When it’s time to move, many people wonder “When is it time to hire a professional moving company?” While some people decide to handle a move themselves, there are some compelling reasons for hiring a professional moving company, including:
- Manpower and equipment
DIYing your move may be less expensive, at least upfront, but you’ll have to provide the labor and equipment, including a moving truck, while also planning the move’s logistics and solving any problems that come up during the move. For many homeowners, the time, energy and frustration that comes along with the process isn’t worth it, especially if they are on a tight timeline or are physically limited in some way.
In some cases, it’s risky to go without a professional. For instance, if your move will take you across state or international borders, it will be a challenge to manage without a professional. International movers are experienced with customs rules and special considerations for overseas moves. If your move involves delicate or cumbersome items, like artwork, a piano or a billiard table, then a professional will ensure these items are handled with the proper equipment and considerations and arrive undamaged.
In short, there are several reasons why professional movers make sense, starting with the services they offer clients.
What services can a professional moving company provide?
A reputable moving company can provide a full set of moving services, which can greatly reduce the time and risk involved with the process. Homeowners can pick and choose which services they prefer from a list that typically includes:
Loading and Unloading
Loading and unloading are standard parts of a full service move. During the loading and unloading phases, the professional crew will prioritize safety and efficiency to get everything out (or in) in a timely manner.
Transport is also standard with a full service move. Once everything is loaded on the truck, the moving crew will take over and drive it to the new home. Reputable moving services know how to secure boxes, furniture, electronics and other items in the truck, which protects them from damage.
Setting Up Furniture
Professional movers can also help assemble some household furniture, like beds and tables. This is another add-on service, but one that many homeowners find useful after the end of an exhausting process.
It’s common for homeowners to underestimate how much room they’ll need for all of their things. If additional storage is needed, some professionals have facilities just for this purpose. It’s typically easier to hire a single firm for moving and storage, as anything that’s going to the storage center can just be left on the truck. That way, you don’t have to unload everything, then load what’s going to the storage unit on another truck, saving a lot of time and effort.
Packing and Unpacking
Packing services aren’t typically part of a full service move, but they can be added for an additional charge. Many homeowners opt for packing or unpacking services, as these are usually the most time-consuming parts of the job. Some may have reservations about what the movers are allowed to handle, but homeowners can choose which items the moving company will handle and which will be the responsibility of the client. This can be helpful if time just doesn’t permit the family to get everything together before moving day – which is a rather common occurrence.
Professionals are also experienced in packing a variety of household goods and know how to do it carefully. Reputable moving companies also have access to high quality moving boxes and packing materials, ensuring your belongings arrive intact.
What should homeowners look for in a professional moving company?
There are lot of businesses in the moving industry, but this added choice also comes with a challenge – how to find a reputable crew for your moving needs. Every year, the Better Business Bureau receives close to 10,000 complaints regarding members of the moving industry, so your choice in moving professionals is an important one. Here are some important things to look for:
1. Experience – In the moving industry, experience is the essential thing to have. That’s because moving is something that’s best learned on the job, as no two moves are exactly alike. Ideally, the company you pick will have at least 10 years in the field, but the more experience, the better.
Moving companies that don’t provide reliable service don’t last long in the industry, especially with online reviews influencing consumer decisions more than ever. It’s a sign of consumer confidence in a moving company if it has been in business for a long time.
2. Insurance – No move should be completed without insurance, even if you don’t intend on buying additional insurance for the job. Cargo insurance and workers’ compensation are the minimum, as this provides basic protection in case someone is hurt on your property. Many reputable professionals attain general liability insurance, as well, for additional protection.
3. Licensing – The moving industry is regulated by the Department of Transportation (DoT), through the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration (FMCSA). All regulated moving businesses must remain in good standing with the FMCSA and are identified by their DoT license number. Most moving companies will display their DoT number on paperwork and even on their trucks. This license number can be used to check the moving service at the FMCSA’s online database. The information there is invaluable in assessing the mover’s past work history, insurance status and moving certifications.
4. Industry associations – On top of the DoT, the moving industry is also guided by several organizations, some of which offer memberships for moving businesses. One such organization is the American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA), and the mover you pick should be an active member of the organization. This is a sign that the company is committed to doing their job the right way.
Good customer service and communication are also essential, and the best way to assess this is to request an in-home estimate with the moving companies you are considering. During an in-home estimate, a representative with the moving company will evaluate the job’s specifics at your property, provide paperwork and give you an idea of what to expect.
Any move, no matter how small or large, can be done faster, safer, and more conveniently with a professional moving crew. With added resources and proven processes, a professional moving company can assist with any job and provide any service their clients need.