Unsurprisingly, moving can be an incredibly stressful and overwhelming undertaking. It can feel like a never-ending process, from hours, weeks, or months spent securing a new place to live to physically packing up all of your personal belongings. Not to mention you may even have to do it more than once in your lifetime!
Whether you’re moving to a new city or town for work, for a specific lifestyle change, or for any other reason, moving isn’t an easy task. Even experienced “movers” run into unexpected challenges with each and every move. But with proper research, planning, and maybe even hiring a moving company to help out, your moving day can be as stress-free as possible for you and your family.
If you’re on the fence about hiring a moving company, read on for our complete guide that will help you determine the following:
- Should You Hire a Moving Company?
- How Do You Choose Which Moving Company to Work With?
- How Should You Deal With a Bad Experience With a Moving Company?
Should You Hire a Moving Company?
If you’ve always chosen the DIY route in the past, you may think you don’t need to hire a moving company for your upcoming move. But a moving company can be incredibly beneficial if you’re moving cross-country, moving with children or pets, or can’t take a ton of time off of work to move. Sure, you may not need a moving company, but third-party movers can help take a lot of stress and responsibility off of your plate.
Not sure if you should hire a moving company? Ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you have hours to dedicate to decluttering, packing, and preparing your items to move?
- Are you physically fit to move heavy objects and furniture into a van or moving truck?
- How much time will you be able to take off of work for moving preparation and packing?
- How far away are you moving? Are you moving to a different state or just a quick drive down the road?
If you’re unsure about hiring a moving company, these questions should be able to help spark discussion and ultimately guide you to your decision. Remember: Moving companies consist of professional organizers, packers, movers, and logistics coordinators. Their job is to make your move as seamless and stress-free as possible.
How to Find the Best Moving Company for You
Once you’ve solidified your decision to hire a moving company, it’s time to shop around for the best movers near you. But don’t rush this step! Selecting the right moving company for your unique situation is crucial to help your move run smoothly.
When you’re in the process of deciding what moving company to hire, here are a few tips to help you along the way:
1. Ask for referrals
Do you know someone that’s recently moved? Ask them if they hired a moving company and what their experience was like. Your friends and family may have positive experiences with moving companies they can recommend to you. They may even be able to get you a referral discount, too!
2. Check out their online presence
If you’ve come across a moving company that seems like a viable option, do some digging online first. Do they have a website and social media profiles? Do they have a Better Business Bureau (BBB) profile? Can you verify their USDOT number? Having some form of online presence not only helps verify the validity of a business but also helps you get a feel for who exactly you’ll be working with.
3. Ask for references and read the reviews carefully
Along with referrals from friends and family, references from previous customers are a great way to gauge a moving company’s reputation. What level of service have these movers provided to their last ten clients? Do these individuals regret hiring these movers, or are they happy with their decision? Check reviews on the moving company’s website, Facebook page, and Google profiles before making any decisions.
4. Get a contract and read the fine print
Just like moving insurance, contracts can help protect you if and when you decide to hire a moving company. In these contracts, the responsibilities and expectations of the moving company will be laid out and agreed to by all parties involved. Take the time to check if there are any additional hidden fees in the contract and what the repercussions are for damaged or lost items.
Remember: Only work with companies that will provide a written contract. Phone calls are not binding and do not count.
5. Trust your gut
When you’re speaking with a representative from a moving company, you can get a good read on whether they’ll be a good fit right away. Are they polite and accommodating on the phone, or rude and dismissive? Doing your research is crucial, but if at the end of the day you get the feeling that it’s not a good fit, don’t go through with it.
Tips for Dealing With a Bad Moving Company
Hiring a moving company should help take less off of your plate during a stressful and overwhelming time. But if you end up in a situation where your moving company creates more stress and problems for you and your family, it may be time to take action.
Here are a few ways to go about handling a bad experience with movers:
1. Remember to be kind
Hiring a moving company can understandably leave you feeling anxious and on edge. Be sure to approach every interaction with kindness and empathy rather than assumptions. Not everyone out there means to scam you or ruin your moving experience.
2. File a complaint with the moving company
If you do end up having a less than positive experience with your movers, there are a few actions you can take. Directly contacting a manager or supervisor at the moving company is a great way to get the ball rolling and start a paper trail of the issue immediately.
Reputable moving companies should address your issues and provide solutions to remedy the situation.
3. Report the moving company to the appropriate organization
If you’re unable to come to a solution with the moving company in question, it may be time to escalate the issue to an outside party. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is a good place to start if you need to report a moving company, but you can also file a complaint with the following:
- Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
- American Trucking Association (ATA)
- State agencies as applicable
4. Consider hiring an attorney
In certain situations, it may be beneficial to consult with an attorney. Whether you need the moving company to replace lost or damaged items or need to report inappropriate behavior, an attorney can help you determine and prepare for the necessary course of action. If it comes down to it, small claims court can also help you recover costs to replace your things.
5. Check with your insurance
If you’re dealing with items that were lost or damaged during your move, check your renter’s or homeowner’s insurance policy to see if they’re covered. For instance, you might be protected by your homeowner’s coverage if the moving truck is in an accident while transferring your belongings.
6. Leave an accurate review
If you’re dealing with items that were lost or damaged during your move, check your renters or homeowner’s insurance policy to see if they’re covered. For instance, you might be protected by your homeowners coverage if the moving truck is in an accident while transferring your belongings.
Have You Ever Hired a Moving Company?
If you feel anxious about hiring a moving company, you’re not alone. Given the added risk it poses to any move, it’s normal to feel like it might not be worth it. But remember: A great moving company can help alleviate stress during a hectic time and make the moving process much easier for everyone involved. Talk it over with your family, do your research, and you’ll be able to make a much more confident and informed decision.