Regardless of how far away you are moving, it can be daunting to think about packing up your possessions, much less to find a low cost moving company. You can minimize your worry by doing your preliminary research so that you are practically guaranteed a smooth move.
With a few exceptions, you will find that most movers will probably be pretty close with their estimates. The major point of differentiation may be around quality of service and timeliness. These are all issues that you can research prior to contacting potential movers.
Frequently, you can use third party review sites to collect feedback about the different moving companies that you are considering hiring. These will give you insights into the process of getting an estimate, moving day, and the unloading process. These interactions are key to having a good move or feeling like you have been to battle.
As you narrow down your choices based on the feedback and research, begin to schedule in home estimates. You want to take this opportunity to get a feel for their customer relations and to see what the sales process is like. They will typically fill out a fairly comprehensive form that details the amount of furniture and stuff that you are moving. When they go through your rooms, you can ask about the options to pack your own stuff or to have them do the packing for you. This will alter both the schedule and the cost, so be sure to get it in writing.
Finally, make sure you understand their insurance coverage. You want to find out what it covers and, more importantly, what it does not cover. They will be required to carry a certain amount of insurance, but sometimes it will not really cover replacement costs for any damage or loss during shipping. There are various add on insurance packages that you can purchase to insure your possessions against unanticipated issues.