a guide to understand the different types of moving services.

A Guide To Understanding The Different Types of Moving Services

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The moving service you choose can determine whether your move is a success or a disaster. 

That’s why it’s important to take the time to understand the different types of moving services available and how they fit your specific needs and budget.

In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into the different types of moving services, including full service, self-service, labor-only, portable container, and specialty moving. 

We’ll explore the benefits and limitations of each type of service and help you make an informed decision for your big moving day.


Full-service moving

The most comprehensive form of moving service that can be provided is known as “full-service moving.” 

This type of service will take care of everything for you, including loading, transporting, unloading, and unpacking your belongings once they have been moved. 

The biggest benefit of full-service moving include:

  • Not having to do anything. You won’t have to do any of the heavy lifting or packing yourself – everything will be taken care of by the moving company.
  • Time and energy-saving. You are free to focus on your work, your family, or other aspects of your life and move.
  • Money-saving. If an inexperienced person attempts to handle more delicate moving tasks on their own, they run the risk of making costly mistakes. For example, if you don’t pack your fragile items well, they might break while they’re being moved, which will cost you more money to fix or replace. This can be avoided by hiring professional movers to handle the packing and loading of your possessions.
  • Easy on your health. If you have any physical limitations (and even if you don’t), hiring someone else to do all the labor instead of you will greatly reduce your chances of hurting yourself. 

Full-service movers are trained professionals who know how to take care of your things and make sure they get to your new home in the same condition as when they left your old home.


Not as expensive as you’d think

One of the most common assumptions is that full-service moving is expensive, which is why most people don’t even consider it.

This doesn’t always have to be the case. In fact, full-service moving can sometimes come out as less expensive than other moving services.

This is especially true with a moving company such as NexMuv. We have an extremely streamlined approach to pricing which you can read more about here. (In short, you get on-the-spot pricing for your move without any hidden fees or additional charges.)

So there’s no reason not to take into consideration full-service moving, especially if you’re feeling overwhelmed with everything that has to be done before and on moving day.


Self-service moving

People who are willing to do some of the work themselves can save money on their move by opting for self-service moving rather than full-service moving. 

You are the one who is responsible for packing, loading, and unloading your belongings when you opt for this type of moving service. The moving company will provide the truck and the driver. 

People who are both physically capable of completing the work and interested in finding more affordable options are the ideal candidates for this kind of service.


Pros of self-service moving

  • More affordable option than full-service moving (though not always). This is one of the most significant advantages of self-service moving. You can reduce the overall cost of your move by saving money on labor by performing some of the tasks on your own. 
  • Having more control over your move. You can make sure that your belongings are packed correctly and handled with care, since you’ll be the one doing that.


Cons of self-service moving

From our experience, most customers actually get very surprised when they realize how difficult it is to do all of the packing and loading (and unloading) work by themselves.

Here are the most common disadvantages of self-service moving:

  • No insurance coverage. If you break something while you’re handling it, it’s your liability, not the moving company’s.
  • Packing and loading are way more complicated than they may seem. Everything needs to be done just right so that items don’t get broken as they bounce in the back of the truck during the drive.
  • Moving equipment is incredibly difficult to find and expensive. You might need 2-wheelers, 4-wheelers, floor protection, appliance dollies, furniture blankets, and more. If you don’t have a reliable (and inexpensive) source of this equipment, moving will be exceptionally challenging.
  • Wait time charges by the driver. If your home isn’t completely packed when the driver arrives or if you’re unable to quickly load or unload, you risk driving up the cost of the move by having the driver wait longer than necessary.
  • Typically doesn’t come with GPS tracking of your belongings during the move.

With all of that in mind, perhaps it’s smarter to go for a full-service moving option with a company that has a completely transparent and simplified pricing system, such as NexMuv.


Labor-only moving

The labor-only moving option is a combination of the full-service and self-service moving options. 

If you go with this type of service, the movers will take care of loading and unloading your belongings, but it will be up to you to pack everything up and find your own mode of transportation. 

People who have already rented a moving truck or trailer but still require assistance with the heavy lifting are the ideal candidates for this type of service.


Pros of labor-only moving

  • Potentially cost-saving. If you take care of your own transportation, you can save a lot on the total cost of your move. 
  • Having more control over your move. Just like with self-service moving, you are able to handle the packing and loading of your belongings when you move using labor-only services because you are given the option to do so. This can give you peace of mind that your things will be taken care of in the right way.


Cons of labor-only moving

  • No insurance coverage. The same issue as with self-service moving applies here, too. Labor-only moving rarely comes with insurance, meaning you are liable if any of your items get damaged.
  • Difficult to find labor with clean background checks. Remember, these people will be handling your personal belongings and will be in close contact with your family – you want them to be thoroughly vetted.
  • Cost of fuel. With the gasoline prices skyrocketing in the past year, you might need to adjust the budget of your move to accommodate for fueling the moving truck.
  • Cost per mile of driving a truck.
  • Equipment availability and cost. Just like with self-service moving, you will still need to find suitable (and affordable) equipment to make the entire moving process faster and easier for everyone involved.

The current state of the rental trucks industry is that the supply and demand drive the cost of truck rentals way too high.

For that money, you are probably better off just opting for full-service moving instead.


Portable container moving 

Portable container moving is a newer type of moving service that has seen an increase in popularity in recent years. 

It works like this: the moving company will bring a portable container to your house and you will be responsible for loading it up with all of your belongings. The container is then moved to your new residence, and once it is there, you are free to unload it whenever it is convenient for you. 

People who want the convenience of having their belongings stored on-site or who need additional time to move their belongings are the best candidates for this type of service.


Pros of portable container moving

  • More time to move. Portable container moving allows you to take your time and work at your own pace, in contrast to other types of moving services in which you are on a strict timeline to get your belongings packed and loaded.
  • On-site storage. Because the container can be used for storage until the time comes when you are ready to unload it, this makes it an appealing choice for people who want to minimize the amount of time spent moving their things.
  • Potentially cost-effective. You might be able to save money on the overall cost of your move if you do some of the work yourself, such as filling the container with your belongings.


Cons of portable container moving

  • Many portable containers come with design flaws. For example, roll-up doors on a container can get stuck. If your items are inside it when this happens, it will be challenging to get them out.
  • If a container is tilted during transit, your belongings are likely to get crushed before they reach their destination.
  • Large items (such as mattresses and couches) often don’t fit in a portable container.
  • City, neighborhood, and HOA regulations often prohibit the use of portable containers.
  • No insurance coverage for your belongings.
  • Same issues with finding and renting/purchasing the right moving equipment as with labor-only and self-service moving options.


Specialty moving

A type of moving service known as “specialty moving” is one that is tailored to handle particular categories of items, such as bulky appliances, heavy furniture, or fragile items. 

People who are moving and who have unusual needs or who require special handling or equipment are the best candidates for this type of service. Moving pianos, pool tables, and fine art are all examples of moving services that fall under the category of “specialty moving.”


Pros of specialty moving

  • Specialists who know how to handle fragile and/or expensive items.
  • Saving time by not having to deal with moving specialty items yourself. 
  • Saving money by not making costly mistakes. For instance, if you try to move a large appliance by yourself, you run the risk of injuring either the appliance or yourself in the process. This will result in additional costs for you in the form of repairs and/or medical bills.



Choosing the right type of a moving service is a crucial step in ensuring a successful and stress-free move. 

Whether you choose full service, self-service, labor-only, portable container, or specialty moving, it’s important to do your research.

It’s also important to consider your own physical abilities and the timeline of your move when choosing a moving service. If you are physically able to handle the work yourself and are willing to take on all the liability, self-service or labor-only moving may be the best option for you. 

On the other hand, if you have a tight timeline or unique moving needs, full service or specialty moving may be the better choice.

NexMuv has streamlined our process so well, that our pricing for full service moving is often lower than other options. Contact NexMuv today and let us take care of the rest. Our team is ready to help you every step of the way, from start to finish.