To hire movers or not to hire movers, that is the pressing question for individuals and families making a move, large or small. Especially for those that live in the Big Apple, where streets are busy, space is limited, and services are expensive, moves can be especially complicated. On one hand, hiring movers takes a great deal of the planning and heavy lifting off your hands. Literally. On the other hand, completing the move on your own can save some money and allow for added flexibility with your moving schedule.

To make the most informed choice when planning your NYC move, start by considering the following:

Determine Your Budget

One of the most important factors in determining whether or not you should hire professional movers to assist with your move is your budget. Depending on the company you hire, professional moving services can make somewhat of a dent in your wallet. Additional services such as packing your items for you, wrapping your valuables, and unpacking your belongings in your new home will add to the overall cost.

Determining a budget ahead of your move, whether local or cross-country, is an important step in the planning process. If you find a reputable professional moving company that is within your means, you will absolutely benefit from the added help. If, however, you’ve crunched the numbers and find that movers would pose too much of a financial strain, you may choose to take a more DIY approach to the move.

Inventory Your Belongings

When deciding whether or not to hire professional movers, consider how many items you will actually need to pack.  If you’re moving from a large home or apartment, hiring professional movers may be the better choice to avoid an overwhelming moving process. Those moving from the typical small New York apartment who haven’t accumulated a great deal of belongings may find that a DIY move is achievable with proper planning, organization, and assistance from friends and family.

Conducting an inventory of all of your belongings before your move will help you determine the amount of moving supplies and size of moving vehicle required if you decide to forgo professional help.

How Far Are You Moving?

The distance of your move will also have an impact on whether or not it makes sense to hire professional movers for your relocation. If you are moving to a new apartment within the same borough, you may find it easier and more cost-effective to complete the move on your own. For long distance moves, such as those taking place cross country, you will likely appreciate the support and help of professional movers who can handle all of the details of your relocation from start to finish. For a price, professional movers will pack your items, load your boxes and furniture into the moving truck, drive to your new home, and unpack your belongings at your final destination. It is important to always keep in mind that hiring professional movers, especially for long-distance moves, will incur additional costs.

How Difficult Is Your Move?

Moving is always complicated, however certain households have a collection of certain items that are particularly challenging to move. Individuals who have oversized pieces of furniture, delicate antiques, expensive breakables, as well as appliances that require disconnecting or dismantling might be inclined to hire professional movers to get the job done properly. Further, heavy furniture and bulky pieces can be dangerous to lift and transport by non-professionals. If you foresee a particularly difficult move based on your possessions, the job may be done best by the professionals. If your move is fairly straightforward and you don’t anticipate too many tricky obstacles, you may be able to handle the move on your own.

How Long Will the Moving Process Take?

When planning your move, you need to set a realistic timeline of when all the necessary tasks will be completed. A DIY move allows for added freedom and flexibility with your move, however this can lead to procrastination and tasks put off to very last minute. With professional movers, you must stick to a more controlled timeline. Determine how much time you want to spend on your move and how much time you have to realistically dedicate to the process. Remember, professional movers are experts in all things packing, loading, driving, and unloading, and can have your move handled quickly and efficiently.

Do You Have Helpers?

If you’re on the fence of whether or not to hire professional movers, consider first asking friends and family to help transport your items. With the right number of hands, you can safely move furniture, lift heavy boxes, pack, and unpack. If, however, you find yourself without help due to challenging schedules or last minute drop outs, the move may be best left to the professionals to ensure your safety and protection of your belongings.