Preparing to move is a big deal and using professional assistance is common. According to OnCue, a moving software company, professional moving services help Americans with about 650,000 moves every year. Whether you’re off to college for the first time, moving into a new apartment, buying your first home, or moving into an office building, you have lots to consider when finding a moving company. Trusting a moving professional to move your personal or professional items is a big responsibility and a decision you shouldn’t make lightly. To further assist you, we’ve compiled a list of ten essential questions you should ask before signing on the dotted line and handing over your boxes.
1. Do You Have Insurance Coverage?
Any professional contractor should always have insurance, especially a professional moving company. Why is that? Well, first of all, these contractors handle your precious belongings, furniture, clothes, fragile items, books you’ve had for years, and more. Regardless of how careful they may be, accidents can happen. Once the moving truck hits the road, an unexpected accident can easily break your items. Things may be lost or stolen during all the hustle of loading and unloading. With that said, you want to ensure the moving company has insurance to cover your belongings if anything happens during the move. It’s yet another benefit of hiring professionals in the first place. If you move your items on your own and they get lost or stolen in transit, you’ll have to eat that loss.
2. How Long Have You Been in Business?
While every company and contractor has to start somewhere, there’s nothing wrong with preferring a moving company with experience handling your move. Plus, the more experience they have, the easier it’ll be to find reviews and referrals for them. If you’re going to trust them to move all your vital items, then you want someone who knows what they’re doing. The more experience they have, the more likely they can handle any issues or delays that occur.
3. Are Your Movers Trained and Certified?
Knowing how to move residential or commercial items is an important skill. So when you bring on a moving company, you want to ensure all their workers know what they’re doing. They should have the right training and certification to handle the job right. Movers should have experience and knowledge of how to lift and unload stuff so that they don’t hurt themselves or break your items. In the case of an intercity or state move, you want to ensure drivers know how to handle moving such a long distance.
4. What Type of Services Do You Provide?
Many local movers have various services to consider. Before you hire a moving company, think about the specific services you need, so that you don’t have to hire different people for your move. For example, if you need help with packing, unpacking, loading, and unloading, find a moving contractor that offers all of those services to make your life easier. Some movers even offer storage. You don’t want to hire a company and sign the contract only to realize they don’t offer half the things you need.
5. Do You Have Additional Protection for Fragile Items?
Imagine having a beautiful china set or crystal glasses you’ve collected over the years, only to open up your moving box at your new house and see that everything is broken! This situation is what happens when fragile items aren’t handled properly. So ask the potential moving contractor how often they’ve handled fragile items and if they have special storage ways to handle them.
6. Are There Additional Costs for Specific Services?
Be prepared to spend money when you move, even if you have a few items. Think about all the services you’re requesting from your mover. Don’t assume that packing or unloading automatically comes in the original quote. Ask for an itemized list of expenses to know how much your moving budget will be. You can ask if they charge more to move on the weekend or if they charge more for heavier boxes. Will handling fragile items cost more? What does it cost to disassemble and reassemble a bed? Whatever services you need, know what’s included in a flat rate and what’s a separate cost.
7. Do You Provide Boxes and Packing Materials?
Some movers provide all the necessary packing supplies from boxes to tape or bubble wrap and packing peanuts. However, other movers will assume you’ll pack your things and have the necessary supplies. Even if you’re interested in the mover supplying packing supplies, you may also want to get a quote for that first, in case of an additional cost that goes over your moving budget.
8. How Long Will the Move Take?
The length of your move can vary based on how many items are in transit, the size of the boxes, the moving area, and how far your boxes are going. For example, if your items go into another city or state, they may not reach their destination for several days or a week. If that is the case, then plan for what items you can keep with you and what you’re comfortable sending ahead and being without for a long time. If you need your items to arrive at your new residence by a specific time, discuss that with the potential mover.
9. What Do Other Customers Say?
This question may seem like you’re putting the moving company on the spot, but it’s certainly something you need to know. While you should certainly check out reviews on your own, asking a company this question is a great way to see if they’re forthcoming about their client relationships. A company with several bad reviews or lost customers may not be willing to discuss that topic. However, a company with high ratings and several-star reviews will be eager to direct you to online reviews and referrals.
10. What Is Your Preferred Communication Style?
Before you hire a local moving company, you should feel confident they can communicate well. The last thing you need is a contractor you can never get hold of, especially once your items are on the road. Plus, if you have a problem once your move is complete, you want to feel confident that somebody will respond to your inquiries. Make sure you have a working telephone number for them. They should also have a company e-mail, so test it out to see how quickly they respond. Some businesses also use WhatsApp or even have proprietary company apps for communication.
As mentioned, moving, whether it’s your first time or one of several moves, takes a lot of work and research. Any reputable local mover will be willing to answer all the above questions and any others you have. When you trust your lifetime of items to a mover, you want to feel good that everything is in good hands and will be handled with the utmost care and concern. When it’s time for you to pick up and move, let Olympia Moving and Storage know! Don’t hesitate to contact our expert moving company at any time. We’ll be more than happy to assist you and answer all your questions.