How Homeowners Can Avoid Moving Scams in Houston Texas

How Homeowners Can Avoid Moving Scams in Houston Texas













Moving requires a number of to-do lists, and top priority should be given to knowing how homeowners can avoid moving scams. Unfortunately, it can be easier than you think to be blindsided by a scam, especially when already putting most of your efforts into packing and logistics for the move. Add to that, scammers are becoming more adept at their game, and it puts the person moving in a rather delicate position.

Scammers posing as professional Houston movers can do more damage than taking your money and running. It may also manifest as your personal belongings being held hostage, damage to belongings, or owing an exorbitant amount of money not previously agreed upon…or so you thought.

The best place to start is understanding how homeowners can avoid moving scams. Education is key and may help a person getting ready to move skip the headaches that frequently occur when enlisting the help of scammers posing as a Houston moving company.

How Homeowners Can Avoid Moving Scams

While moving scams sound scary, there are ways for homeowners to avoid moving scams by being proactive.

Start by asking family and friends if they have used a local Houston moving company and whether they liked or disliked the company. This can be helpful information as it lets you know which companies to follow up with and which ones to take off the list.

Make sure the company you are researching has a physical address listed. Then crosscheck that address with a map to ensure it looks to be valid. If the company appears to have had multiple name changes, it may indicate the changes were needed to escape a bad reputation.

Take the time to ensure a moving company is registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Most reputable companies will list this information directly on their website, but it may also be confirmed by searching the FMCSA’s website. In addition to this important registration, a legitimate mover in Texas must be registered with the state and have a TX DMV number. Be sure to ask the moving company for that number or search for it on their website. Homeowners can then verify if the number is legitimate and whether the moving company is authorized to perform moving services by checking the TxDMV website. This site will also reveal if the moving company is insured, which is required by the state.

Look for any industry awards or accreditations a moving company has been given and then verify them for authenticity. If a company is recognized by their industry peers or given good reviews via the Better Business Bureau, it should give you more confidence in their credibility.

Ask for an in-person moving quote that is in writing. This means the company should send a representative to your home to go room by room and make an estimate based on the number of belongings a person has, and the estimated weight of those items. It is important to do your due diligence before this point so that you have some degree of confidence you are letting a reputable company enter your home.

Inventory your belongings and document how many boxes they require. By knowing exactly how many boxes were moved and what was in the boxes, it will better position you to know what is missing should some of the boxes or items become misplaced during the move.

Consider paying professional movers with a credit card. Cash payments can be hard to prove if a receipt is not provided. Plus, credit card payment may offer some degree of protection should a problem arise. If you pay scammers in cash, it is unlikely you will ever see that money again.

While it can require an investment of time, be sure to document everything. The window for customers to report any issues regarding the moving company and to file a claim in Texas is 90 business days from the date of the move. In cases like these, proof that comes from proper documentation such as pictures, can make or break a case.

When it comes to how homeowners can avoid moving scams, the more research you do ahead of time and the more questions you ask and have answered by movers, the more confident you will generally feel about the credibility of the people moving your personal belongings.

Potential Red Flags That Should Give Homeowners Pause

While scammers are constantly raising the bar with their nefarious systems, three of the most popular moving scams today include the following:

  1. Getting a moving quote over the phone – A company that is willing to quote a moving job over the phone can’t possibly give an accurate quote. The scam in this scenario comes on moving day, when the company presents a large balance due bill once the truck is loaded. Their claim is that the household belongings were larger, heavier and much more than what was quoted, and they demand the extra money before delivering the items to the new home.
  2. Requiring a large upfront deposit – Reputable moving companies will not require a large deposit prior to the move. If a homeowner pays prior to the move, there is no guarantee that the moving crew will even show up on moving day.
  3. Asking you to sign a blank contract – Even if you think you are dealing with the most reputable company around, do not sign a contract without reading and understanding its contents. Without a fully filled out, signed contract, it will be difficult to fight against any nefarious acts on the moving company’s part.

Even if a person is moving for the first time and is not familiar with what constitutes as a red flag when talking to a moving company, there is power in knowing some of the most popular scams. If you run into one or more of the below red flag situations, let it serve as a warning to pause and take a step back before agreeing to anything.

  • Getting bad reviews. If you have looked up reviews for almost anything, it is common to find positive, negative, and neutral reviews. However, if the bad outweigh the good, it can be time to leave those movers behind. In addition to a movers’ website and Google reviews, it can be a good idea to verify their rating with the Better Business Bureau.
  • Missing moving licenses. A reputable moving company should be ready and willing to share their licensing information with customers. At a minimum, they should be listed with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) where companies can be searched by name, U.S. Department of Transportation number, or their MC/MX number.
  • Using unmarked vehicles. Reputable movers display the name of their company on their vehicles. A provider who uses unmarked vehicles could be a sign that something is amiss or that they do not want to be easily recognized while in transit.
  • Demanding payment upfront. Some scammers may be so bold as to ask for payment for the entire move upfront. This is a giant red flag. On average, reputable moving companies do not ask for a deposit at the time of booking the move. There are always exceptions to the rule, but they are few. Regardless of how smooth a response to a question about why a large sum of money must be paid at the time of booking, beware that a scam may likely be coming.
  • Giving a low moving quote. The thrill of getting a deal is real, and scammers know it. This is why they often provide people with low moving quotes. It helps seal the deal, and quickly. If you get three moving quotes and one is suspiciously low compared to the other two, it may be better to avoid that provider. You must have a quote in written form from the movers and be sure to read all the fine print as it is not uncommon for scammers to offer up a low quote and then upon completion tell the customer that they owe an unexpected lump sum due to additional charges or fees.
  • Saying your items are fully insured by the moving company. In most cases, moving companies insure items they move for only cents per pound. While it is generally at no cost to the customer, it is not enough to fully insure an item. Customers will need to obtain additional insurance in order to have more adequate coverage for their belongings.
  • Pushing suspicious contracts to customers. Scammers may push a customer to sign a blank contract telling them that they will fill in the paperwork at a later date and will get them a copy after the fact. This is an enormous red flag as customers should never sign blank paperwork because they essentially do not know what they are agreeing to. Scammers may also encourage customers to sign a contract on the spot. Any true professional movers will allow a customer ample time to review a contract on their own before signing.

While some may not view it as a scam, online and over the phone quotes can lead to some of the same issues as listed above. Primarily, they can end with customers owing hundreds or thousands of dollars more than they anticipated because the number of items to be moved (and their weight) were not estimated in person by a professional mover. It can be a good idea to insist on an in-person quote from a reputable, professional Houston moving company.


At the end of the day, one of the best ways homeowners can avoid moving scams is to demand transparency from a provider. If a Houston moving company is unwilling to be transparent with everything from their quote to the contract to their process, then you should be unwilling to commit to signing anything with that company.

Picking the Right Residential Movers in Houston


Picking the Right Residential Movers in Houston













Houston is undergoing a population boom, ranking as a top three metro destination for people moving to a new urban area. That means residential moving companies in Houston are busy, with new families arriving weekly.

Whether someone is moving across the state or from one side of Houston to the other, a professional Houston moving service can make the transition much easier and faster to handle.

However, that’s only the case with the right residential mover. There are plenty of services to choose from in Houston, but they vary widely in experience, resources, capabilities and commitment to customer satisfaction.

What Happens if People Choose the Wrong Movers?

So, what are the risks of working with an inexperienced or disreputable moving company? Here is what families might face if they hire the wrong mover:

  • A costly moving scam – The worst-case scenario is the dreaded moving scam. According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), there are thousands of them every year, and they can be devastating for families.A moving scam may involve demanding a large deposit upfront (and then never showing up), loading everything up on the truck (then asking for additional fees not presented beforehand), disappearing with the truck (along with your belongings), offering a too-low estimate upfront (and then increasing it on moving day).Moving scams can be expensive, heartbreaking experiences for families to go through, but by hiring a reputable moving company, scams can be avoided.
  • Damage to items or the building – An inexperienced, poorly trained or poorly resourced company is more likely to make damaging mistakes during a move. If there’s damage to the building, the client may be responsible if the crew isn’t insured. At the least, it may necessitate a frustrating repair.Sloppy work processes or low-quality packing materials can also result in damage to the client’s items. And with a disreputable moving company, you’ll likely be responsible for that damage.
  • Delays during the process – Inexperienced and under-resourced companies may find themselves taking on too many moves at once. They may not have robust internal communication processes in place. They may not have enough manpower to cover the job.Issues like these regularly result in delays, which may be out of the question if your move is for time-sensitive reasons – like for a new job or a house closing. With experience, moving businesses gain command of their logistics and can promise better punctuality and reliability, as a result.
  • No form of customer protection – It’s a major red flag if a moving service cannot offer a backstop for customer disputes. If they aren’t insured and bonded, if they aren’t affiliated with professional organizations like the ATA, if they aren’t licensed by the FMCSA – you’re vulnerable as the client. If something goes wrong, there may be no means of attaining restitution.

Chances are high that your residential movers will be responsible for some of your most treasured belongings. A professional, experienced moving crew will ensure those belongings arrive on time and intact.

Six Tips for Finding the Right Residential Mover in Houston

With a city as large as Houston, choosing the right moving company can be challenging, so here are six important considerations to help guide your decision:

  • Experience in the Houston area – Experience is always a nice-to-have with moving companies, as it’s through experience that moving companies develop their processes, acquire additional equipment, expand their capabilities, and deliver better customer service. There’s a lot of turnovers in the moving industry, and for a company to survive for decades, it must constantly maintain its positive reputation and ability to deliver.If you’re moving to or around Houston, you’ll want a moving company that’s familiar with the city. Residential movers familiar with the city’s traffic patterns and best routes will get the job done faster. If they have a strong Houston presence, your residential mover may also have storage facilities that can be utilized if space issues come up.
  • How the company performs its estimates – Residential movers are required to perform an in-home or virtual survey of the home prior to providing an estimate. This survey is critical for sizing up the job and creating an accurate cost quote.If the moving service insists on providing an e-mail or phone estimate without seeing the property, that’s a concern. It’s generally impossible for a moving company to make an accurate pricing estimate without a visual survey. If your moving company isn’t interested in accurately quoting the job, it’s worth wondering why. It could be a scam, or they may use tacked-on fees after the fact to make up for a lower estimate.
  • Customer reviews and BBB history – Customer reviews are a valuable source of information, as is the company’s BBB history. A swarm of negative reviews is an obvious red flag, though a lack of reviews is also concerning. Some low-reputation companies will change their name and address to shake off negative attention, so a “new” moving company may be a rebranded scammer. If a moving service has a healthy number of positive reviews – written by actual people – it’s a positive data point.The company’s BBB history can also provide this information. The BBB receives consumer complaints and publishes them for others to review. These complaints can provide valuable insight into how the company operates and whether it represents a high-risk hire. Moving companies have an opportunity respond to these complaints and work to resolve them, which is a sign of good faith.
  • What moving services you’ll need – Your moving needs may cover more than loading and driving. If time, health or effort are limiting factors, some full-service moving businesses can provide packing and unpacking, too. They may be able to reassemble furniture at the new place or provide specialized services for large and heavy items such as safes or pianos.Not every moving company is equipped to provide full services, though, so make sure the business can match their capabilities to your needs.
  • The company’s standing with the FMCSA – Residential movers are required to be licensed through the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration, a division under the Department of Transportation (DoT). Reputable moving companies will display their DoT license number on their moving trucks in most cases and will willingly provide it if requested.This number can be used to look up a moving company online, through the FMCSA’s database. The company’s profile will confirm whether they have insurance, the size of their truck fleet, their moving certifications, prior infractions and more. Think of it like a scorecard for a moving business, confirming that the company is in good standing with the DoT.
  • The company’s fee schedule – While surveying the property, a representative from the moving company will be present to answer any questions and provide paperwork. It’s a good idea to review this paperwork, as it should include the mover’s fee schedule. This fee list should clearly list out all potential costs – you shouldn’t have to comb through the fine print to find them.Additional fees may include charges for complex moves (such as dealing with multiple staircases), charges for longer distance moves, and administrative charges – such as those incurred by providing a certificate of insurance to a building owner.If extra fees are present, it may affect affordability. Make sure that these fees are tallied when assessing different professional teams.

Many people choose to ask friends, family, coworkers or neighbors for a recommendation of a good moving company. However, if you’re moving to Houston from another area, you may not know anyone in the area, but there are state and professional resources that can help.

For example, the American Trucking Associations (ATA) maintains a database of certified movers through its ProMover program. Homeowners can search the ATA’s database to find experienced, qualified movers in the Houston area.

Reputable Residential Movers in Houston Can Make Moving Day a Breeze

As one of the nation’s population, cultural and economic capitals, Houston has a lot to offer, and with the number of moving companies in the city, it’s important to choose a reputable Houston company with a positive reputation to make moving day something to look forward to.

Moving On a Budget


Moving On a Budget

Moving on a Budget: Six Tips to Minimize Your Moving Costs

Moving can be challenging in many ways. It’s time-consuming, it’s exhausting, it’s a handful to organize, and it costs money.

However, there are viable solutions to all the challenges listed above, including moving on a budget. Don’t have the time, energy or logistical bandwidth to handle a move? Consider hiring a reputable Houston moving company to help. While most people wouldn’t think of this as a budget-friendly option, professional movers bring experience, muscle, and organization to the job, simplifying the entire process for busy families.

There are also tried and true methods to reduce expenses during a move. Implementing some or all of the tips below can help save money on moving costs and make moving day much smoother.

1) Pick an Off-Peak Date to Move

Like many industries, the moving industry has a peak season – one that runs from the middle of May (right when school gets out) to the middle of September. During this stretch, moving companies fill their itineraries quickly and may even increase their rates to account for higher demand.

As the consumer, the objective is clear – avoid peak moving times if at all possible. If a move can be put off until late fall or winter, you’re much more likely to secure favorable pricing. The same may be true if you’re willing to move during the middle of the week instead of the weekend.

Another perk of moving during off-peak season is that it will also be easier to secure the perfect date for your move, as there will be less competition for the best spots.

2) Choose an Experienced, Local Moving Company for the Job

Professional movers can help families save money by saving tons of time – and time is money, after all. However, you’ll want an experienced moving service to manage the job – one that has a reputation of efficient, reliable work, and one that is familiar with Houston and the surrounding areas.

Experienced moving companies know how much manpower to dedicate to a job. They know what kind of truck to bring, what belongings they’ll be expected to handle, and everything they’ll need to make the move as efficient as possible.

If the goal is to complete the moving process as soon as possible, sticking with an established Houston moving company is your best bet.

3) Handle as Much of the Packing as Possible

Professional movers can also act as professional packers, if need be. Opting for packing services can also accelerate your move and, even better, take on all that packing-related stress.

However, if cost is a concern, there’s nothing wrong with getting a jump start on packing – even if it’s just the easy stuff. By packing away as many items as possible, your movers will spend less time on sticking things in boxes and more time on other moving-related tasks.

Remember, moving companies charge by the hour, so saving your movers time will also save you money.

4) Look Around the House for Additional Moving Supplies

It’s a good idea to have some high-quality moving supplies on hand. Multi-walled boxes, bubble wrap, furniture pads and blankets can keep your belongings safe and sound while in transit.

However, you likely don’t need those premium moving and packing supplies for all of your items. Yes, you may want to wrap your fine China in bubble wrap, but for your everyday dishware, for example, some towels or newspaper will often do the trick.

Choosing to repurpose some of your household items into makeshift moving supplies will save a little extra money. Bedding, pillows, newspaper, towels, rubber bands (or hair bands), twist ties and more call all be put to use for moving purposes.

5) Get Rid of Anything That Doesn’t Need to be Moved

If you’ve lived in your current place for many years, you’ve likely collected plenty of things along the way, and maybe some of those things no longer bring joy or add value to the home. One of your moving objectives should be to identify what items fall in this category and get rid of them before moving day. Labor, time and truck space are all at a premium, so don’t move anything you don’t have to.

Ideally, anything with value can be sold – either through a good old fashioned garage sale or through an online marketplace. Anything that can’t be sold may be better off donated or given away.

6) Ensure Everything is Ready for an Efficient Moving Day

We’ve mentioned efficiency a couple times already, but there’s no doubt that a quick move is a less expensive move. As such, it’s worth ensuring the home is ready to go before the movers arrive.

Make sure there’s enough space for the moving truck to park as close as possible. Get any vehicles out of the way. Measure all doorways and verify that bulky items like furniture can fit through. Defrost the freezer and make sure it’s dried thoroughly. Ensure the moving team will have gate access, if the community is gated. Clear all walking paths leading from the house to the front yard.

If the professionals can get started right away and work without interruption, that will save time and ensure the moving crew’s safety.

Moving on a Budget is Possible with Some Creativity and Planning

Moving is a sizeable commitment in both time and money, but there are things people can do to bring their moving costs down. Many of these tasks take minimal effort and will help in other areas of your move, so they’re worth considering. A professional moving service, for instance, can greatly reduce the time your move takes, which can offset the price of hiring Houston professionals. In the end, many families determine that it’s worth it, even when moving on a budget.

How to Prepare for a Professional Houston Moving Team


How to Prepare for a Professional Houston Moving Team

Getting Ready for a Professional Moving Team in Houston

Professional Houston moving companies are efficiency experts, capable of boxing, lifting, and loading a houseful of belongings in a single day. However, as efficient as they are, families can help professional movers do their job even faster by preparing before moving day.

Most of these are simple tasks that only take minutes to manage and can save hours down the road. With these seven moving tips, your moving crew will be ready to get busy on moving day.

1) Sell, Donate or Give Away Anything Not Needed at the New Place

Packing is no fun, so make sure you’re only bringing what you truly want (or need) to your new home. Some people preparing for a move find that they have items stored away that they haven’t used in years. While some of those items may be too precious to get rid of, there are likely other items that can easily be parted with.

A garage sale is a great way to get rid of some stuff and get a little cash in return, but there’s also several online marketplaces where people can sell what they no longer need. This is a good option for selling things of value, like furniture, electronics, exercise equipment, old gaming systems or sports equipment that is no longer used.

Anything that can’t be sold may be better off donated or given away to family. Have friends and relatives stop by and take a look at anything on offer. Every item sold or given away is an item your movers won’t have to pack into the truck.

2) Pack Anything That Won’t be Packed by the Movers

Many people have certain items that they would rather pack themselves. This may include valuables, personal items, or the personal items that will be needed on the first night of the move.

If the professional movers double as professional packers, they will gladly pack anything you don’t. That means families can pick and choose what they box up and leave the rest for the moving crew. To minimize confusion and maximize packing speed, box up anything that won’t be left for the movers prior to moving day. That way, it’s absolutely clear what the professionals should handle once they arrive.

3) Disconnect and Ready All Appliances

If you’re taking large appliances to the new home, make sure they’re ready for a truck ride. Unplug them and, if you’ve got the time and supplies, secure any loose cords to each appliance. That’ll get rid of any tripping hazards and ensure all cables get there intact.

Most of the attention should focus on the refrigerator(s) and freezer(s). It can take up to 24 hours to thaw out a freezer, and it’s imperative to make sure it is thawed and dried thoroughly before moving. These steps will avoid water damage to any of the other items on the truck.

Have some coolers and ice handy for storing any perishable items in the interim.

4) Ensure There’s an Open Path for the Moving Team to Navigate

The morning of the move, take a quick walk through the home and identify anything that could slow the movers down. It could be an extra thick rug with a penchant for tripping, or a set of wall-mounted shelves notorious for banging elbows.

Whether it’s on the ground, on the wall, or hanging from the ceiling, remove any potential obstacles sitting in hallways and around staircases. The moving team will appreciate the consideration.

5) Make Sure Someone Can Watch any Children or Pets

If any pets or children are active in the home during moving day, it could be a safety risk, for them and for the movers. If a friend or family member can watch the kids or pets at their place, that’s ideal. If that’s not possible, consider having someone come over and watch them while they play in the yard or in a room that’s already been emptied out.

6) Keep Some Extra Moving Supplies on Hand

There’s nothing worse than getting to the end of a move, only to find that you’re one box short of finishing the job. On moving day, it’s better to be over-prepared than underprepared, so round up a modest supply of moving materials and have them ready, just in case you do come up a box or roll of tape short.

7) Establish a Reliable Line of Communication

It’s highly recommended that someone be present at the old and new homes when the movers arrive to provide additional direction and answer any important questions. This may be the last time you’ll talk to the moving company directly before everything is loaded on the truck, so it’s a good time to clear up any last-second details.

It’s also a good time to remind the moving team of your new home’s address and your contact information. This is especially important for long distance moves, where it may take several days to see the job to completion.

Preparing for the Professional Houston Movers Allows Them to do the Job with Better Efficiency

Experienced Houston movers can do their job efficiently, no matter what challenges emerge during the move. To get the most value out of moving services, there are a number of steps families can take to give their movers a head start.

Thinning out unnecessary belongings, boxing high-importance items ahead of time, readying any appliances, and clearing the way for the movers are simple tasks that can make a big difference on moving day. Contact a reputable Houston company to make the moving experience less worrisome and more enjoyable all the way around.

Why Pianos Should be Moved by Professional Houston Movers


Why Pianos Should be Moved by Professional Houston Movers













Your piano is likely one of your most prized possessions. It’s also one of the most sensitive, like many musical instruments tend to be. Since pianos are susceptible to damage, they should only be moved with professional-level care.

It may be tempting to avoid hiring a professional Houston piano moving crew and its associated costs. However, whether the instrument is being moved across the country or just across town, there are several reasons why it makes sense to bring in an experienced moving team.

Four reasons to hire professional Houston movers for a piano include:

1) Professional Piano Movers Can Save Clients Money

Yes, it may sound counterintuitive, but a professional moving company can actually save their client money while moving a piano. This is true even if the instrument is just going to another part of the house.

Think of it this way – if you’re going to move a piano without professional assistance, you’ll need plenty of hands for the job. Many pianos weigh more than 1,000 pounds – well beyond the capabilities of two or three people. Just gathering enough people for the move can be time-consuming, assuming they’re willing to work for free.

Beyond the logistics, you’ll probably need specialized equipment to manage the process. The typical furniture or appliance dolly isn’t going to cut it. Piano dollies are the choice for professional teams and are designed to safely distribute the instrument’s weight during the task. They’re built with heavy duty casters designed to take a piano’s considerable bulk. Unsurprisingly, it’s far easier (and safer) to move piano using a dedicated dolly. Finding and renting out this equipment is another cost to keep in mind.

There are other potential costs that may be encountered during the job, too. Any damage to the instrument or building will come out of the owner’s pocket, obviously, as well as any medical costs should an injury occur. If the piano is damaged during the move, or the instrument is jostled extensively, chances are that the instrument will require some repairs and tuning to restore its sound quality. That’s another cost to consider.

In summary, the cost of professionals moving a piano is invaluable for the peace of mind owners will have knowing that the instrument will be handled properly and safely.

2) Professionals Have the Resources and Skill to Move Pianos Safely

Experienced piano movers have been through it all. They’ve carried full grands down narrow staircases. They’ve extracted studio pianos out of tight classrooms and through impossible doorways. They’ve even used specialized cranes for those times where the instrument would only fit through an open window.

There can be major difficulties during a piano move, in other words, especially if the instrument must be removed from the house. When this is the case, the moving team may need to disassemble parts of the piano (usually the legs) before it can be moved to another place. If this step isn’t handled properly, there is a high risk of damage to the piano. The legs may warp or snap as they’re subjected to additional weight. The piano body may be dinged. If the instrument is dropped, it may badly damage the floor and the piano.

Pianos aren’t just delicate, they’re difficult to move without the right resources in place. Those resources include adequate manpower, the aforementioned equipment, and everything needed to safely transport the instrument to another location. If this is another building, professional piano movers will have a truck well-designed for taking a piano (i.e., large enough and wide enough). Professionals will also have tie-downs and other items needed for adequately securing the piano.

With these measures in place, professionals are ready for any piano moving job.

3) Hiring a Professional Piano Mover Means No Risk of Injury

The heavier and bulkier the item, the more likely it will cause injury while being moved. And again, we’re talking about something that weighs half a ton. It takes considerable coordination between everyone involved to smoothly move something that weighs so much. If one person lifts while another is resting, they may throw their back out or slip in the process. If someone loses their grip, all 1,000 pounds of piano may come crashing down on someone else’s foot.

When moving, DIYers may justify the injury risk to themselves, but it’s harder to justify that risk on the behalf of other people. And as the property owner, you may be responsible for any accidents that occur during the job.

This is a good reason to hire a licensed, insured professional for your piano move. Insured movers assume responsibility for accidents or damages that occur during a project, while uninsured movers, friends and family do not.

Given the risk of injury involved, many piano owners decide it isn’t worth putting their body on the line – especially if there are other moving tasks to take care of. Leave the piano to the professionals and you’ll be physically ready for less risky jobs.

4) Professionals Speed Up the Piano Moving Process

With their equipment and experience, expert piano movers are able to tackle a job as soon as they know what they’re dealing with. There’s no delay in getting the instrument disassembled and loaded up on the dolly. And there’s no delay in getting the piano underway to the new location. In all, piano moving professionals offer a degree of efficiency that untrained movers cannot – efficiency that can shave a lot of time off the project. If time is a critical priority, the best way to save as much of it as possible is to hire a professional piano moving crew.

Moving a Piano Can Be Worry-free with a Professional Moving Company

There are many considerations when moving a piano. There’s the size of the piano to consider, the equipment needed to safely move it, the potential for accidents and injury, the time and energy required to accomplish the job, the experience needed to anchor the piano securely inside the truck, and more.

With so many challenges to overcome, the most convenient approach for most homeowners is to bring in a professional Houston moving company. With a reputable, experienced Houston moving team providing the know-how and muscle, your piano will sound just as sweet on the other side of the move.

The Benefits of Hiring a Local Houston Moving Company


The Benefits of Hiring a Local Houston Moving Company













If you’re getting ready for a move, finding the right professional movers in Houston is step one. Professional moving companies greatly expedite the time it takes to get the job done. For families who need to move quickly, rapidly relocating may also save money.

A challenge for every family, though, is to identify a professional team that can be trusted. Ultimately, the decision will come down to a local moving business or a mover that operates at a national or international level.

For most moves, sticking with a local moving crew is recommended, for several reasons. Four of these reasons include:

1) Local Movers Are Incentivized to Provide Strong Customer Service

Local moving professionals have a presence in their community. They have a physical location that customers can visit, which means they have to answer to their customers face-to-face. They have to build up a positive reputation among people in their area. They rely on word of mouth and referrals from family and friends to ensure customers keep coming in through the door.

In short, local movers are accountable to the local customers they serve, because a single negative review can cause a lot of reputation damage. That’s not always the case with national companies as it’s not as vital to maintain their reputation in particular markets.

Local companies have to continue earning their business, which means delivering excellent service to every customer.

2) Local Moving Companies May Cost Less Than National Companies

Local moving teams are much smaller in scale than their national counterparts, but that’s an advantage to customers. As smaller businesses, local movers don’t have the overhead that national movers do. It costs a lot of money to maintain a presence in so many markets, and those costs are frequently passed on to the client.

Local movers can operate with a lower overhead and provide a superior estimate.

There’s always the “name brand” cost that’s associated with national movers. Well-marketed national movers are able to get away with charging more, as they capture many of their customers through marketing and advertising.

3) Local Moving Companies Know Their Service Area

Experienced local movers know their service area like the back of their hand and can get around the city without issue. That’s invaluable in a city as large and spread out as Houston.

With their in-depth familiarity of their service area, local moving companies are much better at staying on schedule and accounting for everything that may interfere with the job. Traffic patterns, construction sites, faster side roads – local movers know how to make the most of every minute while in transit.

Contrast this with national companies, which may only have a cursory idea of the city layout. In many cases, this means delays to and from the house. Clients may pay for the extra time spent in traffic, too, so it’s not just time you’ll lose out on.

4) Local Moving Services are More Likely to Have Storage Facilities

Established local movers are likely to have storage facilities in their service area, so they can provide additional room for any items that won’t fit in the new place. And if the same moving company is providing storage, it’s convenient to unload everything off the truck that will fit, and let the movers take the rest of the items to storage.

When hiring a national mover, there’s no guarantee that they will have storage facilities close to the customer. If there’s a space-related emergency, the client may have no choice but to hire a second company to provide storage. That’s cumbersome and costly – in time and money.

5) Local Movers Can Provide High Quality Moving Equipment and Materials

Local moving companies maintain their reputation through excellent service, and part of that is ensuring all necessary resources are ready for the job. And by resources, this means a large enough truck, plenty of manpower, and high-quality equipment and materials.

An experienced moving team should have everything they need to safely move everything in the home, including furniture and appliances. The tools of the trade include dollies, durable boxes, furniture pads, packing materials, protective covers, ropes and harnesses. Some moving crews can even bring powered dollies or a crane to the job for particularly challenging items.

National movers may have some of these resources, too, but with locations spread far and wide, critical equipment may not be available when it’s needed most.

When Shopping Around for a Moving Company, Shop Local

There are thousands of moving companies operating around the country, some of them local in scope and some of them national. From the customer’s perspective, it may not seem like there’s a major difference between local and national movers simply because they both move stuff, right?

However, there is a difference. Local moving companies are customer-driven, familiar with their area, less costly, and better equipped to manage a wide range of local moves. Add it all up and it’s clear that local moving companies have the advantage in Houston.

How to Recognize and Avoid Moving Scams in Houston Texas

How to Recognize and Avoid Moving Scams in Houston Texas













Moving is a big business, which makes knowing how to recognize and avoid moving scams a necessity for the thousands of Americans that relocate each year. Since moving all of your belongings from one place to another can require many actionable items, some irresponsible and unreputable moving companies hope you will become so immersed in all that needs to be done that you will not be wise to the most common moving scams.

How to Recognize and Avoid Moving Scams

One of the top ways to know how to avoid moving scams is understanding what they are and how they work. Not all scams come with a giant red flag. Some of them may even seem plausible at first, unless you are familiar with the way a reputable professional moving company should work. Herein lies the danger.

To help ensure that you are not a victim of moving scams, it’s important to know what to look out for. Here are some of the most common issues with rogue movers and things to look out for when choosing a moving company to work with:

  1. Name Changes

It is not unusual for notorious fly by night moving companies to change their name in hopes of ditching a bad reputation and hiding it from past customers, industry partners, and organizations like the Better Business Bureau.

To avoid falling into the name change trap, there are steps you can take. One is to try calling the company and see the company name they answer with. If it is a generic name rather than a specific company name, it may be best to move on. Another way is to compare the address that the company lists with that of Google maps or something similar. Once you have confirmed the address, try looking up the company by the address rather than the name in databases of consumer organizations such as the Better Business Bureau.

  1. Credentials

When searching for a moving company, some people make the mistake of assuming that the business has the proper credentials and is insured. It is not enough for a company to simply say they have these things checked off the list, they should be able to prove it.

This means asking for a moving company’s licensing number with the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles and the U.S. Department of Transportation. Ideally, this information should be clearly listed on their website for easy access by customers. It is also critical to ask about the insurance policy the company offers and to know exactly what it covers.

  1. Large Upfront Deposits

Perhaps one of the most obvious red flags an unreputable moving company can raise is the request of a large upfront deposit before moving ever begins. Whether it is requested in cash or another form, paying a large sum upfront well in advance of a move is typically not how reputable professional moving companies run their businesses.

If a large sum is paid before a move with almost nothing due upon final completion, the customer has essentially nothing to keep the moving company honest in following through on the agreement, especially if they did not take the time to read the fine print on the contract they signed.

The best way to avoid an issue is to not go with a moving company requesting an unusually large sum before a move is complete. If you are unsure if the sum they are asking for is considered large enough to be a concern, at least consider charging it to a credit card. This way, if there is a problem, the credit card company may be able to help in addressing potentially fraudulent activity.

  1. Phone or Internet-based Quotes

In a world in which almost anything can be bought or arranged online or over the phone, getting an in-person quote can seem like an inconvenience. However, going that extra mile provides a certain level of protection.

Companies who offer moving quotes over the phone or internet are often incorrect in properly estimating moving costs. Moving prices can in part be based on how much items weigh. If the person moving estimates that they will have twenty boxes and ten pieces of furniture only to find out on moving day that they have fifty boxes and thirteen pieces of furniture, they will be charged extra (and possibly at a different and higher rate) for going over what they originally estimated. Moving companies who rely on phone and internet-based quotes know this and will often charge customers an exorbitant fee for extra boxes and furniture.

The best way to avoid falling victim to this scam is to have a representative from the moving company come to your home in person to visually take inventory of your personal belongings before providing a quote.

  1. Incomplete Inventory for Quotes

People moving should be aware that having a representative from the moving company come out to the home for an in-person quote is a great start, but it will only be effective if that individual performs a complete inventory of a person’s home.

To get an accurate inventory estimate, representatives should be opening cabinets, checking inside closets, surveying the garage, and inquiring about any items in storage units that will also need to be moved on the truck. It can be wise for the homeowner to walk the company representative from room to room to ensure this is done properly.

  1. Additional Fees

In learning how to avoid moving scams, being aware of additional fees should be at the top of a homeowner’s list. Particularly for less reputable companies, sneaking in additional fees that a customer may not read through before signing a contract is a common scam.

Also, do not be afraid to ask your movers if they charge extra for moves involving a home that is not a single story or that is an apartment or condo in a high rise. Ask how much extra it will be to do special packaging or customized crating for particularly fragile or cumbersome items.

Lastly, do your due diligence by asking the right questions, but then take extra care to ensure that each of these areas is addressed in the final contract and at the same exact terms you previously agreed on.

  1. Unwritten or Blank Contracts

One of the oldest scams in the book is to make a verbal agreement rather than in writing. Or, to have a customer sign a blank contract that will supposedly be filled in later with verbally agreed upon information. This is a red flag of epic proportions, and if a customer spots it, they should cease engaging with that moving company immediately and refrain from signing anything.

To avoid this scam, verify that all moving contracts are thorough and complete before you sign anything. No matter how well you know the mover or have worked with them in the past, do not sign any contract that is blank or rely solely on a verbal agreement. The person moving should have a contract complete with a valid moving quote before signing. Anything less is unacceptable.

  1. Fine Print in Contracts

It is not enough to ensure that the price the company quoted you is right and that the fees they mentioned are as they said they would be when it comes to contracts. It is essential to review every word of the fine print in moving contracts.

This can mean reading a contract thoroughly to ensure that a mover does not invalidate the aforementioned numbers by including a clause that says the agreement can be voided in certain circumstances. Always read the fine print of a contract before signing. If you have any questions about the contents of the contract, address them and have them changed in writing before signing.

  1. Lack of Branding

If the moving company you consider has no branding on the vehicles that show up for moving quotes or on the moving van itself, this could be a big concern. Reputable moving companies have their name and branding on vehicles used for moves because they want to create awareness of their business and services. Vehicles that do not have this information may mean the company is trying to fly under the radar and does not want to bring any attention to themselves. Save yourself from a potential disaster and ensure that the movers you choose have proper branding on their vehicles.

  1. Zero Percent Damage Rates

As nice as it would be for a moving company to have a zero percent damage rate for items that they move, it is also rather unrealistic. Things happen whether it be an unbalanced box that tipped over, a partially cracked glass panel that completely fell apart, or even a dropped box. A company that tells their clients they have a zero percent damage rate may not be completely honest.

Instead, look for movers that have closer to a one percent damage rate and have been operating for a good number of years. This can indicate that the movers are careful with belongings and that trucks are loaded in a way that can better protect the contents.


When determining how to avoid moving scams, one of the best ways is to simply focus your efforts on finding and choosing a reputable Houston mover. This can be done by asking friends or family for recommendations or even checking online reviews. While an excellent start, it will require more follow-up.

Be sure to read consumer reviews, check the company’s moving licenses, and ensure that they offer all of the services you will need. Even if you only need moving services rather than packing or unpacking, it can still be wise to sign with a provider that offers these in the event that your circumstances change and you require additional help.

Education is key in avoiding moving scams. Choose a reputable Houston company to work with to make the moving experience less worrisome and more enjoyable all the way around.

What Certifications and Associations Should a Houston Moving Company Have


What Certifications and Associations Should a Houston Moving Company Have













Professional Houston moving companies are trusted with a major responsibility – pack, load, transport, unload and unpack their client’s belongings, or any combination of these services. A lot can go wrong during that process if a mover is inexperienced or unaware of best industry practices – including the risk of damaged belongings, delays, and potential scams.

Those are outcomes that moving customers would obviously like to avoid, and one way to do so is to pick a mover that’s certified and committed to high quality service.

Why a Houston Moving Company Should be Certified and a Member of Professional Associations

Certification and membership with industry organizations are evidence of the mover’s professionalism, so they should be considered requirements for any movers you’re looking to hire.

During certification, moving professionals are tested for their knowledge of best practices, including how to develop an accurate estimate and how to provide quality customer service during a move. Moving companies may have a number of certifications, each for a different segment of the industry. For example, some moving companies are certified for household goods only, while others may also be certified for commercial or specialty moves.

You can think of certifications as essential education and training for moving companies.

Industry associations refer to the ongoing memberships that movers have with relevant industry organizations. Professional associations hold their members to a strict ethical code to maintain their standing in the organization. As such, they stake their industry reputation on abiding by ethical business practices – important in an industry where “rogue operators” are unfortunately common.

If certification represents training, then association membership represents an ongoing commitment to that training.

Moving Certifications and Industry Associations Every Mover Should Have

All else being equal, it’s easier for homeowners to trust a certified and well-networked moving company. As for what certifications and associations to look for, here are the important ones.

  • American Trucking Associations membership – The American Trucking Associations (ATA) – formerly the American Moving and Storage Association – is the most prominent industry organization in the country. Its mission is to unify thousands of moving companies in providing high quality, ethically-sound service to customers.To become an ATA member, moving companies must pledge to abide by customer service standards that guarantee a smooth experience for families. The same is expected of current members, who must maintain those standards to maintain their good standing with the ATA.ATA members also have access to the organization’s respected certification programs, including the Promover program and Certified Moving Consultant (CMC) program. Upon attaining certification, ATA members are added to the organization’s professional directory, so consumers can easily find a moving company in good standing with the ATA.
  • Promover certification – The Promover certification is reserved for moving businesses that demonstrate best ethical and customer service practices. This track is less about educating movers about the nuts and bolts of the moving process, and more about verifying a company’s integrity through their business practices.As such, for a moving company to qualify for ProMover certification, they must pass a tough review during which the company’s professional standards are assessed. This includes a verification of the company’s work history and any complaint history (including how such complaints were resolved).Companies with the ProMover designation are also required to execute an agreement with the ATA that affirms the company’s commitment to the organization’s Code of Ethics, as well as the FMCSA’s consumer regulations.
  • Certified Moving Consultant certification – The ATA’s other primary certification track is the CMC, which combines best operational and best ethical practices into training.For example, during CMC certification, movers are also required to sign onto the ATA’s Code of Ethics, which includes the fundamentals of executing a transparent, legal transaction with clients.On the operational side, professional movers learn best practices for packing and loading household goods. They also learn how to ensure employee safety and how to maintain adequate insurance for their clients’ belongings. Movers are also trained on developing an accurate estimate and other project-related paperwork.
  • State-level moving and storage associations – In addition to reputable national organizations like the ATA, there are numerous state and region-level moving associations, too. The Texas Trucking Association is one example, as is the Southwest Movers Association.These smaller associations don’t maintain their own certification tracks, but they are dedicated to upholding proper business practices in their area. As such, membership in these organizations is also incumbent on the moving company adhering to a code of ethics.

If a prospective moving service has any of the above certifications or memberships, you’re on the right track in finding a reputable Houston company.

A Certified Houston Mover is a Trustworthy Mover.

There are thousands of moving companies operating in America. As such, it’s difficult for consumers to identify which ones are trustworthy and which ones are rogue operators. Every year, those rogue operators victimize thousands of people and families, and the results can be devastating.

The moving and storage industry is ramping up its efforts to distinguish the best from the rest. Certification and association membership are two such measures, so they’re typically displayed prominently for prospective customers to see. You’ll likely see prestigious certifications and memberships displayed on the company’s trucks and on their website.

It’s usually easy for people to quickly spot which moving crews are well-trained and well-connected to the industry. In the fight against rogue movers and moving scams, it’s a proven tactic that consumers can take advantage of.

The Benefits of Letting Your Moving Company Do the Packing


The Benefits of Letting Your Moving Company Do the Packing













There isn’t a single part of the moving process that most consider easy, but packing seems to be the hardest step for many families. It’s a difficult dance taking a home apart while people are still going on with daily life. Time, energy, and material can all be limitations, leaving many people feeling overwhelmed by the task.

Something many people don’t realize is that there is an alternative to this stress. Experienced, reputable Houston moving companies can also provide packing services, and there are several benefits to working with a professional moving crew.

Did You Know That Professional Movers Also Provide Packing Services?

A full-service mover can execute every part of the moving process, from packing to unpacking and everything in between. For people who’d rather skip the whole project, professional movers can handle everything. And in this case, everything includes the following:

  • Packing services, including specialty packing services for high value items like art, musical instruments, and game tables
  • Unpacking
  • Furniture disassembly and reassembly
  • Custom crating
  • Loading and unloading
  • Transportation
  • Storage

In this way, moving companies aren’t just moving professionals. During the moving process, they’re do-everything professionals, including packing professionals. As for packing, here’s five reasons why families should leave the packing to the experts:

1) Professional Movers Use Professional Packing Techniques

We’ve all been there – moving day approaches and you’re behind on packing. Speed is now the priority and everything goes into the boxes without too much thought. In our experience, rushed packing is one of the biggest culprits behind item damage. When everything gets piled into boxes at once, it’s far more likely for lighter items to be damaged by heavier items, for fragile items to end up in the wrong box, or for other mishaps to happen (like something with fluid inside spilling out).

While packing, professional movers observe smart, efficient packing practices that minimize the likelihood of damage and minimize the number of boxes. Reputable professionals also maintain consistent effort and energy throughout the process, so there’s no sloppy, last-minute rush.

Further, moving companies ensure everything is packed to optimize loading, unloading, and unpacking efficiency. They label as they go and plan out where boxes are stored on the truck. That way, professionals prevent anything from sliding around or falling during transit.

2) No Time to Pack? Professional Movers Speed Up the Process Big Time

When packing, the recommendation is to reserve a day for every room that needs to be packed up. The goal is to avoid burnout and the aforementioned rush.

However, in reality, most families can’t dedicate consistent time to packing over several days. Instead, they condense the work into a single day and try to push it out. Again, not ideal.

Professional movers can claw back all of that time for families to focus on other priorities. Whether it’s sorting out new schools, a new job, nailing down utilities, or just getting an early start to the new home, there is plenty to do besides pack. With a professional crew doing the packing, there will be enough time to get it all done.

3) Reputable Moving Crews Use High Quality Packing Materials

Experienced teams only use quality materials during the packing process, including thick-walled boxes, cushioning materials, ropes, blankets, wraps, and ties for added protection. Moving teams also have special boxes designed for fragile items like a television or artwork.

Inside the truck, movers can tie furniture and heavy boxes down. Moving blankets and wraps are used to protect upholstery and other sensitive surfaces. The goal is to create a tight, solid fit that prevents damage from occurring.

4) With Professional Movers, Families Only Have to Pack What They Want to Pack

The professionals can be flexible with your packing needs. If required, the moving team can handle all of the packing tied to the move, and they can do it with minimal guidance.

Many families prefer to do some of their own packing, even if they’ll trust most of the job to the professionals. This is not a problem for an experienced mover. They can pack whatever is left over once the client is done with their own packing. And the more the client packs, the less they’ll pay when it’s time for the professionals to step in.

In this way, families can customize their packing services to find a perfect combination of cost and convenience.

5) Professional Packing Services Reduce Physical and Mental Strain During a Challenging Time

For some people, expert packer services are a matter of necessity, not convenience. People dealing with injury or illness, for example, may not be healthy enough to navigate the packing process. Others may not have the physical stamina they need to box an entire home.

Then there are the mental stresses involved in packing, which may be too much. Some moves are more challenging than others, and if a move is particularly difficult, packing may be the final straw.

For people who don’t have the physical or mental energy to deal with the moving process, the professional movers can provide valuable peace of mind.

Leave the Packing to the Professional Houston Moving Crew

Moving is tough, and packing isn’t much easier. That’s why many families trust the process to an experienced moving company. With their impressive equipment resources, extensive manpower and proven packing techniques, a professional moving team can get your belongings to the new home on time and worry-free.

Why Cost Isn’t the Only Consideration in Choosing a Moving Company


Why Cost Isn’t the Only Consideration in Choosing a Moving Company













When shopping around for Houston movers, one thing will become obvious right away – the same job will be priced differently by every mover you talk to. This is expected as there are many factors that go into every moving project, and moving companies may assess these factors differently.

Most companies, though, will fall within a tight range of estimates. But every now and then, a moving service will provide an estimate that’s well below the rest.

For families looking to minimize their moving costs, it’s tempting to take a really low offer, but buyer beware – in the moving industry, like with many industries, people get what they pay for.

What it May Mean when a Moving Company Offers an Unusually Low Quote

If an ultra-low moving estimate does sneak in, there may be a few reasons for that. For example, a low estimate may indicate the following:

  • The mover is inexperienced or provides poor service – Inexperienced movers may reduce their pricing in an effort to develop business. These movers may be legitimate, but an inexperienced crew is more likely to damage items or get hung-up trying to solve problems that an experienced mover could easily handle.There are, of course, inexperienced movers who are also competent, but it’s almost impossible to tell them apart from the client’s side, and that’s a risk.
  • The mover is hiding some of their fees – Sometimes, when moving companies submit a lower-than-expected estimate, it’s because they’re not including everything in their quotes. Instead, they provide a low estimate and expect to tack on additional fees following the move. These fees could be charged for additional services rendered (that were not made clear upfront), moving supplies, long-carry fees, or stair fees.In the end, clients end up spending more than they would’ve with a more expensive mover that was transparent about their fees.
  • The mover is attempting a scam – Every year, there are thousands of moving scams. These scams can be devastating to families, as there’s a high chance that items stolen during a move are never recovered. Some moving scams are “ransom” scams, where the movers load everything, then demand additional payment before handing the items back over.Scammers hook someone in by submitting estimates a lot lower than the industry average. Essentially, they prey on people who prioritize cost above all else.

In summary, if a moving business is charging much less than their competitors, there’s usually a reason for that – and one that doesn’t benefit the client.

Reputable Houston movers charge according to what the move will actually cost, including time, labor, supplies, fuel and more. This transparency is part of what makes a reputable mover reputable. They know that surprise fees don’t coincide with good customer service.

How to Spot a Moving Company That May be Attempting a Scam

An extremely low estimate is a red flag, but there may be others. If you suspect a scam, here are some other signs that may back your intuition:

  • The crew shows up without a branded truck or uniforms
  • The movers pressure you into filling out paperwork before you’re comfortable
  • The moving company demands a large upfront deposit
  • The movers cannot provide a DoT license number, and one is not displayed anywhere
  • The company doesn’t have a website or reliable phone number
  • The movers don’t perform a virtual or physical survey of the property
  • The movers don’t provide necessary paperwork, like a bill of lading
  • The company isn’t willing to provide insurance for your belongings

If you notice the above red flags, consider the risk of trusting your belongings with them. Once your things are loaded on the truck, it will be extremely difficult to get them back if the crew does pull a scam.

How Can People Reduce the Cost of Their Move?

Basement-price movers are a risk, but minimizing moving costs is an understandable priority for families. To maximize your savings without maximizing your risk, consider doing the following:

  • Determine which services you’ll need – If you’ve got a move coming up, an early decision to make is determining which services you’ll need. Reputable moving companies provide a full range of moving services, from packing to unpacking, and everything in-between.A full-service move will save a lot of time and effort, but if cost is a primary concern, you can handle any part of the process to save money.Further, people can save additional money by sourcing their packing materials. Boxes can be had for free (if you know where to look), newspapers provide adequate padding, and so on.
  • Organize and pack what you can beforehand – If you’re opting for packing as a service, you still have say-so over what you pack and what the movers pack. To minimize costs, consider packing the easy stuff when you have time, as every minute spent here is a minute you don’t have to pay for later.
  • Downsize if possible – Moving is an ideal opportunity for families to downsize what they own. Sell, give, or donate what you can to friends, family, or charitable organizations. Whether it’s a closet full of clothes you no longer wear or a piece of furniture sitting in the corner, reducing your belongings will also directly reduce your moving costs.

And, of course, shopping around will help consumers find the best mix of skill, service, and cost. Schedule a few estimates, at least, and you’ll have a good idea of what your move should cost.

Experienced Houston Moving Companies Aren’t the Cheapest, But They Are the Most Skilled and Reputable

Experienced Houston moving companies have invested decades into perfecting their skills, acquiring equipment, and training-up their crews. That means experienced Houston movers tend to charge more for their services, but that experience also means greater efficiency and reliability. And with greater efficiency and reliability comes savings.

So, by avoiding those extremely cheap moving crews, families may actually save themselves money in the long run.