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Moving Guide
Hiring a Mover

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Move Smart! Learn Basic Moving Facts! Don't Make Foolish Mistakes! Just a little amount of reading can prevent you from wasting time and money. Just learning some basic hints and tricks can be very valuable. Read all of the following moving tips. Better yet, buy a "How to" book like the popular "Dummies" series. These types of books provide a huge amount of necessary moving information. Many of these books are sold in Amazon's Library of Moving Books.

Hiring a mover who's professional, trustworthy and affordable requires many considerations! The moving guide can assist your efforts in properly hiring a mover. Begin the process by reviewing the following points.

Do your homework and give yourself plenty of time.
Planning well in advance makes it more likely you'll find a good company, and also gives you time to figure out how much the move will cost. Start your research at least eight to ten weeks before the move. Ask people you know for recommendations - were the movers on time? Were they professional? Did they have enough people and the right equipment for the job? Did they damage anything? If you need more information than your friends can provide, contact local consumer protection groups for performance records on movers.

If your employer is transferring you, ask your relocation agent. Determine the size, distance, and timing of your move How much do you want to spend on your move? How much work do you want to do yourself? Knowing these important facts will help you get a cost estimate and decide what company is best for you.

For Estimates - Be Careful:
Do NOT invite anyone into your home for a cost estimate until you have performed a background check. Don't be tempted by persuasive telemarketers with empty promises. Take the time to protect yourself, your belongings and most importantly, your family. ↑Top

Factors influencing the moving cost when hiring a mover:

  1. Size - The weight of your move. The more weight, the more cost.

  2. Distance - The number of miles you're traveling and the states of your old home and your destination. Some carriers only serve certain states.

  3. Time - The time of year you decide to move. Moving during peak times, such as the summer or holidays, means that you'll pay more for your move.

  4. Packing- Many professional moving companies will help you pack, but keep in mind that help costs money. A major cost factor when hiring a mover is deciding between a 'self-service' and a 'full-service' move. If you want to save money, it's best to pack as much as you can on your own, leaving only the hardest tasks for the movers.

    In a self service move, the moving company transports your belongings from old house to new, but you have to pack and unpack everything at both ends.

    In a full service move, the moving company not only transports everything, but also packs and unpacks all your household goods. Most people who hire professional movers choose full-service. Although you could do a self-service move to save money, long-distance moves with lots of heavy, valuable items are best left to the professionals. In addition, cargo insurance for do-it-yourself moves is limited to $25,000 and covers only damage caused by such disasters as crashes or fire. ↑Top

  5. Additional Cost when hiring a mover:

    • Appliances - Many movers will disconnect major appliances (for example, washing machine, ice maker) at your old home and reconnect them at your new home. However, movers typically charge for this service.

    • Staircases - Do you love your new four-story house? Movers won't. Expect additional costs based on the number of staircases they need to use.

    • Pianos - Despite the beautiful music they make, pianos are big, unwieldy objects. Movers typically charge extra for each piano they move. Many companies will provide quotes online.

Time is Money for Your Mover.
Find out how they measure time - by the hour, 1/2 hr , 1/4 hr, etc...

Mover's Time Chart
Type of Dwelling
Sq. Feet
No. of
Hours of
Hours of
Hours of
1 1/2
2 - 4
1 Bedroom Apartment
2 1/2
1 1/2
3 - 5
2 Bedroom Apartment
2 1/2
1 1/2
4 - 6
2 Bedroom
3 1/2
5 - 7
3 Bedroom
4 1/2
6 - 9
3 1/2+
8 - 12+

Consider the many factors that may effect time such as: stairs, elevators, long carry, distance between new and old residences, double drive time, packing services and your own uniques size/amount of belongings. Generally, a long distance move is a move that is greater than 100-miles from the origin and/or the move crosses a state line.

Distance & Weight are major parts to a mover's estimate.

Most people don't know the total weight of their belongings. Use the chart below as an a weight estimator. Ask your mover to give you rates for various weights in order to assist your budgeting. Note, movers will not be able to determine the exact weight of your shipment until the actual day of the move.

Mover's Weight Chart
Type of Dwelling
Average Weight in Pounds
1,000 lbs.
1 Bedroom Apartment
1,000 to 2,000 lbs.
2 Bedroom Apartment
2,000 to 3,500 lbs.
2 Bedroom House
2,500 to 4,500 lbs.
3 Bedroom House
6,000 to 8,000 lbs.
4 Bedroom House
7,000 to 10,000 lbs.
12,000 lbs.+

Ask if your mover provides consolidated shipping, this can bring your cost way down. Here's how it works: instead of sending a moving truck across the country with only your shipment on board, a consolidated shipment will have other customers' shipments, thus reducing your cost as all customer's share the bill.

Re-think your big 'heavy' ticket items.
It may not pay to move some things. Consider the value of a donation to a charitable organization, against the cost of moving something near it's life expectancy. The following all take local donations: Goodwill, Salvation Army & Society of St. Vincent de Paul.

Obtain a written cost estimate before hiring a mover
Most companies give free estimates, so be sure to ask ahead of time. If the estimate is not binding, however, the final cost may differ. ↑Top

No license - no moving contract
Don't deal with any company that is not licensed. A licensed company should also be able to demonstrate that it carries worker's compensation insurance to protect the company and its customers. When you contact the licensing authority, ask if the company has been in good standing for several years. You don't want a company that lost its license and is now operating under an new name. Here, you need to know the names of the owner(s) to track their license history.

Visit the local moving company office and talk to the owner (in person).
If you can only take the time to talk to an owner by phone, ask about the firm's experience and client list. If the list includes corporate clients for executive relocation services, call the client contact to verity references.

Consumers who have disputes with moving companies usually file complaints with local business bureaus or associations. Call your local Better Business Bureau to determine if the company has any outstanding complaints.

If you have further questions or comments about hiring a mover, go to the moving blog to search the archives for more answers, post your questions and share your experiences. The moving community would love to hear from you! ↑Top

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