Let’s be honest. No one really likes moving. It’s exciting to move into a new place but the process can be a real pain. The last thing you want to worry about is a moving company damaging your belongings and property, or worse.

You may think the easiest way to find a moving company is to go out to the internet and book something online. While that might be convenient, it leaves you with no guarantee of a seamless move. There are critical steps you should take to be sure you’re using a reputable and experienced mover.

Get Recommendations

Sometimes word of mouth is the best way to be sure you’ll be satisfied with the result of your move. If you live in NYC, it’s likely you know a handful of people who have recently moved apartments in the city. Ask one of your friends or colleagues what movers they used and how it turned out. Were they late on moving day? Did all their belongings end up in the apartment in one piece? Did the movers respect the rules of the building?

Do Your Research

Once you have the names of a few movers you could potentially use, it’s time to do some online research. Check out the moving company’s reputation through websites like Yelp and the Better Business Bureau. Be sure your potential mover has a license with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. You can even call the American Moving and Storage Association to see if the companies you’re vetting are members, which means they need to abide by the organization’s published tariffs and to participate in its arbitration program.

Ask for an In-Home Estimate

If you’ve narrowed down your search for the perfect mover to a few, have them come by for an estimate. Not only will prevent any surprises on moving day, this will give you a chance to speak with a representative from the moving company. You can ask them all your burning questions and get a feel for their process and level of professionalism. You can also sometimes get a good or bad gut feeling from someone when you meet them in person. This may allow you to quickly narrow down your choices.

Be Prepared Come Moving Day

Even when you’ve selected your mover, documentation is extremely important in case anything goes wrong. Make sure you have a copy of the mover’s inventory list and have them review it so they can’t claim that they weren’t responsible for an item that goes missing. Make sure they have specific instructions for getting to your new property, and have their direct contact information handy in case you need to call and check in.

During the moving process, immediately snap photos of any damage to both your items or the property, such as scratches and dents in the walls or door frames. Immediately bring these things to the attention of your movers.

Moving is never an easy process, and that is even truer in the city. Make sure you find yourself a reputable mover that won’t upset your new landlord or co-op board by causing mayhem or damage at your new building. If you’re hiring someone to handle all the heavy lifting for your move, you shouldn’t have to stress about it being done right.