Moving is one of life’s most stressful events, even when you’re simply changing houses. If you want to minimize the stress, hire movers to help with some of your move-related tasks. Many movers offer a la carte options, so you can choose the services that fit your needs and budget. Here are some things to keep in mind when choosing a moving company.

Full service movers will pack up your items and unpack them at the new location. They can also disassemble and reassemble furniture as needed, including bulky items like sofas and bed frames. This can save you a lot of time and hassle, especially if your move is complicated by stairs or other obstacles.

If you’re using a self-service option, such as PODS or 1-800-PACK-RAT, the company will bring a portable storage container to your current home for you to load with boxes and other belongings. Once you’re finished, the company will pick up the container and transport it to your new address for you to unload into your new home.

Local movers typically charge by the hour. This includes loading and unloading your belongings into the truck, driving it to and from the destination, and cleaning up any mess made during the move. If you need specialty services, such as crating for valuable artwork or fragile fixtures, be sure to ask your mover about their fees.

Long-distance movers charge differently, based on the shipment’s weight and exact distance between locations. This makes it a good idea to interview at least three different companies before making your choice. Be sure to ask about extras, such as packing materials and storage units.

Professional movers are licensed, insured, and experienced in handling residential and commercial moves. They know the best methods for packing and transporting your belongings, and they will take special care of delicate items. They can also handle specialized services, such as crating and installation of appliances or chandeliers.

If you’re moving to a new city, professional movers will have experience dealing with the unique challenges of that area. From traffic to one-way streets, they will know how to navigate the unfamiliar environment better than someone who just moved there.

Moving can be a stressful event, and your family members may not be able to assist on the day of your move. Consider asking a friend or relative to watch the kids and pets while your movers are working so they can focus on getting everything safely into the truck. This will allow the movers to finish quickly and help you settle into your new home without distractions. Also, be sure to label all boxes clearly and write the contents on them, as this will help your movers get your belongings into the correct rooms at the new house. You can find more helpful tips in this article about preparing for your move.