The Stress-Free Guide to Hiring Moving Companies

Thе procеss of moving to a nеw homе can bе incrеdibly strеssful.  You havе to pack up all your bеlongings,  еnsurе utilitiеs arе sеt up at your nеw placе,  updatе your addrеss,  and somеhow find thе timе and еnеrgy to transport еvеrything from point A to point B. 

Hiring That’s moving companies is such a smart choice for many people. Professional movers lift the burden of physically moving your stuff, allowing you to focus on all the other minor (but still important!) details that crop up when relocating. However, finding and selecting a qualified, reliable moving company introduces its challenges.

In this blog post, we’ll walk through everything you need to know to choose trusted moving companies to assist with your move, including:

  • What to look for when researching potential moving companies
  • Questions to ask when vetting movers
  • How to spot red flags that indicate less reputable companies
  • Tips for getting the best deal when hiring movers

Follow this stress-free guide, and you’ll be well on your way to a smooth, easy move with the help of excellent local moving companies in NY!

Step 1: Start Your Research Early

First things first: start researching well before your move date, especially if you’re planning a long-distance relocation.

The best-moving companies often book quickly, especially in the spring and summer peak moving seasons. You’ll want to identify top-rated regional and long-distance movers and get quotes from at least three to five companies. This takes time, so build this step into your moving checklist a few months pre-move.

Check reviews on sites like Yelp to find the most reliable moving companies in your local area. Google Maps is another excellent tool—search for keywords like “movers near me” and scan companies’ reviews and ratings.

Also, get recommendations from friends, family, neighbors, and real estate agents. They may have great referrals to share from their own moving experiences.

Step 2: Research Red Flags

Unfortunately, there are some shady moving companies out there you’ll want to avoid. That’s why vetting movers thoroughly and watching for red flags is crucial.

Some things to watch out for include:

  • No company website and limited online information
  • No USDOT license number
  • Vague information about licensing and insurance
  • Requests that you pay large deposits upfront before receiving services
  • Lack of physical address for the company

Reputable moving companies will have robust online presences with details about licensing, insurance coverage, company history and leadership team bios. They should willingly provide their USDOT license number so you can look up additional reports on their company safety records.

And quality movers typically don’t require large upfront deposits. Be wary if a company asks you to pay excessive amounts before they’ve rendered services; legitimate businesses generally accept payment once the move is complete.

Step 3: Ask the Right Questions

Once you’ve identified a few promising moving companies, do phone interviews to vet them further. Make sure to ask these key questions:

How long have you been in business?

Seek companies with 5+ years of experience. Newer movers may have fewer online reviews, insurance claims history, etc., for you to evaluate.

What types of insurance coverage do you carry?

Reputable companies should have cargo/goods, property damage, workers’ compensation, and auto liability coverage. Ask for documentation on policies and coverage limits.

Will you do an in-home estimate?

In-person estimates allow movers to see exactly what items you’re transporting. Beware of low-ball quotes given without visual inspections.

What are your claims procedures?

Ask how they handle damages, disputes, etc. Good moving companies will have clear claims processes to address issues quickly.

Can you provide referrals from past clients?

Contact references to ask if the company delivered services professionally and efficiently.

Step 4: Read the Fine Print

Before signing any contract with potential moving companies, carefully scan the paperwork for hidden fees and concerning policies.

Unfortunately, some shifty movers try tacking on vague fuel charges, overtime fees, etc., which really inflate consumer costs. Reputable companies clearly outline all costs and processes ahead of time, so there are no surprising add-ons later.

Also, understand how liability for damages works. Many movers offer various levels of liability coverage at different price points. Please ensure you’re comfortable with their damage claims processes and your level of protection based on the plan you select.

Don’t feel rushed into signing anything on the spot. Take your time reviewing contracts thoroughly before committing.

Step 5: Get Price Estimates in Writing

When researching costs with various moving companies, always ask for written estimates. These should break down all anticipated charges to accurately compare bids from different movers.

Most reputable companies offer binding estimates—meaning they guarantee total costs won’t exceed the written quote. But beware of non-binding estimates that allow them to add on fees later.

Written estimates should also specify pickup/delivery timelines so all expectations are established upfront. Plus, the estimate should also list company insurance and licensing details in writing.

Step 6: Trust, But Verify

Even once you’ve settled on a great moving company, continue taking precautions to protect your belongings and personal information:

  • Stay present during loading/unloading whenever possible
  • Conduct inventory checks before movers drive away
  • Closely supervise movers walking through your home
  • Keep jewelry, sensitive documents, etc., separate instead of allowing movers to pack them
  • Don’t discard moving boxes/papers containing your full name, address etc.

Reputable companies will support best practices, prioritizing client security and privacy throughout your move.

Take the Stress Out of Moving Day

Coordinating all the small (but hugely important!) details during a move leaves little time for transporting your home’s contents from house to house.

Hiring trusted, professional moving companies is the best route for many people. Use this guide to vet moving companies thoroughly, avoid shady operations, get transparent pricing, and protect your belongings every step of the way.

Then, you can sit back and direct traffic on a moving day rather than hauling heavy furniture and boxes around! Follow these tips for moving success with reliable partners assisting every step of the journey.