As I’ve mentioned before, I hate moving. Absolutely HATE it. I think I would rather have my teeth ripped out one by one than move. OK, that’s probably an exaggeration, but only a little one.
When I was in college, I used to start packing up my dorm room by the middle of April. Moving stressed me out, and I tried to minimize that stress by starting early on the packing, which, to some degree, made me feel more in control of the situation. When I moved to Boston, I was able to do so piecemeal, since I still had an apartment in Providence for 2 months after my Boston lease started. This made the situation slightly less miserable, but it still wasn’t fun. Once I had moved everything to Boston, I vowed that I was never moving again until I was out of graduate school and could afford professional movers (I actually intentionally chose an apartment that was walking distance to Boston College, on a bus route to Boston University, and a short walk and then a bus ride to Harvard). The best laid plans….
When it became clear that I was going to move to Virginia, I almost instantly started freaking out about the move. I have a lot of stuff. I have heavy furniture. I hate moving. This was not going to be good. I also had no earthly idea how exactly I was going to get everything from Boston to Virginia (about 600 miles). Clearly, it was too far to make numerous trips as I'd done when I moved from Providence, and I had waaaaay too much stuff to cram into the family minivan as I'd done through college. So, I knew I was going to have to rent a moving truck. I also realized that there was no way in hell that my parents and I were going to be able to move all my furniture by ourselves without at least two hernias and probably a nervous breakdown or two or three. So, I was going to have to hire movers.
I really think that most moving companies are a huge racket. To hire a full-service moving company would have cost me upwards of $4500 (still assuming that I did my own packing), which is simply ridiculous, and goodness only knows when and if my stuff would have shown up in Charlottesville. Renting a Penske truck (with a AAA discount and my mother driving, since I’m under 25) and hiring movers to load in Boston and other movers to unload in Charlottesville, and including two stops in CT (one to pick up more stuff that I had in storage, and one to acquire a car from my grandparents) and one in DE (to sleep and pick up yet more stuff at my parents’ house), I was able to do the whole thing in about 18 hours and for around $2k. It was still expensive, but I was generally able to retain my sanity, nothing was broken, and nobody got a hernia. Therefore, I consider the expense well worth it, and I definitely recommend hiring professionals, unless you have a whole posse of able-bodied individuals around to move all your stuff.
Also, if you’re looking for movers in Boston, Intelligent Labor in Cambridge is amazing. Truly amazing. They were literally running between my apartment and the truck. 5 stars.