Moving is a step into the great unknown.
Even if you’ve planned out to the utmost detail, you never can know what will come your way. But odds are someone you know or nearby is in a similar spot as you are.
About 10 percent of Americans, or about 32.4 million, moved within a year of being surveyed, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Florida saw the most movers from out of the state and Los Angeles County saw the most people moving in as well as moving out.
In hopes of smoothing out the journey, you’ve decided to hire a moving company. But how do you find a reliable moving company?
Google “moving company” and you will get page after page of movers. Here are five things to know to help you parse out your search and find the right mover for you.
Trusted Friends = Trusted Reviews
The easiest way to get started is to ask around among your trusted associates. Talk to friends, families and coworkers you trust about their experience with a moving company. This is really helpful if they have recent experience. That way the hot take you get from them will be appropriately fresh.
Also, your friends will have your best interests at heart… if they are good friends that is. Online reviews are usually prompted by intensely emotional happenings such as terrible or miraculous experiences. Neither are usually typical.
Hiring professional movers could easily start with anecdotal research. But there is a way to bring data to bear on your research.
Ask the Feds If They Are a Reliable Moving Company
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, a division of the U.S. Department of Transportation, maintains a registry of interstate movers that has all kinds of information.
There are basic statistical information about trucks, tractors and trailers to help you get an idea of how big and, theoretically, the professionally of the moving operation.
But there is also safety ratings, the number of complaints filed against the mover in the last few years and info about the nature of the complaints.
Click here for the registry.
Start Early, Get It in Writing
If you have the time, start several weeks in advance with your moving company search. This will give you and movers the time to size each other up. Have movers send estimators out to get an idea of what the move will cost you.
The more transparent the moving company is up front, the more likely you will be able to rely on them in other matters. Pepper the estimator with questions. They want you to pick them for the move. You are the one that has the money in the possible transaction. Therefore, you have the power.
A reliable moving company will do everything that they can to make the next big transaction in your life as easy on you as possible. Don’t forget to ask if they are willing to pack your belongings as well.
Be sure to look up you next lifestyle question here.