Moving never seems like a big deal until you’re faced with the project of packing everything you own and getting it safely to a new location. Just the sheer amount of stuff you’ve collected over the years can feel overwhelming to deal with, and even the most minimalistic among us may have difficulty knowing how to get started on such a big job.

Hiring a moving company is a must for anyone who can’t physically lift all those boxes or doesn’t wash to worry about driving a truck five times the size of their regular car. It’s a big decision, though, and you’ll want to make sure you’re working with true professionals. Here’s what you should ask any moving company before you sign on the dotted line:

1. Are You Insured?

Proper insurance is an absolute must when it comes to protecting your property. Ask how much the company is insured for and exactly what is covered — and don’t be shy about asking to see proof. If they break something you love, you want to be reimbursed. No insurance? Walk away.

2. How Long Will It Take?

Understand how much lead time the movers need to pack and transport your belongings so you can schedule your move appropriately. This will also help you put together a personal timeline for sorting your belongings and getting rid of unwanted items.

3. What’s Included in the Estimate?

The best estimates are clearly itemized so you don’t end up with nasty surprises along the way. Ask if there’s a certain amount of hours, boxes or miles included — and what happens if your move is more complicated than originally thought. Ideally, look for a binding estimate to prevent cost overruns.

4. Do You Have References?

It’s not easy to trust a stranger with your prized possessions, so a little due diligence about your moving company is a good idea. Check references or at least Yelp reviews to see how they handle fragile items and what their customer service is like when the rubber hits the road.

5. Do You Have Storage Facilities?

If you’d like to pack some of your belongings and move them out of your home early — particularly helpful when staging a home for sale — storage services are key. Find out about long-term charges, on-site security and climate control options for any storage facility you consider.

It’s always a good idea to research a few moving companies. In addition to comparing price quotes, make sure you’re satisfied with the answers to these questions before you commit to working with someone. When you choose a reputable mover, you can breathe a little easier during your big move.