226667676 260b88a1d7 Moving Like a ProMoving is a big part of Coldwell Banker. Come on, we made our tagline “We Never Stop Moving.” But we do realize that hiring a mover and the process of moving can be a seriously daunting task.

To understand the best way to move, I talked with Laura McHolm who is the Co- Founder of NorthStar Moving Corporation and is famous for being a “celebrity mover.” I sat down with Laura to see what unknown insights she could provide to the average home owner making a move with a professional moving company.

What’s the first thing you should do when hiring a mover?

First, do your research. How long has the moving company been in business? Are they licensed? Have they won any awards or accolades for service? Can they share any letters of recommendation? If they haven’t won any awards for service, chances are they aren’t going to win any awards from you. Secondly, reputation absolutely saves you money. Check out the company’s rating with the Better Business Bureau and social media sites such as Yelp, Citysearch and TrustLink. This will give you a good idea of other people’s experiences with the company. Look for companies with a decent number of reviews to get an idea of what people are saying about their moving experience.

What is “consolidation” and is it a good thing?

Consolidation is normally only used when you are moving a long distance. Consolidation  is when your belongings are combined with other people’s items and shipped together. It’s a great way to save money, but be aware that it may add time to the delivery schedule because multiple shipments are needed, and it’s not always an option for every mover.

I had a situation moving into my new house where the box spring for my mattress didn’t fit up our new home’s staircase. How can these surprises be avoided?

Measure your new home, your new doorways, stairways etc… Measure all your furniture. Make yourself a scale drawing of every room and scale cut out furniture. Think paper dolls for grownups. Figure out how you’d like your furniture arranged in advance. Okay, now figure out if it will fit. While this may sound odd or mundane it will save you time and money while the movers on the clock.

You know your belongings better than anyone and you should alert movers in advance of any items that might be difficult to relocate. Additional men and equipment can mean surprising extra costs.  If you had trouble getting it into your old place you will no doubt have trouble getting it out. Tell the moving company ahead of time so they come prepared to tackle the job.

Any last advice that the average mover often overlooks?

Study rates! Rates can vary based on season and days of the week. Will they give you a better rate if you move on a Sunday as opposed to a Monday? What do their rates really include? Are fuel charges incorporated? But remember the best indicator of getting good value is a good reputation.

Lastly, when getting an estimate for moving let the estimator ask YOU questions. If he/she hasn’t asked a single question, yet is ready to give an estimate, turn and run.

Click here to download a quick cheat sheet on How to Choose a Qualified Mover.

Laura McHolm is the Co- Founder of NorthStar Moving Corporation,  ”A+”- rated company, which specializes in providing moving and storage services. NorthStar Moving Corporation has been moving residents and businesses in and out of buildings for over a decade and has won more awards for exceptional service than any other moving company. www.NorthStarMoving.com

Photo: Flickr user IndyDina with Mr. Wonderful