Choose the Best Movers

It doesn’t matter if you’re moving for the first time or hopefully the last; if you don’t plan accordingly, relocation can be a logistical nightmare. Finding great movers is the daunting yet incredibly vital first step of any successful move. If you can’t complete the move yourself with friends and family, or avoid the entire process all together with the convenience of rental furniture and relocation services, it’s time to start looking for a reputable company that can get the job done right. Here’s the guide to finding the best movers for you.

Plan Ahead & Ask For Recommendations

Planning a successful move takes time. Finding reputable movers takes even longer. The moving process can be overwhelming and fairly costly, but the more time you have to plan, the more manageable your move will be.

To begin your moving company search, get recommendations from friends and family members. It’s important to step away from the computer every now and then to get insight from real people. You can even get recommendations from local real estate professionals by asking who they recommend for their customers. For intrastate (local or in-state) moves, the yellow pages of your city phonebook may still be your best bet for finding quality movers that your neighbors or coworkers can recommend and vouch for. Lastly, make sure you don’t use a household-goods brokerage service to find movers for you; the laws that movers have to follow don’t apply to household-goods brokers, so they may seek to scam you.

Research & Screen Moving Companies

Once you’ve compiled a list of movers from your recommendations, it’s time to do your first round of screening. Avoid information solely from the moving company’s own website, instead, use third party sources to do more comprehensive research. For example, membership in the American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA) is a big plus for your potential movers because members of this association have agreed to abide by the organization’s published tariffs, in addition to participating in its arbitration program. However, membership is voluntary, so don’t rule out moving companies that aren’t in the AMSA.

You can use great sites like Moving Scam or Moving Company Reviews for a list of endorsed moving companies, a list of moving companies to avoid, and a wealth of customer reviews, ratings, and message board comments. Don’t feel like you have to rule our reviews from these sites are they provides valuable customer insight that you can factor into your evaluation, if only slightly.

Get Multiple Quotes & In-Home Estimates

Now you should be able to narrow down your list of potential movers to three or four company’s you wish to get estimates from. When estimators come to your home, make sure to show them everything you want moved; an underestimation of items can result in an unexpected surcharge on moving day. While no one can force you to pay the higher amount, a mover “challenging” an original estimate is no longer obligated to work for you if you don’t comply.

Ask for the moving company’s USDOT (U.S. Department of Transportation) and MC (motor carrier) license numbers when the estimator is in your home and make sure they give you a copy of The U.S. Department of Transportation booklet called “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move.” Interstate (across-state) movers are required by federal law to provide this official moving ‘rule book’ for any interstate move. Intrastate movers aren’t required to provide any moving literature during the estimation process; however, several states publish their own moving guidelines that you’ll want to read by moving day.

Review In-Home Estimates & Compare Bids

When reviewing estimates for interstate moves, make sure they’re labeled as “written binding documents”. The cost of an interstate move is based on the weight of the items you’re moving and the distance your movers will travel; because these factors are not subject to change, the cost of an interstate move is virtually set in stone and therefore considered a binding agreement. For an intrastate move where you can’t get a binding estimate, at least not in every state, you should still get a written estimate that proposes the hourly rates and additional costs you movers may incur like tolls. If you’re not sure about any details in your estimate, call and ask for clarification; if anything in your estimate changes, always ask for a revised copy.

When comparing your estimates, take note of any particularly low or high bids. Especially low or high bids often derive from estimator error but they should also make you question the reputability of the company in question. If you get several reasonable-sounding bids, don’t be afraid to negotiate for the best rate possible; many movers will work with your on pricing to beat the competition.

Investigate Your Options Thoroughly

Now you can take all of the information you’ve accumulated and get back online. Confirm any company information your estimator gave you and make sure you moving company has the license and insurance it needs to legally move your items. Use the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) database, SaferSys, and enter the company’s USDOT number or MC license number you got from the estimator before. You should be able find the company’s safety ratings and inspection information along with operation information to see if it matches what you’ve already found, in addition to several other aspects that can help you understand the company’s history and services. Make a quick check with the Better Business Bureau and ask for the number of complaints that have been filed against the company your investigating. Because the bureau is a dues paying organization, don’t be discouraged or too suspicious if one of your top choices isn’t a member. For one final check, contact the FMCSA’s Safety Violation and Consumer Complaints hotline at 1-888-368-7238 FREE and ask about any complaints that may have been filed against the moving company in question.

Choose Your Movers & Carry Out Your Move As Planned

By this time, you should feel confident in your ability to choose the right mover for you. Confirm every date and detail of your move, and make sure you receive a signed order for service and a bill of lading, this document details the shipment of your items while requiring you movers to release your merchandise back to you at your destination.

On moving day, have your final estimate on hand in addition to a written copy of the mover’s inventory list. Give your movers specific directions to your new home or detail a particular route you’d like them to follow. Make sure you establish communication with your movers before the move actually takes place by exchanging phone numbers and doing a test phone call. If anyone other than the moving company you hired shows up, dismiss them immediately. If anything doesn’t coincide with the protocol you and your movers established before moving day, take your time to understand the situation and be confident in your decision, the movers can wait.

Bonus: Avoid The Move All Together

Moving to a new city, a new state, or even just a new apartment down the street can be incredibly challenging. At times, it may seem virtually impossible to plan a successful move, but affordable rental furniture options paired with relocation and destination services from CORT Furniture Rental can help you avoid the move all together. Before apartment hunting in your new city, talk to a CORT Destination Services Consultant and set up a comprehensive relocation plan. Taking your preferences into consideration, your consultant will target housing options you’ll love while finding rental pieces from CORT to furnish your new space, even before you move in! CORT even offers student and military furniture rental packages for those who are subject to frequent moves. For more information on furniture rental or relocation services, visit a CORT online or in-store today, and find out how you can alleviate the stress of a big move.

Additional Resources

15 Tips for Apartment Hurricane Preparedness
Hurricanes can be devastating for you and your apartment. Here are 15 tips for apartment hurricane preparedness to help you stay safe, with ApartmentSearch.
4 Apartment Mold Symptoms That Should Worry You
Your apartment should be the place that refreshes your body and mind after a long day, not a place that makes you cough, sneeze, and wish you were somewhere else. Follow along as we outline the top apartment mold symptoms and the steps to take if you believe you're dealing with a mold problem.
Apartment Fire Safety 101: What to Do Before & After
Don't find yourself without the right information in an emergency like an apartment fire. Learn how to prepare, prevent, and act after an apartment fire.
Apartment Parking Safety & Etiquette Tips
Don’t let apartment parking ruin your day! Read these quick tips and tricks from ApartmentSearch to stay safe and stay respectful in the parking lot.
Apartment Rental Application Process
Don’t sweat the apartment rental application process. Follow these pointers and get the apartment of your dreams, with ApartmentSearch.
Apartment Safety and Security
Feel safe in your own apartment by following these tips on apartment safety and security from ApartmentSearch.
Show More
A Beginner’s Guide to Exploring New York City
Moving to New York City? Here’s our quick and easy guide to living, getting around, and having fun in the heart of the empire state.
A Beginner’s Guide to Oklahoma City, OK
Moving to Oklahoma City? Use our quick and easy guide to living, getting around, and having fun in this southern metropolis.
A Beginner’s Guide To Philadelphia, PA
Moving to Philadelphia? Use our quick and easy guide to living, getting around, and having fun in this historic city.
A Beginner’s Guide To Phoenix, AZ
Moving to Phoenix, AZ? Use our quick and easy guide to living, getting around, and having fun in this event-filled city.
A Beginner’s Guide to Pittsburgh, PA
Moving to Pittsburgh, PA? Use our quick and easy guide to finding an apartment, getting around, and having fun in this historic city.
Advice for Moving to Sacramento, California
Take the stress out of moving to Sacramento with this helpful moving guide. Get tips for renting an apartment in Sacramento, enjoying the city and more!
Show More
Apartment Staging Tips
Staging a model apartment for renters to tour? Use our quick and easy guide to home staging for potential new tenants.
Student Furniture Rental
Want to outfit your new ApartmentSearch apartment with stylish, affordable furniture? Learn more about CORT’s rental furniture options.
The Benefits of CORT Furniture Rental for Military Members
Are you a military service member moving to a new home? CORT Furniture Rental is easy & convenient. Learn more!
What Is the CORT Personal Service Guarantee?
Renting furniture for your apartment? Choose a company that respects its clients. CORT Furniture Rental is dedicated to upholding its Personal Service Guarantee.
Why Rent Furniture Instead of Buying New?
"What's the advantage of furniture rental vs. buying new? Here are some situations in which renting furniture may make more sense for you.

More Like This

5 Tips for Moving Apartments with Kids
Moving apartments can be hectic and exhausting. Add kids to the process and you’ve officially got a zoo on your hands. Make your big move as painless as possible with these FIVE tips for moving with kids, from ApartmentSearch!
A Guide to Apartment Lease Types
Don't know what type of apartment lease you need? ApartmentSearch goes over the different types of apartment leases to help you decide.
Apartment vs House: Which Should I Rent?
If you’re weighing the pros and cons of apartments vs. houses, ApartmentSearch can help! We'll walk you through the pros and cons of renting a house or apartment when it comes to cost, maintenance, flexibility, amenities, and lifestyle so that you can make the best choice for you.
Checklist for Moving to Another Country
Moving internationally? From figuring out furniture to getting health insurance, here's what you need to know to make your move as simple as possible.
For Renters: Tenant Rights & Natural Disasters
What rights do tenants have after a natural disaster like a hurricane or flood? Find out if you're still responsible for paying rent, how renters insurance comes into play, and how you can make your next best move (aka find an apartment) with help from ApartmentSearch.
Furnished Apartment Definition
A furnished apartment isn't a dorm room. It's an apartment that comes move-in ready, typically complete with everything you need to live comfortably during your stay. But what does that mean for your everyday life? Find out, as we dive into the definition of a furnished apartment!
show more
How Much Furniture Is Too Much?
Stumped on how much furniture is enough—or rather, too much? Find out how to determine the right amount of furniture for your lifestyle, with ApartmentSearch.
How to Find a Handicap-Accessible Apartment
ApartmentSearch's guide to finding housing and apartments that are handicap-accessible. Your new home is waiting for you!
How to Get an Apartment with Prior Eviction
Eviction can be frustrating and embarrassing. Use these tips from ApartmentSearch to find the perfect place to live, regardless of prior eviction.
How to Read a Lease for Apartment
Lease agreements can be confusing. Follow along as the pros at ApartmentSearch explain the most important parts of the lease to review when you're a renter.
How to Read Apartment Ratings and Reviews: Can You Spot a Fake?
Learn how to spot a fake apartment review when searching for an apartment. ApartmentSearch offers tips for finding the right place to live.
How to Rent an Apartment with Bad Credit
If you have bad credit, you can still rent an apartment. Find out how to rent with bad credit at ApartmentSearch.
Pros and Cons of Renting a Furnished Apartment
Furnished or unfurnished? Weigh the pros and cons of renting a furnished apartment. Then see how ApartmentSearch can help you find the perfect apartment for you!
Pros and Cons of Renting an Apartment vs. Buying a House
Trying to decide whether you should rent an apartment or buy a house? Use this pros & cons guide from ApartmentSearch to help.
Rent Calculator: How Much Can I Afford?
How much should I spend on rent? If this question is top of mind, check out these 3 ways to determine how much you can comfortably spend on rent, given your current income. No advanced math skills required! Then find the perfectly priced apartment on ApartmentSearch.
Renting an Apartment Without US Citizenship
Renting an apartment in the U.S. when you’re on a visa or Green Card can be confusing! Learn how to rent an apartment without citizenship, with ApartmentSearch.
Renting Apartments and Credit: A Guide to Credit Scores and Reports
Learn more about why apartments check your credit score when you rent and what your credit score means at ApartmentSearch.
Step-by-Step Guide to Starting Your Furnished Apartment Search
When you’re short on time and need to move into a furnished apartment fast, you don’t have a minute to spare. Follow our step-by-step guide for finding the perfect furnished apartment today.
The Ultimate Apartment Moving Checklist
Make sure your first apartment is stocked with everything you need to cook, clean, entertain, and sleep comfortably. Download and print this ultimate first apartment checklist to get started today! Your friends at ApartmentSearch have thought of everything you'll need, big or small.
Tips for Moving with Pets
Moving can be stressful for you & your pet! ApartmentSearch offers tips to make moving with your pet go more smoothly.
Top Questions to Ask on an Apartment Tour
Ask the right questions on your apartment tour, so you can find the perfect place to live with ApartmentSearch. Check out these top questions to ask.
Townhouse vs. Apartment: Which Should I Rent
Looking for more space, more privacy, and maybe a little patch of grass where you can exercise your green thumb? Then you might want to consider renting a townhouse. Learn the pros and cons of renting a townhouse or apartment, then find the right place for you on ApartmentSearch.
What to Know When Relocating for Work
Relocating for work? The duo could make for serious stress, especially if you need to find an apartment for rent. Check out 5 tips for a smoother move.
What to Look for in an Apartment
Don't get overwhelmed by all of the different apartment options available! ApartmentSearch has put together a list so you know what to look for on an apartment tour.
What’s Renters Insurance? Renter Insurance Guide
If you have questions about renters insurance for apartment dwellers, ApartmentSearch has answers. Get answers on what renters insurance covers, how much renters insurance costs, and how much you might need to pay for renters insurance.
What's Included in Most Furnished Apartments?
Renting a furnished apartment is so misunderstood. Some renters assume a furnished apartment is like living in an adult dorm. Others think furnished apartments devoid of style. Find out the truth from the furnished apartment pros at ApartmentSearch and learn what typically comes in a furnished apartment!
When to Report Your Landlord & Look for Apartments
Did your landlord paint the apartment walls blue, but you wanted green? You can't report a landlord for that. Did they change the locks without giving you notice? You may be able to report them. Find out when it could be time to report a bad landlord and start looking for apartments.
Why Choose International Furniture Rental?
Moving internationally? Choose the CORT Global Network for international furniture rental packages & more. Click here & learn how!