Warning Signs to Look for When Hiring a Moving Company

Americans are mobile people. From the Lewis and Clark expedition to the California Gold Rush, we’ve always been on the move. However, we’ve now got past the age of cramming everything into a covered wagon to do so.

A move in today’s world can be a labor-intensive, stressful event. Choosing a great moving company can go a long way toward making the move much smoother. But not all movers are created equal.

Buyer Beware

When you hire a mover, you expect them to deliver all your belongings on time, in good condition and on budget. Here are a few warning signs to watch for when hiring a mover:

  • License or insurance is lacking. A legitimate moving company will provide you with proof of licensure and insurance upon request. If they can’t do that, consider walking away.
  • No physical address. A legitimate moving company will have an office as their base of operations. If all the mover you’re considering offers is a post office box, be wary.
  • Excessively large deposit. Most moving companies ask for a percentage of the total cost as a deposit with the balance due upon delivery of your belongings. When a mover asks for a large portion up front or the entire payment, red flags should start waving.
  • Unprofessional behavior. Are the movers dressed in appropriate attire and treating you in a professional manner? If they’re in tank tops and behaving in unprofessional ways, think carefully before hiring this crew.
  • Inspection not needed. To formulate a reliable estimate, a moving company must inspect your goods first. If you’re offered an estimate online, via email or text, or over the phone, be very wary.

Go for a Pro

Your belongings are important, precious and often irreplaceable. Movers should treat them as such. For that, you need a professional company. Here are some suggestions on hiring one to get your job done:

  • Look for the logo. Professionals will be in uniforms with company logos proudly displayed. They should have their own company vehicles with the name and logo painted on.
  • License and proof of insurance. A professional mover will be able to provide this documentation upon request and be happy to do it.
  • Written quote is clear and straightforward. You should receive a written quote that clearly spells out the estimated cost of the moving service and exactly what services the quote includes.
  • Research and referral. A professional moving company will have a website that includes background information and contact information. Ask for local referrals.

Getting There

Hiring professional movers is the only way to know your belongings will make the trip to your new home in good hands.

5 Packing Tips to Lower Your Moving Costs

Moving is considered one of the most stressful life events. Choosing a reputable moving company is one crucial step to reduce the stress. Reducing costs during your move is another. If your moving company quotes by the cubic feet (as opposed to by the pound), read on to learn five invaluable packing hacks that will save you time, money, and sanity.

1. Get Creative with Packing Material

Let’s face it – you’re going to have to move those T-shirts, towels, and washcloths anyway, so why not use them to cushion breakables like glassware, plates, and vases? Just remember that by keeping your box type consistent, you’ll be able to stack them higher, saving on space. Plus, there’s less chance that they’ll get knocked over en route.

2. Pack Books in Rolling Luggage

Again, this is a matter of both items having to get to the same destination so why not combine them? Books are usually some of the heaviest, bulkiest items to transport, but placing them in a suitcase with wheels makes it exponentially easier.

3. Wrap Electric Cords in Empty Paper Towel and Toilet Paper Rolls

A few months before your move, start setting these aside. While this won’t necessarily save packing space, it will save your sanity when it comes time to unpack your electronics. Also, take a picture of the back of your TV before you start unplugging everything, so you’ll know how to set it back up once you get to your new place.

4. Transfer Seasonal Items to Plastic Bins

While cardboard moving boxes are durable, using them more than three times risks your belongings. A better plan is to store items you plan on keeping long-term in storage bins. More durable than cardboard boxes, plastic containers are ideal for items that you’ll pull out seasonally or when the holiday rolls each year. Plus, storage bins are a good choice in case something catastrophic happens during transport; your items will stay protected from the elements longer than in a cardboard box. Just remember to tape the plastic bin to keep it closed.

5. Turn to Craigslist to Find Your Moving Boxes

Dozens of people are moving in your town at any given moment, and people want to get rid of their boxes as soon as they empty them. That’s where Craigslist comes in. Before you start running from store to store begging for mismatched boxes or spend money on brand-new boxes, check on the free section of Craigslist to see if anyone has gently used moving boxes. Remember to pay it forward; when you finish moving by posting the boxes for the next person.