When I moved for the first time, from my childhood home to my college dorm room, “moving” meant loading as much of my stuff as I could into the family station wagon. It was one trip, and the assumption was that most of that stuff was expendable. As I got older, and acquired more things, a move became more complicated. In my 20s, moving meant renting a U Haul truck, bribing some friends with beer and pizza, and making a day of it. After college, there were suddenly more options and more complications to making a move.
In my younger days, moving generally meant going from one apartment to another apartment in the same city or area. As I began my family and career, however, I had to learn the ins and outs of how to make a long distance move, including one, for my first job, that involved cross country moving. It would take a lot more than beer and pizza to get friends to help you move to another coast, and even if that were possible, the gas and mileage on those rental trucks would make it far too expensive. I quickly came to the conclusion that to move across the country, I needed to hire some long distance movers.
This prospect was daunting, however. I had heard far too many horror stories of long distance moves gone awry. My friend Valerie arrived in Georgia (from Rochester) expecting to be only one day ahead of her furniture and property. She hired the wrong movers, and her belongings did not join her until about six weeks after she moved in to her new place. My cousin Dan received his belongings on time, but the movers did not follow the instructions for where things were to be placed. They not only damaged some of his property, but he was left on his own to move heavy items up and down staircases. I was determined not to share their fates.
For my cross country move, I spent weeks doing as much research as I possibly could. In my experience, not all moving companies, and this is particularly true when it comes to a long distance moving company, are built the same. It IS possible to find one that will give you a flawless move, but you have to look carefully for them. Never hire a mover without asking for references. If they refuse to offer them, they have something to hide. Also seek out other rating services, such as Angies List and the Better Business Bureau. Those sites will quickly let you know how many people had good and bad experiences with your finalists.