The United States has long been renowned for the mobility of its citizens. In the 1950s, approximately one-fifth of households moved each year. While a general decline in relocation rates has happened over the past decade, 10 percent of the population still moved in 2019.
If you’re among the ten percent, you’ve got a lot on your mind. From finding boxes to hiring a moving company.
Moving clearly comes with stress. Psychology studies rank this life event as more anxiety-producing than breakups and divorce!
Of course, many changes of locale can’t be avoided. And they also come with a certain level of adventure and hope for the future, once you get past the organizational elements.
With that in mind, we’ve got five tips to make your upcoming move a whole lot easier. Check out our guidelines for hiring movers.
Hiring a Moving Company
Let’s start with the number one question on many minds when it comes to relocation. Are moving companies worth it? If you want to simplify and streamline the packing and transport process, then the answer’s a resounding “YES.”
After all, moving is back-breaking work. The relief that comes with passing it along to responsible, experienced hands is priceless. But professional movers do more than heavy lifting.
They also make moving day run smoothly, freeing up your time for more critical activities. But how do you find a fantastic company to work with? These tips will help.
1. Word-of-Mouth Recommendations
While a Google search represents a convenient way to start looking for moving companies, don’t believe everything you read online. Likely, you’ll find a mixed bag when it comes to reviews for moving companies, as well as what can only be termed “horror stories.”
Instead, we recommend starting by reaching out to your friends and family about moving companies that they recommend. If no one in your immediate circle of friends and family has moved recently, reach out to your network via social media channels.
Once you’ve got a few names, then dive into online research. By starting with word-of-mouth recommendations rather than a “moving companies near me” internet search, you’ll end up with a more narrowly focused group of companies and clear insight about each one.
2. Search Online Reviews
Now that you’ve compiled a list of prospects, you can dust off the old computer and start searching. As you look for companies, bear in mind that people only tend to leave reviews if the service was excellent or awful.
So, don’t be surprised if you notice a wide disparity in what people have to say. As you pour over reviews, focus on those that most closely resemble your current situation, both in terms of location, household size, and moving destination.
Your ultimate goal as you conduct your web search? To find a company with a proven track record over the long haul. Even if they have gotten the occasional bad review. After all, no company’s impervious to a disgruntled customer now and again.
That said, these should be rare instances, not a general trend.
3. Check for Licenses and Insurance
If there’s one step you follow on this list, let it be this one. Never work with a moving company that doesn’t have the proper licenses and insurance.
Why? Because it’s a recipe for disaster.
Remember that companies who are licensed and insured are legally bound to protect your property.
How can you verify whether or not a company has the right licensing and insurance? Start at the United States Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) website. All interstate movers must register with the USDOT and get a unique number.
Through the website, you can access the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) database, where you’ll learn if a company has a valid USDOT number. You can also find out more about their safety record and whether or not they’re adequately insured.
Further, verify the legitimacy of moving companies by ensuring they have a physical address (not a PO box) and checking their service records. Be wary of any movers that ask for a deposit, especially if it’s more than 20 percent.
Remember that competition is usually fierce in the moving industry. Don’t be afraid to find another company if the one you’re considering asks for a deposit or doesn’t thoroughly check out. You have more options than you likely realize, especially if you plan well in advance.
4. Find the Right Fit for Your Needs
Households are all different, and so is the experience of moving each one. Whether you’re in a studio apartment or a five-bedroom house, you need to find a moving company to accommodate your needs.
What are some considerations you should have as you’re looking for the ideal movers for your situation? The company you choose should have a moving truck capable of fitting all of your furniture, boxes, and other belongings.
Their moving truck should also be capable of handling any of the physical constraints associated with your property. They should provide additional packing materials and supplies as needed (e.g., moving blankets, bubble wrap, garment boxes, etc.).
For your convenience (and sanity), find a moving company with a time window that meets your individual needs. And make sure that they guarantee pickup and delivery dates, or you could get left hanging.
5. Don’t Forget About Vehicles!
In the mad rush to get all of your home’s belongings packed and loaded on trucks, it can be all too easy to forget about how your cars will get moved from point A to point B. Don’t let this happen to you!
If you have multiple automobiles, this could spell disaster, especially if you think a friend or family member will help out, and then they have to back out unexpectedly. (This scenario happens far more often than you might think.)
And do you want to add a road trip or two to your plate? On top of a move? We don’t think so!
Instead, take away the burden and hassle of moving one or more vehicles by hiring professional auto transporters. Depending on the type of car you have and your final destination, it costs, on average, just $0.60 per mile to haul a car.
The more miles your car must move, the lower the per-mile rate. It’s a win-win for you that’ll take much of the weight of a move from your shoulders.
Make Your Move a Cinch
With the tips above, you’ll be well-positioned for hiring a moving company that meets your household’s unique needs. Now that you know how to vet each company, you’ll find reputable, reliable crews that treat your possessions and cars like the precious items they are.
Are you ready for more advice to make relocation a breeze? Keep reading our blog to make this your best move ever.
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