,000. Packing can be time-consuming and tedious. Plus, those who are not confident about their packing skills may feel overwhelmed and might even end up damaging their belongings. Below are some ways to calculate the costs of packing:

  • Packing services by the hour- around $50 to $120 per hour (2 hours for 400sq.ft. home up to 12 hours for 1,250 sq. ft. and above the house)
  • Packing services by packer- Each pro packer may charge as much as $40 per hour, excluding materials. You will need two to three pros. Ask the company if they offer a discount for hiring additional packers.
  • Unpacking services- The convenience of hiring unpackers is what attracts most homeowners who use this service. Considering how the average American can take as much as six months to get the last box unpacked, getting the pros in can ensure unpacking and disposal of packing materials are done in 12 hours or less.
  • Additional services- Getting packers to load and unload your belongings may cost an additional $400 to $1,600. 
  • Per room or full home packing- You may only hire pro packers to help with one area of your home such as the kitchen or the basement. If you’re moving in a hurry, it may be best to take advantage of their full home packing services.

If you choose to work with professional packers, be sure to research packing and full-service moving companies carefully. Do your research and check for proper licensing, insurance, references, and reviews.

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