What You Need to Know About Full-Service Moving

Does full-service moving make sense for you? 

If you want a hands-off moving experience where the company handles everything from packing to unloading and unpacking at your new home, hiring a full-service mover can be convenient. Having everything taken care of for a long-distance move might sound appealing, but there are some trade-offs to be aware of. Keep reading for info on how the service works and learn about an alternative solution if full-service isn’t right for you. 

Two movers wrapping a chair for a full-service move.


What’s included with full-service movers 

Full-service moving means the company will handle all moving-related tasks, which typically include: 

  • Packing (including packing materials) 
  • Furniture disassembly 
  • Loading 
  • Transportation 
  • Unloading 
  • Furniture reassembly 
  • Unpacking and disposal of packing materials (often optional) 

How does the full-service moving process work? 

Full-service moving requires a bit more planning than DIY solutions, starting with the quoting process. Here are the steps for working with a full-service mover: 

1: Consultation (getting an estimate) 

You’ll want to contact several companies to start the quoting process. Most full-service movers require an in-home consultation to view the things that need to be packed and moved. The company representative will estimate the weight of your belongings and provide a quote for services. Make sure to ask whether the contract is binding (the price won’t change) or nonbinding (the price could change if the weight estimate is incorrect). Learn more about moving estimates.  

2: Choose a company and set up the move 

Review the quotes to find the best mover for your needs. Look at the services offered and the timeframe for each company to make sure you compare the same options. Check out online reviews for the companies you’re considering, or ask family and friends for recommendations before making a final decision.  

Once you book the move, the company will let you know the packing, loading and transit schedule. You’ll also pay any required deposits. 

3: Packing 

The moving company will send professionals to pack your things. They’ll bring boxes and other materials to protect your stuff during transit. Keep in mind that they’ll pack things exactly as they are. So, if you’re going to want a different setup in your new home (or if things aren’t in the right room now), it can be helpful to organize everything before they show up. For example, if you want items to go in the primary bedroom at the new home, make sure those things are in that room at the current home.  

4: Loading 

On moving day, the crew will disassemble any large furniture to make it easier to transport. They’ll also load the packed boxes from inside your home and secure everything inside the moving equipment. 

Note: Some companies will haul shipments from multiple households in the same equipment.

5: Transportation 

The moving company will drive everything to your new home. The timeline will vary based on the distance that needs to be traveled and may include overnight stops. Look at the contract for an estimated delivery date. 

6: Unloading 

Once the equipment arrives at your new home, the movers will unload it and place the items where you tell them. They’ll also reassemble any furniture that had to be taken apart before the move (if included in your contract). 

7: Unpacking 

If you opted for unpacking services, the movers will unbox your stuff and haul away the packing supplies.  

8: Final inspection and payment 

When the move is complete, you’ll inspect everything and immediately report any damage to the company. After things are settled, you’ll pay the final bill (minus any deposits). 

What are the pros and cons of hiring a full-service moving company? 

With any big decision, weighing the pros and cons is a good idea. Here are the top things to consider before choosing a full-service move.  


  • It’s convenient  
  • Packing and unpacking are covered 
  • No loading or unloading the equipment 
  • You don’t have to drive a moving truck 


  • Everything will be on the company’s timeline, from packing to unpacking 
  • It’s expensive — full-service moves typically cost 2-3 times more than DIY options 
  • Lack of privacy — movers will handle your belongings and might transport them with items from other households  
  • The quoting process can be complicated — there’s no easy online estimate 
  • You have less control over how things are packed and handled 

Not sure about full-service? There’s another way

If full-service movers aren’t right for you, there is another way to relocate long distance and still get all the services you want by moving with U-Pack®. Do you just want help with the loading, transportation and unloading, but plan to handle the packing and unpacking yourself? That’s no problem. U-Pack is a DIY moving service, and we can refer you to local moving crews for as much or as little help as you need. 

See how U-Pack compares to these full-service moving companies: 

Have questions? 

If you have any questions about how U-Pack compares to full-service movers or our services, please let us know in the comments. You can get a free online quote or call 844-362-5303844-594-3077 to speak to a moving consultant. We’re here to help! 

Atlas® is a registered trademark of Atlas Van Lines, Inc. Two Men and a Truck® is a registered trademark of Two Men and a Truck International, Inc. Bekins Van Lines® is a registered trademark of Bekins Van Lines, Inc. Use of third-party trademarks or registered trademarks does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by such third party.