Now that you know you are moving, it's time to get organized and prepare for moving day. This begins by locating professional and reputable moving companies to transport your belongings to your new home. Although this task may seem insurmountable (especially faced with the plethora of choices), is here to help you locate the right moving company for your big day.

Ask Around:
Picking movers begins by asking friends and family members for referrals. Word-of-mouth referrals are the best way to receive honest and trustworthy responses based on their personal experiences. If you don't have first-hand referrals, you can also search for movers in the phone book or through a reputable moving website such as Make a list of about five movers and call them for an over-the-phone assessment. Ask the movers or a customer service representative basic information about their company – address, types of moves they specialize in, how many employees they have, whether they're members of any moving associations, etc.

These answers are important, but you should also be aware of how the moving company treats you: Did they answer every question? Do they appear interested in winning your business? Having a good feeling about a moving company will make you want to meet them in-person. Generally, if they didn't win you over on the phone, you will likely not have a smooth moving experience come moving day.

Get an Estimate:
After you narrowed down your list of movers to three or four, have them visit your home for an in-house moving estimate. This enables the moving company to actually see your belongings (as opposed to describing them over the phone), as well as discuss other services that you may need ranging from packing to packaging materials.

Questions to Ask Potential Movers:
When you are meeting with movers, be sure to ask questions. Remember, there is no limit to your questions and there are no stupid questions. These are your belongings and you want to be certain you are picking the right individuals to move your possessions.

Here are some questions to ask:

1. How long have you been involved in the moving industry? You want someone that is experienced and respected in the industry. Ask them about their background and what type of jobs they work on. Ask them about their worst moving scenarios to the best ones. The more experience the individual has, the more comfortable you will be that you are getting a true estimate. If movers are unwilling to discuss their experience, take that as a red flag.

2. How long has your company been around? If the moving company has been in business for some time, say over 10 years, it is usually a good sign they are doing something right and have been providing good service to their customers. Don't base your decision on the time in business alone, but it is a good insight into the company.

3. What pricing options or types of estimates do you offer? You can learn a lot about the moving company representative – as well as the moving company – by how knowledgeable he or she seems, and how willing they are to take the time to explain your options. If someone rushes through the explanation or seems to not understand the options and how they might apply to your move, you should be a bit concerned.

4. What is my delivery schedule? You want the answer to be realistic. For long-distance moves especially, it can be difficult to be precise to the exact day. Local moving companies may be able to give you a more accurate delivery period, but sometimes suggest a time window (for example, 9a.m.-4p.m). Beware of anyone who promises you times or dates that seem just a bit too good too be true. A red flag may be if someone says that they can move you within an hour.

5. Does your company do any repeat work for businesses in the area? Lots of people will ask a moving company for references of individuals who have used their services, but let's face it – what mover is going to give you a bad reference? However, if the moving company does a lot of repeat relocation work for a particular business, it is a good sign they consistently do quality work.

6. How will you handle (fill in the blank)? If you are moving a treasured heirloom or a large, cumbersome object like a piano, find out how it will be moved. Again, this is another test of the mover’s knowledge, as well as a test of how you can expect to be treated. If they take the time to give you a thoughtful and complete answer, chances are good this is a company that cares about the customer and their possessions.

7. Is the sales representative or the mover just telling you what you want to hear? This can be a tough call and may require the ability to read body language. You probably do not want to work with someone who disagrees with everything you say, but sometimes the moving consultant may make a suggestion such as packing tips that may be different from what you would have done. Did what they say make sense? If it did, it's a good sign the salesperson is someone looking out for your interests.

After you meet all the would-be movers, compare your notes. Don't let price be your only guide; in fact, a lower price could indicate something was overlooked in the assessment, or indicate you'll get hit with additional charges later.

Gut feelings will also contribute to your final decision. Which moving company did you get along with? Which moving consultant worked the hardest for your business? Did one company go out of their way to visit your home? Were the movers honest and direct about your move? Before you know it, you will be well on your way to finding the right mover.