Top Mistakes That Will Drag Out Your Move Day [Checklist] 


Mistakes that make your move take longer than it should

 

Know what can kill your chances of having a good move? Mistakes we make when moving. 

No matter where the errors originate, no one wants their move day to take forever.

Everyone hates a move day that is painfully, unnecessarily long. Especially if you have appointments or move-in deadlines!

Sometimes issues are unforeseen, but that’s not what this advice is about.

We’ve researched the most common, time-sucking errors— from both customers and hired movers—that make your move day tedious.

THE GOOD NEWS: These mistakes are 100% preventable!

With this guide (and a free checklist) you can skillfully dodge the frequent mistakes people make when moving that drag it out, costing you more time, money, and frustration in the end.  Keep these questions handy to ask whenever you book any moving company

 


[CHECKLIST] 24 Time-Saving Questions to Ask Before & During Your Move

things-your-moving-company-should-know-to-avoid-mistakes-that-make-moves-longer

Click to download this checklist of questions to clarify your move and avoid mistakes that waste your time, money, and energy.

Time is super important when you’re moving.

So, the more info both parties have before your move, the easier it is to avoid these time-sucking slip-ups.

We also want you to have an amazing and stress-free move—even if you don’t move with us!

Click to download the free checklist above! It’s chock-full of the top 24 questions to ask so your move doesn’t take forever.


How Long Does Moving Take? Factors That Affect Your Move   

It’s super common for people to not know what to disclose to movers

Plus, some moving companies don’t have a thorough questioning process to find out what (if anything) could drag out your move time. 

Little-known factors that affect your moving time:  

  • Anything over 600 lbs.  Movers could come unprepared if they don’t know about something this hefty; some companies won’t move any item over 600 lbs. Others may need an extra hand or equipment. Either way, you don’t want to wait around to find out!
  • Gun Safes– Your move will take longer if your safe isn’t empty. Since the door is usually the heaviest part, you or the movers should remove it to fast-track the moving time. Also, check if it’s bolted to the floor because removal will require special tools—and possibly a separate contractor.
  • Armoires- Empty and dismantle this before move day. Keep screws and small parts in a zipped bag, taped to the interior. This way, no one will waste time scrambling to put it back together at your destination.  
  • China Cabinets. Not only do china cabinets take time to dismantle and reassemble, they often have glass shelves and lighting which should be removed & wrapped before transport. You may not know to do this yourself, so tell your moving company when you book. 
  • Barbeque (BBQ) grills, smokers, & pits- Let your company know what type of grill or smoker you own and approximately how large it is (our crews like to research how to dismantle them).   
  • Patio furniture or specialty tools/equipment Tell movers if you have any odd-shaped or large outdoor furniture, or equipment like a desk saw, workbench, or landscaping equipment. 
  • Musical instruments- Inform your moving company when you’re booking so you can get a crew experienced with musical instruments. On the flip side, make sure you have a crate or case for each musical instrument you own.

Moving Company Mistakes That Make Your Move Long 

Mistake #1: Not Investing in Proper Training 

As a wise moving guru once said, Anybody can move a box, but not everyone can move.

At 3 Men Movers, we personally vet and train all crew members in our proprietary program. Plus, new members get more than a year of live, hands-on training on how to wrap, box, disassemble, reassemble, load, stack, pack, and organize for a move. 

How long does it take to load or unload a moving truck? 

Will it take forever to move your 3-bedroom house? 

Can movers reassemble everything at your new location?

If your chosen moving company isn’t investing in well-trained or experienced movers, your move could take longer for all of the above. 

 

Mistake #2: Assigning the Wrong Crew for Your Needs

If your move needs some special care, you can’t afford to waste time dealing with the wrong type of crew.  
Your moving company should be able to give you a quick rundown of the crew you’re hiring, and tell you why

Say that you need someone experienced in moving survivors our of a domestic abuse situation, or you need help moving a baby grand piano. Do you really want just anyone to show up?

 

Mistake #3: Underestimating the Job 

Being confident is great. Being unprepared is not. No matter how experienced a moving company is, they should always be clear on how much you need moved and any time constraints that apply. 
The best way to do that? They shouldn’t make assumptions. They also shouldn’t give you a standard crew if your move isn’t typical
Whether you have a ton of stuff to move, have a storage stop, or need to move in by 6 PM, the moving company you hire should be able to provide the best movers to accommodate you.

 

Mistake #4: Failing to Ask the Right Questions

Moving companies have the best intentions, but sometimes your move takes longer because of what happened before a crew even arrives at your place. 
When you first book a move, there’s a lot of back-and-forth between you and the company. Certain questions may be omitted or simply forgotten during the questioning process. If you’ve never moved before, you may not even notice. 
However, if the company isn’t asking you the right questions, they’ll never truly understand what you need, which can unexpectedly add hours onto your move day.

For instance: it’s easy to fall behind schedule on your move if the crew didn’t know you had 2 armoires to disassemble, wrap, load, and reassemble!

 

Mistakes by Customers Make That Drag Out Move Day 

Mistake #1: Forgetting to Mention Stairs or Elevators 

Most people don’t realize it when they’re booking, but stairs can have a huge impact on how long it takes to move and load or unload a moving truck. 

Multiple staircases—especially in apartment buildings—can be quite time-consuming for movers hauling heavy furniture or lots of items. 

Tell your moving company how many staircases and elevators are in each location so they can plan accordingly. Also, don’t forget to mention anything heavy that you need to move between floors! 

 

Mistake #2: Underestimating How Much You Own

While you know how much stuff you own, your hired movers don’t. Even then, it’s super easy to overlook or understate what you have (especially if you haven’t started packing).  

If you underestimate your belongings, you may not have enough movers. It’s a massive waste of time (and money) if you have to wait for more movers to arrive or even reschedule because no one else is available during the peak season.

Luckily, there are a few things you can do to better explain yourself: make an inventory or take photos/video and send it to your moving company.

 

Mistake #3:  Not Calculating Time Constraints in Your Move

Many places have time restrictions on when you can move out or into a residence. Ask yourself if your move could be even slightly affected by such constraints. 

  1. Have to stop at a storage location? Let your movers know if there’s a cutoff time for moving items in. 
  2. When is the latest you can move into your new place? Is there a deadline that would be affected by a flexible start move

Remember, if you agreed to a flexible start time with your movers, there’s no guaranteed start time (just a general range). So, make sure you’ve considered your final destination’s cutoff time for moving in.

 

Mistake #4:  Being Too Helpful

Movers are there to make your day easier and hassle-free. 

The best thing you can do for your own sanity? Let them

You almost certainly own some things with sentimental value, but most movers want everything to go well just like you do.

So, if you’ve communicated clearly and have the perfect team assigned to your job, relax and don’t worry. 

Avoid These Mistakes to Move Quickly, Efficiently, & Save Money

To be clear, this is not about placing blame.

Simply put, an efficient move day can’t happen unless everyone involved is 100% clear and highly responsible.

Use these tips and the checklist to ensure both you and your movers will know exactly what to expect. This way, your move can be hassle-free and fast, and everyone can prevent stressful mistakes from happening.


Efficient Moving Advice That Will Make Your Day Successful


It’s move day, and time is money. Obviously, you need things to go as smoothly as possible. 

But remember: fortune favors the prepared

So, what’s the most efficient way to move?

Find out with this essential advice to take the stress out of moving and avoid wasting time. 

Tip #1: Communicate About Your Circumstances 

Discussing your plans with a friend is a good way to get ideas on how to move…. 

Just don’t expect your move to resemble theirs!

So how long will it take movers to load a truck efficiently? 

The structure, accessibility, and layout of each residence are different, and these attributes will definitely affect your move time.

Consider these things about your starting and ending locations:

  • Do you have a one-story 3-bedroom home?  Fewer staircases mean it could take less time to move compared to a similar home with the same number of bedrooms but two stories
  • Living in an apartment or condo? It’s important to let movers know if you have to reserve an elevator or have a time limit to move somewhere new
  • Remember: these movers have never been to your place. Let a booking agent know if there’s anything out of the ordinary. Does your home have odd features or landscapes that could make moving a little harder? Do you have a roommate or children that would be disturbed by noises?

Factor in the general amount of belongings you have—and whether it’s all properly packed—and your move could be faster or longer than average.  

 

Tip #2: Point Out Meaningful Items & Be Thorough

Many people own something with either sentimental or material value.

It could tug at your heartstrings or simply be expensive. 

Either way, tell your moving company and the crew beforehand.

That childhood trinket, professional artwork, special collector’s item, or wedding gift? Movers won’t always assume how special or fragile it is unless you point it out.  

Even if it’s a simple request to be gentle with a certain box, your moving crew wants to make sure you’re happy and comfortable with their service. 

Here’s how to be detailed and let movers know what you want

When you’re booking a move:

  • Inform the agent about anything that you want handled with special care (gun safes & ammo, delicate items, items up to or over 500 lbs., etc) 
  • Ask your booking agent to make a note of this for the crew (a responsible company should do this automatically, but request it anyway.) 
  • Be clear on what the moving company will and will not move… (To abide by state regulations and company policies, there are some things movers simply cannot disassemble or transport—like live plants or baby cribs 

Before move day:

  • If you’re packing your own things, label boxes with delicate or sensitive items (preferably with red-colored tape or marker)
  • Clear packed boxes out of the way so movers can safely and quickly walk between each room to the exit 

On move day:

  • Walk movers through every part of your home and point out anything delicate or special
  • Open closet and cabinet doors to make sure nothing is overlooked
  • Show the crew anything that may need to be double-wrapped
  • Let movers know which boxes are ready to be loaded and which boxes have delicate or heavy items
  • Check all outdoor patios, closed doors, and drawers. Leave everything open as movers are loading so nothing is missed

Remember that extra communication is keyand almost all moving mishaps are preventable! 

How can you help make your move more efficient? Voice your wishes early so movers can reasonably meet them.

 

Tip #3: Stay Attentive & Focus On The Move

Back to the point about communicating throughout your move: this works best if you stay focused on the move itself.

Now we’re definitely advocates of a smooth, stress-free move because we train movers to become true professionals in how to handle and transport your items.

Professionals don’t need hand-holding, but they may need to ask important questions that can make or break your move. 

Here are some focused tips that will make your move easier:

  • Stay accessible throughout the day without interruptions or distractions from friends and family who may be there
  • If you can’t be accessible: discuss your move with someone who will be physically present, knows what and how you want to move, and who is authorized to speak on your behalf if there’s a question or concern

If you hire a moving company to help you move, you expect (and should get) professionalism.

Make your move more efficient by occasionally checking in with the crew leader and voicing your concerns or questions. 

 

Tip #4: Call Your Moving Company 

Whenever a service person comes to your place, you should know what to expect, right? The same thing goes for moving crews who you’re relying on for a successful, well-organized move.

Sometimes, things don’t go as planned. Movers are human, too, and the unexpected could happen and directly or indirectly impact your move. 

Don’t hesitate to call the moving company. A phone call to immediately notify the company will take less time and save you the headache of enduring an awkward move if:

  • If anything goes wrong or if movers are late
  • If you have questions about added services or charges
  • If you simply feel uncomfortable (especially if a mover seems ill)….

It’s your move day, and there’s no need to waste time. 

 

Tip #5: Know All Fees (& How They’re Calculated)

Doing research on the moving company you’ve chosen will eliminate a lot of headache upfront. However, if you want to have a highly efficient move, that’s not where the buck stops.

For example, 3 Men Movers uses a transparent travel fee

This includes the transportation costs of our facility distance to your starting address, the distance from your final address back to our facility.  

Likewise, our hourly rate doesn’t start until we arrive at your first location and you sign the crew in. The clock stops when you sign the movers out at the end of the service. This way, clients have the ultimate approval over their move.

So, not only are such costs explained upfront, but there are no sneaky fees tacked on to the end of your move.

We’ve calculated the transparent travel fee in the most reasonable and relevant way for each individual client. 

Be wary that some extremely common tactics in the moving industry are to:

  • Add on charges for going up/down stairs, handling safes or pianos, etc.
  • Claim there is no travel fee—then add on fuel costs or the time it takes to get back to the facility (often in rush-hour traffic)
  • Claim that their travel fee is time-based and therefore cheaper… and it certainly looks inexpensive at first

Yes, some movers will find ways to charge you for time spent not actually moving… Unknowing clients then end up paying for the cost of movers to sit in notoriously horrible Texas traffic, or they get charged an hourly moving rate for the driving time!

No matter which moving company you hire, be aware of what you’re paying for and how charges are calculated:

  • Thoroughly read a copy of your rights (all licensed moving companies are required to furnish this for you)
  • Ask the booking agent to explain all services, charges, and fees and how they’re calculated. You need to know what factors will influence the rates you’re paying 
  • Ask if they will hold your items on the truck if add-on fees aren’t paid immediately

Ensure that you understand any time-based charges or potential extras. It will eliminate lots of misconceptions and disappointments. 

 

Tip #6: Ask About The Movers Themselves

Anybody can move a box, but not everyone can move!

If you’re interested in hiring a moving company, ask about the people who will actually be moving you:

  • Feel free to ask how long a crew has been moving
  • Ask if the crew is experienced in moving specific or delicate items
  • Voice any sensitive issues they should be aware of (e.g. domestic abuse, elderly or sick residents, medical equipment)
  • If you own animals, inform the booking agent in case a crew member has an allergy that would affect the efficiency of your move
  • Request by name any movers you’ve heard of through online reviews or from a friend

One of our Movifestos states, “We respect that your home is sacred.” 

We also back it up with onboarding crews to our expectations, criminal background checks, and ongoing professional training so their skills stay sharp. 

At 3 Men Movers, if you request a crew—perhaps you heard a friend or online reviewer singing the praises of one by name—we’ll honor it. After all, you deserve the move you want.

 

Tip #7: Be Aware of the Claims Process

Heaven forbid you’ll actually need to file a claim, but in case you do, you should know how it works first.

How to find out if a moving company’s claims process will go smoothly:

  • Does the company have carrier liability?
  • Are the movers involved in the claims process? 
  • Do moving crews have accountability or incentives for their claims rates?
  • How does your moving claims process work? 
  • Where do I start by filing a claim—should I call or email?
  • Do I need to provide a receipt or proof of value to get the maximum allowable amount in case of a claim?
  • How long does the claim process take? Are there deadlines?

Personally, at 3 Men Movers, we’re really proud of a claims rate that is consistently less than 3% of thousands of moves over the past few years.

Again, no matter what company you choose, you still need to know how their claims policy will affect you should you need to use it. 

 

Tip #8: Properly Crate or Prepare Unique Items

Musicians have to move too… And so do people with huge armoires. 

Despite how much you own and have to lug into a new place, it’s important to be as prepared as possible before your move day arrives.

Save time by preparing:

  • Box up everything and label anything fragile
  • Number boxes and have corresponding sticky notes/tape for the new rooms they’ll go into
  • Ensure nothing is protruding from boxes that would make them difficult to stack on a dolly or truck 
  • Set out extra blankets on top of items you want movers to wrap (but they’ll also bring their own)
  • If you want to speed up your move, disassemble whatever you can before movers arrive
  • Unplug appliances and take out tubing at least a day in advance (put a towel down for refrigerators)
  • Wrap and place televisions and any fragile glass in their original boxes, if possible
  • Call the moving company if you have any safes over 600 lbs 
  • Find out if safes were drilled into the floor by previous owners 
  • Empty safes before movers arrive (movers can’t transport ammunition)

Special note for musicians:

  • Crate or case musical instruments you want movers to transport (especially stringed instruments like harps and cellos)
  • Let movers know if there is an instrument inside of a case
  • If you don’t have a case but insist that movers handle it, please be prepared to sign a waiver for liability

 

Tip #9: Know Your Storage Facility 

Timing is everything when you’re moving. That’s doubled if you are moving into or out of a storage facility.

If your movers are stopping at a storage location, there are some things to communicate if you want things to go smoothly:

  • Talk to the facility manager in advance to determine if your items will fit.
  • What times will the storage location allow you to move in?
  • Are there deadlines for when a storage facility will no longer accept moves?
  • Is there 24-hour access?
  • Make sure there is a facility manager onsite when you and your movers arrive in case you run into problems or need help.

These are the most significant you should know if you’re moving items into storage (it’s certainly not everything). Understanding your facility and needs will prevent any issues with not having enough room. 

Certainly, you don’t want to spend more money or time than you have to when you’re moving! 

 


Domestic Violence Survivor’s Moving Safety Guide [DOWNLOAD]


how to move out safely when dealing with domestic violence

Moving out or threatening to leave is the most dangerous thing a domestic violence survivor can do. 

It’s also the most necessary thing a survivor can do. 

This downloadable PDF guide is designed to make it easier. 

It explains not only what you need to do in detail, but how and why. 

This guide is brought to you by our partnership with the domestic violence shelter, Fort Bend Women’s Center (FBWC). 

P.S. We will never sell your personal info.

“It is crucial that you do not tell your abuser, his family, his friends, or any mutual friends of your plans to leave.  This could sabotage your plans, or even worse, cost you your life.”

Peggy Wright, Director of Sexual Assault & Counseling Programs at Fort Bend Women’s Center

Domestic Violence Survivors’ Moving Safety Guide

Download the Free Guide

So why are we doing this?

By leveraging our vast moving assets and crews, we’re driving items donated during a move to the FBWC resale shop, PennyWise. 

This way, the Center can generate more profits and funds to support survivors who leave and try rebuilding their lives. 

FBWC provides not only shelter, but therapy, connections with legal advocates, access to medical care, training resources, and so much more. 

The help survivors receive is vital, as they most often leave with nothing for themselves and their children or pets. 

Stopping family violence is not whimsical, part-time dabbling for us. 

It’s a goal that we will do anything to reach. 

If you have an upcoming move…

Let us know during booking, and we’ll take items or furniture you don’t want (with a few restrictions) as donations. 

Not only is it one less thing you have to worry about, but you’ll feel better knowing that it ended up in a much more useful place than a landfill.  

If you’re not moving but still want to help…

There are still ways you can support FBWC and domestic violence survivors. Please consider giving in one of the following ways:


Here’s How to Make Moving Somewhere New Less Scary


do-this-before-moving-somewhere-you-have-never-been

So you want to move somewhere completely new where you don’t have any connections?  

Well, there’s a wrong way and a right way to fulfill your desire of moving somewhere else alone. Below, we break down what you need to know before you go, and why.

Moving to a New City or State? Consider These Things First

The last thing you need is to be afraid or caught off-guard by unexpected challenges. Before you load up a moving truck with everything you own, make sure you investigate everything that will impact your life and happiness in a brand-new city.

If You’ve Never Lived There

Desiring to relocate elsewhere and start over can seem thrilling. But if you’ve never lived there, haven’t even visited, or if you have no family/friends waiting, picturing your new life can conjure dreamy illusions not based in reality. 

To know the real deal, you’ll need to look into things like:

  • Influential cultures/subcultures, politics, or policies. It may not be obvious now, but the general pace, attitudes, and demographics of a new place will have a tremendous impact on your longterm happiness. Plenty of people who are used to a way of life may find it hard to adjust to something new. Whatever preconceived notion you had of the place you want to move to, your new discoveries about it may be super interesting or extremely off-putting. 
  • Climate, weather, and seasonality.  This is crucial if you hate certain weather extremes. Note: climate is general and is defined as “the weather conditions prevailing in an area in general or over a long time period.”  For example, Texas is known for its scorching, humid summers, heavy and sometimes dangerous rainfall, and lack of four distinct seasons. (Unless you count allergy season by itself). People with a strong preference for mild or colder climates or individuals with medical conditions triggered by heat definitely shouldn’t move here on a whim! The same logic applies if you have a severe respiratory disease… You probably should investigate if your desired city has heavy air pollution. 
  • Check transportation routes. When you’re looking for a place to live, transportation is a key factor in getting to a job or important services. No matter if you’re house- or apartment-hunting if you plan on commuting, use Google Maps or Quora to find out where the major traffic areas, interstates, highways, or public transportation routes are. While you’re at it, see what’s nearby in terms of grocery stores, hospitals, urgent care clinics, shopping centers, public facilities, or entertainment. 

 

If You Don’t Already Have a Job 

Not having a job lined up wherever you plan to relocate can make things more difficult, but it’s certainly not an automatic failure. 

If you’re trying to land a gig in your new locale, do this before you move:

  • Check out the local job market. Depending on where you live, some industries have a stronger presence than others. It’s up to you to find out which fields, occupations, and skills are more in-demand in the new place you want to move. Roles for a marine biologist or scuba instructor may not exactly be abundant if you want to move to a landlocked city or state with no coastline or beach. 
  • Build your network online. What skills do you need to work on to get the job you want? Of course, you’ll need to polish your professional presence—resumes, curriculum vitae, portfolios, etc. Get copies of any transcripts, diplomas, or certificates before you move. Then, the hustle begins: Join professional groups or meetups (Facebook is fantastic for this), establish yourself on LinkedIn and post regularly while reaching out to former colleagues, professional acquaintances, and new connections. This will help increase your online visibility to recruiters and employers needing to fill a role. Research job opportunities and apply online directly with the company you’re checking out. Ask anyone you know who lives there to keep an eye out for roles that fit your skillset. It will also help you help others who are looking for new opportunities you come across but don’t want; they will likely appreciate it and return the favor when necessary. Check into larger employers or startups based there because they’ll often have more roles to fill. 
  • Gain a new skill or trade. Trade schools, internet-based certifications, and online courses from colleges and universities have made it easier than ever to develop an existing competency or gain a new skill. If you don’t already have a role in the city you’ve moved to, focus on one of these methods to get the background knowledge for a new job. Also, consider getting a freelance hustle in the gig economy in case you need to temporarily make ends meet. 

If You Have Pets or Children

Ok, so you’re not exactly alone if you’re bringing pets or kids along to a different city or state… However, if you are alone, then you’re definitely the breadwinner. 

Here are some super important things that parents and pet owners should look into before moving somewhere unfamiliar:

For pet parents: Check your residential pet policy.

  • It’s more than just paying pet rent. Some homeowner’s associations (HOAs), many home insurance companies, apartment complexes, and even cities/counties have policies that ban certain animals, including specific dog breeds and mixes. Although there is much controversy over these breed restrictions, certain entities like apartment complexes and rentals, reserve the right to enforce any lease bans on what they deem “aggressive breeds.”
  • Even if you don’t have an aggressive breed as outlined in the contract, another neighbor could. If the thought of it makes you uneasy, it should. Terms of the other tenant’s lease are only known and enforceable by the landlord. So, it’s at their discretion to give them the boot, and you won’t have a say if a dispute arises over an unfriendly pet.
  • Renter’s and homeowner’s insurance companies often have long, arbitrary dog blacklists, too.  Many smaller cities, homeowner associations (HOAs), and apartment complexes have breed restrictions as well. Unfortunately, many people don’t consider this or even ask about pet policies when they move somewhere new.  If your pup is considered a prohibited breed or has a history of biting, you often can’t get renter’s or homeowner’s insurance coverage, so check into this before moving.
  • If your dog is deemed an aggressive breed and harms someone? You’re facing 100% liability for the resulting costs because it won’t be covered by an insurer. You can try to get an exception, have the dog excluded from the policy, or search for another insurer. More exotic pets (like snakes or meat-eating reptiles) are typically excluded from homeowners and renter’s insurance, altogether.

For parents of children: Dig into school district ratings.

  • Education is a crucial part of childhood development. If you have children in primary school, you’ll want to research the best school districts where you’re planning to move and make sure you’re legally zoned to those districts.
  • Find the answers to important questions about the districts and any specific schools you’re eyeing. What are their ratings and why? What are the policies, programs, and track records of the schools? What are students and other parents saying about the school? It will have a big influence on where you choose to live.
  • For those in secondary schools, focus on any interests your kids have that are reflected in the academic or extracurricular activities. For instance, if your daughter is adamant about becoming a pediatrician, look for schools that emphasize science exposure. Getting credit for certain advanced high school-level courses can help offset your child’s college tuition costs later. Depending on any training programs that your child completes, they could possibly graduate high school with a professional certification! Join online parental groups and check local news sources to get the real scoop on the state of childhood education before you move. 

If You’re Single or Simply Don’t Know Anyone

Single? Looking for friends? 

Stop us if this starts to sound like a dating ad, but you’re going to have to work harder to get to know a new place so it’s not so intimidating. 

If you’re moving and don’t know anyone:

  • Read up on the neighborhoods. Most cities are unofficially separated into different neighborhoods. The upscale suburbs, the newly renovated and gentrified areas, urban enclaves, tourist traps, where to get the best shopping, food, business or industrial connections… You name it. If you’re excited to explore a new city, get to know where you want to hang outwhere you want to live, and if you want those two to actually be the same place or separate. Can you handle living around an area with frequent noise? What about the quieter family-oriented suburbs? Do you want your amenities within walking distance or do you prefer to live on the outskirts and see the stars? 
  • Check crime rate & response times. When you’re alone in a new city you don’t know very well, safety should be at the forefront of your decision. This also goes back to the first point: know where your nearest hospitals, ER, and urgent care centers are near your new spot . What’s the average first responder time? What do the crime rate and density look like by neighborhood or zip code? There are lots of deceptively attractive areas you’ll see in the daytime that actually have surprising crime rates. Whether it’s break-ins, burglaries, juvenile mischief, or even violent crime, you need to know before you make the commitment. Get the real deal from real residents using apartment review pages and sites like Nextdoor.com for neighborhoods. 

If You’re Buying a Home There

House-hunting means you’re seriously thinking about settling in a new place. If you’ve never lived there before and never bought a house, you’ll want to look out for these things specifically:

  • What are local and state taxes like? What about insurance? What are the property taxes and insurance rates in your new desired location? Are they higher than what you’re paying now (or more than what you’d be willing to pay)? Don’t stop at digging into the property taxes, but find out if your new destination requires state income taxes, too. 
  • Before closing, check Mother Nature. Are you moving to an area notorious for flooding, earthquakes, wildfires, hurricanes, etc? If you’re eyeing a move to a new place with a reputation for natural disasters, this should be at the top of your FAQs when looking for a new home. Real estate agents should be able to help answer these questions while steering clear of anything that gives you pause. Likewise, it’s best if you’re upfront about your concerns right away.
  • Find the nearest fire department. Not only will this help you save on home insurance costs, but you’ll feel safer knowing that trained firefighters aren’t far away if you ever need them.
  • Locate nearby noise-makers and potential hazards. Unfortunately, some people don’t even think about this until they’re trying to sleep or get to work and a train abruptly and very loudly interrupts them… Or when that nearby airport activity constantly jams up their WiFi and cell phone signals. The dangers of living near an outdoor gun range or an unofficial outdoor shooting practice area are obvious.  Airports, railroads, shooting ranges, etc… these are things to avoid when house-hunting somewhere you’ve never been before. Make sure you notify any realtor you’re working with, too, of these deal-breakers.

Get Ready to Start Over Somewhere New. Fearlessly.

Lots of people find it too intimidating to even consider heading off alone. 

(Meanwhile, other folks do the exact opposite, diving in headfirst to the prospect without planning at all). Both mindsets can end up regretting “what could have been.”

It can seem exciting to move to a place you’ve never lived in. It can also prove challenging if you don’t check out this critical information first. 

Now, you don’t have to let any of that stop you!


20 Important Questions to Ask Movers Before Booking


Looking to move? You’ll need to prepare some important questions to ask movers before you hire them and let strangers into your home.   

If you’re seeking a reputable brand that’s safe and efficient, there’s more to it than just scanning the rating and number of reviews, or simply taking the word of a friend, 

While you’re searching around for affordable moving quotes, it’s easy to forget all the questions you should ask. 

So, what are the important things you don’t know that you need to ask? 

By the time you’re ready to book movers, you should have 100% clarity on:

  • What services you are and are not getting
  • The professionalism, licensing, and experience of the company and crews entering your home
  • How you’ll be charged
  • When you’ll be charged
  • What you’ll be charged for
  • How much any fees and hourly rates are
  • What to expect on your move day
  • How and who to contact at the company if something goes wrong

Nobody could break this down better than our Moving Experts.

They want to share everything you’re not asking moving companies but should be.  Not only will they help you find the right moving service, but any honest and reputable company should be able to answer them all.  

Ask Moving Companies About Their Credentials & Crews 

  1. How much experience do you have with moving?
  2. Are you licensed to move with the U.S. Department of Transportation? Are you licensed with the DMV in your state? What are your licensing numbers?
  3. Do your movers and packers have training or prior experience?
  4. Did your movers and packers pass a criminal background check? Are checks done consistently?
  5. Do you regularly drug screen your movers?
  6. Do your teams know how to properly move or pack/unpack my special items?

Make sure that questions about security are the first things you ask a prospective moving company. 

Larger companies will have a lot more crews to choose from, so you should be able to get a crew that can accommodate your needs the best. 

Unfortunately, lots of people prioritize pricing over quality when looking for movers.

Sure, a quick Google search of something like “cheap movers” or “cheap moving companies” will generate plenty of results… 

While it’s good to be mindful of your spending, you won’t know what you’re really getting for that low price tag until you dig deeper. 

Moving experts, Omar, Carlos and Felicia, agree that people often don’t factor in security when finding a crew to enter their home.

“A lot of companies use day laborers,” Carlos states. “Day laborers could be anybody…”

He pauses, then says, “Do you really want anybody in your home? So, you want to make sure that the movers that are being used are background-checked, drug-screened professionals… because anybody can move a box, but not everybody can move.” 

Felicia agrees that security should be at the top of the list no matter if you live alone, if you own expensive items, or if you have a family with young children. 

“Think about it…” she starts, “someone comes to your house and they’re day laborers. They don’t have a background check. You don’t know where they’ve come from. You know, they have your address, and they can always come back.” 

You’ll absolutely need to ask this question if you have fragile, expensive, or sentimental items.  Let’s face it, not everyone can gracefully move a baby grand piano, a gun safe, alcohol, glass tables, or a rare collection.   

Legally, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) and the state of Texas both require movers to be licensed in order to operate.

However, most customers don’t realize that this is not regulated, so not all moving companies are actually licensed and registered with the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (TxDMV). Before doing business with any moving company,  ask for their USDOT number and TxDMV number and check it online

These licensing numbers should also be posted on their website and any quote emails they send you. 

If they don’t have one, forget them. There are plenty of other trustworthy and legally compliant companies out there!  

Omar says, “One thing [customers] always forget to ask… make sure that the guys are licensed professionals, that they’ve been around for a while, they know what they’re doing, they have their reputation…. Definitely want to check customer reviews, make sure it’s a good company, make sure it’s a reputable company that you’re going to be going with.”

Ask Companies About Their Moving Policies, Services, & Fees

  1. What do you charge for on a move? Is there a fee for rescheduling or canceling a move?
  2. How much is each charge?
  3. What does your travel fee include? Is it hourly? Does it include the drive time to and from my destinations?
  4. How do you verify the start, stop, and any non-work times for your crews?
  5. Will you do a virtual or in-person walk-through?
  6. Can your movers donate or remove furniture I don’t want after a move?
  7. Do you offer packing and unpacking services? What does this include?
  8. Will I be charged for certain supplies? If so, how much?
  9. Is there anything your company will not move?
  10. Is assembly/disassembly of furniture included? Are there types of furniture you won’t re-assemble?
  11. Will all my belongings fit in your truck for 1 trip? What truck sizes do you offer?
  12. What is your claims rate and process if there are damages?
  13. Is the tip included? When and how can I leave a tip?
  14. Who do I contact if I have a problem during my move?

 

Make sure you ask lots of questions when getting moving quotes from different companies.

Ask about their licensing to move, policies, what they can and cannot move, how they calculate fees, and who to contact if things go wrong. 

“Make sure they disassemble; because, a lot of times we don’t know how to take beds apart, or furniture,” Felicia says, mindfully. “A lot of companies don’t disassemble at all. That’s a good thing to ask. Don’t assume they do, because a lot of them don’t.

Felicia recommends you also ask lots of questions about the company’s fee system and policies. This way, you won’t get slapped with sky-high charges when the company promised an inexpensive travel fee upfront. “A lot of times they’ll give you a price based on the hourly rate and the trip charge, and you think that’s a good price because it’s pretty cheap or reasonable. But, guess what? They hit you at the end when you’re coming back.”  

Exorbitant fees can also sneak in when movers charge fuel or hourly trip fees in areas with horrible traffic...meaning you’ll pay for the time it takes them to drive in rush-hour traffic. 

In your quote, (which you need to get in writing) there should be a clear breakdown of the services you’re getting and the cost for each one. 

A representative for the moving company should be able to easily give you definitions of each service and what each fee involves when you ask. 

Due to widespread illness and anxiety about the COVID-19 outbreak, the company’s claim, cancellation, and rescheduling policy should be clearly outlined and more flexible as well. 


Suffering Domestic Violence? Here’s How to Move Out Safely.


moving safety tips for survivors of domestic violence and abuse

For victims of domestic violence, the COVID-19 pandemic presents another obstacle when trying to leave toxic situations and move out.

With stay-at-home orders, job losses, financial and emotional hardships, and lack of resources or support, moving out and escaping an abuser unharmed can seem like an intimidating effort.

“What we do know is that because of COVID-19 there has been a dramatic increase in domestic violence1, not only in our county but around the world. We also know that most of the area shelters are full and because of the epidemic are not accepting new clients, so it is a particularly dangerous time for victims who are still with their abusers.”

Peggy Wright, Director of Sexual Assault & Counseling Programs at Fort Bend Women’s Center

 

Read on to see moving tips for those escaping domestic violence, and download the moving safety guide designed to help abuse survivors plan a safe relocation.

A Survivor’s Guide to Moving Out Safely

If you’re experiencing domestic violence and need to leave quickly, you may be too anxious or frightened to hash out the details.
So, below is a plan to follow. If you don’t have time to do everything on this list—that’s okay. Oftentimes, people escaping abuse don’t have days or weeks to plan.

Pick out what works for your situation and whatever you can do to stay safe.

If abuse has escalated to the point that you fear for your life or that of any children in the house, please call 9-1-1.


Before Moving: Plan Your Exit

If you live with an abuser, you may not feel you have the courage to move out yet. 

And that’s okay

Even before you’re ready to take that first step, planning is critical.  Doing it early—even if you’re not prepared to leave as soon as possible—will boost your chances of success.

Here are some tips from movers and our friends at Fort Bend Women’s Center:

  • Set aside money when you can. Shelters offer services free of charge. It’s still a great idea to have your own money to access depending on how you are moving out and your post-move plans. Things will be easier if you have money to access independently. Try setting up a checking or savings account in your own name at a bank that is separate from your partner. 
  • Gather your most important and valuable items. It doesn’t have to be all at once, but set aside what you can, whenever you can.  (Example: extra car keys, car title/lease paperwork, emergency cash, insurance cards, birth/marriage certificates, social security cards, health records, extra medications, debit/credit cards, extra clothes, children’s clothing or supplies, any evidence of physical abuse— like photos, journals, notes, medical or police records, etc.). 
    • Store them in a private place. Private, as in, ONLY you have access to it. Do not leave this with anyone close to your abuser or any place where your abuser could easily find it. (Examples: a personal lockbox, a backpack, with a trusted friend or family member, or in a safety deposit box in a bank your abuser doesn’t know about). 
    • Make copies of any documents your abuser is likely to notice is missing. 
  • Create a code word, phrase, or signal. If you have children or other loved ones living with you and your abuser, they need to know exactly what to do when you say this. You should also do this with any trusted friends, family, or neighbors you can call on stay with or help you leave. (Examples of a plan: Go to a neighbor’s home, ask your school staff to call/text me, call grandma). In case you’re in a situation where your abuser is closely monitoring your every move, or listening, create a code term that sounds natural but is unique to you and your loved ones. You should also practice what to do in case of danger—especially if you have kids. 
  • If possible, get your own cell phone. The chance that an abuser has secretly installed a surveillance app on their victim’s phone is extremely high. Many IPS (intimate partner surveillance) apps can be installed without even touching a cell phone. According to MIT’s Technology Review, one survivor even recounts how opening a photo texted from her ex-boyfriend gave him total access to her cellphone—including her apps, current location, emails, passwords, camera, and even social media accounts. If you can get your own phone, use a passcode that can’t be easily guessed.
  • DO NOT ditch the compromised phone, (this could enrage the abuser). Use it for simple tasks, but do not use it to call/ search for movers or domestic abuse resources. 
    • Suspect you’re being spied on? Don’t bother paying for anti-spyware apps since most can’t find all the creepy software, and the abuser could react violently. The only way to remove it is to factory reset the phone, and that will remove all your current apps and settings. It’s best to get a cheap phone that allows you to privately text, browse the internet, plan your move, and make calls to police or family violence centers. 
  • Can’t get your own cell phone? Keep the Fort Bend Women’s Center hotline number handy: 281-342-4357. They suggest “saving it under something innocent like the name of a restaurant [or business] you like.
    • To plan your move, use a public computer at a library, school, or friend’s house. If you know where you’ll be moving, set up mail forwarding through your local United States Post Office, or do it online for $1.05. If you don’t know exactly where you’re going, you can get help from a shelter when you’re there. (Log out of all services and clear your history when you’re done.)
  • Research how you’ll move. Will another trusted adult be helping you move? Will you hire a moving company instead? Make sure that whatever company you choose has domestic violence policies in place (what we call “privacy moves”), and that the movers have undergone criminal background checks. We call these “privacy moves” because we take every precaution to protect your privacy—which is vital in cases of abuse. No one who calls will be able to discuss details of the move just by using your name. In fact, you’ll be issued a personal file locator number so only you can review the move information.  CLICK FOR MORE ABOUT PRIVACY MOVES. 
  • Know your options: call shelters in advance. This is important to learn the policies about whom they allow to stay or visit. Even if there isn’t room, a shelter can often refer you to another place. Hotels are often used to house people escaping abuse when centers are full, and staff members will assist with meals, health care, child care, pet care, education, job training, counseling, waivers for utilities and phone service, legal help, longer-term shelter, and more. 
  • Shelters may be able to help you with pets.  Take any evidence you gathered previously, (like photos or medical records of abuse). Besides legal help, you’ll also want to ask if the shelter is pet-friendly. Typically, service and support animals are welcome. If not, you can leave your pet with a trusted friend or family member out of the abuser’s reach in case (s)he tries to retaliate. Shelters may also be able to connect you with resources on fostering your pet if necessary. Fort Bend Women’s Center, for example, has connections with the Houston Humane Society and can help make arrangements for fostering or sheltering pets.
  • Know the best time to leave. If you live with your partner, ask yourself: when do they go to work or leave the home for extended periods of time? Are there any rooms you feel safe in that you can exit from in case you have to move quickly? If you don’t live with your partner, consider: When is the best time for you to be alone or have privacy?
  • Avoid posting or messaging anything on social media about your plan. You’ll need to memorize important information, like phone numbers or addresses of trusted neighbors, friends, or family. If you have children, tell them to memorize it too. Agree on a code word/phrase that will let everyone involved know what to do when it is used

On Move Day: Time is of the Essence

When survivors of violence leave their abusers, it can be a dangerous time. But you are strong enough to make it out! These steps will help make it easier on the day of your move. 

  • Confirm the details with your movers & others. Whether you’re hiring pros or supporters to help you move—or getting out by yourself—review how you want your move to work. Go over your code words and escape plan with children or people who are helping you move. Use a public computer (like at a library or at most shipping stores) to print out the destination in case your phone is being spied on. 
  • Make sure your essentials are ready to go. In a hurry? Grab the essentials that you packed previously and go. Remember those copies you made? Leave them in case you have little to no belongings to move and don’t want your abuser to quickly catch on that you’ve left.
  • If you don’t have boxes (or the money to get them): ask your local grocery store. These will probably be somewhat worn or less sturdy, and you’ll probably only be able to use them once, but it’s a good fix if you have no money. Your moving company can also provide these—especially if they have packing services.
  • Lock up anything that could be used as a weapon. Make sure they are as hard to reach as possible (Example: putting things like guns, knives, or bats in a safe, on top of kitchen cabinets or in a toilet water tank.) Also, review where your exits and windows are in case you have to run to another room.
  • Review your destination. Will you be leaving unexpectedly? Where will you go and how will you get there? Have your printed directions ready—especially if you think your cell phone is being used to spy on you.
  • If you have children at school and can’t pick them up before moving: ask the front office to change release privileges so an abusive partner cannot pick them up after finding out you have left. Sometimes when abusers feel they have lost control, they may try to lash out and retaliate by hurting your loved ones. Do this at the day and time you’re planning to leave a shared home.
  • Ditch the compromised cell phone. Remember: it’s highly likely that your abuser is spying on your location and whatever info passes to/from your phone. Once you are safely on your way to your destination, that is the time to ditch it or do a factory reset. But first, log out of every online and app account you own.
    • NOTE: Resetting your phone will remove your current apps and settings, so you’ll have to download and log into them again. Some apps you should avoid downloading again (like certain email apps) and only access them through a computer.
  • Update each account password and its security questions—something the abuser can’t guess. Do this for your email account first, since social media and other apps will often send location info to your email to authorize any changes.
  • Unable to discard the compromised phone? Disable your Bluetooth, Bluetooth scanning, and location (usually called Location Sharing in your Settings or menu bar) so your phone cannot communicate with other devices. Look in Settings to ensure Bluetooth scanning is disabled, as apps can use it to share your location even if you have Bluetooth turned off. Check each application in your privacy and security settings to ensure suspicious-looking apps cannot access and share your information. Download Google Voice, a free service that generates a virtual phone number for you to make and screen calls or texts.
  • Ensure that no one can make changes to your wireless service. If you are the account holder for your wireless service, call and ask them to put additional security measures in place, or change your verbal PIN. If you are setting up a new service, inform them of your situation as many providers will waive fees.
  • Have your personal phone easily available & set up Emergency SOS. Moving out due to domestic violence can be scary, so it’s necessary to be prepared. Using the SOS feature is easy and will call the police first, then alert your emergency contacts in case you are in danger.
  • In case of danger: use your Emergency SOS buttons or call 9-1-1 . Use the secret code/phrase/signal with any children or people who are helping you move. Do not run to where your children are in case your partner tries to hurt them. If you must go to another room, make sure it has an exit.
  • If your abuser shows up unexpectedly—or is already home when your helpful friend/movers arrive— they should be prepared. For movers, this means acting on their privacy move policies. (Example: at 3 Men Movers, this includes appearing as if they have the wrong house). For supporters helping you move or children, this means acting on your emergency code word plan or calling 9-1-1 in case your partner becomes threatening or violent. 
  • Have in-car navigation? Disable it. Turn off any GPS navigation in your car or if you have it on your phone. 
  • Reach out to your safe place. Wherever you’re going—be it a shelter or a loved one’s home—reach out first to see if they can provide you with any help or transportation to your destination.

After Moving: Protect Your Future

Follow these post-move privacy tips to securely embark on a new, brighter future. 

  • Get & keep copies of your protective order. Depending on their funding and access to lawyers, shelter or domestic violence attorney may be able to connect you with a family violence attorney or help you fill out paperwork—but you may have to persistently check on the status. Children and pets can be included on these orders, too. Carry a certified copy of the protective order with you everywhere you go. Addresses may be on these documents or police reports, so consider using a P.O. box or a friend’s address for your mail. Be careful who and where you submit your new phone number and address. 
  • Ask for service deposit waivers. Getting a break for a while will help you gain financial independence and avoid returning to toxic partners who make you feel like you can’t succeed without them.  In Texas, the deposit for utilities (like gas, electricity, and wireless/phone service) can be waived or reduced to a monthly basis. The requirements include getting a letter signed by Certifying Entity and faxing it to the utility company (you can use faxes at any shipping/postal store). According to the Public Utility Commission of Texas, entities that can sign utility waivers are
      1. Family violence centers
      2. Treating medical staff
      3. Law enforcement personnel
      4. Office of Texas District or County Attorney
      5. Office of the Attorney General
      6. Grantees of the Texas Equal Access to Justice Foundation 
  •  Change up your routine. If you take the same route to/from work, take a different route. Avoid going to the places your abuser knows. If you normally work or shop at night, try switching to the daytime. The most vulnerable time for survivors is when they leave and the abusive partner has lost control. Ensure your abuser can’t predict where you’re going. This will be easier if you’re moving a lengthy distance from where your abuser lives.
  • Notify your workplace. You just did an incredibly brave thing by choosing a better future! Someone else’s choices shouldn’t change that. Give a photo of the abuser to your work supervisors, security staff, or coworkers that you trust and work closely with at the same times. They don’t have to know the details, but they should be aware that (s)he isn’t allowed near the premises to harass, stalk, or threaten you via a protective/restraining order. You can also alert authorities at your children’s school, even if you changed their schools
  • Unlist your new phone number. Lock down new emails or social accounts. It’s common for abusers to show lots of remorse or even cry in order to get back into your life. This is a manipulative tactic to regain control, and they may also try this through mutual friends or family. Unfortunately, you’ll have to make some changes to avoid caving to pressure.
    • First, set up two-factor authentication (this is available on almost all Internet-based accounts).
    • Next, do a social media cleanse, like blocking your abuser and their friends, not allowing yourself to be tagged in photos without review, not sharing any location tags/check-ins, etc. so they cannot see where you now live. If you share mutual custody of children, it’s more complicated. Shelters can connect you with a family violence attorney who can assist you further. Call your wireless company and ask to change or unlist your new phone number.
    • Finally, avoid doing business with companies who state in their Privacy Policies that your personal information might be sold for marketing purposes. 
  • Set up security in your new space. Pick security systems (like cameras and alarms) with motion-sensitive lighting and backup that won’t fail in bad weather or can’t work without WiFi. You’ll also want to make sure a simple laser cannot disable them. Security system companies may also be able to help survivors settle in with discounts or a monthly waiver. Replace wooden doors with steel or metal doors. Secure doors windows, garages, and doors with security bars or locks so they can’t be opened from the outside.

 


How to Get Help For Domestic Violence

If you or someone you know is in an abusive situation and needs help, please contact the following:

 


Moving to San Antonio? Here’s What You Need to Know


culture-to-expect-when-moving-to-San-Antonio

Did You Know: San Antonio’s cultural mix of German, Spanish, Czech, and Native American cuisine makes it one of 2 UNESCO Creative Cities of Gastronomy in the US! | Photo by Luke Johnson on Unsplash

Considering a move to San Antonio?

There are a few things you need to know about living in this Texas city that won’t pop up in a simple Google search.

You’ve got questions, so we’ve got answers. Here’s what to expect before relocating to Alamo City… Straight from the mouths of locals.

Insider Tips: Living in San Antonio, TX

You know it’s true… Each city has its own culture, rhythm, and flavor

Other than living there yourself, talking to those who already do is the best way to truly grasp the essence of a place.

This is pretty important research that you may or may not have the time, resources, and patience for… However, just like a new job or relationship, it’s critical to know if the city is compatible with you

So, we’ve rounded up the best advice from across the web and San Antonians themselves to reveal what it’s like living in San Antonio.

How’s the Traffic in San Antonio?

For those coming from smaller or less-populated towns, Texas’ traffic could take some getting used to…

But, compared to our other sprawling cities—Austin, Dallas, and Houston— Quora users actually rank San Antonio traffic last.

Non-Texans thinking of moving to San Antonio will be happy to know that the average work commute is just over 24 minutes!

best-tips for avoiding-traffic-in-San-Antonio-Quora-answer-3

worst-roads-for-San-Antonio-traffic-Quora-answer-2

San-Antonio-rush-hour-traffic-tips

 

What About Fun Things to Do?

Everyone knows about the Riverwalk… It’s a beautiful stroll or ferry float among all the cultural, retail, and culinary delights that San Antonio has to offer in one spot. But once you’ve made the move there, the Riverwalk is only impressive so many times.

Top 5 Holiday Events & Attractions in San Antonio

Take it from a local: check out the many other activities that define San Antonio. Things like festivals, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the amazing tacos and tamales, and more will keep you entertained!

Did we mention there’s even a cocktail conference?

places-to-go-besides-Riverwalk-in-San-Antonio

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Where are the Best Places to Live?

Like other Texas metropolises, San Antonio is a city full of diverse residential areas.

Do your homework before you move to avoid ending up in either an overpriced or shady part of town.
Or, just listen to these residents who know the city inside-out.

best place to live in San Antonio

Local San Antonian, Slummish, has great advice for families who desire safety and good school districts above all.

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Can I Make a Good Living in San Antonio?

No need to worry about finding a gig after moving to San Antonio!
An annual job growth rate of almost double the national average of 0.8%.

Plus, a much more affordable cost-of-living make San Antonio an attractive competitor to the Big Four (Dallas, Houston, and Austin).

The biggest job sectors in San Antonio include health care/social assistance, retail, and hospitality & food services.

The highest-paid jobs? Look for roles in the legal, architectural & engineering, health, medicine and tech fields.

largest employing occupations and jobs in San Antonio

WAIT, WHAT ABOUT RENT?!

We got you.

Although there’s zero state income tax in Texas (awesome, right?!), rent can still put a huge dent in your income.

Make life easy and use this tool to compare rents by neighborhood while you’re researching the best areas to live!

If You’re REALLY Ready to Move to San Antonio

Just listen to Neil who loves living there:

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READ NEXT: Top Questions To Ask Before Hiring A San Antonio, TX Mover