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Two movers on stairs carrying a large box.

How to Hire Professional Movers in 3 Steps

Hiring a Moving Company

Let’s face it — no one likes moving. It’s overwhelming, stressful and chaotic. Instead of cashing in on all those favors from your friends and family to help you move, consider hiring a moving company.

Hiring Professional Movers vs. Doing It Yourself


Professional movers will save you on the time and stress that comes with moving yourself. Some companies will even pack your house for you! Versatile moving companies offer these services:

  • Dismantling and reassembling furniture.
  • Moving heavy items, like pianos.
  • Packaging services.
  • Offering moving supplies, like packaging paper, bubble wrap and boxes.
  • Moving fragile pieces, like glassware or art.

Professional moving companies need to meet requirements in order to do business. Here are a few things to look for:

  • Established companies with capable employees. Moving is undeniably a physically demanding job. The people you hire should be physically capable of undertaking the manual labor that moving entails. Moving companies that have been around for a long time know they need to hire strong, healthy people for these jobs.
  • Insurance. Professional moving companies will always have insurance because their employees use large trucks or box trucks to transport belongings. Employees are required to have a commercial driver’s license (CDL) to operate large vehicles.
  • Licensure. Licensure laws will vary state-to-state, but professional moving companies have to be licensed and insured because there is always a risk of something getting damaged or left behind.
  • Bonded. Moving companies that are bonded mean they have an extra level of insurance. If you are concerned about items being damaged during transport, ask the company if they are licensed, insured and bonded.
  • Reputation. As with any contractor or company you are looking to hire, you will want to scope out their reputation. Check online reviews and ask friends and family for their recommendations and experiences.

Hiring Movers in 3 Steps

Okay, so you are convinced. It’s time to hire real professionals to help you move. Where do you start? First, you will want to make sure the company you hire has the appropriate qualifications. You’ll be trusting them to move your personal belongings, and if you are moving farther away, like out of state or even cross country, you will certainly want the people you hire to be experienced and well-trained to handle your things for a long journey.

Step 1: Do Your Research

Jump online and search for professional movers in your area. You can find out if a company has been well-reviewed by checking out their Better Business Bureau webpage or scoping out review sites, like Google Reviews or Yelp. Ask friends who they chose to as their movers and if they had a good experience.

Step 2: Get At Least 3 Quotes

Whether you are hiring painters, plumbers, electricians, or any kind of contractor — get at least three quotes. Provide the company with all the information pertinent to your move, like the distance of the move, how much you have, if you have heavy objects that require special care, or if you need other special services. Getting three quotes will tell you if one company is way too high or suspiciously low, helping you make the right decision for your budget and quality of the move.

Step 3: Ask Questions

It’s important to ask questions, but it is even more crucial to ask the right questions. Here are a few points to bring up when you are making your decision:

  • Are you licensed and insured (or bonded)? Remember, a professional moving company will be licensed and insured. Don’t take the chance on one that is not!
  • Do you do local or cross-country moves? Some moving companies only stick to local moves, while others specialize in moving clients out-of-state — or even internationally.
  • How do you charge? Moving companies can charge an hourly rate or a flat rate. There could also be a minimum number of hours required for the company to accept the job. Some moving companies will note that hours will also include transit time.

Factors That Can Affect the Price of Your Move

There’s no getting around the fact that it is expensive to move. It’s time-consuming and requires plenty of manual labor for a smooth transition.

Here are a few variables companies will consider when quoting your move:

  • Out-of-state versus cross-state. A shorter move may be considered to be under 100 miles, and a professional moving company might be able to provide this quote to you over the phone. For out-of-state moves over 100 miles, flat fees usually will not apply. You’ll be paying for mileage, fuel and time.
  • Number of employees. Moving companies will often charge by the mover and by the hour, and most moving jobs require more than one person on site, so you can expect to pay anywhere between $50 to $100 per hour — at least for a small apartment. Larger homes will cost even more.
  • Size of move. The more you have, the more it will cost to move. Apartments will cost much less than a fully furnished four-bedroom house. You’ll also want to weigh the cost of having the movers pack your things for you.
  • Moving truck size. The size of the moving truck needed for your belongings will also be a factor for the overall price. Of course, the more things you have, the larger the truck and the more expensive the move can get.
  • The time of the year. Most people wait to move when the weather is pleasant, but that means there is an increase of demand for movers. Pricing will go up during the summer and spring. You might want to see if it is possible to get a lower rate for the fall or winter months.

Out-of-State Moving Companies

Not sure where to start? Check out some of these nationally-ranked, out-of-state moving companies, courtesy of Move.org:

  • International Van Lines — rated best overall long-distance moving company.
  • Allied Van Lines — rated best for customer service.
  • American Van Lines — rated best for transparent pricing.
  • North American Van Lines — rated best for job customization.

Finding a Cross-State Moving Company

A local move means you can search for local moving companies. A quick search of “moving companies near me” will pull up a list of professional movers in your area that specialize in smaller moves. Some national, out-of-state moving companies will also do cross-state moves, so even if the company is a national one, they might be worth a shot if you hit a dead end.