A reader recently asked if movers will move a small amount of stuff rather than an entire household. She described her move as tiny, with less than a bachelor's apartment worth. The short answer is, yes, many movers will consider adding your things to a larger shipment. However, there are some exceptions.
When Will a Mover Take a Small Amount?
Usually, if you're moving across the city or to another neighborhood local movers are less likely to move a small amount. Most moving companies expect that you'll move it yourself or find friends to help. Long distance moves are different with long distance movers more willing to add your things to a long haul that they're already doing. Long distance movers use large transport trucks to haul your household things, across the state or country, and in doing so, they usually include a few pick-ups along the way. One of those pick-ups could be yours if they have the room and you're willing to pay them enough, sometimes more per pound than if you were to move an entire house. The extra mover fees are for the inconvenience of picking up such a small amount.
The best advice I can give, is ask. Call a reputable mover and ask if they'd be willing to move your things and at what cost.
When Won't a Mover Take a Small Amount?
Like most businesses, movers are concerned about their bottom line.
The more moves they make the better. So you're less likely to find a mover willing to move your stuff if you're moving in the summer months during peak moving season. Most movers are booked months in advance with little or no extra room on their truck. If possible, postpone your move until the winter when you're more likely to find a mover willing to ship your things.
But if you can't find a mover and you have to move in the summer, keep reading to find out how to move your stuff yourself.
Move it Yourself
With a small amount to move, it's probably best to rent a moving truck or van and move your stuff yourself. If you're unable to rent a truck, there are other options, such as shipping stuff by train or bus or looking at options such as container moving. With container moving you may find you don't have enough stuff to fill one container, but it may be your best option in terms of convenience and ensuring that your things are moved easily to your new home.
Sometimes it Depends on What You're Moving
While the woman who contacted me with this moving question had a tiny apartment to move, often people are looking to move one piece of furniture or a large appliance or big screen TV or a something as big as a piano. If you're trying to move just one large item - or even several - it pays to hire a professional. Some items may require specialized services, in particular, appliances and pianos. Know before you call how big the item is and its value to ensure that the mover provides adequate insurance and expertise.