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.

Why Hiring a Reputable Houston Moving Company Matters

Why Hiring a Reputable Houston Moving Company Matters













According to the U.S. Census Bureau, about 27 million Americans packed their belongings and moved in 2021, and many of those jobs were managed by professional movers. While many people chose to go it alone, others learned the hard way why hiring a reputable moving company matters.

Each year, the Better Business Bureau takes thousands of complaints from people whose belongings were damaged or outright stolen by rogue movers.

Whichever moving company you choose to work with, they’ll be trusted with all of your family’s personal possessions. This is a big responsibility, so it should only be trusted to a reputable, proven moving company.

Why Hiring Professional Movers Makes Sense

No matter how far you’re going, moving can be stressful. It’s even more so when doing it without a professional’s help.

An expert team can take charge of the process, ensuring everything is handled on time and with attention to detail. Specifically, these are some of the services professional movers offer:

  • Packing and unpacking
  • Loading and unloading
  • Transport
  • Furniture assembly/reassembly
  • Specialty services, like moving a piano or a safe

To an extent, clients can pick and choose which services they want. Further, clients can choose to what extent they need a service like packing. The family can pack up some of the load and let the movers handle the rest. In this way, families can balance cost, privacy and convenience when arranging moving services.

This flexibility is a major reason why many partner with professional moving companies. With a reputable crew, families can customize their move, maximizing convenience while controlling costs.

Three Reasons it is Important to Choose a Reputable Mover

Professional moving companies simplify moves, save time, and may be necessary if the physical toll of moving is just too much. Whatever the reason for hiring a professional, it’s important to hire a reputable team to manage the job. Here are three reasons why:

  • The cost of a moving scam can be extreme – Thousands of families are affected by moving scams every year, by so-called “rogue movers” that prey on unsuspecting people. While any type of moving scam is worth avoiding, some are particularly devastating. During a “ransom” scam, for example, the rogue mover holds the client’s items until additional money is handed over. In some cases, the belongings are never recovered.There is zero risk of something like this happening with a reputable mover, and the peace of mind is worth it.
  • Reliability and prompt communication – Moves can be extremely challenging from a logistical standpoint. Inexperienced and less reputable crews may be too overwhelmed (or careless) to stay on schedule with your move. If they’re disorganized, they may show up with a truck that’s too small for the move. They may not have storage facilities on standby to handle overflow.Poor communication is also common among less experienced movers. And if there’s one way to add stress to a move, it’s not being able to contact the people with all your personal belongings.Reputable moving companies prioritize reliability and communication, with a commitment to customer service that’s designed to minimize all moving-related stresses.
  • The use of high-quality equipment and materials – Reputable moving companies are well-resourced, with equipment and manpower for any type of job. These crews also use quality packing boxes and materials, all in the pursuit of getting the client’s belongings to their destination intact.If special moving equipment is required – like a piano foot, powered lift or crane – an expert moving team will have them ready to go.
  • Observance of best practices and FMCSA regulations – The Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration (FMCSA) is the regulatory body over the moving industry, and it requires professional movers to observe certain practices for consumer protection purposes. For example, moving companies are required to provide clients with an in-person or virtual estimate, as well as certain pieces of paperwork for transparency.Reputable businesses take consumer protection seriously, so they’ll have no trouble adhering to the FMCSA’s rules.

How to Find Reputable Moving Companies

When looking for a reputable mover, it may be hard to tell whether a company is trustworthy or rogue at first glance. If you’ve checked reviews, verified with the BBB and still have questions, here are some of the red flags that suggest a moving business may be trouble:

  • They don’t provide clear, thorough paperwork – Moving companies are required to provide a bill of lading – think of it like an inventory of everything being moved – and a transparent fee schedule that includes all potential fees. Many scammers try to hide their fees and will not provide a bill of lading, so consider these major red flags.
  • They aren’t registered or licensed through the FMCSA – Professional motor carriers must remain in good standing with the FMCSA and its parent agency, the Department of Transportation. The first step to do this is to maintain a viable DoT license. This license number is typically printed on all paperwork and posted on all moving trucks. If it’s difficult to find, or if the moving crew won’t provide one, pick another mover.
  • They don’t have a branded truck or uniforms – Reputable moving companies place value on professional presentation. That means a properly branded truck and uniforms. Rogue movers typically won’t bother with either.
  • They won’t provide an in-person or virtual estimate – It’s extremely important for moving services to see the home prior to providing an estimate. It’s essentially impossible to provide an accurate quote without doing so. That’s why reputable companies will insist on seeing the home first. Rogue movers execute many of their scams by providing a too-good-to-be-true estimate over the phone or through e-mail. If they won’t give an in-person or virtual estimate, that’s not a good sign.
  • They demand a large deposit before services are provided – It’s not uncommon for moving companies to ask for a deposit during peak moving season. However, this deposit tends to be modest, as it’s only intended to lock in services and reserve your spot. Scammers, though, may insist on a large deposit that’s out of line with expectations. If the moving company demands such a deposit, they may pocket it and disappear, never to be heard from again.

For the Most Efficient, Least Stressful Moving Experience, Pick a Reputable Team

Reputation matters in the moving industry. With thousands of moving businesses throughout the country, it can be tough to tell which ones are the experts, and which ones aren’t.

A moving company with a strong reputation – built on proven experience and client satisfaction – is a moving company that can be trusted with any, and every, part of the process.

Long Distance Moving Scams and How to Avoid Them

Long Distance Moving Scams and How to Avoid Them













If a move is in the near future and you’ve done a bit of research, you may have come across the term “rogue movers,” otherwise known as scammers. These unscrupulous “companies” are an unfortunate fact about the moving industry. Every year, the Better Business Bureau receives thousands of complaints regarding companies in the moving industry. In 2022, more than 13,000 complaints were recorded. On top of that, more than 1,000 relocation companies on the BBB have a glaring “F” rating due to unresolved complaints and accusations of outright fraud.

Moving scams are a real threat to relocating families, but it’s not all bad news. Reputable moving companies do everything they can to earn trust with their clients, so it is somewhat obvious when a moving crew is about to go rogue and pull a scam.

Read on to learn about some of the most common long distance moving scams, and how relocating families can avoid them.

Four Common Moving Scams to Look Out For

Rogue movers have come up with a few ways to pull off moving scams, each one designed to put their client in an uncomfortable position before demanding additional money. Here are four common examples:

The Too-Good-To-Be-True Estimate

Before anything is signed and confirmed, the moving company will first provide an estimate for the job. This estimate, when performed properly, is meant to be as accurate as possible. Moving services charge by weight, and if the actual weight is higher than the estimate, the client may be responsible for paying the difference – depending on the type of estimate they’ve been provided.

Scammers take advantage of this by providing an upfront estimate that’s too low to be true. In many instances, this estimate is given over the phone or via e-mail, and it’s impossible for moving companies – even experienced ones – to provide an accurate estimate this way.

When a moving service only provides a remote estimate, and when those estimates are extremely low, that’s a bad sign. Chances are, once everything is loaded on the truck and weighed, the actual price will be exponentially higher in comparison. If that’s the case, the rogue mover will typically demand the difference immediately to continue the moving process.

The Ransom Scam

Once a rogue mover has control of the client’s belongings, they have a literal ton of leverage. Scammers use that leverage to hold the client’s items “hostage” until they fork over additional cash, using unexpected fees as justification.

Sometimes, this scam isn’t pulled until the moving crew arrives at their destination. Other times, the scam may be executed during transit and without any idea of where the moving truck actually is. When customers go through this experience, it’s common for them to pay the ransom only to never receive their belongings. If they’re lucky, the truck will eventually show up, but it may be extremely late and there will often be things missing.

The Hidden Fees Scam

Moving companies may tack on additional fees for things like moving items upstairs or having to deal with tight parking or moving conditions. Rogue movers may take this approach to an obscene level by adding numerous hidden fees to the final bill. This is frequently done in combination with a too-low estimate, so it’s a variation of the old bait and switch.

Don’t sign anything until you’ve read it completely – up, down, front and back.

The Deposit Scam

If a moving company asks for a deposit before beginning a job, that’s not necessarily a red flag. Even reputable services may ask for a modest deposit during the peak season as this essentially reserves a time slot during what may be an extremely busy time.

However, if the moving service demands an amount that seems unusually high, caution is recommended. If the company demands the deposit in cash only, that’s a definite red flag. Rogue movers avoid credit card transactions because most have some kind of fraud protection. If they won’t take a credit card, that raises troubling questions as to why they would want a form of payment that’s non-traceable and impossible to recoup if something goes wrong.

The Red Flags That Point to a Moving Scam

Rogue movers have developed several ways to scam people out of their money, but they’re easy to avoid if you know what signs to look for. Each of the following is a red flag that may indicate a potential scam:

  • They provide a vague or incomplete contract – It’s absolutely critical to read all given paperwork before agreeing to anything. This includes going over the contract with a keen eye because this is where the mover must provide a list of all the fees. Moving contracts may be unexciting reads, but a reputable company will be as thorough as possible with their contracts and ensure all possible fees are explained here. If the mover provides a contract that doesn’t answer every possible question about cost or fees, they may be tacked on at some point without a clear explanation as to why.And do not, under any circumstances, sign a blank contract. You might as well sign over a blank check.
  • They don’t provide a bill of lading or an estimate in writing – All estimates and quotes should be provided in writing. Clients must also receive a bill of lading that includes an inventory of all goods included in the move. This is a federal requirement, so if the company will not provide one, they may not want any kind of paper trail tied to the fact that they have your belongings loaded on their truck.
  • They don’t provide consumer protection literature – Prior to all moves, the moving service must hand their client a copy of Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move. This document provides people with information about consumer protection mechanisms in case something goes wrong during the process. For obvious reasons, a rogue mover is unlikely to offer this literature, and that’s a huge red flag.
  • They don’t have a branded truck or uniforms – If the mover shows up with an unmarked truck or unmarked uniforms, they may be a subcontracted crew or they may be a fly-by-night scammer with a difficult-to-track rental truck.
  • They surprise you with unannounced fees – Again, all moving fees should be clearly defined in the contract and estimate. If the mover demands additional money on moving day or after loading everything, there’s a good chance that you’re being scammed.
  • They refuse to provide an in-home estimate – Registered movers are required to provide an in-home estimate or a virtual estimate of the home. If a moving company refuses to do so, they likely have no intention of doing the job the right way. Chances are, they’re attempting a bait-and-switch by using a too-low estimate delivered online or over the phone.
  • They don’t have a settlement process in place for disputes – Reputable movers are prepared to enter into a settlement process if their clients lodge a complaint. This settlement process may be handled prior to arbitration, and reputable crews will do what they can to avoid a complaint going that far. If a moving service doesn’t regard this as important, it may be because they have no intention of settling complaints when they inevitably arise after a scam.
  • They aren’t registered with the FMCSA and do not have a DoT number – All motor carriers (professional movers) are required to register with the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration (FMCSA) and attain a Department of Transportation number prior to accepting jobs. A reputable mover will provide this information on request. Rogue movers will not.
  • They have an ugly history of poor reviews or unresolved complaints – This may sound obvious, but if a moving service has a terrible rating on the BBB and a list of unresolved complaints, you just may be the next person to write a negative review if you hire them.

Fortunately, Long Distance Moving Scams Can Be Avoided

Above all else, it’s important to remain vigilant when looking for a moving company. Talk to several businesses before choosing one, get a feel for how reputable services communicate and handle the estimate process. You’ll likely find that there’s a stark difference in communication quality, thoroughness, and attention-to-detail between highly-rated moving companies and low-cost, low-reputation companies.

As your mover will be responsible for just about everything your family owns, at least for a while, stick with the mover that’s a proven professional, and not a potential scammer.

8 Things That Should Not Be Loaded on the Moving Truck

8 Things That Should Not Be Loaded on the Moving Truck













When planning for a move it’s natural to think about what you need to pack, but many people overlook the 8 things that should not be loaded on the moving truck. As nice as it would be to wrap up all your belongings in well-labeled boxes, not everything lends itself to a box or a moving van, and for good reason.

It is critical for those moving to know which items are not acceptable for the moving truck. This keeps them from having to open a box to remove taboo items the day of the move, and it is also an investment in keeping their other items safe during transit. When it comes to moving, what not to do can be almost as important as what to do.

8 Things That Should Not Be Loaded on the Moving Truck

While some objects could be a fire hazard, others, like perishable food, could damage items if they are punctured. As tempting as it might be to try to put everything in a neat little box, you will be better protecting the movers and your belongings if you can steer clear of these 8 things that should not be loaded on the moving truck:

  1. Perishable food. Anything that needs refrigeration should be put in an ice chest and taken in your personal vehicle. This does not include non-perishable food such as canned beans or vegetables, or dried goods and pasta. Items that are already in use or are stored in your freezer or refrigerator such as cheese, meats, salad dressings, dips, and produce should not be packed for the moving van. Many people choose to use up their perishable items in the weeks leading up to the move to avoid having to take them along.
  2. Medicine. Whether it is prescription medication or over the counter supplements, many come with a warning to avoid extreme temperatures. For this reason, it is better to keep these with you in a personal vehicle rather than in a box on the moving truck. In addition, if the truck gets delayed and medication is needed, it is better to have it with you than be without.
  3. Alcohol. Some forms of alcohol may not be as hard to leave behind, such as the twelve pack of off-brand beer that was purchased at the grocery store last week. However, if you have a special bottle of wine that you have been saving for just the right occasion, it is understandable that you would want to bring it to your new home. Some moving companies will allow liquor on the truck if it’s completely sealed and hasn’t been opened, while others won’t allow it on the truck at all, so be sure to check with your moving company for their policy on transporting alcohol.
  4. Pet food. In some ways, for the purposes of moving, pet food can be considered perishable food. Many types of pet food have instructions to keep it in a temperature-controlled environment so it is not subjected to harmful temperatures. In order to keep pets healthy, it is best to ensure that pet food be purchased upon arrival and that any pet food that is transported by the owners is kept at the manufacturer suggested temperature.
  5. Plants. The fact that most movers will not take plants often surprises people. One of the reasons for this is that states have different regulations about what types of plants can cross their state lines. Even if a plant is legal to transport, the individuals moving will need to do so themselves. This is because plants can be messy and spill dirt or water that the dirt has not yet soaked up, which could damage other belongings. They will also not do well with the heat inside the moving van, which would likely result in severe wilting and/or death of the plant.
  6. Substances that are considered flammable or hazardous. Many people look at this statement and think they do not own anything that fits this description, but most households do. Some of the most common offenders in this category can be nail polish, nail polish remover, aerosol cans, household cleaners, bleach, pesticides, weedkiller, fire extinguishers, and pool chemicals. Other more obvious substances that are also a problem are gasoline, matches, propane tanks, paint thinner, and even fireworks. If flammable and/or hazardous materials were to spill and catch fire, it could not only damage the boxes and belongings on the moving truck, but also harm the truck and the people driving it.
  7. Weapons. If you are the owner of a firearm, knives, or other types of weaponry, keep in mind that each moving company will have a policy in place regarding these items. For instance, some movers will transport these items with certain safety protocols, such as making sure the firearm is unloaded and locked open. Additional protocols may require logging the serial number, make, and model of any firearms being moved. To avoid any surprises on moving day, be sure to verify the moving company’s policy on weaponry in advance.
  8. Sentimental or valuable items. It goes without saying that any sentimental or high value items such as family photos, jewelry, or identification and financial documents should be kept with you rather than boxed up for the movers to take. This can give you added peace of mind and will allow you to know where these items are at all times.

In addition to the above, many professional moving companies will opt not to move particularly big and cumbersome items that come with substantial liability problems. Some examples of these types of items can include cars and recreational vehicles, mobile homes, and hot tubs. If these items must be moved, it may require specialized help to do so.

Now that you know the 8 things that should not be loaded on the moving truck, you can start packing and preparing for moving day with confidence. Handling these items yourself will avoid delays on moving day and keep the moving crew and your items safe.


13 Ways to Find a Reputable Residential Moving Company in Houston

13 Ways to Find a Reputable Residential Moving Company in Houston













If a move is in your near future, the top 13 ways to find a reputable residential moving company in Houston should top your list of important things to do. Of all the things moving can entail, making sure you have the help of the right professional moving company is one of the most critical. While this step can take some time, it will be well worth the effort if you do not have to worry about unrealistic moving quotes, your property becoming carelessly damaged or lost, or even arriving late at the final destination. Having the right movers in place can make for a more streamlined and worry-free process.

Top 13 Ways to Find a Reputable Residential Moving Company in Houston

Lists are your friend when moving. They are good for deciding what to pack, which rooms of the home to tackle in what order, and other things you need to take care of, like utilities and finding a reputable residential moving company. This last item can have a profound domino effect on everything that comes after it, so start here to make the most of your next moving experience:

  1. Ask for referrals. With the number of moving companies in Houston, what better way is there to determine how good a company is than talking to someone that was a previous client? Ask local friends and family who they have used in the Greater Houston area for moves, as well as what they liked and what they didn’t. If friends and family are not able to provide any information, consider turning to sources such as online reviews or the Better Business Bureau. Referrals can be a great place to start because instead of simply cold calling companies you know nothing about, you can start with moving companies that you do know about.
  2. Double-check the company’s credentials. Unfortunately, in an effort to get moving jobs, there are many fly by night movers who may have a web page and business cards that tout an address that does in fact not belong to them. Before proceeding on to the next step, take a few minutes to cross reference the address the company gave you with the name assigned to that property via Google Maps or the Better Business Bureau. If the address checks out, then make a note of how long the company has been in business. The longer a company has operated in Houston, the more credibility it can offer.
  3. Verify that movers on your list are both licensed and insured. For this step, confirm with the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration that the company you are considering has been issued a license to be an interstate mover. It is often more commonly referred to as a company’s U.S. DOT number. This designation ensures you are working with a licensed company. Make certain any moving companies on your list are also insured as this protects both them and you.
  4. Ask about vehicle maintenance for moving vans. Licensing and insurance are musts for a reputable residential moving company in Houston, but vehicle maintenance should not be far behind. By simply making sure vans and trucks are regularly inspected and maintained, it could help eliminate troublesome issues that can arise from missed oil changes, dead batteries, etc.
  5. Confirm the company’s damage rate for moving. When putting a lifetime of belongings into the hands of the moving company, it is important to first confirm their damage rate. While a damage rate of zero percent is ideal, it is also unrealistic. Things happen from time to time amidst packing and transport. For this reason, be wary of entities promising they have a zero percent damage rate and instead look for a company that admits to a damage rate of closer to one percent.
  6. Ask about deposits. A reputable residential moving company in Houston should not ask for a large cash deposit before actually moving. Should a candidate ask for such a deposit up front, it could signal a less than credible operation. This should be a giant red flag and a signal to rethink keeping those movers on the list of potential candidates.
  7. Look for a company that uses employees rather than contractors to move people. Because moving jobs can vary depending on the season, some companies hire contract workers to assist them. This can be risky because contract workers may not be subject to drug testing and background checks in the way that full-time employees are. It gives many individuals more peace of mind to know that an employee of the company will be moving their belongings.
  8. Verify that the movers can accommodate your type of move. For some smaller moving companies, anything further than a local move could prove to be an issue. Ideally, whether you are moving a couple of blocks over or to a different city or state, it can be smart to enlist the help of movers that perform both local and long-distance moves as they provide a more well-rounded moving experience. Another consideration is to use a company that can accommodate complicated moves that feature multi-story buildings or particularly large and heavy items that may require the use of specialized equipment.
  9. Confirm that the moving company is available when you need them. Once you have set a date for the move, it is essential to line up the movers as soon as possible so you can secure your spot on their schedule. Though you may not be ready to commit at this point in the vetting process, it is still a good idea to confirm that they do have availability for the date you require.
  10. Choose movers that offer a wide variety of services. Some providers simply load boxes and furniture and drive the moving van to the destination, but many people who are moving prefer to hire a company that is ready to step up with a variety of services in case they are needed. Look for a residential mover who provides packing and unpacking services if needed. In addition, be sure whoever you hire also understands how to wrap and protect fragile pieces of furniture. And should you have special pieces such as a grand piano or a grandfather clock, confirm the company has all the necessary equipment and materials to do customized packaging and transport.
  11. Get an in-person moving quote. It is strongly recommended to obtain a written quote that is provided after an in-person inventory of the home. While there is a measure of convenience in online or over the phone quotes, they can be wildly inaccurate since they are based only on inventory estimates of the homeowner, which often leads to higher and unexpected costs and delays on moving day. When a representative from the company gives an in-person quote, it allows you to get an accurate estimate while also giving you a chance to measure the company’s professionalism.
  12. Zero in on quote verbiage. Although the estimate is the heart of a moving quote, it is equally important to zero in on the language used to describe potential changes. In general, movers use non-binding, non-binding to-exceed, or binding estimates. Each is substantially different. Non-binding estimates usually limit the amount of money a company can come back and ask for in addition to the original quote and mandate that overages be paid within a specific window of time. A non-binding to-exceed estimate stipulates the homeowner will not have to pay overages not referenced in the initial estimate. A binding estimate is usually a guaranteed price for specific services with the ability to add on (and pay for) additional services as decided on by the customer.
  13. Talk about communication before and during the move. With a quote in hand, ask how the company will keep in touch up until the move, if they will call to confirm a few days before, and how they will communicate the drivers’ progress while they are transporting boxes and furniture. This can seem like a small thing, but the more communicative the moving company is, the smoother a move may go.

By reviewing this list of 13 ways to find a reputable residential moving company in Houston, it should help you put the issue of choosing the right mover behind you. This leaves you free to focus on the other details that lie ahead of you before your move.

A Complete Guide for a Successful Move

A Complete Guide for a Successful Move













One of the most common needs for people who are preparing for a move is a complete guide for a successful move. Moving is a long process riddled with important details and actions that must be tended to in a timely manner, and all of it put together can be overwhelming for many people. Fortunately, enlisting the help of a trusted and reputable Houston moving company that also provides a complete guide for a successful move can simplify the process.

A Complete Guide for a Successful Move

Following the steps lined out below can make moving a more pleasant and less worrisome process. The hours of planning and preparation are worth it in the long run. Here are some of the most important steps for a successful move:

1. Set the Parameters for Your Move.

The one decision about moving that everything else will hinge on is where you are moving and when you need to do it.

Unless you plan on living with friends and family or in a hotel until a suitable home can be found, it will require you to secure a new home. Depending on each person or family’s unique circumstances, this may mean searching through online databases of homes that are for sale, working with a reputable realtor, or making house hunting trips to the new city on your own.

Once a new home has been secured and a closing date is set, you should have a move-in date. With this on the calendar, it is time to set a moving day. While some people may want to move in as soon as the closing contract allows, those that are more price conscious may wait. Weekends and holidays are the busiest times of the year for most moving companies, which also means it can be the most expensive, so for individuals hoping to save where they can on a move, moving in the middle of a non-holiday week can make more financial sense.

2. Book the Movers

It is highly recommended to book the moving company early to ensure you get the day and time you desire. If you are planning to move on a weekend or holiday, it’s best to book as soon as possible as these times are the busiest for most moving companies.

A nonnegotiable item for securing a reputable mover is making sure that they have a valid U.S. Department of Transportation number. They should also be insured and be able to move you where you need to go, whether it is across state lines or across the ocean. Also confirm that the moving company’s average damage rate during moves is at or close to one percent.

When choosing a mover, it is essential to make sure they can accommodate your needs. Verify that they offer all the services (packing, loading, unpacking, etc.) that you may prefer. It is also strongly suggested to have the moving company provide an in-home moving quote. This cuts down on confusion over the estimation of how many boxes will be handled on moving day. It also ensures that the company has access to any special equipment needed for multi-story moves or special items that require customized packing or crating.

3. Take Care of Utilities and Address Changes.

Many homeowners can forget the importance of taking care of utilities and address changes as part of the moving process, but they are integral to a successful move. Once you have closed on the new home, it’s time to start acting on these important steps.

It may be advantageous to start with address changes as it can be a while before they take effect. Take note of the mail you get each day and then let those entities know when and where you will be moving. This is particularly important for entities that send you mail on a monthly basis such as banks, mortgage companies, mail subscriptions and such. As the time grows closer for the move, it is necessary to let the local post office know what date they should start forwarding mail and to what new address.

Next, it is time to tackle the utilities. You will need to shut off the utilities at the home you are moving out of but schedule them to be turned off a day or two after you are supposed to move out. This gives you a little cushion timewise and also keeps the house cold or warm (depending on the season) while doing a final clean before handing over the keys. It is an equally good idea to turn on the utilities at your new home the day before you move in. This allows the home to either fully cool down or heat up before your arrival.

4. Declutter Your Home.

If time allows, it can make more sense to declutter your home before booking the movers. This is because an expert who provides an in-home moving quote will be doing so based on the number of items currently in your home. Should a person plan to downsize or declutter significantly, the number of things that need to be moved could decrease dramatically, which will affect how many boxes are needed and what size moving van is required.

If a moving quote has already been obtained and then you declutter, it may not end up saving you money on the quote. It will, however, save you precious time and energy when moving out of your old home and moving into the new.

Whether living in a home for three months or three decades, most people find that the number of their belongings increase dramatically during that time. The thought of moving all of these items is often enough to make an individual reconsider if they really need or want them.

The thought of decluttering your home can seem overwhelming to some, so the best option is to break it down into smaller chunks by going room by room. Many people find that starting with a small room such as a kitchen pantry, closet, or laundry room can make the task feel less arduous and may even spur them on to keep going to other rooms.

If you are planning to pack as you go, it can be useful to have boxes for donating, throwing away, or keeping items. If you are not yet packing and are focusing solely on decluttering, consider having boxes for donating, throwing away, or putting in a garage sale. Using this simple time-tested method allows everything to have a designated and organized resting place instead of getting jumbled up into a giant mess on the floor. By the time you are done decluttering a room, you can take the donation box to an organization that accepts them, empty the trash box in the garbage bin, and stack the garage sale boxes in a safe place until it is time for the sale.

Should you have a large amount of junk after decluttering, it can be helpful to consider hiring a junk removal company. These providers will come to your home and remove the junk for a price. This can be an added convenience for those who do not have the vehicle space or time to haul it off.

5. Decide How Packing Will Work.

When it comes to packing, people who are moving have two primary options:

  • To pack boxes themselves
  • Hire the moving company to pack up the house

There are advantages to both, so let’s take a closer look at each option.

The primary benefit to packing boxes yourself is that it may save you a little money over hiring the professionals. While this is a benefit, it will still come at a price. As the person moving, you will be responsible for gathering all packing materials (boxes, bubble wrap, packing tape, etc.), storing them, and then packing all of your belongings into boxes. Before beginning, make sure you have a clear understanding of what types of substances (cleaning solutions, etc.) are not allowed to be packed in boxes, as well as how to pack a box that is well balanced in terms of the distribution of weight.

Although hiring professional movers to pack up your belongings is an extra expense, many homeowners find it to be money well spent. For example, in this scenario the movers will gather the packing supplies, bring them to your home, and ensure that each box is packed in a balanced manner to better protect the items inside and keep the box from tipping over during the transit. A bonus perk to having the movers pack you up is that it can be done in a handful of days rather than having to go room by room weeks before a scheduled move.

6. Know What Not to Pack.

Even though most of your belongings should be backed up for the movers to take, there are some items that might make more sense to keep with you. Important papers regarding insurance, passports, birth certificates, and so on usually stay with the person moving for easy access to these documents when needed, either during the move or after arriving at their new home.

In addition, if there is a fragile or particularly sentimental item that is of great value to you, take the necessary precautions in packaging it and then consider keeping it with you in the car. Be forewarned that the success of this endeavor depends heavily on how the item is prepped and packed for transport.

7. Get Rid of Perishable Items from Your Freezer and Refrigerator.

A few days before the move, do not forget to donate or share perishable items from your refrigerator and freezer that are still within their expiration date. Items that have expired should be thrown away. Unless you are planning to take an ice chest or two with you in your own car for the move, frozen and refrigerated items generally do not travel well.

If you are taking your freezer and refrigerator with you for the move, it will be necessary to begin defrosting these units a week or so before the day of move-out. A unit that has not been defrosted is not safe to move as it can cause water damage to packed boxes and furniture on the moving truck.

8. Be Prepared for Moving Day.

With all the time and effort that goes into long term preparation for a move, it can be all too easy to forget the little things, like actually being prepared for moving day. Some of the most commonly forgotten things for moving day include:

  • Packing an overnight bag. You will need to keep a bag with you that has clothes, toiletries, important paperwork, medications, and other necessities. Make sure it is packed and ready to go the night before moving day.
  • Making sure the car is in good condition. Especially if you are traveling a long distance, it is a good idea to have your car gassed/charged up, checked out, and tuned up to make sure it is ready for the trip ahead. Without completing this step, you could risk the car breaking down.
  • Arranging for a friend or neighbor to watch the kids and pets. On moving day there will be a lot of people in your home. The more people there are moving around and taking care of business, the harder it can be to avoid collisions and accidents. To limit the risk, make plans to send the children and/or pets to a trusted friend or neighbor so that they are not creating extra traffic for the movers.
  • Providing snacks and cold drinks for the moving crew. Although you are paying the movers to transport your things to your new home and this isn’t required, many people choose to have a cooler with cold drinks and some portable snacks handy for the moving crew. In warm temperatures, ice water may be more appropriate while on a cold day both water and hot coffee might be appreciated.

9. Settle In Sooner by Unpacking Fast.

Most people going through a move put an emphasis on packing up and do not give much thought to unpacking. This is usually because the frenetic pace of a move often ends with the arrival of the homeowners and their things.

While it can feel amazing to have the move behind you, a complete guide for a successful move will include unpacking reasonably quickly. Although decorating may take some time to find just the right spot for a painting or light fixture, there are things that can be put away upon arrival such as underwear and socks into a dresser drawer, or clothes being hung in the closet.

The more basic unpacking a person can do upon moving into their new home, the faster they will feel comfortable in their new surroundings. With clothes put away, it eliminates a frantic search for a swimsuit should you decide to take a break from unpacking to enjoy a swim at the pool. It makes finding a clean pair of jeans and a shirt for going out to eat at a local restaurant a cinch.

For those people who are ready to hit the ground running in their new home and neighborhood, it can be wise to enlist the moving company to help you unpack your belongings more quickly. With everything unpacked, it becomes easier to decorate and find a new place for all of your belongings.

10. Tour the Neighborhood.

Ideally, it can make the move a smoother transition if you are able to identify some familiar landmarks such as a favorite restaurant or grocery store before arriving. Having little details like these in place can put everyone at ease. Visit a favorite restaurant chain in your new town and then take a quick tour of the neighborhood to find out where the schools, parks, and ice cream shops are. Consider making a list of some of the local restaurants you want to try.

Getting to know the layout of the community is an exercise in becoming familiar with your surroundings and making it feel just a little bit more like home as soon as possible.


Regardless of where you are moving or how much time you have to prepare, it is essential to give yourself more time than you really need. There will be action items that take you longer than you think to check off your list. There may also be hiccups along the way, but by giving yourself extra time, you are giving yourself a little bit of breathing space when things do not go exactly according to plan.

A complete guide for a successful move starts and ends with these steps. Now that you have this information, you can look forward to moving day with confidence.

8 Tips for Downsizing Before You Move

8 Tips for Downsizing Before You Move













When considering just how much stuff can be accumulated over the years, many would benefit from the top 8 tips for downsizing before a move. While it may be tempting to tell yourself that it is better to just pack it all up now and declutter when unpacking at your new home, most people end up hanging on to unneeded items longer than necessary with this approach.

Not only will moving all those items cost more money than if you had decluttered before the move, but now you will be faced with locating a donation center and/or finding out if your new community is allowed to hold garage sales. These are not things most people want to deal with when they begin unpacking and are getting familiar with their new neighborhood.

By following through on a list of the top 8 tips for downsizing before moving day, you have the potential to save yourself time and money.

The Top 8 Tips for Downsizing Before You Move

Although you can find tips for downsizing just about anywhere, who is more familiar with this than professional moving companies? These experts move thousands of individuals every year and see a lot when packing up their customers for a move. For this reason, they bring some helpful advice to the table.

To make your moving experience a more positive one, here are 8 helpful tips for downsizing before you move:

  1. Start early. Decluttering is a term that can sound deceptively easy when it is in fact quite time consuming. Professional movers advise that you start the decluttering process as early as possible for maximum benefit. Doing so allows you to chip away at it little by little and still have time to host a garage sale before moving if you choose to do so.
  2. Take a general inventory of what is in your home. Homes are ground zero for most people’s lives. We eat, sleep, and relax in our homes, and over the years most of us tend to accumulate a lot of belongings. The problem is that much of the time we end up with more knick-knacks and stuff than we actually need or use. It can be a good idea to come up with some rules before taking inventory, such as, if you have not used an item in the last year or two and it is not a family heirloom, it may be time to part with it. Having a rule like this in place can help keep the process on track.
  3. Consider the space you will have in your new home. Before you begin decluttering, it is helpful to know what will need to be moved, and what can go in the donation pile. In other words, if you are an empty nester couple moving to a smaller home now that your kids are out of the house, you will likely need to purge some furniture because it will likely not all fit. If you are moving to a larger home, do not be deceived. You may have room in the new home to store everything you currently have, but it is still wise to consider whether or not you really need to move it all.
  4. Work through your home room by room when decluttering. With your general inventory of what is already in your home in mind, it is now time to actively and systematically begin downsizing. To avoid feeling overwhelmed, most experts recommend going room by room. Don’t forget closets, cabinets, attics, basements, garages, etc. Remember, the goal is to avoid moving things you have duplicates of or do not use. To help keep the process organized, people are highly encouraged to have several boxes or bags marked Keep, Donate, and Trash. If you are not packing as you go, you may just need two containers for Donate and Trash. The next step is to go through your home room by room and ask yourself if each item is something you should keep, donate, or trash. At the end of this sorting, trash can go to the trash bin. What to do with donated items may require a little more thought, which leads to the next item on the list.
  5. Decide what to do with donated items. When you have a substantial pile of items to donate, the next step is to decide how you want to proceed. There are several options such as giving special items to friends and family, donating the items to a church or Goodwill, or gathering them up to have a garage sale before you move. Gifting the items to an organization that helps those in need can be the least time-consuming option, and if you keep a record of what is donated it may be beneficial to have that on hand when submitting your income taxes. Giving items to family and friends requires that they do indeed want the item, as well as coordinating a time and place to get it to them. And while a garage sale can be by far the most time consuming, it is also a great way to make some money to help pay for your move.
  6. Start small. If you aren’t sure where to start and how to declutter, it is best to start small. Consider working in your pantry first and throw out any food that is past its expiration date. Then move to a medicine cabinet and properly dispose of any medications that have expired. Working through these small spaces with a definitive method should better equip you to continue decluttering throughout the rest of your home. Closets are a great place to downsize as well. Consider throwing away clothes that are damaged or have holes, and donate those that no longer fit your size or lifestyle.
  7. Switch to more compact storage methods. Particularly when you have lived in the same place for many years, storage methods change for some items such as movies, pictures, and documents. For example, VCR movies were replaced by DVDs, and now many have moved on to streaming services. Many documents and pictures can now be stored digitally. And some hard copies of documents may no longer need to be stored and instead should be shredded for security purposes. Think about what items you may currently own that need to either be discarded or updated in how they are stored. This could save you a significant amount of room in packing boxes.
  8. Buy new items after the move. If a new home requires some additional pieces of furniture, consider waiting until you arrive at your destination to purchase these items. This will keep you from having to pay the movers to transport new furniture, and it may also be more advantageous to wait and see how things fit in the new home so you have a better idea of what size furniture is best. Should you have an old recliner you have been wanting to exchange for a new one, wait until arriving at your new home to do so.
    Downsizing is an involved process, but it can also be good for the mind and body. Experts say that a cluttered home can cause mental distress in some homeowners. Think of the freedom that a streamlined move will have and how much less packed and crowded your new home could be.

Benefits of Decluttering Before You Move

The top 8 tips for downsizing before you move may not spur you onto action unless you can clearly see the benefits of this practice. Many people see the amount of work and organization required in decluttering and deem it simply not worth their time. Yet, moving items that should have been donated or thrown away takes time too…and it costs money. Either way, not streamlining your belongings can cost you, so why not choose the option that saves you money?

Some of the benefits of downsizing before you move include:

A cleaner move. It is not uncommon for someone cleaning out a basement, garage, or backyard shed to find items that have unwanted substances or inhabitants. If you live in a humid environment like Houston, some things in the garage could be taking on mold, which is something you definitely do not want to take with you to a new home. Other things that have been buried in a corner of the shed for years may have been subject to pest infestations, which can lead to harmful droppings and bacteria. By disposing of these items before a move, you can have a higher degree of confidence that what you are moving is clean.

More peace. Studies have shown that a messy and cluttered home can result in mental stress for the occupants. By evaluating the worth of the items in your current home and removing those that have none before you move, you are potentially contributing to a healthier and more relaxed state of mind in your new home.

Money savings. If you are still on the fence about the benefit of going to all this trouble, try decluttering one room. Give it your complete attention and be thorough. Look at the boxes containing items you have designated to be trashed, donated, or put in a garage sale. Now, multiply that amount by every room in your house. Calculate how many boxes that could add up to for the whole home if the number remained consistent per room. The result can indicate how many boxes you won’t be moving now that you’ve decluttered. When you think about how much it can cost to move each box, your potential savings should be clear!

By adopting these 8 tips for downsizing before you move, it can make the process easier and yield a more pleasant environment in your new home. Give yourself the gift of a fresh start when you are moving in and unpacking. All it takes is a little time up front before the move to ensure a clean slate on move in day.