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Choosing a Mover: When to Call & What to Ask

Moving is a major life event. Whether your move will take you across town or across the country, it’s never too early to start planning. Reach out to several movers as soon as you know you will be moving. This will give you time to get several estimates and simplify the process of choosing a mover that is best for you.

A good rule of thumb is to contact movers at least six-to-eight weeks prior to your preferred moving date. A quality mover will help you plan for the moving process and work with you to build a moving plan that fits your specific needs.

It’s important to do your research before selecting a mover. There are many great movers out there, but there are also many fraudulent ones. A simple online search will provide you with hundreds of movers to select from, but only a small percentage of those are movers you would feel comfortable moving your home.

So how do you select a reputable, quality mover? Here is a list of questions you should ask each moving company to ensure they are experienced residential movers:

  • Do you provide an in-home survey and is there a charge for the survey? This is standard protocol in the moving industry, and it is the first step in selecting a moving company. All professional movers will provide a free in-home survey prior to giving their moving estimate. This allows them to meet with you and develop a detailed moving plan that fits your unique needs. If your mover does not want to perform an in-home survey, be wary.
  • Do you operate your own equipment and employ your own professional moving crews? If a mover does not have their own crews and equipment, you are dealing with a move broker. Move brokers are simply middle men that are looking to take a cut of the profits. If this is the case, it’s time to reach out to another company.
  • Are your crews background checked and drug screened? These screening tests ensure the people working in your home and around your family can be trusted and do not have any prior criminal offenses.
  • What type of training do you provide to your crews? The best movers have in-depth training programs their employees go through that teach them the tools of the trade, prior to entering your home.
  • I may need to store my belongings. Do you have a warehouse available at both origin and destinations cities? Am I able to tour your facilities?  Professional movers are happy to let you tour their facilities. Having facilities and equipment ensures your mover is a reputable business that is part of the community.
  • (If you are moving interstate) Are you associated with a major van line?  If they are not associated with a major van line, it will likely be more difficult for them to find a truck to move your belongings. They also will not be able to provide you with any support services at your new destination.
  • Are you a member of the American Moving and Storage Association? The AMSA gives out its Pro Mover designation to registered members who meet their high standard of quality. Look for the ProMover accreditation to ensure you are not dealing with a rogue mover.

Taking the time to ask these important questions will help ensure you select a reputable mover.  Remember, working with a professional mover will take the stress out of the moving experience, not add to it. So reach out to your mover early, and let them manage your moving experience for you.

13 Responses to “Choosing a Mover: When to Call & What to Ask”

JamesHarrison1May 13th, 2013 at 6:34 am

Hiring  a reliable mover is one of the most important and initial
step of your move. With so many options available ,it becomes quite hard
to choose a reliable moving company. So better start searching for
moving company, as early as possible. Choosing a good company and then
working according to plan can really make a difference.

CorriganMovingMay 13th, 2013 at 9:01 am

JamesHarrison1 Definitely James. The more information available throughout the process, the better, for all parties involved. When a move’s requirements change, sometimes people don’t want to bother the mover and wait until they arrive on moving day to explain things… we love hearing from our clients throughout the process, and letting us know of changes as soon as possible can help make things even smoother on the big day. Thanks for reading!

rbenson1February 4th, 2015 at 1:20 am

It seems like it would be important to make sure the moving company you hire gives their employees a background check and a drug test.  I don’t want to invite someone I don’t trust into my home.  I will have to make sure I ask my potential moving companies about their employee policies. <a href=’’ ></a&gt;

James LisbonMarch 26th, 2015 at 9:23 pm

The part that mentioned talking about the training that moving companies receives seems important.  The last thing someone would probably want is for someone inexperienced to move things.  However, there seem to be services out there that can help with moving things should help be required.

MaryJanePrinctonMarch 31st, 2015 at 5:41 pm

It is so important that you find a really good mover that you can trust. These workers will be handling your belongings, so you want to make sure that you can count on them. It is a really good idea to ask them a lot of questions and even look at reviews. I would suggest looking at a lot of different moving companies before you choose one to stick with.

janefairfax18April 6th, 2015 at 2:32 pm

I would never have thought to ask these questions when looking for a moving company. I would never have thought about asking whether they were members of AMSA, for example. I didn’t even know that existed. This will certainly come in handy for picking the right company to help us.

JaxWillis23April 17th, 2015 at 12:54 am

It can definitely be difficult to get things like this figured out. I hope that people do get it all figured out though. I know that I would struggle trying to make the move on my own. That was the majority of my experience back when I was growing up. Getting professional help though is just too good to pass up on. It makes the whole experience easier and better.

TyroneBobbyJoeHillMay 18th, 2015 at 9:46 pm

I didn’t realize there was so much to take into consideration when hiring a moving service! The last time we moved my wife and I tried to do it without help from a professional service, and we’ve regretted it ever since. It was definitely a difficult experience. I love what you said about asking for storage and warehouse options. Often people need a good place to store their stuff while they’re finishing the moving process. I’ll definitely be sure to ask all these questions to every moving service I come across until I find a good one for us.

James LisbonMay 19th, 2015 at 12:37 pm

I liked the part that talked about finding storage for you things should storage be needed.   Moving seems like something that would take a fair amount of understanding and preparation to do right.   However, I can see how different people are probably going to have different needs, so the circumstances might change.

VictoriaRundaNovember 6th, 2015 at 9:02 pm

I’ve followed a similar set of questions when looking for moving companies in the past. I’m fairly certain that one of the most important questions is about crew background checks and drug screenings. It is important to me to know that I can depend upon the moving crew to safely and responsibly move my property. If I wasn’t confident in the workers than I wouldn’t choose to go with the company.

Peter HowieFebruary 4th, 2017 at 2:54 am

Nice tips. We highly recoomend reading as many reviews as you can. Also check their engagement from customers on facebook, this can sometimes give you good insights into the business operation and customer satisfaction. Good luck.