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Find a reputable moving company. Ask your neighbors, friends, co-workers and relatives for recommendations. Check with the Better Business Bureau about the company you choose.

Plan your move well ahead of time, 2-6 weeks if possible. Our Moving To-Do List can help you know what to do and when.

Obtain estimates form several movers and compare costs and all other services to be provided by the mover. Be suspicious of estimates that are significantly lower than the rest. Ask the mover to explain all service costs to you.

Beware of estimates done over the phone. Most movers will need to see your goods in order to make an accurate estimate of moving costs.

Know which company is actually providing the moving services. Some companies that advertise moving services are simply brokers. Obtain information about how to contact the mover before, during and after the move. Be sure they are properly licensed with the Public Utilities Commission and Department of Transportation, and have adequate insurance.

Find out what the mover's responsibilities are for damages that occur.

Do not sign blank or incomplete documents or allow anyone representing you to do so. Make sure you get everything in writing, including signed estimates. Customers should also make sure that all service costs are included in the written estimate and explained to them.

Be present when the movers arrive at your house and stay until they are finished.

If at all possible, make sure your new residence is available for occupancy prior to the commencement of the initial move. Direct movements historically result in fewer problems on the other end. Be there to obtain your goods and have the agreed-upon amount and method of payment ready.