Zixno.com,Not every move is a big move. For instance, those moving into college dorm rooms or just down the street may not need the help of full-service movers.
If you’re only moving a small load of belongings, you may be able to get away with using your own car or a shipment service to transport items. For expert advice on how to handle a small move, check out our tips below.
What are a few examples of a small move?
College dorm room move
While leaving home for the first time can certainly be overwhelming, the amount of belongings in tow should not be.
In fact, a college dorm room move is the perfect example of a small move. Most college dorm rooms come furnished with a bed, desk, bookshelf and kitchen appliances, which means you won’t have to worry about packing and shipping large furniture items. Instead, you’ll only need to bring smaller items such as bedding, school supplies, toiletries and clothes. Here’s a list of what to bring with you to college.
Studio or one-bedroom apartment move
If you’re moving to a studio or one-bedroom apartment, then your move is typically considered a small one.
This is especially true if you plan to purchase furniture and have it delivered after moving in. Moving to a small apartment means only having to move a small truck’s worth of boxes and furniture. This can usually be accomplished by simply renting a truck or cargo van.
Local move that doesn’t involve moving to a new neighborhood
Moving down the street? Even if you plan to bring a household’s worth of belongings, you may consider the move to be “small” because of the ease and convenience of moving nearby. This is especially true when moving within the same Neighbor hood. A word to the wise: these small, local moves often end up taking longer to complete.
The reason? Home owners tend to move belongings in separate stages over a long period of time, dragging out the length of the move. The most efficient way to accomplish a small, local move is to knock it all out at once.
Moving only Speciality items
Small moves often involve removing one or two large items from the home. Examples of items that are typically shipped separately from the others includes a piano, a pool table, an appliance, valuable artwork and a bathtub just to name a few.
Often times, these items can only be moved by a moving company that specializes in packing and moving the the item. For instance, there are a number of moving companies in the U.S. dedicated to moving pianos (and only pianos). If you decide to move a speciality item yourself, be sure to read and follow instructions carefully.
5 ways to handle a small move
Hiring a moving company that specializes in small moves
The easiest (albeit most expensive) way to handle a small move is by hiring professional movers to do the heavy lifting for you. Local moves, studio and small apartment moves, and specialty moves all happen more efficiently when a professional moving company is involved. If hiring a full-service moving company seems unnecessary for your small move, but you still wish to hire help, try enlisting labor-only movers to help with the lifting. For assistance moving only one or two large items, hire a specialty moving company that is solely dedicated to moving your specific item (i.e. piano movers, appliance movers, etc). You may also be able to find movers that specialize in small moves only.
Renting a moving container
Renting a small moving container is one of the best ways to handle a small move. If you’re moving belongings to a small apartment, the typical size moving container should be large enough to fit all items. These moving containers can also be especially helpful for anyone moving to an urban environment where space is tight and storage is needed. Since moving containers double as storage units, they can be used for months to store belongings when downsizing to a smaller home. For help finding a moving container that fits your needs and budget, check here.
Moving yourself using a car
Often times, a college dorm room move means only having to move a carload (or two) of belongings. If a small move can be accomplished by simply loading items into your car, then we recommend trying this method first.Not only is this the cheapest way to move but it also gives you the most flexibility with your moving timeline. When using your own car to move, you have absolute control over the moving process from beginning to end and can move on your own schedule.
Moving yourself with a small rental truck, cargo van or trailer
Small moves can usually be accomplished using a small truck rental, cargo van or trailer attachment. Small truck rentals can typically handle a one to two-bedroom move. Trailer rentals and cargo vans are ideal for studio and college dorm room moves, which typically don’t involve large furniture items. When renting a truck, van or trailer, it’s usually possible to also rent moving equipment (think: a dolly or moving straps) as well. So if moving equipment rentals are something you need, then renting a moving truck could knock out two birds with one stone. For more information and discounts on various rental truck companies, such as Penske, U-Pack and Budget, check out Moving.com’s truck rental center.
Shipping items individually
Moving long distance? Often times, the best way to handle a small move is by simply shipping your furniture and boxes to the new home. If you decide to ship a small load, there are several ways to do this. For larger items, it’s a good idea to consider shipping partners on uShip.com. The website makes it easy to find a service provider who can handle the shipment of specialty items for you. For boxes and other miscellaneous items, consider shipping your items via USPS, UPS or FedEx. Keep in mind these mail services often have certain rules and restrictions on the size and weight of items that can be shipped.
What to consider when moving a small load
Before choosing a method of moving your items, there are several important considerations to make. These include:
The condition of your belongings
Do you plan to move fragile wine glasses, mirrors or TVs? Will your belongings need a little TLC when being moved? If so, throwing items in the back of your car probably isn’t going to cut it.
Instead, consider hiring professionals to help with the packing and loading process. If you decide to move yourself, rent a truck with proper tie-downs to prevent items from shifting while in-transit.
Your moving timeline
Do you have all the time in the world to move? Even a small move can take weeks if not months to complete. If you have ample time to complete your move and prefer to do it in incremental stages, then using your own car or a rental van makes perfect sense.
If, however, you need the move completed in one day or weekend, it might make more sense to hire professionals to get it done.
The distance of the move
How far away are you moving? When moving long distance, it makes sense to either ship items to the new home or to hire professional movers to drive belongings to your destination. If moving close by, you may be able to move yourself in a car or with a truck rental.
Your storage needs
Need a place to store items before, during or after the move? Renting a small moving container is probably your best bet for a successful move. These containers double as storage units, so you won’t have to stress about finding a self-storage facility upon moving to the new home.
Your time and energy
Do you have the time and energy to handle a small move without the help of professionals? If you’re capable of handling the heavy lifting by yourself, then a DIY move using a truck rental or your personal car isn’t a bad idea. If, on the other hand, you don’t have the time or energy to handle the move, then hiring professionals might be the right choice.
Ultimately, how you move will largely depend on what you can afford. Those on a strict budget should consider using their own car or renting a moving truck for the day. Those with a more flexible budget may want to consider hiring professional or renting a moving container.