Writer / Claire-Anne Aikman
You know what I think is more stressful than selling a home? Purging belongings and then moving the remaining treasures to the next home.
I frequently hear horror stories about bad moving experiences, but this recent one really takes the cake. When two of my friends were looking for a mover to move their belongings out of state, they looked at reviews, asked a few questions, chose their winner and sent a deposit. Once the deposit was sent, things turned wonky. They could not get a firm date for pickup, phone calls were not returned, the movers were late, and upon arrival tried to renegotiate and add upcharges – and those are just the highlights. The only positive was that their belongings were actually delivered (we were all relieved).
I have a few suggestions for you that will hopefully help you avoid a bad moving experience:
- Start researching movers two months before you move. Check their reviews, and look for an assortment of older reviews as well as the most recent ones. Look for consistency between the two. Check with the Better Business Bureau and see what their rating is with them.
- Narrow the list to your top four and have them come out to give you an estimate.
- Verify their credentials to ensure they have the right license to move your items.
- Make sure you understand what is expected of you (e.g., do you need to wrap and box everything?).
- Ask about their liability insurance and READ the policy. What does it cover? How do you file a claim if needed?
- Be cautious of large deposit requests – 15 to 20% should be plenty.
- Choose your winner and lock in the moving date (ideally, six weeks ahead of your need).
- As you are packing, take pictures of your belongings so there is a visual inventory. This will help if a claim needs to be filed.
And that’s it! Cheers to a stress-free moving experience!