Packing and Unpacking

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Q & A

Answers to commonly asked questions from the experts on Thumbtack.

How much do packing services cost?

The cost of packing services ranges between $60 and $80. However, the cost you wind up paying will depend on a number of different factors. These factors include whether you have provided the moving boxes yourself or need to purchase them from the company, as well as the hourly rate of the packing service may charge. A larger-size home or office will often result in higher packing costs, as will the need to handle a lot of fragile or especially heavy/cumbersome items.

What are the advantages of packing services?

Hiring a professional packing service can help ensure your heavy, fragile and special-care belongings are handled safely during your move. These pros are familiar with all types of packing procedures and materials, and they’ll use the right tools and equipment to move your belongings. Packers and movers are also available to assist with cumbersome items like mattresses, safes and large furniture, and they can handle heavy lifting. And if needed, packers can disassemble and assemble furniture for you.

Who do I hire for unpacking and packing help?

Hire a professional moving, packing or unpacking service in your area for help. You can use a tool like Thumbtack to see the best services in your area, along with their ratings and reviews. Once you’ve identified a few professionals who seem like a good fit, get cost estimates from each of them and compare your quotes. Also, don’t forget to check licensing requirements in your state to make sure the professional you hire is properly licensed and insured.

Do movers unpack for you?

Yes, many movers offer unpacking services for you once they deliver your belongings to your new site, or even if you have already had them delivered. However, be aware that this could lead to higher charges, so be sure to ask the movers what their rates are. Movers also don’t usually put items away, but rather set them on tabletops and other surfaces. Some moving companies may have a policy preventing them from unpacking boxes you have packed yourself.

Is it worth paying for packing services when moving?

The decision of whether to pay for packing services during your move will come down to time versus cost. Packing services will increase the cost of your move. But if you’re busy and need to save your time to handle other priorities, it could be worth the cost. Talk to movers and packing services near you to find one that offers benefits that are worth the cost.

Where do you start packing when moving out?

When deciding on what to pack first, think about how you can minimize disruptions to your everyday life. For example, start with storage areas such as the basement or attic. These items are not likely to be needed in the next few weeks. Next, move onto storage areas like the shed, closet and garage. Pack away any out-of-season items you won’t need in the next month. Then, move on to tools, equipment, books, collections and displays you don’t utilize in your day-to-day life. Things like clothes, towels, sheets and dishes should be packed closer to your move-out date.

For more helpful moving tips, read our start-to-finish moving checklist.

Do movers pack boxes for you?

Many moving companies offer packing services as well. While the typical role of movers is to move already-packed boxes, furniture and other belongings, these pros are also skilled in safely packing belongings in less time than the average person. They have the materials and experience to protect fragile items and predict potential damage in the moving process. This is particularly important for glass and artwork.

How do I prepare my house for a professional packer?

To prepare your house for a professional packer, start by completing a deep house cleaning and organizing session. This includes washing dishes, tools, laundry, beds, etc. Next, get rid of anything and everything you don’t need. Collect items that you plan on moving yourself. Organize everything, and label each box, marking anything that is high-value. Finally, have everything in a position where it’s easy for the packers and movers to access.

When should you start packing?

You should start picking up packing supplies (moving boxes, etc.) at least one to three months before you move. The earlier, the better. Start by cleaning your house and deciding what you will be taking, then follow up by selling or donating whatever you don’t need. At around four weeks out, decide on a moving service and schedule your move-out date. And start the packing process by putting your belongings into boxes, wrapping furniture and organizing for the unload.

For more helpful tips, read our start-to-finish moving checklist.

What is a packing service?

A packing service helps homeowners and businesses pack up their belongings in preparation for a move, as well as unpack items when moving in. They’re often used to help with large numbers of items and are a great choice when there are multiple floors to contend with. 

Professional packing services can also provide boxes or use the boxes you provide them. They can also help assemble furniture and perform heavy lifting, as well as deal with valuable, delicate or cumbersome items.

Reviews for Ashburn packing services
Jade P.
Kim communicated excellently from start to finish, made the packing process so efficient, and really was necessary to get all of the items sorted. As a person who has chronic body pain I could not have imagined going without Kim’s organizing and packing services. I’m glad I did!
Chicago Organizer & Packing SpecialistChicago Organizer & Packing Specialist
Eric J.
This was the best moving experience of the over 30+ moves that I've ever had, truly ever. I originally had only intended to use them for packing services but their quote to pack my stuff, load, do an interstate move, and unload was the same cost as just load and drive from a competitor and this was all on a next day/two-day notice! Not a single coffee mug was chipped and not a single blemish to any of my 10+ pieces of framed and unframed art. Raine and Sean were absolutely wonderful to work with and I couldn't be more enthusiastic above recommending them.
Archer's Moving ServicesArcher's Moving Services
Isabelle V.
Karen did an amazing job packing our kitchen and crafting room in record time! Everything is so well organized that I won’t have issues finding things when unpacking. I highly recommend her services if you are short with time. I am moving tomorrow and I don’t need to worry about it anymore!!
Organize It!Organize It!
Andrea S.
Shay is a life saver! In the middle of my move, I hurt my back and was not able to finish packing my apartment before my scheduled move date. I reached out to Shay and she immediately got back to me. We talked on the phone to talk over details and before I knew it, Shay was at my place supporting. Shay packed with an incredible care, organization, and speed. Shay went above and beyond and I could not have moved without her. I am so, so grateful to have found Shay and I will definitely be hiring her again for my other organizational projects. I highly recommend Shay's services! Unbeatable prices, excellent quality, and such a warm and supportive personality.
Shay Organized  LLCShay Organized LLC
Cynthia K.
My wife and I were moving from 1 unit to another in our building, we just needed help moving the big stuff...or so I thought...LOL. When we started talking he made me feel like I could trust him. He didnt send me a price list and throw a bunch of numbers out. I didnt know if we would need help packing and.moving or just moving . 1 price that's it. We didnt have everything packed and Derek made sure we were taken care of. I have NEVER had a mover take such care with our stuff .He made sure everything was wrapped and packed. To him it didnt matter we were just moving within the building he made sure it was done.right. Derek and Jake are true professionals. He takes pride in the service he provides and I LOVE that. I am also a small business owner here on Thumbtack, we are Pro status. His work ethic is the same as mine. I didnt find a mover, I found a friend and also a future client. Derek and Jake THANK YOU!
Kaykar Group LLCKaykar Group LLC
Patricia P.
I want to preface this review by saying I very rarely post negative reviews, even when they are warranted. However, my experience with this company was so horrible, I feel it is my duty to prevent people from being put in the same situation. I found this company and was excited by all the positive reviews, so I am shocked to have found myself in this situation. I had contracted Brooklyn to help me move into my new home. I was also planning on contracting her to install shelving for my walk-in closet. We signed a contract for a four day move where I was being charged for 3 movers each day. The first day, 2 movers came to pack up my basement. They did an incredible job & were finishing up quicker than expected. In an attempt to make the most of the day, they asked what they could pack next. My daughter explained what they could do to fill the 1hr & half left for the day. Just a couple minutes into them packing the upstairs they received a call from Brooklyn, instructing them to leave. They were told they couldn’t pack anything outside of the basement until all the furniture that was to be moved was prepped. I then receive a call from Brooklyn stating that things they were working on were “out of scope” to the contract. There is much more detail to how unorganized, inaccurate, & unprofessional that was, but there are so many things that went wrong, I’m just going to skip ahead.The next day Brooklyn came with one of the movers that had been there the day prior. My daughter communicated all the needs. Brooklyn before leaving, runs through everything for tomorrow’s move which was now happening Wednesday, not Thursday. This was a decision she made all on her own without my approval. That night my daughter left post-it notes everywhere as reminders and guidance. She did this as she noticed Brooklyn’s forgetfulness and disorganization. We also spent that night packing up things like frames that were supposed to have been done by Brooklyn but weren’t. It is now Wednesday the new moving day. Two hours later, we are told the truck Is too full, so items like my couch, and two flat screen TVs, that were in the contract did not make the move in the UHAUL. Before, Brooklyn left my daughter explained that she had left her tools upstairs. Brooklyn confirmed that she knew this but that they would be picked up in the second trip by her employee. I still had racks of clothing left in the basement, that one of the movers was taking in her personal van. Brooklyn left this employee to wrap up the remainder of the home which was entirely too much for one person to do. So much so, my husband and daughter then jumped in to help this employee pack in all the clothes. They still didn’t fit so then my husband filled his car with the remainder, including a tv, which defeats the purpose of having hired movers. The employee was sent back, again, in her personal car to move another tv, which my daughter assisted in dismounting. It was in this final trip my daughter helped her collect the tools and load in the car. At the new house Brooklyn sat in the UHAUL for well over an hour as her one employee attempted to unpack an entire UHAUL by himself. Again, keep in mind I was being charged by the hr per mover, which my contract included 3. One mover was moving the old house, one was unloading the new house, and the other sat in a truck. The whole time it was very evident that tensions existed amongst the group. It also became very evident there was no system in place, and not much experience. Due to the weather tracks of snow & mud made it onto my new wood floors and carpets. Any legit moving company has equipment and supplies to help prevent such a thing from happing, Brooklyn didn’t. While on the topic of equipment I had to provide my own boxes & when the movers ran out of my packing tape, my husband had to run out for more, as Brooklyn failed to supply her employees on the first day of packing. I had plastic bins that were shrink wrapped, that were soaked and covered in dirt, that created mud piles in my new home. As predicted, they ran out of time and we’re going to come back Thursday, even though Brooklyn claimed the move would be complete Wednesday. I never understood her rush to complete on Wednesday, when the contract originally stated Thursday anyways. At exactly 11pm Wednesday, I receive a text from Brooklyn stating that due to unforeseen circumstances, she would be the only coming tomorrow to complete the job & that she couldn’t arrive until 1:30pm, even though they had been on the schedule for 8am each day of this move, per our contract. At that point I had enough & told her, her services were no longer needed. With the exception of my clothes and racks. All my boxes were piled from for to ceiling. In no specific order with no room to walk. It was complete clutter that took over my entire basement. She moved about 15 EMPTY plastic bins to my new house. Again everything was labeled by my daughter. This was clearly labeled & organized in a pile that was a DO NOT MOVE section. Yet, even with the labels & a walk through, they made their way to the new house taking up space I don’t have. My purpose in hiring them was to avoid this. Heavy boxes were thrown on top of light boxes causing them to warp & rip. I had brand new cleaning supplies that had to be tossed Because they were damaged. She created utter and complete disaster in my new home. Brooklyn clearly has misrepresented her companies capabilities to provide the level and type of services she is selling. I’d like to say that the story ends here but it doesn’t. Today, I received a call from the police, Brooklyn is accusing her employees of theft. They also asked if I had her tools. Which again I told her, that the employee had packed them up. I also communicated she can come and pick up her furniture covers whenever. I was also asked if this employee gave me $1000!? Very confusing. Now I am in the middle of their work place dispute, when all I want to do is been done with the situation. Please keep in mind there are still many details missing from this review. 2020/21 has been hard on everyone and I hired this company to get the help I desperately needed in hopes to celebrate and enjoy such a positive moment for my family and I. Brooklyn has robbed us of that joy and created more problems and drama than I could’ve ever imagined. I hope this review can prevent a situation like this from happening again. I hope that Brooklyn doesn’t continue to misrepresent herself and make promises she can not complete.
Brook Knows BestBrook Knows Best
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