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To assist you in finding the best moving company for your needs, Consumer Opinion Guide has created our own list of top-rated movers. We did our homework and conducted detailed research as well as tested the services of hundreds of companies – all to provide you with our selection of the five with the highest rating.
Why do you need a professional moving company?
Studies show that moving falls under the five most stressful events in life. Having to pack your entire life into a moving truck and start fresh in a completely new city, state, or country is a physically and mentally challenging step to undertake. Additionally, the moving process is also complex and contains a lot of tasks that need to be handled. And instead of wasting time and energy on doing it all on your own, you can opt for the skilled support of some of the best movers. We at Consumer Opinion Guide understand your needs and have created a list of trusted, top rated moving companies operating in the industry.
What are the benefits of opting for the best long distance movers?
- Less Stress. When you’re moving house, there are a million and one things that only you can take care of. Moving isn’t one of them. It’s a lot easier to let someone else take care of the hauling, moving, and transporting. And it’ll free you up to take care of the more important, technical details that only you can do.
- Security. What’s more, professional interstate moving companies will have some sort of insurance on your stuff. So, if something breaks during the move, it’s covered. If you break something while moving it yourself, you’re out of luck.
- Saves time and money. What’s even more valuable than money? Your time. Hiring the best movers can help you save a load of time. Sometimes, that’s worth the investment. While saving time you can also expect to save money when hiring movers, and alleviate the burden of having to worry about your budget.
- Effectiveness. Everyone’s good at something, but few people are good at EVERYTHING. You might be really good at what you do. But you know what the best moving companies are good at? That’s right, moving. They’ll know how to pack up, haul, and unload your stuff in the fastest, most efficient manner possible. So you can get on with your life and start living in your new home sooner.
- Safety. Moving can be hazardous to your health for many reasons. But one of the biggest ones is the strain you’ll put on your body. Professional long distance moving companies know how to move large, bulky, and heavy items without hurting themselves.
What about choosing interstate moving companies and moving brokers?
With the right kind of assistance from trained and skilled professionals, you can expect to complete your relocation project with success. Opting for professional moving assistance either from a moving brokerage company or a local mover can prove to be the decision that will set your relocation apart. Make sure you get yourself the best rated moving partner and ensure your family or your business a smooth and pleasant moving experience.
How to find the best movers for your situation
To figure out which company suits your needs the best, you will want to consider the following factors:
- Your budget will determine how much you can spend on making your relocation more convenient. You might want to consider allowing for delays and any unexpected bumps, as well. By having a set budget, you will be able to save a lot of time not considering the services you can’t actually afford.
- If you have any custom items to relocate, you might want to find a moving company that has experience in handling them. For example, most of the best interstate moving companies are quite proficient in relocating pianos, home safes, as well as pool tables.
- Your timeline will also influence your choice of long distance movers. The fact of the matter is that some of the best interstate moving companies can help you relocate much faster than others. But if you have more time to spare, you have the option of choosing slower but cheaper moving services.
- Your relocation type will also narrow down the choices. For example, some moving companies are local-only, or even long-distance only. Most of the best interstate movers can provide you with assistance for any relocation type, however.
Figuring out which company can provide you with the best moving services for the occasion will make all the difference between an enjoyable moving experience and a stressful one. Do note, however, that you will want to allocate quite a bit of time for research. The more time and effort you put into research, the easier it is going to be to choose the best moving and storage options for your situation.
Types of relocation companies
Before you start looking into the best movers for your needs in greater detail, it is very important to understand that there are several distinct types of moving companies. You don’t really want to look into the top rated moving companies if you are planning an international relocation, for example. With that in mind, here are the types of moving companies:
- Local – Any relocation that is under fifty miles is considered a local one. While this does depend from state to state, as well as the company’s own policies, it is usually quite accurate. Still, you will want to confirm that your company of choice is capable of performing a relocation within such distance. If you choose one of the best full service moving companies, however, this becomes a non-issue.
- Long-distance – A relocation graduates from local to long-distance after 50 miles, or as declared in the company’s policy. A long-distance relocation is a very broad term, and it can technically apply to both interstate and international relocations. But there are some differences (see below)
- Interstate – Whenever a relocation crosses state lines, it is considered an interstate move. That is where the services of the best interstate moving companies come in handy.
- International – If you are moving outside of the U.S., your relocation is considered to be an international one. This applies to Canada, as well as any other neighboring country. Make sure to carefully check whether your moving company offers international services. Some of the best moving companies will also offer assistance with immigration documents and housing.
- Moving container providers – If you are not looking to take advantage of the best packers and movers and save some money on your relocation, you may opt for companies that offer moving container services. You can get pods and containers of various sizes but you will need to pack them yourself.
- Specialty movers – Some of the best movers offer services that are specially designed for relocating items such as pianos, wine collections, as well as fine art. If you have items that are delicate and expensive, it is in your interest to hire one of the best moving companies for that particular task.
- Automobile movers – If you need to relocate an automobile across long distances, state borders, or internationally, you will want to choose one of the best interstate moving companies that are specialized for it.
As you can see, there are no “best movers” for every single scenario. What you need to do is figure out exactly what you require and then start searching for top moving companies for that particular situation. You will also want to make sure that you are doing your part to prepare for the relocation, as well.
Preparing for the relocation process
First things first, you will want to be proactive. Relocation is a huge undertaking, and the more tasks you accomplish ahead of time, the easier it is going to be. With that in mind, you will want to:
- Create a moving checklist – Every smooth relocation process starts with the creation of the moving checklist. This handy document will help you organize your time, and efforts, as well as keep your budget in check. To create it, all you need to do is write down everything that you think needs doing. As time goes on, and when you involve top-rated moving companies in your relocation process, you will amend and update the checklist accordingly.
- Declutter – Relocating to another home is the perfect opportunity to finally declutter your home. Start by sorting through your possessions and then donate, sell, or throw away the things that you don’t need. Not only will this step save a lot of time for packing, but it will also enable you to go with a smaller truck. And that means that your relocation will cost less.
- Obtain packing supplies – While you can certainly look for “top-rated movers near me” and have them deliver all your packing supplies to your doorstep, it is usually a good idea to obtain some of them on your own. Moving boxes, for example, you can get from your local convenience stores if you ask politely. Most of the time, they will not mind sending a box or two your way. It is also a good idea to get a few more boxes than you think you need. Having to run out and purchase more boxes while in the middle of the packing process only wastes time and induces stress.
- Prepare an essentials bag – Once you get to the packing process, you can expect things to be somewhat chaotic. That is why most reputable moving companies advise preparing an essentials bag to be the first thing you do. The essentials bag needs to include only the items that require immediate access during the move or within the first few hours in your new place. Items such as important documents, chargers, basic toiletries, a change of clothes, an entertainment device or two, all need to find their way inside the essentials bag. Furthermore, anything that you believe you will need for the first few days in your new home can also be included. Just don’t overpack the bag, as that kind of defeats the purpose of easy access.
Moving Quotes and how to compare them
While it is a rather easy process to obtain a moving quote, aka moving estimate, from your moving company (all you have to do most of the time is fill out a simple form), understanding them can be quite confusing. The problem is that every moving company quotes its prices in a different manner. Therefore, you will almost never get to do a straightforward comparison. To make it easier for you, we have compiled some analysis on how movers base their prices. But before we get to that, you need to understand the three main categories of moving quotes, which are:
- Non-binding estimate
- Binding estimate
- Binding not-to-exceed estimate
These estimates are the easiest to acquire. You can usually get a non-binding estimate from a moving company in a matter of minutes. You can also use one of the online moving calculators and get pretty much the same result. The main thing to note about this estimate is that it does not bind anyone to anything. It is just a reference of how much your relocation might cost.
In general, you do not want to proceed with your relocation with only a non-binding estimate. If you do, chances are that your relocation will cost quite a bit more in the end. And you might not be prepared for the additional costs. Unless you are working with one of the very best moving companies, you can expect “lowballed” quotes to get your attention. In almost every case, your final bill is going to be higher, sometimes by a large margin. According to the FMCSA, customers are expected to pay these extra charges because the mover has the right to bill you for any remaining charges after 30 days from delivery. While you will have one month to pay your bill, it may put you in an unenviable situation. The bottom line is this:
- Be extremely wary of companies that only offer non-binding estimates. While this estimate type is good for quickly assessing the scope of the cost, you never want to proceed with your move without one of the following estimate types.
As the name implies, a binding estimate is when the mover guarantees the price for your relocation. This estimate is usually based on the approximate weight of your belongings. If both the customer and the company agree on the binding estimate, there will be no extra charges. However, there are a couple of things to point out.
First, if your shipment ends up weighing lower than the approximation, you still need to pay the full cost indicated by the binding estimate. Second, if you add any items to the shipment before the moving date, movers have the right to amend the estimate, negotiate a new one, or convert the binding estimate into a non-binding estimate. But in the case that your shipment ends up weighing more, you will not have to pay for any additional charges. You have the binding estimate in hand, after all.
While this estimate type is more ideal than a non-binding one, these drawbacks can be quite significant. It will prevent you from being overcharged by your moving company but it is not very flexible. Furthermore, there is nothing preventing your mover from overcharging you from the very start. And that is why you should never rely on a single moving quote.
Get in touch with as many movers as you can and have all of them provide you with a binding quote. That way, you will be able to figure out whether one mover is “jacking up the price”.
Binding not-to-exceed estimate
Most customers find this estimate type to be the best of the lot. The basic premise is much the same as with the binding estimate but with a “twist”. A binding-not-to-exceed estimate stipulates that in cases of your shipment ending up to be lighter than estimated, you will pay the reduced price. Everything else is the same as with the binding estimate, meaning that you will never pay more than what is listed, regardless of whether your shipment is heavier.
It is in your best interest to work with a mover that will provide you with this estimate type, especially when trying to conduct a long-distance relocation. That is why it is important to check moving company ratings before making the final decision. For local moves, most companies charge you by the hour and the number of persons on the moving team.
Full-service moving company estimates
When you opt for a full-service moving company, the first thing to note is that the quotes are wildly different depending on whether you choose to perform a short-distance move or a long-distance one. For example, some long distance moving companies will base their quotes on the time it takes to complete the relocation if the distances involved are shorter but will charge based on the weight for a long distance move.
Long distance quotes
For long distance moves, most companies choose to form their quotes according to the weight of your shipment. The common formula is rate/CWT (CWT meaning cost per 100lbs). If you are dealing with one of the more reliable movers, you can expect an accurate estimate but it is impossible to know the exact weight of your shipment, and therefore the cost until all your belongings get measured. That is why it is important to choose the right estimate type, lest you end up paying a lot more in the end.
Most moving companies choose to price their services based on the time it takes to complete the relocation, as well as the size of the truck, the number of people on your moving crew, and the materials used. The time it takes to travel to your home, between the homes, as well as back to the movers’ original location is usually fully charged. In most cases, you get an hourly rate and it is up to you to figure out how much your relocation might last.
A few other things to note is that pricing usually differs by the day of the week, as well as the time of the month and the current season. Weekends, months’ ends, and summer, command the highest prices. Lastly, if you require a storage unit for your items between pick-up and delivery, expect extra charges. Inquire about them ahead of time, lest you be caught unaware.
FAQ (Frequently asked questions)
How much do professional moving services cost?
On average, the cost of a local relocation is usually between $300 and $1,500. Of course, this depends on a variety of factors, such as the size of your home or office, where you are relocating to, as well as your choice of moving company. When it comes to long distance relocations, you can expect the best moving services to set you back anywhere between $2,500 and $5,000, depending on how many items you have to transport and the distances involved. Interstate and international relocations incur additional costs, as you will be crossing state lines and country borders. However, some of the best interstate moving companies can provide you with almost the same price as an ordinary long distance move.
An additional thing to consider is the reputation of your moving company. It is smart to read up on moving company reviews before making the final choice. Moving reviews can provide you with additional information and help you make the best choice.
Is it less expensive to buy new furniture or relocate it?
This depends on your relocation type. If you are planning a local move, you should definitely not buy new furniture. But if you need to relocate your furniture across long distances, the associated cost might make the decision for you. Two things make up most of the relocation costs: weight and space. And if you are planning on hiring the best movers and packers, expect to pay extra for your furniture relocation. Before you start making relocation plans, you will want to inquire exactly how much it will cost to relocate your furniture. Then you can calculate whether it is better to sell the items and purchase new furniture once you arrive.
What are the items you should not move?
The most reliable and long distance movers will have no qualms about relocating furniture and household goods, even specialty items. However, there are some items that no reliable moving company will transport for you. In fact, almost all top-rated moving companies will never compromise on this. The list includes, but is not limited to:
- Batteries and acids
- Any flammable or explosive materials
- Pool chemicals
- Aerosol and paints
- Pesticides and fertilized
- Motor oil or propane tanks
Additionally, you never want to entrust extremely valuable personal items, not even to reputable interstate moving companies. While your movers might be willing to transport those items for you, it is in your best interest to “play it safe” and have them with you at all times.
How much is a good tip for your movers?
Tipping your movers is not exactly expected, but it is something that you may wish to do if you are satisfied with your relocation. A good tip depends on how many people are conducting the relocation as well as the time it takes to relocate your belongings.
As a rule of thumb, you can plan on tipping between $4 and $5 for each person on the moving team, per hour of work. And if your relocation was particularly impressive, you may want to tip more than this minimum. It is a decent thing to do, after all. And don’t forget to add your own moving ratings if you are satisfied with the quality of your relocation. By doing so, you will be helping other people find the best moving services.
How far ahead should you schedule your relocation?
The best time to schedule your relocation is around two months before the actual moving date. The best interstate moving companies, for example, may not be available for a short-notice move at the exact date of your choosing. It is always best to play it safe and schedule your movers sooner rather than later. If you are looking for top rated movers near me at the last minute, don’t be surprised if they are not available at a moment’s notice.
Where can I get moving boxes?
There is a number of places where you can get moving boxes at a discount, or even free. The first thing you will want to do is ask around. Contact your friends and family members, visit your local grocery stores and retailers, and ask if they have some boxes to send your way. Do check recycle centers, as well. By doing so, you will most likely have all the boxes your relocation might require. But if you are still missing some, you can always get in touch with one of the best full-service moving companies. They will be able to provide you with any packing materials you might need.
Ensure a stress-free moving experience by opting for the best moving companies
By spending countless hours and manpower on research and background checks, Consumer Opinion Guide saves you the time and energy required to find the best moving services for your specific needs. Take the secure and simple route toward ensuring utmost success in your moving endeavors. Get a quote from one or more top long distance movers you see here!