Fortunately, the Delaware Valley Consumer's Checkbook has done some research on local movers for you.
Kevin Brasler explains the findings. "You can save a lot of money by picking the right mover. We found big price variation among local movers for local moves. To move an average size house -- three-bedroom, two- bath house -- 10 miles, we found prices ranged from about $3000 to nearly $9000 to pack and move."
That huge price range is why Brasler says you should get at least three estimates before you pick a mover. And then ask the movers to set a cap -- or top price -- so you're not hit with extra charges at the end.
He says, "Most movers, if you ask them, they'll put a cap. They'll say, 'It's 10 to 14 hours for the move, but I won't charge you for over 14 hours.' That's key, because otherwise you have no idea what you're paying."
As for quality, Checkbook found small local companies rated as well -- if not, in some cases, better -- than the large national chains.
And if you want to save money and cut stress, Brasler advises packing and moving as much as you can yourself.
He advises, "Move all the small stuff you can. The more lamps they have to carry out, one in each hand, the more you're paying. If you're paying $200 an hour carrying two boxes out at a time that's going to add up."
To read more about Checkbook's survey on movers, click here.