Tips for Hiring Movers

By:  Darian Rausch, REALTOR

Moving can be stressful, trust us, we know.   But you can make it easier by starting your preparations early.  

The first step is to hire a mover.  Here are a few tips for choosing the right one:

  • Get referrals from friends, online review sites and organizations like the Better Business Bureau.
  • Find a balance between the lowest cost, the most experienced, and the right equipment.
  • Inquire about discounts related to organizations you may belong to, e.g. AAA
  • Confirm mover credentials.  Movers should be licensed and bonded, and employees should have workers’ compensation insurance.
  • Ask for references.
  • Get all estimates in writing.
  • Ask about their tip policy in advance, as this is an additional cost.

Here is a timetable to assist you with your move:

8 weeks Before the Move

  • Select a mover, using the tips outlined above.  Select your mover and get everything in writing.
  • Decide how much your current furniture you will be using and keeping.   You can save on moving costs by getting rid of unwanted furniture prior to your move.
  • Determine which unwanted pieces will be given to charity and which will be sold.  This can save you money in your pocket.

6 Weeks Before the Move

  • If you are moving yourself, determine how many boxes you will need, then determine the size of the truck required by calculating the cubic feet of boxes, plus that of large furniture.
  • If you’re moving to a new community or city, get copies of records from service providers, such as doctors, dentists, veterinarians, lawyers and utility companies. 
  • Make arrangements to transfer your children’s school records.

4 Weeks Before the Move

  •  Clean or repair furniture, curtains or carpets, if needed.
  • Hold a garage sale.
  • Arrange for storage, if needed.
  • Make any necessary travel and hotel reservations.
  • Determine if you need to transfer local bank accounts or cancel direct deposits.  Coordinate with your bank(s).

3 Weeks Before the Move

  • If movers are not doing your packing, begin gathering packing materials:
    • Boxes
    • Bubble Wrap
    • Old Newspapers
    • Felt-tip markers
    • Furniture pads
    • Large self-stick labels
    • Nylon packing string
    • Packing peanuts
    • Packing tape
    • Rope
    • Scissors
    • Utility knife
  • Begin packing items you won’t need between now and your move.
  • Arrange to cancel utilities and services at your old home after you’ve moved, and make sure you have electricity and water turned on at your new home by the time you move in. 

2 Weeks Before the Move

  • Make any special arrangements to move pets.
  • Have your car checked and serviced for the trip if you’re moving far away.
  • Fill out a change-of-address form with the U.S. Postal Service.
  • Send a change-of-address notice to your friends and family.
  • Review your online accounts and update your address in your profile.
  • Transfer any prescriptions to a pharmacy near your new home and return any library books.
  • Arrange for a babysitter on moving date if you have small children.

2 Days Before the Move

  • Defrost your refrigerator and freezer.
  • Set aside valuables and legal documents to take with you.
  • Pack clothing, toiletries and other first-day essentials to go with you.
  • Have your movers begin packing.
  • Arrange payment for the driver on moving day if you’re using a mover.

MOVING DAY!

  • Pick up the truck early if you’re moving yourself.
  • Make a list of every item and box loaded into the truck.
  • Give your contact information to the mover. 
  • Read the terms and conditions in your mover’s agreement before signing.  Keep the agreement in a safe place until your good are delivered, charges are paid and any claims are settled. 
  • Check that no leave-behind appliances are still connected in your old house. (Verify with your Realtor to determine what stays).
  • Inspect the attic and garage, and lock all doors and windows.

Delivery Day

  • Check off all boxes and items as they come off the moving truck (if applicable)
  • Make sure utilities are connected and new locks are installed.  (sometimes your home warranty complies provide a complimentary lock check)
  • Be on hand to answer questions, pay the driver, take care of last-minute problems and examine your goods.

This content is not the product of the National Association of REALTORS®, and may not reflect NAR's viewpoint or position on these topics and NAR does not verify the accuracy of the content.