If you’re planning a relocation, chances are you’ve considered both a DIY and a professional moving service when planning out the logistics of your move. While a DIY move can be convenient for small, local projects, larger ones will benefit greatly from the assistance of a reputable, established moving company.

Unfortunately, choosing the services you need, and the company you want can be a challenge for several reasons. First and foremost, moving scams are becoming more and more common, and reputable, established companies are mixed in along with unlicensed or poor quality ones. Distinguishing which companies are worth it is a matter of learning as much as you can about your options and what to expect, in order to make an informed decision.

At Prestige Moving & Storage, we are delighted to support our customers with the resources they need to experience the perfect move—whether moving locally, long-distance, or internationally. To help you plan and organize your next relocation, take a look at the following five tips for streamlining your moving company options to find the best one.

1.  Choosing a Licensed, Insured Moving Company

First and foremost, a licensed, insured, and official moving company should be your number one priority when finding a mover. While there are many moving companies that are not licensed or insured, the lower rates they may offer won’t make up for the money you’ll lose should something go wrong with your moving project. Licensed and insured companies will offer coverage for their services in case of breakage, loss, or other damages to your belongings.

Licensing will also ensure that the company you’re working is legitimate and has the proper registration necessary to perform business in your area. In other words, if the company is licensed, you won’t have to worry about the movers running off with your things, or collecting a down payment and not showing up, and other common moving scams.

2.  Online Ratings and Recommendations

Your next step to evaluate moving company options is to find three or four promising ones to compare. You can do this in one of two ways: by searching the internet for moving companies in your area, or asking friends, family, co-workers, or others for recommendations.

Either way, you should come up with a list of three to four moving companies that you think might be a good fit for you and your move. This should be based on a number of considerations, including licensing, insurance coverage, and other factors—which we’ll get into in just a moment.

3.  Awards and Affiliations

The best companies will have affiliations with major van lines, the Better Business Bureau, and other reputable organizations. Look for companies that have won major awards for customer service, quality moving solutions, and other important factors of the industry.

Most companies will have these awards and affiliations proudly listed on their websites. You can also check with the Better Business Bureau, Angie’s List, and other prominent organizations for affiliations with the moving companies on your short list.

4.  Requesting an Estimate

Your next step is to request estimates from the companies on your short list. Be skeptical of companies that quote flat fees that cover your entire move—especially if these rates are calculated over the phone and not in person. This is because moving companies need to know plenty of details in order to evaluate how much they will charge, based on the weight of your items, the specific things you’re moving, the distance you’re going, and other factors.

Choose the companies that will offer an in-house, free pricing estimate to determine the exact cost of your move. This will give you the opportunity to meet with a project coordinator from the company, and to hear what services are provided and how they can customize the move to meet your needs. At this meeting, be sure to ask plenty of questions and make sure the contract is clear and easy to understand.

5.  What’s Included? A Look at Your Contract

You might not realize what services you need until you meet with the coordinator to plan your move. He or she will be able to offer important solutions to make your moving project even easier—like professional packing and unpacking, piano moving, office equipment de-installation and connection, antiques or fine art moving, or custom crating, among other services.

Once you receive your estimate, make sure you understand exactly what it covers. Ask if the contract is binding or non-binding, and what each of those terms means in relation to the price you’ll pay. If you’re on a strict moving budget, your moving coordinator should be able to pick and choose the services you need and want, customizing the estimate to suit your preferences.

Schedule Your Move with Prestige Moving & Storage Today

If you’re looking for the most experienced and highest rated movers in Portland, Oregon, and the surrounding areas, contact Prestige Moving & Storage to ask about your options today. With over 50 years in the business, we’re a proud affiliate of Allied Van Lines—and ready to offer exceptional moving solutions at the most affordable rates.

Whether you’re a household or a commercial business, or if you’re interested in a local, long-distance, or international move, Prestige Moving & Storage can help. For more information, give us a call or fill out our online form to receive a completely free, no-obligation, pricing estimate, and moving consultation in your home.