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How to hire the right movers

Kori Ellis is an editor and writer based in San Antonio, TX, where she lives with her husband and four children. At SheKnows, she writes about parenting, fashion, beauty and other lifestyle topics. Additionally, Kori has been published i...

Movin' on up

If you are moving, you want to find the best company to help you transport all your possessions. With so many different moving companies out there -- from national chains to local movers -- it can be overwhelming to make a choice. However, by following these tips, you can find the right movers to make your move as stress-free and efficient as possible.

Moving truck

1Start with recommendations

If you have family, friends or co-workers who have recently moved, ask them which movers they have used and get details about their experiences. You can also talk to real estate agents to find out which companies they might recommend.

2Research online

Once you have the names of several moving companies, read reviews and testimonials online. Look at the customer complaints. Some complaints might be minor, while others are catastrophic. Check out MovingScam.com and MovingSham.com, where you can find a list of movers with frequent customer complaints. If a company doesn't have an online presence, that doesn't mean you shouldn't use them. Call and ask the company for references. If they are unable to provide a handful of customers you can call, then move on to another company.

3Get written estimates

Don't rely on rough estimates over the phone. Ask the company to come to your house for an in-home estimate. Show the movers everything that you plan to move. Be specific about where you are moving. Will they need to move your big-screen TV or a refrigerator up three flights of stairs? Ask about taxes and any other hidden charges, as well as guarantees or reimbursement policies on lost or damaged items. See if you can get a written, binding estimate from three or four companies. Make sure you understand what the price includes. Are they packing anything for you? Are they delivering each box and piece of furniture to the proper room in your new home or just leaving them in the living room?

4Check if they are licensed

An experienced moving company should be legally licensed to transport your possessions. Ask for the company's USDOT (Department of Transportation) and motor carrier license numbers. At Safersys.org, you can enter the USDOT number to find out more about the movers and see if they are licensed. You should also check with the Better Business Bureau, as well as the American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA) to see if the moving company is reputable.

After considering each company's experience, reputation and cost, you will be able to make an informed decision to hire the right movers for you.

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