Movers carrying boxes out of the truck

For many of us, moving to a new city and a new home is one of the biggest steps we’ll ever take in our adult lives. But along with the stress, anxiety, and pressure of navigating this new phase in our lives is the thought that we have to box all the items from our old house and haul them off to our new dwellings. Emotional as this phase may be, it is the physical exhaustion of moving that scares us the most.

Before moving to South Florida, for instance, get moving quotes from reputable and trustworthy movers. But instead of just typing “moving companies near me” on Google and finding a long list of services that offer to transport your items, read these five tips and be guided accordingly:

Ask for Recommendations from People You Trust

There’s nothing like a trusted friend or relative to give you the recommendation you’re seeking. Forget about those five-star ratings on Google. Go back to them later. Ask a friend or a relative if they have experiences with certain moving companies on your list. Who knows? Someone could have had a bad experience with a highly-rated one, or some could have had a good experience with a new player in the industry.

Check the Insurance and Licenses

Never hire a moving company that is not properly licensed and insured. Only those who have licenses and insurance are legally permitted to transport your items across state lines and even locally. To find if a mover has the correct licenses and insurance, you can check with the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Better Business Bureau, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, and the American Moving and Storage Association’s list of pro movers.

Look for Companies that Are Transparent with Their Rates

A moving company will only be able to give you a general idea of how much it would cost to move your things. While they can set the price based on the number of hours, the number of movers, and the mileage to be consumed, there are additional fees related to packing materials and to the movement of large and valuable objects. If the moving company isn’t willing to discuss these extra fees with you, move on to a company that will.

Learn from Online Reviews

Online review and rating with stars

If you don’t have friends or family who can recommend a mover, go online and check out the individual Facebook pages of the moving companies. Customer leave reviews there all the time. Some even detail the experiences they had with the company. You can also check out forums and other social media platforms to read more about other people’s experiences.

Read the Contract Before Signing

Just because you’ve had a verbal agreement with the mover doesn’t mean that all of the details will be written down in the contract. Read the contract, and make sure that all the terms you’ve agreed on are there. Do not sign the contract unless everything has been made clear to you.

Moving to a new place is stressful enough without having to deal with bogus moving companies. Take time out to review your choice thoroughly. That’s why you should never hire a mover as a last resort. Make hiring a moving company a priority as soon as you decide that you’re going to move.