6 Steps to Find and Book the Perfect Moving Services

Frank Lanigan
Oct 26, 2022
Icon Time To Read5 min read
Icon CheckSarah Cimarusti

At a glance

There’s no shortage of moving companies that can help you create an efficient and stress-free moving day. Because there are dozens of companies that could fit your timeline and needs, the issue becomes choosing only one of these reputable services.

Maybe you need a full-service company to pack, transport, and unload your belongings, or maybe you’re thinking about tackling the move yourself. In this guide, we’ll walk you through some initial questions and processes you can work through to find the perfect moving service.

Info Box

There’s a lot of info on reputable moving companies out there, but we’re here to help. Read our list of best professional movers.

Steps to find the perfect moving services

1. Assess your needs

Move.org has plenty of guides to help determine the best prices, services, and convenience to fit the needs of your move. Before you start researching, ask yourself the following questions to help clarify whether a full-service moving company or a DIY move will work best for you:  

  • How far are you moving?
    • If you’re gearing up for an in-town move, you’ll save money by handling it yourself with a rental truck. For a longer interstate move, you may want the security and resources of a long-distance moving company.
  • How much are you moving?
    • Smaller properties, like apartments or two- to three-bedroom homes, are much easier to handle on your own through a DIY move. If you have a larger property, it will likely be worth the money to let a professional moving service handle your belongings.
  • What’s your budget?

What type of moving company is right for you?

Professional movers
They handle it all.

Professional movers load your stuff, ship it to your new home, and unload it all for you. It’s the easiest—but most expensive—option. Learn more.

You load, they ship.

You load up all your belongings, but the movers transport your container to your new home. It’s the middle road for effort and cost. Learn more.

Moving truck rentals
You do all the work.

Worried about costs? Rent a truck, load it yourself, drive it to your new home, and unload all your things. You do it all—and save a lot. Learn more.

2. Decide on a company

Based on your answers to the above questions, you’ll probably have a good idea of which way you’re leaning toward your move. Other considerations include labor availability for a DIY move, storage requirements, or weather conditions on moving day. Weigh these details along with the big three questions, and you’ll know which choice to make.

When choosing a company, think about your priorities on moving day. Popular truck rental companies like Budget and Penske will save you money on the truck rental itself, but U-Haul trucks are easier to drive for most people. Other companies like PODS allow you some DIY flexibility like loading the moving container yourself, but remove the burden of hauling your stuff to the new place on your own.

Some long-distance companies can save you money by combining your belongings with other items on their trucks, but the biggest benefit of working with a professional mover like American Van Lines or Interstate Moving & Relocation Group is it removes the most laborious, time-consuming parts of moving. Here are a few good options for professional moving companies:

Move.org rating
Top features
Learn more
4.5 out of 5 stars
Best premium moving services
4.9 out of 5 stars
Best all-around
4.8 out of 5 stars
Best customizable services
4 out of 5 stars
Best customer reviews
3.6 out of 5 stars
Best budget moving company
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Moving locally?

We’ve compiled the best local movers in every state.

3. Set a moving date and book your moving company

Now that you’ve decided how to handle your move, it’s time to nail down the logistics. If you’re committing to a DIY move, set a date for yourself. This could be at the end of your lease or after closing on a new home, but be sure to coordinate dates with the right people beforehand so that moving day goes smoothly and you can get into your new home without any problems.

If you’re using a professional moving service, you’ll want to book your moving date with them as soon as you know it. Finding time on a company’s schedule can be difficult, depending on the season. For truck rentals, try to avoid weekends and holidays as much as possible due to high demand. If you’re hiring movers or asking friends to help load your rental truck, let them know as soon as possible, so you aren’t stuck moving a couch by yourself.

4. Decide if you have any storage needs

Often, you may figure out that you won’t have the space for some belongings in your new home. There may also be renovations or any number of reasons why you need to reserve a storage unit.

If you have items that are sensitive to heat or humidity, look into climate-controlled storage options. If you need an option closer to home, moving and storage container companies like PODS can drop off a container at your home that you can easily access as needed.

Looking for temporary housing solutions?

Whether you’re waiting on home renovations or working in a temporary location, you may have a handle on storage and where you will keep your stuff but need a place to rest your head for a while. If this is you, check out our guide to temporary housing solutions.

5. Pack, disassemble, and inventory items

Once you’ve decided how and when to move, you’ll need to decide what to move. For starters, you can perform a home inventory. Not only will this process help you organize your thoughts, but it can also help protect you from theft or damage on moving day and beyond. Be sure to take photos and videos of the condition of your belongings before moving day so that you can verify if items get damaged during your move.

Heads Up

Everyone approaches packing a little differently. Read more about some simple packing strategies for your belongings.

After your inventory, you’ll better understand what needs to be packed and what you can give away or sell before the move. Additionally, after getting a good look at large specialty items (think pool tables, antiques, and pianos) and appliances, you’ll have an idea of what needs to be disassembled before the move. Movers can often disassemble these items, but for your peace of mind, handling them beforehand may be a good idea to secure any fragile pieces.

6. Get ready for moving day!

Moving day will almost always be a breeze if you put in the time and organizational effort before the move. There are always some curveballs, but with a plan, you can navigate your moving day like a pro. Here are some tips for the little things you can do to prepare before the truck arrives:

  • Be sure your items are packed before your help arrives unless they agreed to assist with packing. Your movers can load the truck much faster if everything is boxed up and ready.
  • Take care of your movers. Moving can be hard work, so provide them snacks, lunch, and plenty of water. Tipping professional movers largely depends on the size of your move, but for most moves, provide a $20–40 tip for each mover.
  • Know the best routes to take to and from the truck, and keep walkways clear of boxes and debris.
  • Load your car with any fragile or sensitive items you’ll want to take. Some items, such as liquids, chemicals, or paint, will likely get turned away from the moving truck. Learn more about what movers can’t move for you.

Frank Lanigan
Written by
Frank Lanigan
Frank Lanigan is a writer and internationally-published journalist who has over a decade of experience in the moving industry. With thousands of completed moves under his belt, Frank hopes to bring years of experience to Move.org and help readers to navigate moving day with ease.