Does anyone actually like the process of moving? Probably not. Fortunately, a moving company can help make the whole thing easier and more seamless for you and your family. But with so many moving companies serving our area, knowing how to pick the right one might seem a little bit tricky. It doesn’t have to be.
If you’re getting ready to make your move to your new home, follow these time-tested tips outlined below. You’ll find that it’s easier than you thought, and you won’t have to worry about whether or not you made the right choice for your move.
Do: Get Recommendations
With so many options to choose from, narrowing your list down to some “contenders” is going to be an important first step. One of the easiest ways to do that is by asking friends, family members or coworkers if they have anyone to recommend. Then, check out online reviews and recommendations from sites like Yelp or through reviews on Google.
Any mover can tell you that they provide great customer service, but real-world customers are almost always more reliable.
Don’t: Pick One and Be Done
No matter how you narrow down your search for the right moving company, don’t be afraid to shop around. Similar to new home shopping, you’ll want to explore your options before you make a decision.
Choose a small handful of potential candidates and request an in-home estimate from each. By making movers essentially compete for your business, you can make a smarter, more cost-effective decision.
Do: Get a Written Estimate
Speaking of estimates — get everything in writing. Getting an in-home estimate in writing is essential to ensuring everyone is on the same page when the move occurs.
If you choose a mover that gives you a non-binding written estimate, you could end up paying more on moving day due to a variety of factors such as weight, time, etc. So, if possible, opt for a binding agreement because this will ensure that the amount you agreed to pay is what you actually pay at the end of the move (unless your situation changes between the estimate and moving day). Keep in mind, however, that some binding estimates will come free-of-charge while other movers will charge you for them.
Don’t: Forget to Do Your Homework
Regardless of whether or not a mover appears to be trustworthy, always do your own research to find out if they have the necessary licensing, insurance and registrations required by the government.
If you’re moving to another state, use the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) moving company search to find out if your potential moving companies are licensed and insured based on guidelines set forth by the DOT itself. If you’re staying local, you can get this information from your state’s department of transportation.
Do: Ask Questions
If at any point throughout the moving process you feel uncomfortable or unsure about something, don’t be afraid to ask questions. A competent, reliable moving company should be more than happy to answer any questions or address any concerns you might have about them or about the move itself.
Just remember, you’re in control of who you choose to move your important belongings, so don’t be afraid to speak up if you need some clarification.
Don’t: Overlook Alternatives to Professional Movers
Trained professional movers represent the highest level of moving services available because they’ll handle as much of the moving process for you from start to finish. This will save you and your family a lot of time and energy, but it’s also a fairly expensive option.
Fortunately, if you’re on a tight budget, there are alternatives to hiring a full-service moving company. No, we’re not going to suggest that you should rent your own truck and do everything yourself — although, that is an option available to you. Instead, consider companies such as PODS or ABF U-Pack (there are plenty more out there, so be sure to do your research). These pack-it-yourself companies provide you with the shipping container and transportation for your belongings but don’t include the help of a professional moving team. Going this route means you sacrifice some of the guarantees you get with a professional mover and much of the convenience, too, but it can end up saving you thousands of dollars in the end.
Want even more tips for moving to your new home? Check out the rest of our blog for additional guides and advice from our team.