Moving is quoted as being one of the most stressful experiences we’ll ever go through in our lives. While we always recommend moving yourself or using one of the you-pack/we-drive services, sometimes the circumstances just don’t allow that. The problem is that we don’t tend to move very often in our lives to make it a process we get used to. We’re generally mostly novices when it comes to moving, and it shows. Being smart and knowing what you’re up against definitely helps to tackle this process pain-free and with ease.
Which Moving Company?
Choosing a good moving company is not an easy task. The moving industry is complicated, and to ensure you get a quality moving company, you have to do your homework. We’ve all heard horror stories from friends and relatives about disreputable companies—it’s vital to sort the good from the bad as soon as you can. No matter where you live, you are guaranteed to find multiple moving companies in your area that will be more than happy to help you with your move. Your only task is to choose the right one.
Finding a Moving Company
The best way to find a reliable moving company is by recommendation or reputation. Looking online can often be very misleading since companies aren’t always honest when presenting themselves on their Web pages. If someone you know had a good experience with one company, then definitely consider contacting them. If you are unsuccessful, talk to realtors or estate agents, they are experienced in this area and should be able to provide all the information you need. Once you choose a couple of potential moving companies, check which of these are accredited members of a moving association or trade body. From this, you can assume the company will have to adhere to certain standards, indicating that they take their responsibility seriously. You can even ask the company for previous customers’ contact information to get their feedback. It’s always suspicious when a company seems less than keen to let you talk to people they’ve dealt with in the past.
Contacting the Moving Company
The next step in the process of choosing the right company is to start calling them and finding out the pros and cons of each. Prepare a short list of questions that concern you—here are examples of a few:
- Is the company insured? Ask them to provide you with their insurance company’s name and policy number.
- Does the company use their own equipment, or will a subcontractor or another company be providing the service?
- Who will be providing services at the end of the move, such as unpacking, claims settlement, and storage? Is it the same as the original company?
- If your belongings will be left overnight in a moving van, will the van be kept in a secure facility, and who does this facility belong to? Be sure to use a company that uses vehicles designed for household goods moving and storage.
- Does the mover have a Workers’ Compensation Board certificate? If not, you may end up paying for any employee injuries during the move.
Ask For an Estimate
There are many more questions that you should ask in order to tailor your move to your actual needs. Of course, one of the main questions you won’t probably forget is asking for an estimate. Before finally deciding which company to go with, you should get an estimate from each of them, and consider their prices to what service they will provide to you. Sometimes it’s better to pay a little extra to get more services. When asking for an estimate, be sure to give the mover precise information about the location of your old and new residences. Notify the movers of obstacles such as stairs or escalators that will require special navigation. To avoid being charged more later on, give the movers as much information as possible. Be sure to get estimates and all other assurances in writing, including the delivery date, as well as the full name of the person you spoke with.
Once you’ve made your decision, you’ll probably be asked to sign some kind of confirmation that outlines your agreement. Always read the whole agreement to check for mistakes or possible hidden costs not discussed beforehand. Then, all that’s left is to get ready for your moving day. Don’t forget to give your movers a call a few days before the move to confirm your arrangements!
Overseeing Packers During a Move
To make sure your packing and moving is done professionally and according to your needs, it’s always a good thing to keep an eye on the packers during the move. Here are a few tips you should remember:
- During the packing process, be present to answer possible questions that the packers might have, and offer useful instructions that can save them time.
- Advise them not to pack your personal belongings that you intend to take with you (toiletries, clothing, etc.).
- Make sure large appliances and electronics are disconnected and properly bolted.
- Check to see if all boxes and cartons are labelled correctly by content and room destination in your new home.
- Go through the inventory list with the movers to resolve any possible disagreements concerning the condition your goods are in.
- Take a final walk-through of the house before the truck leaves to be sure everything is loaded that needs to be.
- Check that the driver has the correct directions and a telephone number to contact either you or a friend if you’re on the road.