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Moving Help: Your Complete Guide

When moving, everyone needs a little moving help. Relocating comes with lots of decisions, including how to get your belongings from point A to point B. With various types of moving help available, it can be difficult to figure out what option is best for your move. That’s why we’ve broken down the top four choices for you.

1. Moving Help: Renting a Moving Truck

If you want to take on a DIY move, renting a moving truck is a great option for a moving service. Once you sort out the logistics of your move, reserving a moving truck is a fairly seamless process.

Choosing the right rental truck 

You’ll want to reserve a moving truck that fits with the exact needs of your move. For starters, are you moving locally or long distance? Certain moving truck companies will only rent out trucks for local moves, while other companies offer national truck rentals. While some companies start charging when you exceed a set mileage, others offer free, unlimited miles.

Along with the distance of your move, other factors that go into pricing include truck size, your pick-up and drop-off date and whether or not you plan on towing a vehicle. Use a moving truck estimation calculator to figure out what size truck you need.

Loading your moving truck

Loading your truck may seem intuitive, but there is a recommended method for packing a moving truck. When loading heavy items, you should pack them in an “I-formation” to ensure a safer and faster move. Starting in the front of the box truck by the cab, load your heavy items, like your washing machine and refrigerator. If you are transporting these items yourself, you may want some moving help from a moving labor service (unless you happen to have a team of very strong people on hand).

Next, pack your heaviest pieces of furniture in the middle of the truck. Slightly lighter items, such as couches or mattresses, can go to either side of the heavy furniture. Any other big boxes can then be placed in the back of the truck to complete the “I formation.” If you need help finding boxes for your move, there are several places you can find free moving boxes.

Smaller bags and boxes should be loaded last, behind and around your heavy items. As for your valuables, it’s best to keep them with you in the cab of the truck. Speaking of valuables, we’ve also got you covered if you need help packing your jewelry. Anything else you might need to access during your trip should also be placed in the truck’s cab.

Driving a moving truck

Knowing how to maneuver a moving truck is crucial. Since the truck is obviously a lot larger than your typical vehicle, you’ll want to take extra caution. To ensure a safe journey, you should drive slower than you normally do. Leave more space between your truck and vehicles ahead, take turns slowly, and apply breaks sooner so the truck has enough time to come to a complete stop. And of course, be cautious when switching lanes.

When moving, don’t try to do the whole trip in one leg. Bring a friend or family member along and take turns driving. If your trip is particularly long, make sure to stop along the way. Driving a moving truck isn’t too difficult, but requires caution and a good deal of attention.

Insurance options

Even if you’re driving your moving truck carefully, accidents happen. Since regular car insurance doesn’t always cover moving truck rentals, you should look into the insurance options provided by DIY moving truck companies. From Personal Accident Insurance (PAI) to Cargo Insurance (CAI), you can choose from several moving truck insurance plans.

When renting a moving truck, it’s key that you know exactly what is and is not covered by insurance. Prior to purchasing a plan, read the details closely to make sure you’re getting the best coverage for your move.

2. Moving Help: Hiring Moving Labor

If you’re driving a moving truck or renting a moving container, you may still need help loading and unloading your belongings. You can enlist friends to do your heavy lifting, but sometimes it’s best to get professional moving help. Look into moving labor services for a speedy and safe move.


While it’s pretty easy to find free moving boxes, packing up your belongings correctly can be a challenge. If you’re short on time or are dealing with heavy items, it’s a good idea to hire moving help. Professionals have the experience of packing items quickly and correctly and will help simplify your moving process. From wrapping furniture to packing standard boxes, professional packing help will keep your belongings secure and protected during your move.


Even if you pack your boxes yourself, you might want to hire moving labor to load your truck or moving container. Hired moving labor services can load even the heaviest items onto your truck. If you need to transport heavy furniture or appliances, you should look into hiring moving help. Hiring moving labor will ensure that your belongings are loaded efficiently and quickly. Professionals also know how to load your items in a secure, organized fashion. If you’re in a time crunch, unable to lift heavy boxes, or are simply too overwhelmed, hiring professional moving labor will ease your move.


If you need help loading your belongings into a truck or moving container, you’re probably going to need help unloading as well. Moving labor services will not only unload your items but bring them into your new place and take them to their designated rooms. Some moving labor services will even help you assemble furniture and unpack boxes.


When you hire moving helpers from a reputable company, they should be licensed and insured. Should anything happen to your belongings during your move, moving labor insurance ensures that you will be compensated for any damage or loss. Be sure to about insurance policies when looking for a moving service. If you end up needing to file a moving insurance claim, we recommend preparing to do so prior to your move (just in case).


Moving labor services charge by the hour. For two movers, you should typically expect to pay around $80 per hour, with each mover earning $40 per hour. Still, different factors go into the exact cost of labor. For instance, moving labor services may charge extra for particularly challenging items. If you’re moving a grand piano or bulky exercise equipment, be prepared to spend a little extra.

Do moving labor services sound like a good choice for your move? Book with SML and get 10% off.

3. Moving Help: Hiring a Moving Company

If you’re looking for a more full service moving experience, hiring a full service moving company is a great option for you. Along with transporting your belongings, many moving companies offer several additional moving services. Knowing what tasks you need help with (and what your options are) will help you choose a moving company that fits your needs.

Packing and unpacking

Like moving labor services, full-service movers will also help you pack and unpack your belongings. While some people choose to do the packing and unpacking themselves, many moving companies offer a variety of packing/unpacking services. Whether you want a full packing service or only need help with the fragile items, moving companies will tailor their services to your needs. If you don’t want to provide your own, many moving companies offer packing supplies such as boxes, padding, and moving blankets.

Loading and unloading

Whether you choose to pack your items yourself or pay for packing services, moving companies will load and unload your belongings. Since loading and unloading are arguably some of the hardest parts of a move, professional help will make a big difference.

When you leave it up to the experts, your belongings will be properly loaded to maximize space in the moving truck and ensure the safety of your property. Moving companies will also unload your belongings for you, making the transition into your new place much easier.

Truck driving

Full-service moving companies also handle the transportation of your household goods. If you’re not comfortable driving a moving truck yourself, don’t worry! Professional drivers will transport your belongings to your new home quickly and efficiently. When looking for a moving company, make sure you check whether they service local or long-distance moves.

Long-term and short-term storage

Many moving companies offer moving and storage solutions. If you need some extra storage space during the moving process, ask about storage facilities when looking for a moving company. Storage facilities are a great solution if you are staying in temporary housing between leases or downsizing and need to set some of your items aside.

Auto transport 

If you’re moving long-distance, driving your car to your new home can be a hassle. Luckily, some moving companies offer car shipping services. Depending on your budget and the distance of your move, you can choose between uncovered and enclosed shipping. While door-to-door shipping services are more convenient, you also have the option of terminal-to-terminal shipping.

Use a quote calculator to see how much it will cost you to ship your car from one location to another. Before shipping your car, make sure you empty it out, gather the required documents, and photograph your car. Taking pictures of your car beforehand will come in handy in the off chance that your car sustains damage during the shipment.

Furniture disassembly and assembly 

Hired moving help can facilitate so many aspects of your move — including furniture disassembly and assembly. If you’re moving extra-large furniture, it sometimes needs to be disassembled before loading it onto a truck or into a moving container. If you can’t deconstruct furniture on your own, many moving companies offer these services.


You should pay close attention to moving insurance before booking a moving company. Moving insurance is technically called valuation (which functions like insurance). In the chance that your belongings are damaged or lost during your move, having moving insurance will give you peace of mind during your move.


The cost of hiring a moving company depends on a variety of factors, such as the size of your home and the distance of your move. Different insurance plans and the transportation of specialty items will also contribute to the final cost of hiring a moving company.

For a better idea of how much it costs to move, take a look at the industry averages for local and long-distance moves. Still, the best way to determine the cost of hiring a moving company is to get a quote directly from the company.

4. Moving Help: Renting a Moving Container

Moving containers are a great alternative to traditional local and long-distance moving services. Whether you’re moving cross-country or across town, moving containers simplify the moving experience. If you’re looking to work at your own pace, a moving container may be the right moving service for you.


Moving container companies will deliver a container right to your house. These containers come in a variety of sizes, allowing you to choose the right size that meets your needs. While most moving containers are made of metal, some companies offer wood containers.

While you can load the container yourself, you can also hire moving labor to help you out. Whether you choose to do it yourself or hire help, moving container companies let you load the container at your leisure. Ample time to load helps reduce moving stress!


If you’ve loaded your moving container but aren’t quite ready to bring it to your new place, moving container companies can help you out. Some companies offer storage centers where you can securely leave your moving container. Companies with these storage services can come to your home and bring your moving container to a storage facility until you’re ready to move into your new home.

As an added benefit, some companies allow you to make an appointment if you need something from your container while it’s in storage.


When you’re ready, moving container companies will pick up your loaded container and deliver it to your new home. Drivers won’t touch the contents of your container, making your move incredibly secure. When looking for a moving container company, check to see whether they service local or long distance moves. U-Pack, PODS, 1-800-PACK-RAT, and U-Haul all service long distance moves across the country (as well as local moves).


Just like loading your container, you can unload it at your own pace. Whether you hire moving help or unload the container yourself, you don’t have to return the container right away. Check with a moving container company to determine the limits on keeping the container at your new place. While some companies let you keep the container for a week, others provide you with a 30-day loading and unloading period.


Moving container companies typically offer a few different protection options. Depending on the value of your belongings, your coverage level may vary. Read up on a moving container company’s coverage plans prior to booking their services.


Moving container companies tend to charge for a 30-day or monthly period of time. Factors that go into pricing include the size of the moving container, the duration that you rent it for, and the distance that it needs to be transported. Some moving container companies may require a deposit, so be sure to ask about this before booking your rental.

Choosing the right moving help depends on your moving timeline, budget, and the level of effort you want to put into your move. No matter what option you choose, make sure you do ample research before booking moving help or renting a truck or container. For an estimate on how much your move might cost, take a look at our moving cost calculator!

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