Moving is considered to be a leading source of stress, but on top of the psychological challenges involved in uprooting your whole life – whether you’re headed down the block or around the world – it’s also physically taxing. How, for example, do you move a piano? The simple answer is that you don’t; you hire a professional to do it.
In the course of any move, you’re likely to encounter at least a few items that, like a piano, will present a serious challenge, some of which you can tackle on your own, and some of which you should hire a professional to move. These 3 are among the most common, but every household has its own challenges, so don’t be afraid to ask for help.
The Big Stuff: Furniture And Appliances
Moving furniture is hard, but most people have volunteered to help a friend haul their couch into a new apartment, or helped load a dining room table into a truck. If you’re only going a short distance and planning a DIY move, then, you can probably tackle these yourself. No, where people really run into trouble is when moving large appliances like refrigerators or unusually heavy pieces of furniture like sofa beds, which weigh about 350 pounds, on average. Leave lifting these into the truck to the professionals and their gear, or you’ll risk serious injury.
Motion Machines: Your Car
If you live in the suburbs, especially if you have kids who are old enough to drive, you almost certainly have more than one car. That’s handy for short moves because you can pile them full of stuff and drive your car to the destination. When you’re moving cross-country, though, there’s a good chance your stuff is going in a professional moving van or pod and you’re getting on an airplane. What do you do with your car then?
As it turns out, there’s a whole class of professional movers that handle tasks like shipping cars across long distances. They’ll transport your vehicle door to door, you won’t put a few thousand miles on your engine, and you can turn that two-day drive into a plane ride; your car will meet you on the other end.
Furry Friends: Cats, Dogs, And Other Pets
Let’s be clear: pets are hard to move. You can break down some fish into smaller temporary enclosures and maybe put the lizard in the car if you’re careful, but dogs and cats, in particular, need space. They get anxious and car sick, even with medication. Some pets, especially cats, can be stowed under the seat on a plane; most dogs, however, are placed in the cargo hold. It’s enough to give any pet parent a meltdown, but it doesn’t have to.
Like cars, there’s a niche industry devoted to moving pets. Though it can be expensive, experienced pet movers have vehicles equipped for the task, can help you determine the best way to get your pet from point A to point B, and will even update you along the way. Many of these professionals also work part-time transporting shelter animals between states or working with breeders. You don’t need to drive eight hours with a cat screaming the whole way inside a cramped carrier, when someone else can give them room to stretch out and settle into the ride.
Companies like U-Haul have made it easy for people to move themselves or, at the very least, they’ve made it a common choice because moving is expensive. If you’ve got any wiggle room in your budget, though, it’s almost always better to hire a professional to manage your move. It will save you a lot of broken furniture, pulled muscles, and stress – because you’ve got enough on your plate.