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Moving is an involved and sometimes stressful process. Hiring a moving company can make the experience easier, but the process of hiring a moving company can be a challenge. Use these 13 tips to hire the best moving company and minimize your stress.

1. Check experience.

Find out how the long the moving company has been in business. After all, these are the people who will make sure your priceless possessions get from point A to point B. Knowing they have a track record of successful moves will tell you a lot.

2. Check licensure.

Moving companies need to be licensed. When moving across state lines, they need a US DOT number. When moving within the same state, they need a state license. It’s important to check to make sure the licensing numbers they give you are actually valid. You can check on the validity of a US DOT number at this website.

3. Check insurance.

If the truck carrying your belongings was to get in an accident, it could be disastrous if the moving company wasn’t properly insured. Verifying insurance needs to be one of the items on your list of tasks when considering a moving company. You should also take the time to check the details of your own insurance. Look into your homeowners or renters policy to see if any of your belongings will be covered during a move. You can also look into purchasing supplemental insurance for an added layer of protection and peace of mind.

4. Look for recommendations and accolades.

Ask to see letters of recommendation. Find out if the moving company has won any awards or other accolades for excellent service. Knowing a moving company has a strong reputation can help you make your decision.

5. Read reviews.

You probably don’t eat at a restaurant before reading reviews online, so why should you blindly choose a moving company without doing the same? You can even find moving company reviews on Yelp, but you should also check places like the Better Business Bureau. If there are any questionable reviews, you can try writing to the reviewer to get more information. You should also ask the moving company about particular bad reviews. The way they respond can tell you a lot about their trustworthiness.

6. Check into what their rates actually include.

Moving companies are notorious for hiding all kinds of hidden fees behind their low rates. If you don’t want to bleed your bank account dry, it’s vital to find out exactly what is included in their rates.

7. Find out about consolidation policies and delivery windows.

When moving out of state, sometimes moving companies will consolidate your belongings with other mover’s belongings. This is a way to save money for the moving company which may be passed onto you, but it can end up being inconvenient. When there are multiple stops to deliver belongings to multiple people, the delivery window becomes less specific and certain. Get the details upfront so you know what to expect and when you can actually expect your belongings to arrive.

8. Inquire about specific details.

There are a number of specific details that you want to be sure to inquire about.

  • How many movers will be involved?
  • How long will the moving process take?
  • If it ends up taking longer than expected, will you be charged more?
  • How will the movers protect your belongings?
  • Does the moving company provide all materials?
  • What happens if your furniture is damaged during the move?

9. Find out if the company is active in the community.

This isn’t vital information, but it can be helpful to find out if the moving company is involved in the community. If they care about the community, that means they probably care about its residents. It’s a little thing, but it speaks to the character and trustworthiness of the company.

10. Find out if they have specialty experience for your needs.

If your moving circumstances are unique, find out if they have the relevant experience. For example, if your building has an elevator, make sure they have that experience. Likewise, if you are in a home with several flights of stairs, find out if they are comfortable with that. If you have a piano, make sure they have experience moving pianos. Sometimes specialty situations will result in higher costs, so be sure to inquire about that as well.

11. Find out if they take measurements prior to moving day.

Having exact measurements before the day of the move can help things go smoothly. Knowing the measurements will help minimize the risk of damage. It’s also a good idea to photograph everything in advance just in case there is damage so you have proof.

12. Plan out where you want everything to go.

Draw out a floor plan of your new home and plan out where everything will go. This step can make the moving process so much easier for you and it will help your movers, too. Especially when you are paying your movers by the hour, you want the process to be as efficient as possible.

13. Ask if the moving company has questions for you.

A moving company that doesn’t have any questions for you should be a red flag. Movers need a lot of specific information before giving an estimate.