Angie's List: Hiring a mover

Whether you're moving across town or across the country, finding the right mover to haul everything you own is a tough job. There are lots of potential pitfalls, but the consumer review website Angie's List has some hints to help you make sure your move is as stress-free as possible.

Angie Hicks is the creator of Angie's List. She knows that it's important to do your research before hiring a professional to do any service.

"When hiring a mover, do your research. Also find out what's covered in the move. You want to know how much it's going to cost for a move which is dependent on the size of the house and how far you are moving," Hicks says. "And also, how does insurance work with your move?"

In addition to researching the moving company you hire, it's also important to be prepared when they arrive. Jason Sherman owns a moving company and he tells Angie's List that the No. 1 way to cut costs is to be organized.

"Decide what you want to move. Some people, they will go ahead and clear everything out and that is really the way to do it," says Sherman.

Here are some other tips from Angie's List:

  • DIY, Hire help, or both? The first thing you should decide is how much of the moving work you will do yourself and how much will be handled by professional movers. You can save money by splitting up the work.
  • Plan ahead for the busy season: If you are moving, you should start researching moving companies four to six weeks in advance. Movers tend to charge higher rates during the summer. If you can, try to arrange your move for the middle of the month. That's when prices tend to be cheaper.
  • Identify high-priority items: You don't want to lose track of items like family photos, birth certificates or passports. If you pack and move these yourself, they are never out of your control. Ordinary household items can be replaced if lost or damaged but your grandmother's china cannot.
  • Be available: You should make sure the mover knows exactly how to contact you. If you cannot be reached, the mover may place your shipment in storage to avoid delaying any other shipments and that could end up costing you.