Planning a long-distance move? What an exciting time! You’re changing scenery – and perhaps even seasons – and getting a fresh start in a new area. There’s a lot to look forward to!
And then… the planning phase comes in.
Soon you realize that packing and moving is a bit more challenging when you’re moving long distances than if you were moving across the street or town. You’ll need to pack well for the long road and be deliberate in your choices on which movers to hire. After all, if you’re moving long-distance, they may have your belongings in their possession for several days.
So, where do you begin if you’re getting ready for a big relocation? The best long-distance moving companies can help you with the planning and the practicalities from start to finish, so it’s best to involve your mover early. Here are some tips on how to get the best long-distance moving quotes and smooth out the moving process.
It’s easy to get lost in a sea of information when you start checking with Google for a long-distance moving company. We’re not here to tell you that there isn’t value in what the search giants have to say, but we suggest you start a little closer to home.
First-hand recommendations are excellent sources of information and a tremendous help when you’re looking to hire a professional mover. Check with friends, family, or colleagues to see if they have a moving company that left them with a good experience.
Of course, not all moving companies have the experience for long-haul moves, but it’s worth asking around. If you work for a large company, they may recommend moving companies they’ve used when relocating employees. Long story short: take a moment to ask around.
Do your research
Whether you get recommendations from someone you know or you pull some names from your online search results, it’s still important to do your due diligence. Luckily, it’s easy to vet a company in this day and age.
Do a bit of online research to check out the company you’re considering to help you move your stuff. After all, they’ll have all of your belongings for many days, potentially, so you want to be sure you can trust them.
Check online reviews on third-party sites like Google Maps and Yelp to see others’ experiences. Check for common threads in these reviews, and look for red flags. If many customers have the same complaints or negative experiences, that may be a sign to keep looking.
You can also check with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to find their company rating and understand if they’ve had any formal complaints lodged against them.
Finally, check to ensure that your mover is licensed, bonded, and insured. You wouldn’t want to hand over a truckload of your most prized possessions to just anyone!
Have a conversation
Once you’ve narrowed down a shortlist of potential movers it’s time to have a chat with them. Treat this conversation a bit like an interview: you want to be sure to hire the best team (and company) for the job, after all!
That doesn’t mean you should do all the talking, however. On the contrary, you want a mover who knows their stuff. Pay attention to the information they share and the questions they ask, so you can gauge just how much they know and have to offer.
Your mover should ask detailed questions including how much stuff you have, how far you’re going, and what the entry points of your homes are like. They should also ask about the type of stuff you’re moving and if you have any large, awkwardly shaped, or expensive pieces such as a piano, pool table, antique furniture, or pieces of art.
Don’t hire anyone based solely on a short conversation, but you’ll be able to tell a lot about a mover by this first discussion. First impressions count, so make sure you get your initial questions answered and you check to see if your mover is cut out to advance to the next round of the process.
Arrange a walkthrough
No matter how many questions your long-distance moving company asks, a walkthrough is the best way to ensure they have all of the details they need. By arranging a walkthrough, you’ll meet your moving company face-to-face and get to settle any lingering questions or uncertainties on your side. They’ll also be able to see what you have and understand whether they need to bring special equipment for shifting or padding your items for the move.