So, it’s time to move, pull up old roots because of a job promotion, maybe even a job loss, death in the family, divorce or for health reasons. Life is stressful enough even when things seem to be going along just fine, then suddenly, seemingly from out of nowhere you have to move maybe for one of the reasons I have mentioned or perhaps some other stressful reason, whatever the case may be you have just added another life altering stress to your existence, something else that is out of your control. On a list of life stressing events such as death or divorce having to move rates high up on that list. So, here’s what I feel are five of the most important steps one should take when they are going to use the services of a professional moving company to move them.
First, do your homework on any moving company you are considering. Every large or small mover is required to provide a prospective customer with federally and state regulated consumer information explaining the moving process, whether you are moving locally, within the same state, cross country or from one country to another (international.)
Second, get recommendations from family, friends or associates that may have used one of the companies you are considering. Also, call or research the movers consumer records with the appropriate state or federal regulatory body, or an organization like the Better Business Bureau or trade association like my company was a member company of in California, the CMSA or California Moving and Storage Association. There also are many other similar state and national moving and storage associations serving the needs of not only the moving and storage industry but also the public they serve.
Third, depending on the distance of your move and the amount of items you need to move (this phrase is very important, the amount of items you need to move donate anything you no longer like, need or use) can be very expensive but don’t be penny-wise and dollar foolish by choosing the mover that gives you the lowest moving cost estimate. Picking a mover solely on the basis they have promised or provided you with the lowest priced moving cost estimate often times results in costing the customer much more than they expected. I highly recommend a person limit the number of estimates they get to three or four and no more. I have gone to homes where the prospective customer has already received 8-10 estimates. When I ran across this I usually found a person who was totally confused and by that time didn’t know who or what to believe.
Fourth, time permitting choose your mover and arrange your move with them in advance. Depending on the state or federal regulations moving cost estimates are usually valid for 60 days.
Fifth, you are placing your entire life of personal effects (memories, heirlooms, photos, etc.) many of which can’t be replaced or have no value (dollar or sentimental-wise to anyone but you) into the care and handling of the mover you have selected. Be sure to read the consumer information the mover has provided you with, particularly the section that deals with loss or damge claims, and that you understand it. In my 40 plus years as a moving professional I always spent a great deal of time with my customers advising them what to expect if it becomes necessary to file a loss or damage claim and what their rights are in this process as well as what the moving company’s obligations are when settling those claims.While this may seem to be a negative selling tool your customer will be thankful you have explained, lets say, the bees part of the birds and bees of the moving process as loss and damage claims can often times come back to “sting you” if you haven’t been advised by your moving company representative about this fact of life that can occur during your move. A reputable moving company will go a long way in assisting you with these concerns.
If you follow these five basic tips the stress level of having to move will be greatly reduced and perhaps even eliminated as you settle into your new home and life.