How Do Moving Companies Work? A Comprehensive Guide for Customers

Moving can be a stressful and overwhelming experience for anyone, which is why many people hire professional moving companies. These companies offer a wide range of services to make the moving process as smooth as possible. This article will explore how moving companies work and the benefits of hiring them for your next move.

According to recent statistics, around 35.5 million people in the United States move every year, most happening during the summer months. With such a high number of people relocating annually, it’s no wonder that moving companies play an essential role in our society. Whether you’re moving across the country or just down the street, a moving company can help ease the transition’s stress by providing various moving services.

In the following sections, we’ll delve into the different types of moving companies, how to choose the right one for your needs, and what to expect during the moving process. So, whether you’re a first-time mover or a seasoned veteran, read on to discover everything you need to know about how moving companies work.

Statistics showing the number of people moving into the US annually

How Do Moving Companies Work

I can definitely help you with that. Here are some statistics on the number of people moving into the US annually:

According to the United States Census Bureau, approximately 31 million Americans moved between 2019 and 2020. This represents a mobility rate of 9.8 per cent, slightly lower than the previous year. Of those who moved, about 15.9 million people moved within the same county. In contrast, 7.6 million moved to a different county within the same state. Another 5.5 million moved to a different state, and 2.1 million moved to the United States from abroad.

In terms of types of moving companies, there are several different options available:

  1. Full-service moving companies offer various services, including packing and unpacking, loading and unloading, transportation, and storage. They handle all aspects of the move from start to finish, making it a convenient option for many.
  2. Self-service moving companies: With these companies, you do most of the work yourself, such as packing and loading your belongings onto a truck they provide. They then transport your items to your new home, where you unload them.
  3. Speciality moving companies: Some moving companies specialize in certain types of moves, such as piano moving or moving large, bulky items.

When it comes to local versus long-distance movers, there are some key differences:

  1. Distance: As the name implies, local movers typically only operate within a certain radius, usually within the same city or county. On the other hand, long-distance movers transport your belongings across state lines or even the country.
  2. Cost: Local moves are generally less expensive than long-distance moves since they require less time and resources.
  3. Logistics: Long-distance moves require more planning and coordination and additional considerations such as packing and securing items for transport over a longer distance.

I hope that helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

How to Choose a Moving Company

How Do Moving Companies Work

Choosing the right moving company can be a challenge. Still, with careful research and preparation, you can find a reputable company that meets your needs. Here are some tips for selecting a reputable moving company:

  1. Do your research: Start by researching several moving companies in your area. Look for licensed and insured companies with a good reputation in the industry. You can check with organizations like the Better Business Bureau or the American Moving and Storage Association to find reliable movers.
  2. Read reviews: Check online reviews from previous customers to get an idea of the company’s level of service. Look for any recurring issues or complaints.
  3. Get multiple quotes: Obtain quotes from at least three moving companies to compare prices and services. Remember that the lowest quote may not always be the best option.
  4. Ask for references: Request references from the moving company and contact them about their experience with the company.
  5. Verify credentials: Ensure the moving company has a valid US DOT number and is registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

Here are some questions you should ask during the selection process:

  1. Are you licensed and insured?
  2. What type of services do you offer?
  3. How long have you been in business?
  4. Can you provide references from previous customers?
  5. What is your process for resolving disputes?

And here are some red flags to watch out for:

  1. Requests for large upfront deposits
  2. Lack of transparency regarding pricing or services offered
  3. Refusal to provide references or proof of licensing and insurance
  4. Poor reviews or ratings from previous customers
  5. Use of unmarked or rented trucks

By following these tips and asking the right questions, you can choose a reputable moving company to help make your move as smooth and stress-free as possible.

The Moving Process

How Do Moving Companies Work

The moving process can be broken down into several steps, each important to ensuring a successful move. Here’s an overview:

  1. Planning: Start by creating a detailed plan for your move. This may involve choosing a moving company, selecting a new home, and deciding on a moving date.
  2. Packing: Begin packing your belongings well in advance of your move. Make sure to label boxes clearly with the contents and the room they belong in. Consider using colour-coded labels or a numbering system to keep things organized.
  3. Loading: On a moving day, the moving company will arrive at your home to begin loading your belongings onto the truck. Make sure to supervise this process to ensure that everything is loaded safely and securely.
  4. Transport: The moving company will transport your belongings to your new home. This may take a few days, depending on the distance of the move.
  5. Unloading: Once the truck arrives at your new home, the moving company will unload your belongings and place them in the appropriate rooms. Please inspect all items as they are unloaded to ensure nothing has been damaged during transport.
  6. Unpacking: Finally, you must unpack your belongings and settle into your new home. This may take some time, so be patient and take the process one step at a time.
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To prepare for the move, you’ll want to start by decluttering your home and removing anything you no longer need or want. This will make it easier to pack and transport your belongings. Create a detailed inventory of everything you plan to move to help you stay organized.

When it comes to packing, make sure to use high-quality packing materials and label everything clearly to avoid confusion. Pack heavy items in small boxes and distribute weight evenly throughout each box to make them easier to lift and carry.

During loading and unloading, supervise the process closely to ensure that your belongings are handled with care. You may want to take photos or videos of any valuable or fragile items before loading them onto the truck to document their condition.

By following these steps and preparing carefully for your move, you can help ensure a successful transition to your new home.

Storage Options

Many moving companies offer both temporary and long-term storage solutions for their customers. Here’s an overview of the different storage options available:

Temporary Storage:

Suppose you can’t move directly into your new home or need to store some items during the moving process. In that case, many moving companies offer temporary storage solutions. These may include secure warehouse facilities where you can store your belongings for a short period. This can be a convenient option if you need to bridge the gap between moving out of your old home and your new one. Some moving companies also offer portable storage units that can be delivered to your home to load at your own pace.

Long-Term Storage:

Many moving companies also offer long-term storage solutions if you need to store your belongings longer. These may include climate-controlled warehouse facilities where your belongings will be kept safe and protected from damage. Long-term storage can be a good option if you’re downsizing or have items you don’t need regularly but want to keep for sentimental or practical reasons.

Before choosing a storage solution, consider your needs and budget carefully. Look for a reputable moving company with secure storage facilities and reasonable prices. It would be best to ask about insurance coverage for your stored items to ensure you’re fully protected in case of loss or damage.

Insurance and Liability

Regarding moving, insurance and liability are important considerations to keep in mind. Here’s an overview of the types of insurance offered by moving companies:

  1. Released Value Protection: This is the most basic level of coverage that moving companies are required to provide for free. It provides coverage of $0.60 per pound per item, which means that if an item weighing 100 pounds is damaged or lost during the move, you would be entitled to a maximum of $60 in compensation.
  2. Full Value Protection: With this option, your moving company will be liable for the full replacement value of any items lost, damaged, or destroyed during the move. The cost of full-value protection varies depending on the value of your belongings. Still, it typically ranges from 1% to 3% of the total value of your shipment.
  3. Third-Party Insurance: You may also purchase additional insurance coverage from a third-party insurer to supplement the coverage provided by your moving company.

To determine how much coverage you need, take an inventory of all the items you plan to move and estimate their value. Consider high-value items like electronics, antiques, and jewellery when calculating the coverage you need.

If your belongings are damaged or lost during the move, file a claim with your moving company as soon as possible. Keep detailed records of any damage, including photos and written documentation, and document everything in writing. Your moving company should have a claims process outlining the steps you need to take to file a claim.

Overall, it’s important to carefully consider your insurance and liability needs when planning a move. Research your options carefully and work with a reputable moving company to ensure your belongings are protected throughout the moving process.

Additional Services

Many moving companies offer additional services to help make your move as smooth and stress-free as possible. Here are some examples:

  1. Packing and Unpacking: Some moving companies offer packing and to unpack services to help you prepare for your move. This can include everything from supplying packing materials to packing your belongings and labelling boxes.
  2. Furniture Disassembly and Assembly: If you have large or bulky items that need to be disassembled for transport, many moving companies can provide this service. They’ll remove and reassemble your furniture once it arrives at your new home.
  3. Storage: As discussed earlier, many moving companies offer short-term and long-term storage options for their customers.
  4. Cleaning Services: Some moving companies also offer cleaning services to help you prepare your old home for the next residents or get your new home ready for move-in.
  5. Speciality Item Handling: If you have particularly fragile or valuable items like artwork, antiques, or musical instruments, many moving companies will have specialized expertise and equipment to handle these items safely and securely.
  6. Vehicle Transport: If you need to transport a car or other vehicle as part of your move, many moving companies can provide this service for you as well.
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By taking advantage of these additional services, you can make your move more convenient and less stressful. When choosing a moving company, inquire about their different services and compare prices to find the best option for your needs and budget.

Costs and Fees

Moving costs can vary widely depending on several factors. Here are some things to keep in mind when estimating the cost of a move:

  1. Distance: The distance of your move is a major factor in determining the overall cost. Long-distance moves will generally be more expensive than local moves.
  2. Size and Weight of Shipment: The size and weight of your shipment will also affect the total cost. More or heavier items will require larger trucks and more workforce, which can drive the cost.
  3. Time of Year: Peak moving season typically runs from May to September, so moving during this time may be more expensive. Additionally, moving during holidays or weekends may also be more costly.
  4. Additional Services: As we discussed earlier, additional services like packing, storage, and furniture assembly will add to the overall cost of your move.

Understanding the fees and additional charges associated with your move is important. These can include:

  1. Packing Materials: If you choose to pack your own belongings, you’ll need to purchase packing materials like boxes, tape, and bubble wrap.
  2. Fuel Charges: Many moving companies charge extra for fuel or mileage, especially for long-distance moves.
  3. Stair or Elevator Fees: If your home has stairs or an elevator, the moving company may charge an additional fee for the labour involved.
  4. Storage Fees: If you need to store your belongings for any period, there will likely be additional fees charged by the moving company or storage facility.

To estimate the cost of your move:

  1. Start by obtaining quotes from several moving companies.
  2. Ask for detailed breakdowns of all fees and charges to compare accurately.
  3. Ensure to provide accurate information about the size and weight of your shipment and any additional services you may require.

By carefully considering these factors and working with a reputable moving company, you can help ensure a successful and affordable move.

Planning Ahead

Planning ahead is key to having a successful and stress-free move. Here are some tips to help you prepare:

  1. Create a Timeline: Start by creating a detailed timeline for your move. This should include choosing a moving company, decluttering your home and packing your belongings.
  2. Purge Unnecessary Items: Before you start packing, go through your belongings and remove anything you no longer need or want. This will make the packing process much easier and can also help save on moving costs.
  3. Notify Important Parties: Notify important parties like your utility companies, banks, and post office about your move well in advance. You’ll also need to change your address with the post office and update your driver’s license and other important documents.
  4. Label Everything: As you’re packing, label boxes clearly with the contents and the room they belong in. This will make it much easier to unpack and settle into your new home.
  5. Stay Organized: Keep all important documents related to your move in one place, including contracts with your moving company, receipts for expenses, and your inventory list.

Here’s a general timeline for preparing for a move:

8-12 Weeks Before the Move:

  • Research and choose a moving company
  • Declutter your home
  • Notify important parties about your move

6-8 Weeks Before the Move:

  • Begin packing non-essential items
  • Obtain packing materials
  • Schedule any necessary services (e.g. cleaning)

4-6 Weeks Before the Move:

  • Begin packing essentials
  • Make travel arrangements (if necessary)
  • Confirm details with your moving company

2-4 Weeks Before the Move:

  • Finish packing
  • Confirm final details with your moving company
  • Prepare your home for the movers

Moving Day:

  • Supervise the loading of your belongings
  • Double-check that everything is accounted for
  • Say goodbye to your old home!

Following these tips and creating a detailed timeline can help ensure a successful and stress-free move.


Hiring a professional moving company can be a wise decision for several reasons. They can help alleviate the physical strain and stress of moving day and bring experience and expertise to ensure your belongings are safely transported to your new home.

When considering a professional moving company, it’s important to research and choose one that is reputable and reliable. Look for companies with positive reviews and a proven track record of success.

Ultimately, whether or not to hire a professional moving company is a personal decision based on your unique circumstances and needs. But it’s worth considering if you’re looking for a smoother, less stressful moving experience!

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Josh The Mover
Josh The Mover
Hey there, I'm Josh, The Mover Guy! I have a few different moving companies and created this blog to connect with other moving company owners. I'm here to provide valuable resources about everything moving-related. Please contact me if you need a friend or advice within the industry!

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