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Hiring a Moving Company: How to Choose - MovingLocal
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For most people deciding to hire a moving company comes as a huge relief. With the signing of that contract, they are free from the responsibility of having to move heavy furniture in and out of a truck and they realize that all they have to do on moving day is be at the home to oversee and make sure everything gets done. If you have ever moved an apartment or a home then you are well aware how awful it can be to do this on your own and so to many people paying the few extra hundred or thousand dollars that it will cost to hire a moving company is worth its weight in gold.

With that said not all moving companies are created equal and even though a majority of your move is now taken care of, there are still certain things that you need to be on the lookout for to make sure that you don’t wind up overpaying or wind up being totally frustrated with the company that you hired.  

Why You Should Hire a Moving Company

If this is your first major move then you may be on the fence as to whether or not you should hire a moving company. Right off the bat, if you live in a one-bedroom apartment, are not moving that far, do not have a tremendous amount of stuff to move, and have a few friends who you know are willing to help out then you probably want to check out our guide on renting a moving truck. In a scenario like the one we just described you will literally save yourself hundreds or thousands of dollars if you do the move yourself. Not to mention that the entire move can be accomplished in a few hours.

However, not everything in life is always this clear cut and there are certain moving scenarios where deciding to hire a moving company or attempting to self-move is not particularly easy. One thing that can be said for certain is that if you can afford a moving company—and what we mean by this is that it won’t affect you at all monetarily, then you probably want to go that route. The reason being is that you will definitely save yourself a tremendous amount of stress and physical exertion, and if hiring a moving company is not going to impact your life in any way, then why not treat yourself.

Similarly, if you have a family and are attempting to move out of a 3 or 4 bedroom home, then you probably want to hire a moving company to help you with this. That is not to say that you cannot accomplish a move of this size on your own, but the reality is that it will take you a few days to finish and the amount of moving you will have to do is unreal. Think of it like this, you will have to disassemble at least 3 or 4 beds, move the living room furniture, everything from the kitchen, the dining room table, the family room furniture and that doesn’t even include all of the boxes of stuff that you’ll have. Believe us when we say that attempting to do a move of this size on your own will make the entire moving process unbearable.

The same can be said for if you are moving long distances. For instance, if you are moving from New Jersey to California then you probably want to hire a moving company. There is another scenario for a move of this length that could work and that would be selling your possessions and then just buying new stuff when you get to your new home (although most people do not want to do this.) When moving cross-country you almost always want to hire a mover because having to haul all of your belongings in a 26’ truck 2000 miles across the country is just a tiresome experience.

How Much Should it Cost to Hire a Moving Company

These prices that we are about to give you are nationwide averages for the distance and size of the move and should only be used as a guide. These numbers are not set in stone and will vary greatly depending on locale and also on any add-on services that you get, like packing services or storage. Also when we use the term locally we are referring to a move under 50 miles and long-distance refers to a move of about 1,000 miles.

One-bedroom home

  • Locally:$200-$500
  • Long-distance:$900-$1,200

Two-bedroom home

  • Locally:$400-$750
  • Long-distance:$2,000-$3,000

Three-bedroom home

  • Locally:$900-$1,500
  • Long-distance:$3,750-$5,000

Four-bedroom home

  • Locally:$1,000-$2,000
  • Long-distance:$4,000-$6,000

Beyond knowing the price that you can expect to pay you should also be aware of how long moves of these sizes should take, so that you can gauge if the movers are going at a good pace or even if you want to attempt the move on your own.

Moving a one-bedroom home will take roughly 3 to 5 hours. Moving a two-bedroom home will take about 5 to 6 hours. A three-bedroom home it is estimated to take between 7 to 10 hours and for a four-bedroom or more home you can expect to spend more than 10 hours moving.

What Should I Look for in a Moving Company?

We cover this information a little more in-depth in our guide on how to find a moving company but it is a good idea to reiterate some of that information here as well. For the most part when you are looking for a moving company you should ask friends who have used moving companies in the past and had great experiences for a referral. This is a great way to avoid having to search long and wide for the right mover.

However, you should not simply rely on the word of someone else and you should always do your due diligence before signing a contract or hiring someone. The questions below are things that you should go over with the moving company before you agree to anything, as they will give you a good idea of the professionalism of the company and what sort of services that they offer.

  • Will the moving company provide an inventory of your possessions?
  • Will you get complete walkthrough of your house before the move?
  • Do they require you to pay a large deposit?
  • Are there any “extra fees” that the moving company think will may apply to you?
  • Do they guarantee their quote?
  • Are your items insured?
  • What is the process for an out of state move?
  • How long have they been in the moving business for?

These are good questions to start off with and by simply taking the time and going over this stuff with your moving company will help to avoid most misunderstandings and issues that could arise down the road.