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The custom of relying on friends to help make a move from one place to another has been replaced by reliance on professional movers.
Professional moving companies offer a wide range of service options, including professional packing. It could cost you less if you pack your things in your own containers. However, some movers will not insure fragile items, such as dishes or glassware, if they do not pack them.
Begin your preparations for the move by calling several companies for estimates. And start early! Some companies want three-to-six weeks advance notice. Ask each company how they compute the charges, how much time they expect the move to take, and what kind of insurance coverage they offer against loss or damage. If you have to store your things temporarily, ask what arrangements can be made.
Long-distance movers may send a representative to your home for an estimate, while local companies may quote an hourly rate over the phone. Be sure to ask the same questions of each company so that when you compare bids you will be using the same criteria.