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  • Local, Long-Distance, and International Moving Services
  • Help Packing and Unpacking with Furniture Disassembly and Reassembly
  • Service All 50 States and Offer Free Moving Quote
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Important Things to Know Before Choosing a Moving Services Company

McCall Martin
McCall Martin | Senior Editor

Moving can be a very stressful process. Many factors need to be considered as you prepare to pack up your life and move into an unfamiliar, new space. Moving services can make this process significantly easier for you. Many moving services provide local, long-distance, and even international moving services. In addition to these basic moving services, some companies provide packing and storage services. Doing adequate research before moving can reduce stress during your move.

Local movers

Every moving service is different but the vast majority offer basic local moving services. Local moving is usually defined by a move that does not cross state lines. This could mean anything from a five-minute relocation to a number of hours drive on the other side of the state. When looking for a local moving service provider you will want to make sure that this company is properly licensed within your state. This includes insurance for your items during the time of transportation and ensures that all moving vehicles are legal in your state.

Long distance movers

If you will be crossing state borders during a move, long distance moving will be required. Similar to local moving, long distance moving is commonly provided by the majority of moving services. That being said, the likelihood of your personal belongings, furniture, and household goods being damaged during a long distance move is much higher than a local move. It is not uncommon for movers to pick up your things and take them to storage and moving facilities where they wait to be delivered. In the process, they are moved between vehicles and boxes are often restacked a number of times. In other circumstances, some moving trucks are not packed appropriately or road conditions are less than ideal during the long relocation and items are jostled or damaged in the back of the moving truck. Make sure that the long distance moving company that you select provides insurance for your items.

International movers

Moving to another country is no simple feat and requires the concentrated effort of multiple parties. Packing up your home and your belongings is just the beginning of this process. You will need a moving service that offers international moving services to help you. Most international moving service providers will have transportable storage units sent to your home to be packed in preparation for shipping. Once packed, these storage crates/units will be shipped via boats or planes to your final destination. Consider the following talking points when discussing an international move with a moving service:

  • insurance and licensing
  • customs support
  • contract and delivery agreements

Before crates of belongings are able to be shipped, they will need to pass through customs. The moving service you select should provide you with adequate support throughout the customs process to ensure that your things will be approved for shipping and will be able to be delivered to you in a timely manner.

Moving quotes and pricing

As you plan your move, reach out to a number of different moving service providers to see which quotes best align with your budget. After doing so, you will want to reach out to the companies that you are interested in and make sure that the quote you have received is accurate for the amount of things that you need to move. It is common for initial moving quotes to be anywhere from a couple hundred to a couple thousand dollars lower than the final service price. If you are able to have a contract drafted with the initial quote, you will likely be charged much less than if you wait to finalize the contract until the time of service. Some moving companies provide not only a free online quote, but also a free personal visit by a member of staff to get a better assessment of the volume of the move. This allows for these companies to provide more accurate quotes and in many ways better service.

Storage services

It is possible that the day you move out of your old living space you will not have access to your new space. If that is the case, it is important to have a moving service that offers short and long-term storage services. This will give you a place to store your things until you can move them into your new home. Hiring a moving service that provides storage services will help cut back on your overall moving costs as you will not have to hire a third-party storage service along with the moving company. Be sure to ask the moving services that you contact if these services are available.

Insurance and licensing

How would you feel if the antique clock that has been in your family for generations was damaged during your move and the company refuses to accept responsibility for the damages? To ensure this doesn’t happen to you, ask if the company offers insurance policies for the items you are entrusting to them. You will need to make sure that very specific terms are laid out in your contract stating that all damages will be covered before any of the moving process is carried out. To take extra precautions, you can ask a representative from the moving service to photograph each of the items being transferred before the move as proof of physical state before and after the move. Though many companies will not participate in these actions, if you can find one that will, it is more likely that any claims for damages will be refunded.

One more precautionary measure that proves advantageous to consumers is making sure that the company that you plan to hire has the proper licensing to carry out moving procedures in your state, the state where you will be moving to, or the country that you will be moving to. If the company you hire does not have the proper licenses, there is no guarantee that it will be able to complete your move as planned. Asking goes a long way!

Packing services

As part of a number of moving services, packing services are included as an incentive. Tracking down packing materials and doing the actual packing can eat up precious resources of time and money. If you decide to use professional packing services, a trained packing team will come to your home, pack your things, load them into the moving truck, and start your relocation.

During the packing process, it is important that you are aware of what is taking place to ensure that none of your personal belongings are damaged. Though these moving teams are deemed “professionals” it is still possible for things to be packed, wrapped, or stored lazily resulting in damage to your belongings. Make sure to keep an eye out if you want to avoid this.

Auto transport

As you are moving, the last thing that you want to have to worry about is your vehicle. This becomes even more difficult if you own more than one vehicle. Sometimes a relocation may require you to fly to another state leaving your car behind. Auto transport is a wonderful service provided by some moving services helping you to relocate not only your household items, but your mode of transportation. Not all moving services provide this service, so it will be important for you to inquire about this during your research.

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Moving Services Frequently Asked Questions

What questions should I ask when hiring a moving company?

As you are preparing to move, here are a few key questions that you should consider asking moving companies that you are interested in hiring:

  • Do you provide free online moving quotes?
  • Do you provide a free in-home visit and moving quote service?
  • Do you provide local, long-distance, and/or international moving services?
  • Do you provide short or long-term storage services?
  • Do you provide packing services?
  • Do you provide insurance for items entrusted to your company?

Should I hire a mover or do it myself?

There is no one right answer to this question. If you have the time and resources to move by yourself, you can opt to just rent a moving truck and move yourself.

For those who do not have the time to take charge of their entire move, hiring a moving service for parts or all of your move can be advantageous. If you are looking to only hire a mover for part of your move, you can do a number of things yourself before turning over the job. To start, you can take care of all of the packing and organization of your personal belongings and household goods. This is a very time-consuming process that will save you the cost of packing services. You can also label all of the boxes with the rooms that each box will be placed in upon delivery.

If you are short on time and just want the job to get done, hiring a moving service for the entire process is a great option. This includes packing services, loading, transportation, delivery, unloading, and unpacking. In some cases, this can even include help setting up your furniture and electronics. Though this is more expensive, the time you save is significant.

How do I get rid of stuff I don’t want to move?

You have a number of options to get rid of items that you are not interested in taking with you. If you are looking to earn a bit of cash, you can sell these items online on sites like Facebook Marketplace, MaxSold, OfferUp, etc. If you would rather get rid of everything quickly, consider donating to organizations near you like Goodwill, The Salvation Army, or thrift stores that might be interested in these items. If you feel that some of the things that you are leaving behind are of no use anymore, don’t be afraid to throw them away or recycle them as well.

How long does it take for a moving company to deliver my things?

This is a tough question. The answer varies depending on the moving service that you hire, the distance that you are traveling, and a couple other things. To ensure that your things are delivered in a timely manner, you should make sure that a delivery date is specified in your contract. Some moving companies provide a 30-day delivery window in which it can make the delivery. That being said, it is possible that you will be up to a month without your things. This should be a top priority on your list when formulating a contract with a moving service.

How should I pack while preparing to move?

Packing can be an arduous task. To simplify the process, take the opportunity to consider each item and thoughtfully decide if you want to keep it, donate it, or throw it away. Once you have done this, start packing the things that you are keeping, organizing them into piles that correspond to the rooms that they will be put in upon arrival. Make sure that you think about weight as you pack to ensure that boxes are stackable to avoid damaging your things.

One important key to packing is making sure that you get high-quality packing materials. The boxes that you use should be sturdy so that they don’t get smashed when put in the truck. The tape you use should be new and sturdy to make sure that boxes stay closed during the move.

What happens if my things are damaged by the movers?

If the moving company you hire damages your things, you have a few options. First, you can make a claim with the company showing proof of the damage to see what the company will do to compensate you. If the company refuses, you will need to seek out legal action on your own.

The best way to avoid this challenge is making sure that the contract states that any damages incurred will be covered. Make sure to read the fine print so that you don’t get taken advantage of. If a company does not provide insurance to your items while in its possession, you may have reason to be concerned.

How do I choose a long distance moving company?

Choosing a long distance moving company starts with research. Look into a number of companies in your area to see which of them provides you with the best price for the services. If you are looking for a list of companies near you, you can find a number of them here.

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