Americans are constantly on the move. Each year, about 36 million people move within the United States—across town, across the state or across the country. The average household goods shipment weighs 7,935 pounds—almost four tons!
About a third of all moves are handled by a professional moving company, and the good news is, the vast majority of them help families make a stressful transition smooth and easy. In fact, consumer complaints about household goods movers fell almost 10 percent in 2014, according to data from the National Consumer Complaint Database.
The Better Business Bureau also showed an 11 percent drop in complaints against movers. The actions of the professional moving industry to promote stronger ethical standards among movers are working.
As the average family moves 11 times during their lifetime, consumers often do not know how to make the important decision of selecting the best moving company for their relocation. The American Moving & Storage Association, which represents professional movers and serves as the home of the ProMover certification program, offers a wealth of resources for consumers.
Here are your top 10 tips for a successful professional move:
10. Start your move with a certified professional mover—a ProMover.
9. Check the company’s ratings with the Better Business Bureau and Angie’s List, and ask for referrals from friends and family.
8. Get at least three free, written in-home estimates and show the mover everything that needs to be moved, from the attic to the basement, plus any sheds, garages, and storage areas.
7. Know your rights and request free publications that can help you plan your move.
6. Understand the level of liability or valuation so your possessions are properly insured.
5. Avoid large down payments or full payments in advance for any reason.
4. Get all agreements in writing and get a copy of everything you sign.
3. Take valuables with you, including cash, coins, jewelry, photographs, and important documents.
2. Be reachable by phone during the move, and get the driver’s name, cell phone, and truck number.
1. Ask questions, and if you aren’t satisfied with the answers, talk to another mover.
You can find these and other valuable tips, tools, and advice at Moving.org.
Consumers also can get free referrals for certified professional movers to schedule free in-home estimates for the move at no obligation to you. Even if you are considering handling the move yourself, you have nothing to lose by inviting a mover into your home so you can find out if a professional move is the best option for you. Learn more at Moving.org.