Moving one's household goods from one dwelling to another is a task
no one relishes. Some people rent one-way moving trucks to move
their belongings. Other people hire a moving company with a
moving van to load, transport, and unload their belongings, even
if they pack and unpack the moving boxes themselves.
The moving industry has endured some criticism because of a few
unscrupulous movers taking advantage of consumers, so if you plan
to hire a mover, there are a few steps you can take to protect
Ask family members, friends, co-workers, and your real estate agent
for several moving company recommendations. Reputable movers are
often members of AMSA, the American Moving and Storage Association.
Check to ensure that no complaints have been filed against
the movers with the Better Business Bureau or government agencies.
FMCSA, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, oversees
the interstate household goods moving industry;
state consumer agencies
regulate intrastate household moves.
Ask the moving companies if they have corporate relocation contracts
and check references if possible.
Obtain two or three written bids and ask whether the bids are binding
or non-binding. Be sure you understand how charges are calculated,
because some movers charge by weight and distance while other movers
charge by time and materials. Packing materials and moving boxes
can be a substantial part of your moving costs. Many movers also
have storage facilities or moving trucks where your household goods
can be stored, if necessary, while you are "between houses."
Be sure these potential storage costs are included in the bids.
The moving industry is quite competitive, so be prepared to negotiate
for lower fees.
Most moving and storage companies include a very basic level of
standard insurance coverage in their bids, but you may wish to obtain
additional coverage through the mover or your own insurer. Many
consumers transport smaller valuable items and plants themselves.
For insurance purposes, keep a record of purchase receipts and
serial numbers of your big ticket items, and photograph or videotape
your household effects as they are loaded into the moving truck.
Whether you are thinking of moving across town, across the country, or
around the world, be sure to read through this
guide and these helpful moving day tips.
With proper planning and a bit of forethought, you and your family, along
with your service providers, can accomplish a household move quickly and
efficiently when moving day arrives.
Federal regulations protect consumers on interstate moves
and define the rights and responsibilities of consumers and household
goods carriers (movers). This article, published by the FMCSA,
is located on the Protect Your Move website. www.FMCSA.DOT.gov