How to Hire a Moving Company

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Real Estate

Summer moving season is here.  Typically families with kids tend to wait until school is out for the summer to make their move.  Moving companies are inundated with inquiries this time of year.  And if you aren't careful, you can be taken advantage of!  It never hurts to do your homework!

If you're moving local, you can always rent a truck for the weekend or hire a local company similar to "2 guys and a truck".  But what if you're moving long distance?  You're going to need to hire a moving company,  This process seems a little daunting.

When you're calling around for a moving company, there are a few questions you should ask.  Like :  Are you certified by the ICC (the Interstate Commerce Commission)?  Do you charge by the pound or by the hour?  How much insurance do you carry?  Are there any items you charge extra to move, such as china, pianos, pool tables and the like?  Are you bonded?  Can I call to find out the location of my things during the move?

You also need to decide if you're going to pack your goods or if you're going to let the movers pack for you.  Of course having them pack is an extra cost.  Looking for places for free moving boxes?  Check out these tips for free boxes.

Once you’ve hired a mover, there’s still more work to be done.  

1.  Make yourself a checklist of things to do every week for eight weeks prior to the move. Stay as organized as possible. You can find a good one here.   This one starts 8 weeks before your move date.

2.  Ask your moving company to assign three movers to you—two to load and unload and one to guard the truck to prevent theft. When they walk your home to see how much you have, ask the person how many people will be assigned to your move (they may not have the typical 3).   Usually the crew who packs your goods (if you choose that), is not the same crew who will be loading it onto the truck.  Usually the driver who loads your belongings is the same driver you'll see who delivers your goods to your new home, so be nice. :-)

3.  Talk to your insurance agent about liability. Does your current homeowner’s policy (or renters policy) cover your possessions during a move? Moving companies’ basic insurance coverage usually allows a set amount per pound per item, and it’s usually not enough, so find out how much the company carries and then buy extra insurance if necessary. Remember that most companies don’t accept liability for breakage of any items you pack yourself. Amazingly moving companies are not allowed to sell insurance. Check out this article about moving and insurance here.

4.  Confirm the arrangements with the moving company a couple of days before your move.

During your move, there's a few etiquette things you should do.  Remember, these people are humans too.  Offer them water and buy them lunch.  Remember, they're handling each and every item you own.  Your packers want you out of the way, but they need you close by in case they have questions.  And should you tip them, and if so, how much? That's a controversial topic. Check out this breakdown on the tipping debate.

Moving is a stressful time for everyone involved!  But with a little homework, your move can be pretty seamless.