Moving can be overwhelming and stressful, but a little planning ahead of time can make the moving day much less agonizing. Moving yourself is always a great option if you have the ability, time and fortitude. However, some moves require the help of professionals. So how do you find a reputable moving company that you can trust to handle all of your worldly possessions?
1) Determine the Scope of Your Move
Are you going to pack yourself, or do you want the moving company to pack for you? If you’re going to pack yourself, be sure to factor in the time and cost associated with packing and packing supplies. Are you moving across the street or across the country? While local moving companies might be the best option for smaller moves, you will want to hire a national moving company for interstate moves.
2) Ask Family and Friends for Recommendations
You know your family and friends will give you an honest evaluation of their experience. They will let you know if they felt they overpaid for mediocre service or if they built an excellent rapport with the moving company they selected. There is a reason word-of-mouth advertising is the most sought after for businesses. Happy customers will share their experience which breeds new business.
3) Check the Reviews and Ratings
First and foremost, make sure the moving company is licensed and insured. Different states have different requirements, but check with an official agency to make sure the moving company is legitimate. Once that checks out, be sure to verify the moving company’s rating with the Better Business Bureau.
4) Request an In-Home Estimate
Most moving companies will offer free in-home estimates. Be sure to be very specific about everything you want moved. For example, don’t forget to include the BBQ grill in the backyard or the storage items in the basement. The estimate should be in writing and it should include details of all of the charges. Make sure you get a copy of the written estimate and don’t sign anything if you are uncertain about it.
5) Don’t be Afraid to Ask Questions
Sometimes the simple questions are the most informative: how long have you been in business? Are you licensed and insured? Are you active in the community? And so on. In addition to the simple questions, a lot of moving contracts contain complicated legal language. Make sure to ask questions about the insured value of your belongings and any fees/surcharges not included in the estimate.
With a little bit of research and prudence prior to your move, you can help ensure the move itself runs as smooth and painless as possible. The last thing you want on top of a stressful day of moving is careless movers or a surprise charge on your final bill. Taking away the anxiety surrounding moving opens up the possibility of actually enjoying the exciting new change in your life.
If you live in Oregon check out Oregon Department of Transportation’s website for legal movers. In Washington you can find the similar information on the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission website.