Picking a moving company is the most important decision you’ll make when planning your upcoming move.
Choosing one that’s reliable and reasonably priced can save you time, money and aggravation as you transition from one home to another.
Our moving company in Boston has compiled all of the most important guidelines on how to choose the right movers for your long-distance move and move without unnecessary stress and headaches.
Here are some tips on choosing a mover:
- Ask for referrals from friends and family members who have moved recently. If they had a positive experience with a company, chances are good that you will too. If no one has used a mover lately, try contacting industry associations such as the American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA), the National Association of Professional Movers (NAPM) or the Canadian Association of Movers – all can provide lists of reputable service providers in your area.
- Conduct an online search for local moving companies and check out their websites, which will usually provide information such as the types of services provided, the company’s experience and credentials, and testimonials from previous customers. If you want to contact them directly, make sure each site provides a working phone number and email address; if not, keep looking.
- Request and check references: Ask each company representative whether they can provide job references who recently used their services (and if they don’t have any recent jobs in your desired location, take that into consideration). Call each reference — or at least three — before making your decision about which mover to hire.
- Get estimates from multiple movers: Instead of relying on a quote from one company, get estimates from three different moving companies. Know your budget so you can compare costs and services to find the best deal for you.
- Ask about extra fees: Make sure each mover provides an all-inclusive quote with no hidden charges or fees, such as those for fuel surcharges, packing supplies or travel time. Also, ask which types of payment they accept — a credit card? Check? Cash? Also confirm whether the estimate is binding (meaning if your actual charges go over that amount, will you still have to pay?) and how far in advance of the move they’ll need payment.
- Get it in writing: Each mover should present you with a detailed written contract that includes their company name, address and phone number; the names of the people in your crew or who will be doing your estimate; a list of everything you’re moving (including a detailed description of each item); a list of all charges, including any extra fees; the exact dates and times they’ll arrive to pick up your belongings, load them on the truck and drop off at your destination; what payment methods they accept; their liability limitations (in case something gets damaged during transport); and how long it’s been in business.
- Keep records: Ask for a copy of all paperwork presented to you before signing anything. Good recordkeeping is especially important when you make more than one move with the same company — say, from New York City to Atlanta and then from Atlanta to Miami three years later.
- Start early: Even if you’re moving within the same state, it’s a good idea to start looking for long distance movers about six months in advance so there’s ample time to do due diligence and schedule the move. And when it comes to interstate moves, leave at least three months before your departure date so you have time to pack, plan for delays and change plans if necessary.
- Be realistic about timing: If you live in New York City or another big city where traffic can be an issue, know that large trucks are not able to drive on certain streets after 11 pm or before 7 am, which means movers may have their trip extended by several hours just because of these time limitations.
- Keep track of everything: Make sure you have a record of all the items you plan to move, including detailed descriptions (brand and model) for electronics, antiques and other pricey items. You should also make sure your mover has your contact information readily available; if they need to call you on the day of the move because they are running behind schedule, it’s much easier if they can reach you at work or via cell phone than having to track down your home address.
- Don’t try do-it-yourself moving: Trust us, hiring professional movers is worth every cent. Not only will they pack and carry out your belongings safely, but they will also wrap valuable pieces so there’s no chance of damage. There’s no better way to alleviate the stress that comes along with moving than letting someone else do it for you—and not just anyone, but mover professionals!
- Set up a move date: Don’t wait until the last minute to decide on a moving day. If you plan your move during a time when you have no other major disruptions in your schedule, you’ll be much less likely to get overwhelmed by all of the work that has to get done before and after the move. Of course, if everything must be moved while no one is home—say over a weekend or holiday, then at least make sure you arrange for someone reliable to watch your home.
- Ask about packing services: Not only will it save you from having to buy loads of boxes and supplies, but having professionals pack up your belongings cuts down on potential damage caused by poor-quality or improperly packed items. Packing services for a long-distance move can cost about $1,000 or more depending on how much stuff you have to pack.
- Pack essentials yourself: Don’t get talked into spending the extra money to “pack and wrap” because there are plenty of other things that you’ll need to be packed before the movers come. While many professional moving companies offer packing services, it’s not necessary unless you have items you don’t trust your movers to handle with care.
- Cancel unwanted subscriptions: If you’re looking forward to getting away from anything that costs money, now’s the time to cancel any subscriptions you don’t want or can do without. Cancel magazine and newspaper subscriptions. Don’t forget about the gym membership too if you won’t be going there anymore!
So, in this article, we reviewed the recommendations on how to find the best movers and do a successful relocation. We hope that you have found this article useful.
If you are looking for reliable movers, our team at Milvus Moving will be happy to help you with the move of any complexity!
Main Photo by RODNAE Productions.