When you need to hire a moving company, there are certain traits and characteristics to be on the lookout for. Packing up and transporting your belongings is an important job and huge responsibility because you are trusting all of your worldly possessions besides what you bring in a suitcase to strangers. You don’t want to trust the job to just anyone so you will need to do your homework and be observant. Here are some traits and characteristics to look for:

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– Reputation: The best way to learn about a company’s reputation is by getting word-of-mouth referrals. These may be obtained by asking friends, family, neighbors and co-workers up front or by asking for references from the movers. If the movers give you a list of satisfied customers, be sure to call each and every one. If they can’t give you any names of references, this may be a red flag. You need to be able to trust that the truck full of your stuff will wind up at your new address.

– Experience: How long has the company been in business? You want some professionals who have done this multiple times. If they’re a new company, ask where the workers and owners worked before and check that out. While it may seem that hauling furniture around is simple enough, it’s more complicated than it looks. Without finesse, furniture could get banged up, nicked, lost, breakables could get broken and worse.

– Muscles: It takes muscles to move refrigerators, sofas and washing machines. Sure, they have dollies and carts but have you ever tried it yourself? These items are heavy and without a substantially strong back and muscular legs and arms, it’s going to be much more difficult and take longer to get the job done.

– Brains: Anyone who thinks maneuvering large items through doorways and onto the gangplanks of trucks doesn’t take brains is mistaken. There are physics and mechanical engineering reasoning going on like crazy in the minds of movers. Without solid mechanical, engineering and physics knowledge, many sofabeds, pianos and wide screen televisions will never make it through the narrow openings we all call doors.

– Written estimates: When a moving company surveys all the furnishings to be relocated, he or she should give the homeowner a written estimate. This quote should include hours for packing as well as transporting. Supplies such as boxes, tape and bubble wrap should be included in the quote if they’ll be doing the packing. There may be separate fees such as those for trip charges, labor, supplies and fuel for the truck. Make sure everything’s in writing so there won’t be questions later.

– Insurance: The business should have insurance to cover anything that might go wrong. Typically, a customer’s own homeowners’ insurance may cover some types of loss but moving company employees being insured and bonded will offer another layer of protection.

When choosing a moving company, it’s crucial to select a good one. Looking for traits such as reputation, experience, muscles, brains, and giving written quotes and being covered by insurance will all help.