Proven Tips to Ensure a Smooth, Successful Move

For many people, moving is a frantic time. But with our 7 practical tips, you can ensure your move is simple, efficient, and stress-free.

Tip #1 — Know your rights and responsibilities before selecting a mover or broker.

Before moving to a new state, you are entitled to receive a booklet entitled “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move”. Its purpose is to help you understand the documents that you will be signing, as well as your rights regarding lost or damaged belongings.

Tip #2 — Learn to spot red flags when selecting a moving company.

There are many scammers waiting to take advantage of unsuspecting, stressed people. Watch out for offers that are “too good to be true”, rental trucks in place of company trucks, and other such signs. Check out our Spot the Red Flags article for the full list.

Tip #3 — Ensure the mover or broker is registered with the FMCSA.

This is another easy way to prevent fraud. All interstate movers and brokers must be registered with FMCSA; and this is also an opportunity to check for any complaint records. Reliable search services like Zipmover can expedite this process.

Tip #4 — Understand the documents provided by a mover.

Before moving, you should be provided with 4 documents:

  • Your estimate describes the charges for the services your mover provides. Do not accept “verbal estimates”, and always make sure the mover has signed.
  • The order for service is a list of the services that will be completed, and also shows dates of pickup and delivery for your belongings.
  • The bill of lading is the contract between you and your mover. It also is a receipt of your belongings. You should be provided with a partially completed copy before the move.
  • An inventory list shows each item to be shipped, as well as their condition. You should receive a written copy before you move. Double-check that you agree with its description of your belongings!

Always make sure that your estimate and order for service are provided in written form.

Tip #5 — Never sign blank documents.

This is a major red flag, and you should be wary of any mover trying it. Along with this, be sure to double and triple check documents before signing them.

Tip #6 — Understand the type of liability you a re agreeing to.

There are 2 types of liability: full coverage and release value protection. The former is more expensive, but ensures the mover is responsible for the full value of damaged or broken goods. The latter is free, but holds movers liable for only 60 cents per pound per item. It is based only on weight.

To learn more about liability types, check out our "Know How You’re Protected When You Move".

Tip #7 — Always watch the loading and unloading process in person.

If you aren’t available, have a trusted friend or family member to help out. There’s no better way to ensure your belongings are handled properly, or to quickly notice damage.

Keep these tips in mind as you plan your move, and you’ll be well on your way to ensuring your moving experience is as stress-free as possible.