Do your research
Protect your precious cargo and use this opportunity to make sure your moving company is licensed. This is also a good time to ask questions about your moving company’s COVID-19 policies, including whether they require their movers to wear PPE, and if they offer the option to conduct virtual estimates. Some companies will do no-contact moves and post-move sanitization procedures on request.
If you’re moving from one state to another, the moving company must be registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which you can confirm by looking the company up on protectyourmove.gov. And for the sake of your property, make sure the mover offers liability insurance as required by law.
Know what you’re paying for
Get written, itemized estimates from multiple moving companies in your area, then choose which one works the best for your needs. Moving companies are paid by the hour, so service should be efficient and reflect their estimate. And if you’re having trouble deciding, don’t hesitate to ask for references.
Be mindful of potential hidden costs. Most moving operations will have rug runners and door pads to protect your carpets and door frames from the moving process, but whether they are included in the cost or show up as an extra charge varies from company to company. To make sure that the moving company doesn’t spring any last-minute charges on you for the use of these pads, make sure they’re included in the contract you sign with the mover, also known as the bill of lading. Charges for all services — from insurance coverage to shrink-wrapping your couch to protect it from dust damage — should be itemized in the bill of lading to prevent any unforeseen charges.
A legitimate mover should inventory your property before the move to make sure nothing is lost, but taking photographs of all valuable property provides an extra layer of protection. Use this time to consider whether you should insure any of your most expensive items.
Aside from accounting for belongings arriving in one piece, a home inventory also can help make unpacking less stressful. Prepare an “open first” box that contains your essentials, and don’t forget to label it.
Measure and disassemble large items
Avoid delays or costly hoisting services by measuring your large furniture ahead of time to make sure it fits through all of your doorways. Take apart what you can — or leave it to the moving professionals. As with all transactions, it comes down to how much you value your time. If spending hours taking apart your bed and then putting it back together is worth the money you’ll save, by all means break out the toolbox.
Know where you’ll park your moving van
You don’t want the moving truck to have to circle the block looking for parking. Many cities will give you a permit to block off a parking spot in front of your new home — and the one you’re moving from. Some towns require applying several days or weeks in advance, so give yourself plenty of time to check with your city’s department of transportation to verify the details.