Moving can be very tedious, especially if you own a lot of stuff. Packing up all of your things, renting a truck, loading the truck, driving to the new place, and unloading everything… This is all very time-consuming. As a result, many people choose to hire a moving company to do all or part of it.
Unfortunately, although hiring a moving company can save you a lot of time and stress, hiring the wrong moving company can add to it. To protect yourself and your belongings, you will need to know how to choose a moving company.
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Here are a few things to consider when looking for a good moving company.
1) How much of the move do you want the moving company to handle?
The saying is that you can hire someone to do almost anything for you – for a price. This is certainly true in this case. Many people choose to box up all their belongings themselves, and hire movers to load/unload the truck and transport everything. Some people, particularly if they are moving cross-country, might rent a truck and hire movers to box everything up and pack the truck, then do the driving themselves. Others hire movers to do absolutely everything, from packing the boxes to unloading it all into the proper rooms in the new house.
2) How much are you budgeting for the move?
Of course, everything that you have the moving company do will add to your bill. If you are on a tight budget, you may need to balance quality and convenience against cost. This means that you might have to do some of the work yourself, and hire movers who will just do the most difficult parts – usually loading and driving the truck. Compare prices between moving companies, and decide which will best suit your needs.
3) How far away are you moving?
Long-distance moves affect two things when choosing a moving company: the cost of the move, and the moving companies you have to choose from. Some local companies may not be able to move you across state lines. Also, for long-distance moves you will want to hire a moving company enough in advance to ensure that they have availability.
4) Does the moving company insure your belongings against damage or loss?
You have a lot of capital invested in your belongings. Think how much money it would take to replace some or all of it if something were to happen during the move. Would you even be able to?
Many moving companies will only reimburse a fraction of the value of your belongings if something happens to them. Ask a moving company how much they pay for lost or damaged belongings, and be sure to get a copy of this policy in writing. If the moving company’s policy doesn’t provide enough coverage, you may want to look into additional insurance.
5) What kind of reputation does the moving company have?
We’ve all heard the horror stories of things turning up missing or broken after the movers have unpacked the truck and left. Just as you want your belongings protected from damage or loss, you also need to know whether a moving company has a reputation for breaking or stealing things.
One way to research a moving company’s reputation is to search for their name online. Look for both complaints and follow-ups, since how the company handled the complaint is at least as important as the complaint itself. You should also check to see if the company is a member of the Better Business Bureau. Although the BBB will attempt to mediate a conflict even if the moving company is not a member, there is less incentive for a non-member to work toward a resolution.
The length of time the company has been in business is also a good indicator of reputation. Companies with bad reputations generally don’t stay in business for very long, so a company that has been around for a long time would probably be a better choice than one that only started up recently.
6) Can the moving company give you references?
A good moving company should be able to provide you with references upon request. Do check these references, but also keep in mind that just like individual, the moving company is likely to offer references that they know will be positive.
Of course, by far the best reference you can get is a referral from a friend or acquaintance. You are probably better off using a moving company recommended by someone you know, rather than one you have never heard of before.
Final Tips for Choosing a Moving Company
When you hire movers, you are putting a large part of your life in someone else’s hands. Things like furniture, clothing, and kitchenware are expensive, but since we usually accumulate them over time, most people don’t realize how much money they have tied up in their household items until they have to replace them all at once.