The Dos and Don'ts of Hiring Movers

This guide is here to help, offering a comprehensive list of dos and don'ts when hiring movers, ensuring your next move is as seamless and stress-free as possible.

April 14, 2023

Moving homes or offices can often be a monumental task, filled with both excitement and stress. The key to a smooth and successful move largely hinges on one critical decision: choosing the right movers. However, with so many options available, how do you ensure you're making the best choice?

Do Your Research

Before settling on a moving company, it's crucial to do your homework. Start by checking online reviews and ratings. Websites like Yelp and Google Reviews can offer insights into a company's reliability and customer service. However, remember that one or two negative reviews in a sea of positive feedback don't necessarily reflect the company's overall performance.

Another invaluable resource is your personal network. Ask friends, family, and colleagues for recommendations. Often, firsthand experiences can provide the most reliable guidance.

Know What You Need

Understanding your specific moving needs is crucial in selecting the right moving company. Here are some aspects to consider:

  1. Assessing Your Moving Scale: Are you moving from a studio apartment, a family home, or relocating an office? The size of your move will dictate the kind of moving service you need. For larger moves, you may require a company with more extensive resources and personnel. For smaller moves, a local, more nimble team might be more cost-effective and efficient.
  2. Special Items Handling: If you have items like pianos, antiques, or sensitive electronic equipment, you’ll need movers who specialize in handling such items. Not all movers have the expertise or equipment to safely transport these items, so it's important to clarify this upfront.
  3. Distance of Your Move: The distance of your move impacts the type of mover you should hire. For local moves, searching for "movers near me" on platforms like Yelp or Google can yield a list of nearby companies with reviews and ratings. For longer, interstate moves, look for companies specializing in long-distance relocations, ensuring they understand the logistics and legalities of cross-state moving.
  4. Understanding Moving Services: Familiarize yourself with different types of moving services. Full-service movers offer comprehensive solutions including packing, loading, moving, unloading, and unpacking. Self-service movers, on the other hand, may only handle the transportation of your belongings, leaving packing and unpacking to you. Companies like MoveMate often provide a range of options, allowing you to customize services based on your needs.
  5. Budgeting for Your Move: Your budget plays a significant role in the type of moving service you can afford. While it's tempting to go with the cheapest option, balance cost with the quality of service. Get detailed quotes from several companies and understand what is included in their price. Websites like provide helpful tools and resources for budgeting your move.
  6. Timeframe and Flexibility: Consider your moving dates and how flexible you can be. Some movers may offer more competitive rates during their off-peak seasons or days. If your moving dates are flexible, you could potentially save money.

By carefully considering these factors, you can tailor your search for movers to your specific needs, ensuring a more efficient, cost-effective, and stress-free moving experience. Remember, the more specific you are about your requirements, the easier it will be to find a moving company that's just the right fit for your unique situation.

Don’t Forget the Details

When hiring movers, it's the finer details that often make the biggest difference. Here are key aspects you should not overlook:

  1. Estimate Type: Moving companies typically offer non-binding, binding, and binding not-to-exceed estimates. A non-binding estimate may change based on the actual weight of your move, while a binding estimate is a fixed cost for the move as estimated. The binding not-to-exceed estimate is often considered the most customer-friendly, as it won't charge you more if the weight exceeds the estimate but will cost less if the weight is lower. Understanding these differences can help you budget accurately and avoid unexpected costs.
  2. Check for Hidden Fees: Be wary of hidden fees that can inflate your final bill. These can include charges for moving items up and down stairs, long carry fees if trucks can't park near your door, or packing fees if items aren't ready when movers arrive. Always ask for a comprehensive list of potential additional charges.
  3. Read Reviews for Red Flags: Beyond just checking ratings, read reviews for specific complaints or praises. Look for comments about punctuality, care for belongings, professionalism, and how the company handles disputes or damages. Websites like Yelp and Google Reviews can be great resources for this kind of detailed feedback.
  4. Contract Clarity: Before signing a contract, ensure all details are clear and written down. This includes the moving date and time, all costs, any additional services, and policies regarding delays and cancellations. Don't hesitate to ask for clarification on any point that's not clear.

Communication is Key

Effective communication with your moving company is fundamental to ensuring a smooth moving process. From the initial contact to the final item being unpacked, maintaining clear, open, and frequent communication can significantly reduce the stress and uncertainty often associated with moving.

Start by discussing all details of your move with the moving company. This includes the inventory of items to be moved, specific handling requirements for delicate or large items, and any concerns or special requests you might have. It's important to be as detailed as possible to avoid any surprises on moving day. Also, clarify the logistics, such as the date and time of the move, the estimated duration, and the process on moving day.

Setting clear expectations is crucial. Discuss the services you expect, such as packing, loading, transporting, unloading, and unpacking. Make sure to understand what is included in your package and what might incur additional costs. If you have any specific instructions or preferences, such as the order in which you want your items packed or particular care for certain belongings, communicate these clearly.

Preparing a detailed moving day plan is also essential. This plan should include the timeline of activities, any preparation you need to do beforehand, and how the moving day will be structured. If there are building regulations or access issues at either your old or new location, make sure the movers are aware of these to avoid last-minute complications.

During the move, stay available and approachable. Movers may have questions or need your decisions on where to place items or how to handle unforeseen challenges. Being on-site or readily reachable by phone can make a significant difference in the efficiency of the move.

After the move, provide feedback. Whether it's a compliment for a job well done or constructive criticism for areas of improvement, your feedback is valuable. It not only helps the moving company enhance its services but also assists future customers in their decision-making process.

By prioritizing communication at every step of the moving process, you can foster a collaborative environment that ensures your move is handled with the care and professionalism you expect. Remember, a successful move is a team effort, and effective communication is the key to making it happen.

Avoid Common Mistakes

Making a move, whether it's across town or to a new city, is a significant life event. While it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement, overlooking certain aspects of the moving process can lead to unnecessary stress and complications. Here are some common mistakes to avoid when hiring movers:

  1. Not Researching Movers Thoroughly: Many people rush into hiring the first moving company they come across or choose the cheapest option without researching. It's crucial to read reviews, check credentials, and even get referrals. This research ensures that the company you select is reliable and has a history of customer satisfaction.
  2. Failing to Get an In-Home Estimate: Phone or online estimates can be convenient, but they often lead to inaccurate quotes. Insist on an in-home estimate where movers can assess the volume and nature of items you’re moving. This leads to more accurate pricing and avoids surprises on moving day. That’s why MoveMate uses an item/room selector that allows you to choose what items you move, with each input updating the price in real time. 
  3. Not Asking the Right Questions: Before hiring a moving company, ask about their experience, especially with items similar to yours, their process on moving day, how they handle delays or damages, and if there are any additional fees that could arise.
  4. Packing Improperly or Last Minute: Poorly packed items are more prone to damage. Start packing early and ensure everything is properly boxed and labeled. If you’re unsure about how to pack certain items, consider hiring professional packers or consulting your movers for advice.
  5. Ignoring the Need for a Moving Day Plan: Having a clear plan for moving day is essential. This includes knowing the arrival time of movers, having a clear path for movers to work, and knowing where each item goes in your new home. A lack of planning can lead to chaos and delays.
  6. Forgetting to Take Inventory: Before the movers arrive, take inventory of your belongings, especially valuable items. This record will be invaluable in case of loss or damage.

By avoiding these common mistakes, you can ensure a more organized, efficient, and stress-free moving experience. Remember, the key to a successful move is in the details, and taking the time to carefully select and communicate with your movers can make all the difference.


Hiring the right movers is a critical component of any successful move. By following these dos and don’ts, you can ensure that your moving experience is efficient, smooth, and hassle-free. And for those looking for a reliable moving partner, consider MoveMate. With a commitment to customer satisfaction and a range of tailored services, MoveMate stands out as a smart choice for your moving needs. Visit MoveMate’s website today to find out more and to book your hassle-free move.

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