Katie OrmsbyMoving Companies Expert

Katie enjoys helping readers make sense of Moving Companies options. She's previously written business and shopping features for The Seattle Times and Seattle Met magazine. She has a degree in journalism and political science from the University of Washington.

How Moving Companies Work

There’s no way else to say it: moving is stressful. It requires you to completely uproot your life and transport yourself and all of your belongings to a completely new location — sometimes hours, states, or even countries away.

You can certainly do all of this yourself, but it can be extremely stressful, especially if you’re moving large quantities of precious belongings or going long distances. This is why many people opt to hire professional moving companies to handle the logistics and the work for them.

These companies provide all the manpower, equipment, transportation, and general expertise necessary to relocate you and your belongings swiftly and safely. At least, this is what a good moving company provides.

To help you understand what to look for in your own selection process, below you can learn how quality moving companies work.

Top Moving Companies

Moving companies often don’t offer just one kind of service, but rather various different kinds catering to different distances, needs, and situations. Some companies specialize in local moves within a state or designated region, while many larger companies offer broad services like:

With this in mind, it’s important to choose a moving company that can help with your specific kind of move. You can look at a company’s service offerings to help you with this, but it’s also worth looking at reviews including customer reviews from people who used the company for your kind of move.

These reviews can actually give you a more accurate idea of the kind of experience you can expect during your own move compared to just a company’s service options.

Are There Supplemental Moving Services?

Moving consists of a lot more than just putting your belongings inside a truck and unpacking them at your new location; there’s also packing your belongings, securing precious items, installing furniture at your new place, and countless other things to worry about.

The best moving companies know this and offer the necessary supplemental services to account for these smaller (but equally important) tasks. These supplemental services often include any (or all) of the following:

Beyond these services, many moving companies also offer plenty of educational resources on their websites that you can use to better prepare yourself for the moving process. These resources often consist of:

What Are the Cheapest Moving Companies?

Looking for cheap van or truck movers? It’s possible to find cheap home movers that are reputable. Firstly, get a free quote from top-rated moving companies. This step can help you pick the right company for your move and make sure you know exactly what your move will cost. It’s important that your cost estimate is personalized, as no two moves are the same.

Therefore, quotes are often based on things like the type of move, size of move, distance of move, and any other factors that affect what is needed to complete your move. For instance, certain difficult-to-move items can affect the ultimate cost.
So, getting a custom quote will help you figure out the cost to move a pool table or piano. Since professional movers can be the best way to move heavy furniture, those of you with bulky belongings will especially want to research options. When push comes to shove, some items are dangerous to attempt to move on your own with a movers dolly.

Similarly, the distance of the move can impact the cost. For example, state-to-state movers can be priced quite differently than local movers. For example, if you’re moving from California to Texas — let’s say from Redding to San Antonio — your quote will likely be higher than if you were moving from Brooklyn to Queens with professional movers in New York.

After all, there are more logistics involved with long-distance moves. So, professional movers can be the best way to move stuff across the country — even if handling the move on your own might save a buck.

For more assurance, prioritize companies that give guaranteed quotes. So when all is said and done, you’re less likely to end up paying more for your move like you might with non-guaranteed quotes. Another key point to note is that some movers are cost per hour, but some use a flat-rate price structure. So, that can impact your overall house relocation costs.

These tips can help you find cheap out-of-state movers, international movers, long-distance movers, and local movers.

How Do You Book Movers?

Booking your move with most moving companies can be started online or over the phone. Often, the easiest way is to book online where you’ll be asked to provide basic information like:

After submitting this information, someone from the company you’re booking with will reach out to you with a quote, as well as to explain the necessary next steps to finalize your booking. If you want to skip right to speaking with a rep, you can also book entirely over the phone in most cases.

You may find that some companies allow you to book over email as well.

The Bottom Line

Moving requires you to entrust your precious belongings to someone you don’t know. Naturally, then, you want to work with companies that have a proven track record of reliable, secure, and timely service. By choosing companies that offer the features and incorporate the procedures described above, you can rest assured knowing that you’re working with a company you can trust.

Beyond just these features and procedures, be sure to prioritize moving companies with positive customer review profiles, proper licenses and insurance, and relevant accreditations. In terms of licenses, look for US DOT numbers, which identify carriers operating in interstate commerce, and MC numbers, which identifies a carrier who transports regulated commodities for hire in interstate commerce.

As far as accreditations go, prioritize companies that are accredited by the Better Business Bureau, which is a neutral third party that grades companies based on their integrity and performance.

And above all, enjoy your new place!