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How to choose a moving company

When you want to hire a moving company, where do you start?  Most people will ask family, friends or coworkers. You might even be inclined to post something on Facebook along the lines of, “Hey everyone, looking for a moving company in Tucson – any suggestions?”.  The next stop is typically a review website, such as Yelp, where just as before, you will be depending on the opinions of others for whom you should hire. Those are all great ways to dip your toes into the pool of available moving companies in Tucson, but once you have “the list” based on reviews, how do you figure out which company to hire?

One of the most important hurdles that you need to overcome straight away is that going with the cheapest company and having high expectations is not going to work out.  In fact, the cheapest company is probably the cheapest for a reason. Be aware that you will typically be charged by the weight of your load and the distance you need it hauled.  So, how do you determine the value of the service you are to receive? Once you have a short list (think two or three companies), you should reach out and find out some information.  This first call can tell you a lot about a moving company – and Tucson has plenty, but there are standouts amongst the bunch. Was the business phone answered promptly and professionally?  Did the person on the other end seem courteous and knowledgeable? If not, be aware that communication is absolutely a key component when you are trusting someone to move your life.

When you call a company, you should set up a time for someone to come out and do a walk through of your home so that they can get an idea of what kind of move you have in mind.  Below is a to-do list of sorts to help you in your process of choosing the perfect mover, not just in Tucson, but anywhere!

So you need to hire a moving company….

  • Know your moving date, and plan in advance – 8 weeks notice is the best way to ensure you get the exact date you prefer

  • Ask friends, family, coworkers, Facebook acquaintances, etc. for recommendations

  • Google “Moving companies Tucson, AZ”

  • Go to and type in “Moving companies, AZ” or “best local movers Tucson” “Long distance move to Tucson” or any other variation

  • Make a short list – 2 or 3 companies that you will be committed to going through the process of getting an estimate

  • Identify what kind of service you are looking for:

    • Self-service: This would be an option such as packing and loading your own boxes, furniture, appliances, etc. and then just having the moving company provide a truck and a driver. Please keep in mind that if you pack your own boxes and something is damaged, the moving company is NOT RESPONSIBLE for any damage.  This will clearly be a less expensive option monetarily, but if you live by the adage that time is money, then you will be spending way more of your own personal and valuable time, then you would pay for professionals.  That being said, if you are low on cash, but love a project – this option is for you!

    • Full Service: If you choose to go with a full service move, this will include things such as having highly trained professionals wrap and pack your belongings, load them onto a truck that they will then drive to your new home, and then unload.  Honestly, this is always a good option because most of us are a mess when it comes to packing and going through all of our possessions, calling companies to change your address, and all of the other thousands of details that go into a move.  Let the professionals take care of you. Let’s face it – they are better at the whole moving process than we are – as they should be! Not only that, but your friends and family will thank you for not coercing them into helping you move by offering pizza and beer, we all know it’s not worth it!

  • Once you have narrowed down your list, it is worth finding out if the companies you are looking into hiring are in fact licensed and insured.  You may even take it a step further and contact the Better Business Bureau to see if any of the companies have any outstanding complaints – if they do, just cross them off the list and move on.

  • Start calling companies!  Take note of the professionalism and communication style of each company.

  • Schedule appointments to have representatives from each company to come out and walk through your home.  If you are in a position where say, you live in California, but are looking to move to Tucson, scheduling a time for a video call where you can walk through your home and essentially do a walk through that way, will help you get the most accurate estimate possible.

  • What kind of moving contract do they offer?  There are typically two main types of contracts that you will run into, and it is important to know the differences.

    • NON-BINDING estimate: The company can not charge you over 10% of the original estimate.  This could either be a good or bad thing, depending on if your move required more or less manpower,  or if the weight of the load is heavier or lighter than expected.

    • BINDING estimate: This is a guaranteed price for your entire move.  If you choose to add additional services such as unpacking, not just unloading, you will need to pay the extra charges within a month of your move.

  • ASK ABOUT HIDDEN FEES!  Do they charge extra for boxes, packing tape, having to use an elevator or stairs?  Do they charge more if you are moving to a busy city street and they need to park farther away?  The hope is that a reputable company will let you know up front that there will be extra fees without you even inquiring, but be prepared to ask some questions so that you are not caught off guard.

  • Find out what kind of moving liability Insurance you feel most comfortable with:

    • Full Value Protection means that if an item is destroyed, lost or obtains damage during the move that the moving company will either repair the item and restore it to the same condition it was in at the time of the move, OR replace the item with an item of equal quality, OR pay the consumer for the cost of the replacement.

    • Released Value Protection is typically offered to the consumer at no additional charge.  With Released Value Protection, the mover will assume liability for no more than $0.60 per pound of the item.

    • You may also be able to purchase moving insurance through your Homeowners policy, so it is worth making a call to inquire.

  • Ask about cancellation policies and acceptable forms of payment

  • Make sure that you will have access to both the driver and the manager of the company DURING your move just in case something comes up.

  • You have all of the information – now you need to pick a mover!


We wish you luck on choosing the perfect moving company, and hope that if you are looking to move in OR out of Tucson, that you will give us a chance to make the process as easy as possible.

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