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6 Steps to Find and Book the Perfect Moving Services
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.
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?
- 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 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 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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
Now that you know how to determine the best moving services for you, check out some more info on the best companies for your move.