Click below to listen to our Consumerpedia podcast episode on how to find a moving company.

“Where did they find these guys?!” is a question often asked by our members when rating moving companies they’ve used. But the tone very much depends on which outfit they hired. Sometimes, it is used in appreciation of staff who showed up on time, worked fast, minimized breakage, and charged reasonable rates. On the other hand, an alarming number of consumers are disgusted with moving companies that arrived hours or even days late, lost or broke stuff, reneged on promises, and demanded exorbitant prices.

We can help you find a moving company that will earn your appreciation. And our advice will help you prep for your move, deal with your company, and keep costs in check.

Start by thinking about the services you need. The more you have to transport, the more you’ll pay. So throw out, recycle, donate, or sell anything you can live without. Click here for tips on getting rid of stuff.

Consider the moving services you need. You’ll save money by doing some work yourself—particularly packing. Still, having a company pack saves you time and improves your chances of getting recompensated for damage claims. But plan to pack and move jewelry, framed art, and other valuable belongings yourself.

Choose a moving company that provides reliable pricing, gets the job done on time, and takes good care of your belongings and the homes you’re leaving and moving into. Use our ratings of area movers to find capable companies.

To get a good price, obtain written estimates from several moving companies, including the rates (per hour or based on weight/mileage) used to calculate them. Our undercover shoppers collected prices for two local moves and three long-distance moves. We found dramatic company-to-company price differences for each job.

Be on the scene and attentive when your belongings are loaded and unloaded, making sure the moving company prepares an inventory. Carefully read the bill of lading (inventory) before signing. Don’t sign the inventory or any other paper without first noting any damage incurred.