Keep Your Things Protected During National Moving Month

[Public domain]
Photograph by Rharel1 [Public domain]
May is National Moving Month, and if you’re considering a relocation in the near future, make sure to do the research before packing all your belongings into cardboard boxes.

Moving from point A to point B is always stressful, and with the high cost and low trust in the moving industry, many opt to self-move—which is what I did after graduating college. My thought process was: “If I’m handling my own stuff then nothing will go wrong…”

To simply state it: I was wrong.

A few items got left behind due to lack of coordination and even more broke. But, the worst part is that my decision to self-move cost me an irreplaceable present my Grandpa gave me before he passed away—it shattered in the rental truck.

If and when I move again, I’m hiring a mover. I refuse to lose the few valuables I have left. But working at Better Business Bureau has taught me that finding a reputable—and legal—mover can sometimes be difficult. Most people have a connection to someone who has had a bad experience due to a mover; avoid writing your own horror story by following some simple steps:

  1. Make sure the company checks out.
    Businesses that are BBB Accredited agree to follow higher standards, laid out in the BBB Code of Business Practice. They are also required to address any complaints if problems arise, and make a good faith effort to resolve them.
  2. Double-check the business licensing.
    Even if a business is accredited, BBB currently does not publicly report on its licensing. So it’s always a good idea to double-check with the proper departments to get license numbers and see if there have been any significant disputes in the past.
  3. Contact the proper state transportation department.
    Washington State: Utilities and Transportation Commission
    Oregon: Communications Oregon Transportation Commission
    Alaska: Department of Transportation & Public Facilities

The rules and regulations vary slightly depending on the location and whether or not state lines will be crossed during the move. But, all movers need to be properly permitted and licensed in order to be legitimate. Make sure you know the regulations!

After my experience moving back home after school I’m hesitant to ever self-move again. However, I’m not going to simply hire the cheapest mover that I find either. Doing a little bit of research can protect belongings, and wallets.

For more information and advice on moving in your state, read Don’t Go Astray During National Moving Month on BBB’s News & Events page.