designs on the move

Interior Design blog

Hiring a Professional Mover

by Suzanne M. Harvey

So you’re moving.  Now you have to tackle packing everything in your house, putting it in a truck/car/van and getting it to your new place.  Are you overwhelmed yet??  Maybe you need a professional mover.  I know what you’re thinking…”I can’t afford that!!”.  Well you might be surprised.  I will be the first to admit that hiring a professional mover is not cheap.  However, you might find that in the long run it is worth the cost to ensure and safe and easy move for you.  Besides you have a million other things to manage with this move. So let’s get moving…I have a few tips and tricks that might help you when hiring a professional mover.

#1 – Determine the services you want/need.

Do you want them to pack your items and move them?  Do you just want them to move your furniture?  Do you want them to unpack for you?  Do you need storage?  These are all questions you need the answers to.  You can find listings of services available on the web so you can see what your options are.  Start with your list of wants and do a separate needs list.  This will help you when reviewing quotes and determining your budget.

#2 – Get 3 Quotes – Only contact the big three movers – United Van Lines, Atlas and Allied. Trust me on this.  These are national, reputable firms.  They are licensed and insured and will take care of you and your ‘stuff’ throughout the process.  They are the experts and when it comes to your move that is what you need.  These companies will not provide quotes online. They will require a home walk through.  This will provide you with a more accurate estimate. Make sure that you provide all the exact same requests with each company.  This will allow you to compare apples to apples to pick the right company for you.

#3 – You get what you pay for!  Never go with the cheapest company (this goes for quotes on any work on your house, as well).  If they are significantly cheaper than everyone else something is missing. Either they don’t include everything that other companies do or they forgot to include it – this means there will be extra, unexpected charges at the end.

Hiring Professional Movers

#4 – Determine your Budget. You will have received 3 quotes and now you are taking a long, hard look at them.  Remember I said it isn’t cheap?  So this is where the rubber meets the road. Take a look at them see what you absolutely need and what you can do without.  That’s the great part of this – you decide.  You may not have the money for a full professional pack & move.  But you may decide that it is worth the money to have someone else do the heavy lifting.  It is one of the few a la carte services these days.  So you decide-will you be hiring a professional mover or just doing it yourself.

#5 – Go with your gut. You have decide that you are hiring a professional mover. In most cases you will find that the services and pricing are very similar (especially if you contacted the 3 national carriers). So which one do you choose?  This is where you have to trust your gut.  I have used all of the national carriers for previous moves and would recommend any of them.  I know – not much help there.  Here it is, my final tip.  Trust your instincts.  Often times who you choose – whether mover or contractor – is based on your first impression.  Do you like them?  Do you feel like they will take care of your stuff and provide good customer service? That is what is important.  If you are comfortable you are more likely to have a good experience.

Moving to another home whether in the same state, another state or another country is a major undertaking.  But with the right tools, some tips, tricks and maybe the help of a professional it can be a smooth transition.

So what do you think?  Have you ever used a pro mover?  Share your stories and favorite tips.




  1. JulieK on September 4, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    I think the cost is what freezes my blood! LOL I’d love to hear your thoughts on specific ways this cost has been worth the expenditure….like did you ever have to have them replace anything?

    • Designs On The Move on September 4, 2014 at 4:08 pm

      I know the cost can be completely scary. We have had a few items that had to be repaired and these companies took care of the items quickly and the repairs were well done. One of the repairs was an antique cedar chest. It was more about sentimental value but the repair was so well done you couldn’t tell it was damaged. In my opinion this is the best way to move if you are moving out of state. I don’t think it would be worth the money for a local move but the logistics of a state to state move make this worth the money in my opinion. Also the easiest way to cut the cost is to pack your own stuff and just pay for the large items to be moved. This can be a great savings (usually at least half price). We have been fortunate that this cost is usually taken care of by the company but I have done this on our own as well. If I am the one footing the bill I have the moving company move only the large, bulky items and the costs are much less prohibitive.

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