Whether you are moving a professional office space or your family’s household, the process can be a difficult and stressful time. If you have chosen to use a moving company, you will want to find the best. So many companies utilize practices that can damage your furniture, cost you money and time, and fail to deliver the proper attention you desire. Thankfully, there are some great companies out there who will serve you with the professionalism and courtesy you deserve. Take a look at the following five ways to help you find the best local mover:

1. Listen to word-of-mouth.

The most optimal, time-honored technique of finding a great service is, of course, heeding the recommendation of trusted friends and family members. Unfortunately, this may not always be practical, as you may not know anyone who has recently moved. Conversely, many people have had trouble with local movers, so some are more willing to provide negative information. Regardless of whether the information is negative, it will be useful. Listen to the advice of people who have had real experience. Online review services are also great places to check. Pay attention to companies who have received consistent, positive reviews. These are the ones you will want to use.

2. Visit a company in person.

Once you find several local movers you would like to consider, make sure you visit their offices in person. Meeting the faces behind the business can instill confidence in your choice and help you weed out those companies who are not as trustworthy. If a company is accredited, they won’t mind meeting with you and chatting about the process. If the company is hesitant to meet you, or doesn’t have a home-office, then you may want to think twice before enlisting their services.

3. Consider their moving practices.

If a company has a detailed plan with implemented procedures for the move, chances are they will be strong contenders. Consider the materials used for the move, as well as procedures for moving heavy furniture. The best local movers will use special materials, like specific fabrics, to wrap around certain types of furniture, to protect against wear and tear. Also, consider their awareness of the environment. If they are using reusable bins, it might help you cut down costs and help lower your environmental impact upon moving.

4. Check with the local Chamber of Commerce.

Good companies usually have good standing within a community. Reputable local movers will establish ties to their Chamber of Commerce. A good rule remains that if the company is active in their community, they will care about their reputation and will do everything possible to ensure you have an excellent moving experience. When entrusting movers with your personal belongings, you want every bit of assurance you can receive.

5. Be mindful of moving quotes.

You should receive a moving quote before you hire a company. Be wary of companies that quote by the square footage alone. Low quotes are not always necessarily a good indication of a good moving company. Consider a detailed breakdown of the expenses and look to see what the local movers are charging. A good moving company may be worth the extra expense, if they can show added value. Bonus tip: Look for companies that can provide you several different types of quotes for the best deal.