(NAPSI)—The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that over 17 million Americans move to a new home every year.

If you’re ever among them, knowing a few facts and figures can help you have a smoother move.

Moving Tips

To help, the experts at the American Moving and Storage Association, the national trade association for professional movers, created a checklist.

1. Do comparison shopping. Even if you’re considering doing the move yourself, you should get at least three written, in-home estimates so you can make an informed choice. The estimates should be free, so you have nothing to lose by trying to find out whether a professional move is best for you.

Some movers even offer estimates based on videos and photos you submit online. Make sure you show the mover everything that needs to be moved, from the attic to the basement, and any sheds, garages or storage areas. The mover needs a complete picture of everything to be moved to give you the most accurate estimate.

Reputable interstate movers will always give you estimates in writing and they must—by law—provide you with federal publications that explain the moving process and your rights and responsibilities. Be careful of any estimates offered over the phone or online, and if the mover asks for a large down payment or full payment in advance.

2. Read your paperwork carefully. Remember, once you’ve signed a contract, you’ve agreed to what it says about your move.

3. Understand what the mover’s level of liability is, in case of loss or damage.

4. Bear in mind that communication is key. Make sure the mover has your cell phone number or other way to reach you during the move and that you have the driver’s full name and the truck number.

5. If you don’t understand something, ask questions. Reputable movers will be happy to answer them. If the moving company can’t or won’t answer your questions, you might want to look for another mover.

6. You can find nearly 2,800 certified ProMovers, who meet high standards of safety and professionalism, at www.Moving.org. A ProMover certification takes the worry and hassle out of your move and helps you locate reputable, qualified movers—from small, family-run businesses to national van lines—who have been trained and tested.

Learn More

For further facts and tips and to find nearby certified movers, go to www.Moving.org.

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On the Net:North American Precis Syndicate, Inc.(NAPSI)