How To Choose A Moving Company


Choosing the right moving company is crucial for a smooth and stress-free relocation. The process can be daunting, but with careful planning and research, you can find a reputable mover that meets your needs. Here are key steps and considerations to help you make an informed decision.

Research and Recommendations

Ask for Recommendations: Start by asking friends, family, and coworkers if they can recommend a professional moving company. Personal experiences can provide valuable insights and help you narrow down your options.

Online Reviews and Ratings: Check online reviews on websites like Yelp, Google, and the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Look for patterns in feedback, both positive and negative, to gauge the reliability and quality of service provided by the companies.

Verify Credentials

License and Insurance: Ensure the moving company is properly licensed and insured. In the United States, interstate movers must be registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and have a U.S. DOT number. Verify this information on the FMCSA website.

Professional Affiliations: Check if the moving company is a member of professional organizations such as the American Moving & Storage Association (AMSA) or the International Association of Movers (IAM). Membership in these organizations often indicates a commitment to professionalism and quality service.

Get Estimates

In-Home Estimates: Request in-home estimates from at least three different moving companies. This allows for a more accurate assessment of your moving costs. Beware of companies that only offer estimates over the phone or online without seeing your belongings.

Written Estimates: Ensure you receive written estimates that outline all the charges. Compare these estimates carefully, paying attention to details like hourly rates, mileage, insurance, and additional fees.

Understand the Contract

Types of Estimates: Understand the different types of moving estimates:

  • Binding Estimate: The quoted price is the amount you pay, regardless of any additional charges incurred during the move.
  • Non-Binding Estimate: The final cost may be higher or lower than the estimate, based on the actual weight of your shipment and services provided.
  • Binding Not-to-Exceed Estimate: If the actual cost of the move is less than the estimate, you pay the lower amount; if it’s more, you pay the quoted price.

Read the Fine Print: Carefully read the moving contract before signing. Pay attention to terms and conditions, cancellation policies, and liability for lost or damaged items.

Check for Hidden Costs

Additional Fees: Be aware of potential additional fees for services such as packing, unpacking, handling bulky items, or navigating stairs and elevators. Clarify these costs upfront to avoid surprises on moving day.

Insurance Options: Ask about insurance coverage options. Basic coverage is usually included, but it might be wise to purchase additional insurance for valuable items.

Evaluate Customer Service

Communication: Assess the company’s responsiveness and willingness to answer your questions. Good communication is a sign of a reliable moving company.

Visit the Office: If possible, visit the company’s office to get a sense of their professionalism and operations. A reputable company will have a physical address and well-maintained facilities.

Make Your Decision

Trust Your Instincts: If something feels off or if a company seems too good to be true, trust your instincts. It’s better to pay a bit more for peace of mind than to deal with the aftermath of a poor choice.

Final Verification: Before making your final decision, verify the company’s credentials one more time and confirm the details of your move. Double-check the schedule, payment terms, and any special requests.

By following these steps and taking the time to thoroughly vet your options, you can choose a moving company that will provide reliable and professional service, ensuring a smoother transition to your new home.