Help us Choose a Mover

Now that we’ve sold our current house and bought a new one (or have at least gone under contract at both ends), we need to start thinking about actually moving. We have a bit of time but, since summer is the high season for movers, we need to start thinking about getting estimates and actually getting on their schedule. With that in mind, I was hoping that y’all could provide some recommendations as to especially good (or bad) moving companies. I should note here that we’re looking for a full service, interstate move — pack, load, haul, and unload at the other end. So… Got any suggestions as to who to contact, or how to go about choosing amongst the various options?

For more information on moving, check out my Roadmap for a Successful Relocation.

13 Responses to “Help us Choose a Mover”

  1. Anonymous

    Here’s some quick advise:

    1. get at least 3 quotes from different interstate movers.
    2. rates are regulated by federal interstate tarrifs
    3. see what coverage your personal insurance policy (homeowner’s aka HO) gives you and your posessions – movers insurance is expensive.
    4. see if you can self pack and still have insurance coverage
    5. there are several things you can compare:
    a. hours for packing, loading and unloading
    b. estimated weight or cubic inches
    c. estimated packing materials
    d. cost for materials

    I think interstate rates are set at a price per pound, so you can’t negotiate much there. The movers will weight your shipment en route so if they have a non-binding estimate, they’ll true up or down.

    5. Try to get a not to exceed estimate – use it as a negotiating tool between the three carriers.

    6. Negotiate how you’ll pay – not all accept credit cards – which will give you the most protection.

    7. see if you can buy the packing materials more cheaply and if you’ll still have coverage.

    8. give away as much as possible before you leave. in general i think charitable deductions will net more than garage sales. Think NC 3x% + 8.25%. In my case that’s 41.25% of claimed value vs. probably 5-10% from a garage sale.

    9. Don’t forget to factor in clean-up costs for the house you’re leaving.

    10. See if the mover will credit back returned boxes. Be careful about when you return them – some charge to pick them up.

    Good luck,


  2. Anonymous

    I’ll see what I can do to get the name and number of the central company that is in charge of Disney employee moves. My sister works for Disney and when she transferred, the company that was in charge of everything was a dream to work with according to her. But then again, the company has to be nice or it would lose Disney’s business.

    One interesting thing to realize with the bigger moving companies, is that most people are somewhat contractors and work for themselves (or the paycheck) and are kind of contracted throught the moving company to fulfill the move.

    Good Luck!

  3. Anonymous

    I was moved from Indiana to Michigan by an affiliate of Atlas Van Lines. Greatest thing ever (along with, say, my wife, DVR, LASIK, and Super Tecmo Bowl). All of my previous moves had been in a pickup, so this was several orders of magnitude better- an Indy company came in to estimate, then the Michigan company came down, packed, moved and unpacked.

    My wife’s company paid for the move, and for the taxes related to the move, so I can’t speak to the value, but I couldn’t have been happier with them.

  4. I will write more about this in the future, but it sounds like you did pretty well. We have been working through a mortgage broker that we’ve used in the past. Low fees ($395 flat rate vs. % origination) and good service. Unfortunately, rates have been in the rise, and we ended up locking at 6.375% (with no discount points). Compared to the 5.75% that we currently have, I’m kind of bummed, but c’est la vie. We also considered going though Pentagon Federal Credit Union, as they don’t charge any servicing fees, and they have pretty competitive rates. They also offer a 90 day lock at no charge.

  5. Anonymous


    Are you going to blog about your mortgage hunt ? Would be interested in they way you go about gettting your financing. I am closing next month and got a 30 year fixed at 6% – only .50% origination fee too !

  6. Anonymous

    Whatever you do, don’t look for a mover on the internet. You’ll end up finding some low-rate crooks who will seem to be the best deal in town but end up robbing you blind. Read the information on this website on picking a really good mover…

    …and check out their forums for opinions on the best movers in your area…

    The key is to try to find a few different companies with offices located near you–not some national company that subcontracts to part-time help. The best place to find a mover is in your phone book; it’s one of the few reasons to actually keep a paper phone book in your house.

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