Move house on your own, or hire a removal company?

Moving means moving out of home A and moving into home B. Virtually at the same time. It’s a miracle that most people manage to make it work. And to make sure that miracle does work, here’s some information to help you decide if you should move on your own or hire a removal company.

Moving is no walk in the park; there’s no way round that, unless you’re a minimalist and own a maximum of 100 objects. However, the Swiss reality of living is that sooner or later, you’ll end up accumulating an unwieldy number of things, objects, knick-knacks and stuff.

Moving on your own: why not?

Some people about to embark on their first move might think that hiring a couple of cars to transport a couple of boxes can’t be that hard. Others tend to grossly underestimate the number of belongings they have. Or they might feel freer to make decisions when they move on their own. Others think that moving is a good opportunity to see their friends. But mainly moving independently costs less than hiring a removal company.

If you move on your own, there are many things you need to consider: you have to find some moving pals, but you shouldn’t make them work for free.

You have to hire a van. The price (up to CHF 200 per day) generally includes insurance, the rental period and a certain number of kilometres. If you’re able to borrow a vehicle from a friend, you should definitely clarify the insurance situation.

The larger the car, the fewer trips need to be made. But is anyone in the group actually capable of driving a large transport vehicle? What distances have to be covered and how many trips per day are possible?

In addition, you have to keep no-stopping zones in mind, and you may have to obtain a permit for a parking space in front of the building. Then there are the moving materials such as blankets and lashing straps, which have to be procured in advance. Even if you hope they won’t, things can always happen during a move. So it’s advisable to clarify any insurance issues.

Moving with a removal company

The biggest advantage of moving with a removal company is obvious: they are professionals. Movers tackle things differently than us normal folk, they’re well equipped and they don’t run out of steam. You don’t have to worry about the van or stacking your boxes safely. The move will be faster and less nerve-racking.

After the date has been agreed, the move will take place, with no ifs or buts. Good removal companies also have good insurance – which covers your belongings too.

Many removal companies also offer cleaning and service packages tailored to different needs.

Costs to be expected when moving

The cost of moving with a removal company is based on several factors. Of course, the further away your new home is, the higher the costs of travel time and petrol.

People often pay less attention to the loading and unloading addresses. Moving home furnishings from the fourth floor and over a narrow garden path will be more expensive than moving out of a ground floor apartment. In other words, the more steps the movers have to negotiate and the greater the distance from the parking spot to the door, the more expensive it will be.

If there is no lift, the removal company will work with its own furniture lift if necessary. And last but not least, of course, the most important thing is the volume of the inventory. The larger, more valuable, heavier and/or more fragile the items are, the more expensive the move will be.

Moving situations can be very different. This is why many removal companies will make an offer only when they have made an on-site visit. However, with some companies it is possible to provide the information they require online and receive an offer.

A removal study, created for the period between January 2018 and July 2019, calculated the average cost of moving a 1.5 room apartment at CHF 781, with an average of CHF 1,417 for a 3.5 room apartment, CHF 1,816 for a 4.5 room apartment and CHF 2,608 for a 6.5 room apartment. An hour of moving costs about CHF 200. But these are just averages. The numbers can vary significantly in each individual case.

Moving – definitely provide food!

If you have a small household but a large group of friends, you might opt for an easy move with your friends’ help. For an ultra-small apartment, it may not be worthwhile to bring a removal company on board. However, if you want to move a seven room villa, your only option is likely to be a removal company.

No matter what the case may be, you will need to provide food and drink. It goes without saying that good organisation and packing your belongings in labelled boxes is half the battle. Handing your pals or the movers your granny’s unpacked dinner service is definitely a no-no.