Moving is one of the most stressful times in a person’s life, as lugging heavy furniture and appliances across state lines can be physically and emotionally exhausting. Even if you decide to rent furniture at your next home to reduce this burden, you may still have a few items you want to bring with you. Ensure a stress-free trip and a safe arrival for your personal belongings by using these tips to find and hire a good moving company.
Why are Movers Important?
If you’ve ever moved without using movers, first of all, you deserve an award. That’s because it can be a lot of hard work and extremely stressful, even under the best circumstances. By hiring a moving company when you’re relocating, you’re getting the peace of mind knowing that the company understands the best ways to navigate the roads, how to keep your belongings safe and protected, and that the whole process can be expedited and simplified.
Movers often implement a professional inventory process, and they provide a much safer moving experience because they know precisely how to prepare and transport your items. Plus, you’re relieved of doing any heavy lifting!
The Different Types of Services Movers Can Provide
One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to reputable moving companies, and there are quite a few service options, including:
- Full Service — As the name implies, this includes everything from packing up your items and taking inventory to loading (and unloading) the trucks at your new residence. It’s the most commonly used service because it alleviates much of the stress and strenuous labor you’d undertake.
- Moving Labor — If you already have a truck or van and are uninterested in doing any heavy lifting, these crews will come in, pack, load, and unload at your destination. The issue here is that they’re often not accredited, so you’re taking a gamble with reliability.
- Specialized Movers — If you have unique items that require special care — pianos, antiques, etc. — this is your best bet, as they have this experience and can ensure a safe move.
- Self-Service Movers — With this type of service, a company provides you with a truck and driver, but you do the loading and unloading.
Tips to Find a Reputable Moving Company
Everyone has heard horror stories about movers, but there are simple steps to find a reputable moving company.
The first thing you should do is go to your friends, family, and coworkers to see who they have used in the past. If you’re working with a real estate agent, ask them if they have a company that they would recommend.
Get Multiple Estimates
Try getting at least three or four written in-home estimates, and remember that the cheapest mover isn’t always your best bet. Examine the higher estimates to see if the company included unneeded services, giving you wiggle room for negotiation. There’s a lot of competition in the moving market, and many companies will work with you on pricing.
You should also be suspicious if an estimate is unusually low or if the company provides an estimate without actually sending an employee to go out and check out the job. A low appraisal could be a scam, and that’s the last thing you want to happen.
Verify the Mover is Licensed and Insured
You want a credentialed mover to ensure your belongings aren’t at risk. Licensed interstate movers are given a USDOT number by the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
If your move is out of state, you can verify the moving company’s license by contacting FMCSA’s site and requesting the company’s USDOT number. For in-state queries, your best bet is your local consumer affairs agency. You can find a list of local agencies through the FMCSA’s contacts database.
One more option is using a moving company that’s certified by the American Moving & Storage Association’s ProMover program. Through this organization, movers are subject to background checks and expected to hold themselves up to the association’s standards.
Check Online Reviews
While it’s beneficial to first seek referrals from people you know, there is also a lot to be learned by reading online reviews on Yelp, Google, and the Better Business Bureau. Find out what people have been saying — the good and the bad — and while it might sound odd, don’t read the one-star or five-star reviews. Instead, look at the three and four-star reviews. These often provide the most insight into a company’s practices because these customers offer a broad perspective on what it would be like to work with this moving company.
Be Smart About Your Deposit
Deposits aren’t always required, and most companies won’t ask for any money until your stuff is delivered. But if it is, don’t be lured into putting down a massive chunk of money before you even have all your plates and cups packed. A good rule of thumb is that your deposit should be no more than 20% of the total estimate for the whole move. Consider putting all your deposits and payments on a credit card so that you can easily contest the charge in the event of an incident.
Ready to Make Your Move?
Moving doesn’t have to be a stressful experience, and neither does finding a reliable moving company. It will take a little bit of work, but by doing your research and getting referrals and estimates, you’ll be armed with the knowledge you need to take the next steps — and that might involve picking out furniture rentals.
The good news is that CORT delivers furniture rentals right to your door. Learn how our services can make the moving experience even less stressful.