8 Professional Packing Services to Help With Your Move

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Moving all of your belongings—whether across town, across the country, or to the other side of the globe—is often a stressful experience. There's so much to do and so little time to get it done. While moving companies can certainly simplify the process of loading, shipping, and unloading your belongings, they don't always offer additional labor to handle the packing process. Fortunately, the companies listed below do. If you're pressed for time or don't feel like dealing with the hassle of boxing up all your things, consider hiring a company to do this tedious chore for you.

Much like moving services, packing services can vary in terms of how much you want done for you. Companies can provide the equipment for you to do the packing yourself or they can do everything for you, from bringing packing supplies to filling each and every box. In general, the more you're personally willing to do, the more money you'll save. But when it comes to moving, spending more can make a taxing process less stressful.

To help you find the best moving company with packing services for your needs, we've selected a range of businesses that excel in a variety of categories, from long-distance specialists to environmentally conscious movers.

Best Packing Services of 2023

Best Customizable Service: Bellhop

BELLHOP

BELLHOP

Key Specs 

  • Nationwide Availability: 26 states
  • Moving Options: Full service, partial service
  • Initial Deposit Required? Yes

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Fully customizable service packages offered

  • Provides helpful online resources

  • Online booking form makes scheduling easy and convenient

Cons
  • Has limited nationwide availability

  • Is a young company with less experience than most competitors

Why It Made the List

Bellhop has been around for a little over a decade, and as a relative newcomer among packing and moving companies, it has utilized the internet well to make scheduling and planning your services more clear and convenient. One of the strengths of these online offerings is the ability to customize what you need in nearly every aspect of your move, from a dedicated truck to a storage container to labor-only options. This helps provide specialized services to those customers who may need something in between partial service and full service. Bellhop's unique ability to allow customers to pick and choose services helps the company stand out from its many competitors.

The drawback of Bellhop being a newer company is that it does not yet have the extensive coverage network of its competitors. At the moment, its services are only available in 26 states.

Best for Local Moves: Two Men and a Truck

Two Men and A Truck logo

Two Men and A Truck

Key Specs 

  • Nationwide Availability: 47 states
  • Moving Options: Full service, partial service
  • Initial Deposit Required? Yes

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Franchise model means workers know the local community well

  • Customizable service options include junk removal

  • Offers storage solutions

Cons
  • Quality of service can vary due to franchising

  • Pricing is inconsistent across locations

Why It Made the List

Two Men and a Truck has widespread availability, a strong reputation for specializing in local services, and a wide variety of services. Of these company strengths, local moves stand out as the most unique. Because the company utilizes a franchise model, its workers are local to your area, meaning they understand the community and know all the tricks of the trade to best assist with short-distance packing and relocation. Most other moving companies, by contrast, will send workers who might be visiting your town or city for the first time.

That said, the company falls short due to its somewhat unpredictable nature. With a franchise model, service options, costs, and customer experiences can vary by office and region. This makes it difficult to recommend the company as a blanket solution for your packing needs. As a result, we recommend researching the specific branch in your area to ensure it has a good reputation and service record.

Best for Long-Distance Moves: Colonial Van Lines

colonial van lines logo

Key Specs 

  • Nationwide Availability: 48 states
  • Moving Options: Full service, partial service, self service
  • Initial Deposit Required? Yes

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Only handles long-distance moves

  • Mobile app helps simplify and keep track of services

  • Customizable and varied services are offered

Cons
  • Does not do local or international moves

  • Is not available in Alaska or Hawaii

Why It Made the List

Colonial Van Lines prides itself on specifically dealing with long-distance domestic moving and packing services to the point of not dealing with local or international moves at all. This can be a great benefit for customers moving across the country or multiple states, as Colonial will know best how to secure your belongings to withstand a lengthy journey.

Colonial offers a variety of packing services, from individual items that may need special attention to single rooms to entire houses. Movers also use packing materials like bubble wrap and wrapping paper to keep your fragile belongings safe and secure, and they are experienced in packing special items like antiques, artwork, pianos, and more. And when it comes time to move all those items, Colonial sends out tracking updates through a convenient mobile app, so you can monitor your move's progress from start to finish.

Of course, Colonial is only an option for those moving long-distance, so those planning a local or international move will need to explore other options. The company has a widespread network of coverage but does not offer services in Alaska or Hawaii.

Best for International Moves: Atlas Van Lines

Atlas Van Lines

Atlas Van Lines

Key Specs 

  • Nationwide Availability: 50 states 
  • Moving Options: Full service, partial service, self service
  • Initial Deposit Required? No

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Services are available throughout the world

  • Specializes in packing fragile items

  • Online estimates are available


Cons
  • Cost estimates can be somewhat time-consuming to obtain

  • Cancellation fees might be incurred

Why It Made the List

The best packing service company should be adept at packing a variety of items, offer its services nearly everywhere in the country (and in at least some international locations), and offer a full range of moving services should you need more than just packing. With 1,500 global partners across 17 countries and over 10 types of accreditations and certifications, Atlas Van Lines is a great—and experienced—choice to get you packing for your international move. 

Atlas can transport nearly any type of item, from small fragile belongings (it's handled the move of an Asian crown) to grand pianos to an Apollo space capsule. And it offers a variety of moving services and storage options so that you have ultimate flexibility when deciding what exactly you need your movers and packers to handle. Atlas also ensures that all of its employees are subject to background checks so that you're never worried about who is in your home.

Atlas, though, has a somewhat cumbersome quote-obtaining process and has a rule that services must be canceled within three days to avoid cancellation fees. Most customers probably won't mind the quote process as it ensures cost estimate accuracy, but the cancellation policy is something to keep in mind should you need extra flexibility.

Best Full-Service Mover: United Van Lines

United Van Lines

United Van Lines

Key Specs 

  • Nationwide Availability: 50 states
  • Moving Options: Full service, partial service, self service
  • Initial Deposit Required? No

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Offers packing, vehicle moving, and storage services

  • Has a convenient mobile app

  • Guarantees on-time deliveries

Cons
  • Lacks round-the-clock customer service

  • Full-service packing and moving can be costly

Why It Made the List

United Van Lines can take care of the entire packing and moving process, from the first box being filled at your current home to the last box being unpacked at your new home. If you're looking for a company that takes care of everything, United may be the choice for you. Their full-service packing option comes with a moving coordinator to help organize the day's logistics. But if you don't need your entire home wrapped up, United offers customized packing plans (including partial packing) to meet your needs. There's also a custom crating option to keep fragile and special items secure throughout the packing and transportation process. 

We like that, in addition to all of its moving service options, United also offers storage options to suit your moving schedule in case there is a gap between your moving dates. The company also boasts particular savvy with packing and shipping vehicles, especially vintage and luxury cars that require extra care and attention.

A general rule of thumb with moving companies is that the more labor you're willing to do personally, the more money you'll save. Thus, a full-service packing and moving operation will escalate overall costs. Although United lacks 24/7 customer support, it makes up for it by offering several different ways to contact representatives, including online chat.

Best Service Variety: Wheaton World Wide Moving

Wheaton World Wide Moving

Wheaton World Wide Moving

Key Specs 

  • Nationwide Availability: 50 states
  • Moving Options: Full service, partial service, self service
  • Initial Deposit Required? No

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Provides storage options

  • Adept at handling fragile items and electronics

  • Many moving discount programs offered

Cons
  • Slow to respond to online queries

  • Lacks online shipment tracking

Why It Made the List

Wheaton World Wide Moving keeps your options flexible by offering a variety of services, including fragile and electronic item packing, short- and long-term storage options, short- and long-distance moves, and specialized moves for a single item or a limited number of items. It also provides services for corporate moves and relocations, which are overseen by your own move manager. On top of all these services comes a bounty of discount programs that can apply to everyone from nurses to collegiate scholars. Wheaton's availability in every state makes them a solid all-around option for anyone searching for packing and/or moving services.

There's just one service that's lacking: communication. The company's online form can take a full 24 hours to generate a response, and the customer service line isn't available 24/7.

Most Environmentally Conscious: JK Moving Services

JK Moving Services

JK Moving Services

Key Specs 

  • Nationwide Availability: 50 states
  • Moving Options: Full service, partial service, self service
  • Initial Deposit Required? Yes

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Emphasizes its commitment to sustainable moving

  • Provides 24/7 customer support

  • Can handle unique items for packing and moving

Cons
  • No binding quotes are offered

  • There's limited availability for local moves

Why It Made the List

In a crowded field of competitors, JK Moving Services stands out due to its emphasis on practicing sustainability in all aspects of its business, from boxless moves to recycled moving blankets to its use of environmentally friendly generators. The company boasts that it prevents 4.5 million pounds of garbage from ending up in landfills each year—it's reassuring to know that JK Moving is committed to better business practices. On top of its green company policies, JK Moving also offers 24/7 customer service support and prides itself on being able to pack unique and fragile items.

Like all moving and packing companies, JK Moving does have a few possible drawbacks. It does not offer binding quotes, meaning that quotes provided by JK Moving are not guaranteed to be the actual cost once the move is completed. It also cannot facilitate some local moves. If you're interested in booking JK Moving for a small-scale move, be sure to discuss the details with a representative first.

Best on a Budget: Taskrabbit

Taskrabbit 2023 Logo
Taskrabbit lgoo.

Taskrabbit

Key Specs 

  • Nationwide Availability: 30 states
  • Moving Options: Full service, partial service, self service
  • Initial Deposit Required? No

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Customers can shop for the best price

  • Same-day service is offered

  • Taskers can be hired for a variety of services

Cons
  • Experiences vary depending on tasker selected

  • It doesn't offer the same protection as moving companies

Why It Made the List

Taskrabbit is essentially a portal for customers to connect with individual "taskers" who can complete various jobs, including packing for a move. As a result, there is a lot of flexibility in terms of cost. You can shop around to find a tasker with the right combination of positive reviews, prices within your budget, and specific services that work for you. Some taskers may also be available for same-day bookings, making Taskrabbit a great option if you're in a pinch. The exact nature of the assistance you need can be specified and negotiated with a tasker, too, which adds to the flexibility of the service.

With all these cost and service options comes a notable concern: Your experience with Taskrabbit will be dependent entirely upon the tasker you book. Some might be reliable and inexpensive, others not so much. While reviews are always a good indicator of a tasker's past performance, you won't get the same consistency of service you tend to get with more established moving companies that offer professional packing services. With Taskrabbit, you also won't receive the same level of insurance that a traditional company would typically offer. 

Final Verdict

Professional moving companies will be able to provide packing services that are organized and reliable, offering the customer ease of mind during an often stressful process. For full-service options and experience in moving specialty items, companies like Atlas Van Lines, United Van Lines, and Wheaton World Wide Moving may be good places to start your quoting process. For small moves, TaskRabbit and Two Men and a Truck may come in handy with their local area expertise as well as more affordable rates. Bellhop is also a suitable option for those who need packing services in between partial and full service, due to its customizable packages. While the majority of the companies mentioned provide long-distance moves, Colonial Van Lines specializes in them, making it a reliable option for interstate relocations.

Compare the Best Packing Services

Company  Nationwide Availability Moving Options Initial Deposit Required? Storage Options? Access to Customer Service
Bellhop Best Customizable Service 26 states Full service, partial service Yes Yes Phone, email
Two Men and a Truck Best for Local Moves 47 states  Full service, partial service  Yes Yes Phone, online request form
Colonial Van Lines Best for Long-Distance Moves 48 states Full service, partial service, self service  Yes Yes Phone, online request form
Atlas Van Lines Best for International Moves 50 states Full service, partial service, self service No Yes Phone
United Van Lines Best Full-Service Mover 50 states Full service, partial service, self service  No Yes Online quote request form
Wheaton World Wide Moving Best Service Variety 50 states  Full service, partial service, self service  No Yes Phone, online quote request form
JK Moving Services Most Environmentally Conscious 50 states Full service, partial service, self service  Yes Yes Phone, email, online quote request form
Taskrabbit Best on a Budget 36 states Full service, partial service, self service No No Phone, online quote request form

Guide to Choosing a Packing Service

The process for selecting a packing and moving service company largely depends on the specifics of each potential customer's needs. Based on those needs, some companies can be ruled out entirely, while others may emerge as obvious frontrunners. To help narrow down your options, here are five factors to consider when hiring a professional packing service.

Coverage Area

The first and probably most important factor to consider is whether or not the companies you're considering can actually provide their services in your starting and final destinations. Many companies have online forms you can fill out to determine coverage compatibility, while others may require a phone call. In either case, be sure to check which companies can handle a move and/or packing request at your old and new addresses.

Distance of Move

Some companies won't handle local moves, while other companies aren't capable of shipping internationally. Some companies only provide services in a limited number of states, meaning they can't handle all cross-state moves. Be sure to evaluate which companies are best suited for your move based on whether you're relocating down the block, across state lines, or to a new country. 

Storage Options

Storage facilities can be extremely helpful during a move if you have extra time between leaving your old home and moving into your new one. Many companies, but not all, offer storage solutions so that you can safely put away your belongings until you're ready to move in. If you think short- or long-term storage might be necessary, check whether or not a moving company can accommodate your storage needs.

Budget

The best way to get a sense of the cost of your packing and moving services is to acquire estimates from multiple companies. You can do this either through an online form or by calling the company directly.

Customer Service

Considering a company's customer service is not just about the helpfulness of sales representatives, it's also a practical consideration. If your schedule is full, and you'd like to have easy access to a representative outside of normal business hours, consider selecting a company with 24/7 support. Some companies also have useful apps that make it easy for you to access all your information, including documents and tracking details. 

What Should You Expect to Pay for Professional Packing Services?

Packing services companies typically charge using one of two methods: an hourly rate or a flat rate. Hourly rates tend to be around $60. An entire three- or four-bedroom home usually requires around seven to eight hours of packing, meaning your total cost will fall somewhere around $420 to $480. Flat rates are often based on the items being packed, meaning you'll be charged per TV box (around $20) or wardrobe box (around $15). The total cost will be determined by the number of items you'll need packed. Keep in mind that these are average rates, and specific costs will vary per move and by region.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • When Should You Start Packing Before a Move?

    Timing varies based on the size of your home and how many belongings you'll be moving. Consider the fact that you'll likely still need access to some of your belongings during the packing process, such as kitchen supplies and clothing. A good rule of thumb is to begin the packing process about six weeks before your scheduled move date, starting with removing items you won't be taking with you, then moving on to packing items you won't need in the near future, such as decor items.

  • How Do You Prepare for a Professional Packing Service?
    • Take an inventory of the items you'll need packed
    • Consider selling or disposing of items you don't need to move
    • Set aside any items you intend to pack yourself
    • If you have any fragile or valuable items that need to be packed, set those aside and ensure your packing services company is aware of them beforehand so that they come prepared with the right supplies to protect them
    • Take photos of your valuable items in case they are damaged during the move
  • What Materials Do Packing Services Use?

    For a typical set of household items, packing services will use tape, cardboard boxes, foam, bubble wrap, and moving blankets to safely and securely pack your belongings.

  • Do Packing Services Pack Clothes in Addition to Household Items?

    Yes, packing services can pack your clothing for you.

  • Is There Anything Packers Won't Box Up?

    Plants and live animals are excluded from most moves. There are also some items deemed dangerous for moves, such as harsh chemicals, car batteries, and ammunition, among other items—these are typically not permitted in a moving truck. Some companies also do not transport especially valuable or fragile items, like pianos. In all cases, discuss your inventory with your moving company to determine which items may be prohibited from your move.

  • How Long Does It Take Professional Packers to Pack a House?

    A typical three- or four-bedroom home is usually packed in about seven or eight hours.

  • How Much Should You Tip Professional Packers?

    If you're doing a full-service move, including packing, the standard tipping rate is 15 percent to 20 percent of the total move. Be sure to split this amount between the movers at your origin and the movers at your destination—they may not be the same team.

Methodology

In order to compile a list of the best packing services, our research team made dozens of customer service calls and enlisted the help of data collectors to fill in the blanks for more than 30 criteria points. These included nationwide availability, custom packing options, and customer support channels.

Each criteria point was assigned a weight, then grouped into one of six categories:

  • Customer experience (23 percent) 
  • Pricing/price transparency (20 percent)
  • Coverage and types of packing offered (20 percent)
  • Moving services (20 percent)
  • Insurance/protection (10 percent)
  • Reputation (7 percent)

Scores were calculated based on these weights, and companies were ultimately given a rating out of five stars. To ensure that the information presented is accurate, two or more data collectors verified the research. This page will be updated with any changes to the highlighted companies' offerings.

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Sources
Real Simple is committed to using high-quality, reputable sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts in our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we fact check our content for accuracy.
  1. Moving.com. "Moving Non Allowable Items – Not to Pack." https://www.moving.com/tips/moving-non-allowable-items-not-to-pack/

  2. Real Simple. "Yes, You Should Tip Your Movers—Here's How Much." https://www.realsimple.com/work-life/tipping-movers

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