Hiring Movers: Full Guide

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With over millions of moves every year in the US, it is almost impossible that all of them will go smoothly and without any issues. Hiring movers that are professional is crucial in order to have a stress free move. Even though there are some smooth moves, scams and bad things can occur. It is in your best interest to do research before even giving a call to a moving company and you should be informed about every single step in the process.

Whether you are looking for same day movers, office movers, motivated movers or just 2 movers with a truck, the process of moving stays the same. The only difference would be if you hire packers and movers, which would result in the move being longer than usual.

There are so many moving companies to choose from, but this guide will help you figure out how to find the most professional movers for your relocation needs.

woman with notebook thinking

Hiring Movers – Where to Start

Before even calling a moving company, write down all the questions you would like to ask. You don’t want to be caught in an awkward silence because you forgot what you wanted to ask next. Especially, asking these questions will give you a glimpse of what the moving company you just called offers. Here are some very important questions that you must ask your moving company.


Ask about insurance. This is very important because you would like to know what would happen if something gets damaged. We all know that when moving, it is almost impossible to avoid damages, so insurance is crucial when you choose a moving company. If the company you are calling is not insured, hiring movers will result in damages that have no way of compensation.


Licensure laws vary state by state. Professional moving companies must be licensed and insured in order to do business. Some companies are also bonded, which means that they carry an additional level of insurance. Make sure that this is one of your first questions you ask the company you are calling.

Certificate of Insurance

Some buildings require a certificate of insurance. So if you are moving to an apartment building or condo complex, you might be required to show proof of the company’s license before you are allowed to move in. If you are moving into a building that requires it, make sure you ask the moving company if they offer it, before receiving a quote for your move.

What services do the movers you are hiring offer?

Depending on what you need, you should ask your moving company what services they offer before you receive a quote. Since the quote for moving and both packing and moving differ, figure out what you would need and explain that at the beginning. This way you will ensure that you receive a correct quote.

Flat rate or hourly rate?

It is important to know what kind of service they offer. Also depends on the size of your move, whether they offer a flat or hourly rate. Keep in mind that there might be a minimum number of hours required for a moving company to accept the job.

Are you experienced in moving a particular object?

If you have a particular object to move, let your moving company know! Maybe they are not familiar with moving that item or they need some special equipment to move it. Whatever the reason is, it is very important that you mention that at the beginning so you can receive an accurate quote.

Method of payment

It is very common for a moving company to require a deposit to secure your moving date, especially if you are moving during a peak season. Make sure you ask your moving company about their preferred method of payment.

When you write down your questions, it is time to make a call. When receiving a quote, it is important to mention everything that is crucial for your move. Any surprises on the day may result in additional fees. It would be best if you arrange an on site estimate and then receive a quote. Movers can’t charge you with an additional fee for the piano they didn’t know you have, since they saw it themselves.

woman writing in notebook

Do your research

Research the moving company and read reviews. Call several moving companies to get estimates. Keep in mind there may be ways to save money depending on what day or month you choose for your move date. Ask about other services that they offer, such as packing. These do come as an additional cost, but it does mean less work for you. You might find it worth the cost. Ask friends and family if they have any referrals. Don’t stick to the prices they had, since every move is for itself.

Make sure you don’t agree to anything verbally. You should get an estimate in writing and sign a contract on the day of the move.

Fun fact

Two movers will be cheaper than three, but three will get the job done faster. So when you are comparing estimates, keep that in mind. A cheaper hourly rate could end up costing more if the move takes longer.

wrapped chair

What services can you expect?

Most moving companies offer similar services. You should first figure out what type of service your moving needs require and then organize everything with your moving company.

Services you should expect when hiring movers are:

  • Disassembly and reassembly of your furniture
  • Plastic wrap and moving blankets for protection*Packing services and packing supplies (boxes, tape, dish packs)
  • Transport of fragile objects

If you are scheduled with packers and movers, you should know what to expect. When the movers come to your location, they will take a walkthrough over your home and provide you with an estimate. Then you should sign an agreement with all the details mentioned and after that your move starts.

If you already received an on-site estimate, you can expect for the move to start as soon as the movers arrive at your location.

woman assembling table

Do it yourself

In order to find budget movers, you can do most of the work yourself. If you have time, disassemble your own furniture, pack yourself and the move will end up being cheaper. Most moving companies offer lower rates when you pack yourself. Cost for movers is depending on the size of your move. The bigger your house is, the more expensive the move will be.

Prepare everything beforehand

Hiring movers is not as easy as it sounds. It depends on a lot of factors and all of them should be taken into consideration. Do a walkthrough on your own before hiring movers and figure out which items you need. You can organize an old fashioned garage sale and sell items you don’t need. You can donate them to charity, or simply throw away those broken items.

Less stuff means a cheaper move. Reorganize your closet, empty those drawers and make everything ready for the time when your movers come. Some moving companies are not allowed to move flammable or dangerous items. Make sure you organize those beforehand, put them in a special box and move them yourself.

couple packing boxes

What to do while movers are moving you?

Stay out of their way

While you should definitely communicate with your movers and point out things like fragile items, stairs or important things considering the move itself, there is no need to hover over your crew telling them how to pack boxes or load the truck. Rely on their expertise and let them do things how they see fit. You hired professional movers for a reason.

Don’t disappear

Your movers may have additional questions or a situation that requires your presence, so don’t make them search for you around the house. If you have other things to do, make sure there is someone present on-site to oversee the move, handle situations and pay the movers.

Double check everything

Even the most professional people can overlook a few items here and there. Check through each room for things that may have gotten left behind. Check your cabinets, drawers and even your dishwasher for any dishes. Also make sure that the fridge and freezer are empty. Movers probably won’t move any leftover food items for you, so if there is anything left, make sure you transport that yourself.

Offer refreshments

The moving crew is working hard, lifting heavy furniture, wrapping it and maneuvering couches through the room. It is a nice gesture to provide some refreshments to keep them hydrated. Set up a station with bottled water, coffee or lemonade. Let the crew take a lunch break to refuel.

Time to clean!

The perfect time to clean your home is when it’s empty. Before you decide to hire movers, clean your new home. Make sure everything is clean and ready for when the furniture arrives. As for the old home, in case you weren’t able to clean everything beforehand, clean up each room as it’s emptied. By the time everything is on the truck, the house will be completely clean. Of course, make sure to give everything a quick once-over before you leave.

Most people hire a moving company so they don’t have to lift a finger during their move. Someone else does all the packing and heavy lifting while you sit on the porch drinking a cup of coffee? That does sound great, but the reality is that moving usually comes with its own list of tasks and responsibilities.

  Movers moving a couch

How to choose a moving company?

Based on the notes you wrote so far, endless conversations with moving companies and different quotes, it is time to choose a moving company for your move. Be wary of any company whose quote is significantly lower than others. Check reviews for the companies you chose and figure out what service you need and what service do the companies offer. Compare everything and choose the company you would like to schedule the move with.

Compare quotes

This can be tricky. The lowest estimate might be the one that you are attracted to the most. But it doesn’t have to mean that it is the best for you. You have to consider the company in this. Are they professional movers? Is this a licensed moving company? Are they going to protect your stuff and take good care of them? When comparing quotes you should take all things into consideration, not just the price.

Hiring movers for a full service doesn’t mean you will not do anything. There are several things you can do before, during and after you move to make their job easier and the move cheaper. The most important thing is to remember that hiring a professional moving company puts the movers in charge of the heavy lifting, while your job is to supervise and double check everything.

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