Choosing The Right Moving Company in Southwest Florida


Free Moving Kit

With a No-Obligation In-Home Consultation

Your Free Moving Starter Kit Includes:

  • 5 Small Boxes
  • 3 Medium Boxes
  • 2 Large Boxes
  • 10 lbs of Paper
  • 1 Dish pack
  • 1 Roll of Tape

Worth $50!

Schedule a complementary in-home moving consultation and you will receive this Free Moving Starter Kit. There is no obligation and certainly no pressure to schedule your move immediately. We look forward to meeting you and discussing your moving needs, and how Modern Movers can best assist you.

Moving Resources

Modern Movers has been in business for over 30 years. We help with relocations for individuals, families, and businesses every single day. As an independent moving company we know the ins and outs of the business.

This guide is our way of helping you, the resourceful consumer trying to choose between several moving quotes or storage facility options. This guide contains our insider tips to help you receive a fair and honest rate for your move. Companies in our industry exist that may try to take advantage of your inexperience, but with this “Insider's Guide to Choosing a Moving Company” you will be able to see through all of the terminology and sales pitches. Let's start with the basics.

License, Certification, and Ratings

When choosing your interstate mover, make sure the mover is licensed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Visit the FMSCA website and search for the name of the mover. Only choose movers licensed by the FMCSA.

For interstate moves, movers are required by Law to give you a copy of a booklet called “Your Rights and Responsibilities“.

This booklet gives you a definition of moving industry terms, an explanation of how a mover must estimate charges, and other helpful information.

In addition, a quality mover will give you a packet of information that includes their: Code of Ethics, Services Offered, and General Valuation Coverage Information.

Always ask the moving company for their FDOT number. If a mover does not have this number, then a claim for your items cannot be filed if anything goes wrong with your move.

Also, look for professional organization seals on their website. Check for a Better Business Bureau rating and a Pro Mover membership. Pro Mover is an independent organization that validates the credentials of a mover. They verify a moving company's certificates with AMSA (American Moving and Storage Association), FMWA (Florida Movers and Warehousemens Association) are in good standing.

Finally, it's worth visiting the Complaints Board

Checking License Numbers

Start by going to the Federal DOT website and type in the license number of your mover. The following information should be reviewed before selecting a moving company:

  • If there is an active DOT Registered Number for the mover
  • Complaints
Florida License numbers for movers are granted by the ICC (Interstate Commerce Commission). This allows a mover to travel within their state as evidence of being licensed and insured. These are issued by the State of Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Division of Consumer Services.

Does Your Move Require a Deposit? Beware of Moving Brokers & Fees

Start by going to the Federal DOT website and type in the license number of your mover. The following information should be reviewed before selecting a moving company:

  • If there is an active DOT Registered Number for the mover
  • Complaints
Florida License numbers for movers are granted by the ICC (Interstate Commerce Commission). This allows a mover to travel within their state as evidence of being licensed and insured. These are issued by the State of Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Division of Consumer Services.

Moving Quotes

If you're comparing offers from movers consider choosing the one with the highest weight estimate, as opposed to the lowest cost estimate. Receiving a weight estimate means your company took the time to do an inventory of your move. Movers focused on giving weight estimates are concerned with giving you the most accurate estimate.

Movers who quote an hourly rate don't know what the final cost will be. It's likely that your cost will go up based on hourly rate quotes due to the unknown time variable to move all of your possessions.

Always try to get an on-site estimate. Some companies do not offer this. This is the only way to get a binding and not-to-exceed estimate. These types of estimates are good for the customer.

A not to exceed estimate is based on the inventory list taken and weight calculated from an on-site estimate. The inventory list is an essential part of any move. As a customer, if you add on to the inventory list a moving company can recalculate the weight estimate and not-to-exceed amount. Changing your inventory list will change the cost of your move. All pricing is based on your inventory list of items.


For local moves, payment is always expected after the items have been delivered. It is customary to put a credit card on file. A mover will collect that information prior to the move.

Payment for interstate moves is expected before the truck is unloaded at your destination.

A local move is calculated based on the number of hours and the number of staff it takes to move you. Two movers can typically move up to 6,000 lbs.

If you are moving specialty items, such as a piano or a hot tub, expect the moving team to include 3 – 4 movers.

Packing & Delivery

Always have someone present when your belongings are packed regardless of the type of move. For interstate moves, be sure that each item is packed and labeled and listed on an inventory list. You should always be given a copy of that inventory list. You should be aware that if you pack your own boxes, the carrier will not accept liability for damage done to items packed by owner.

Upon delivery, always inspect your belongings for damage. If items have been damaged or lost, report to the carrier immediately. Each company has different steps to filing a claim. You must follow the appropriate steps to file the claim. If you notice damage after unpacking your items, you must file a claim within nine months of your delivery date.

Air Conditioned vs. Climate Controlled Storage

The Arizona Storage Company succinctly explains the difference between the two types of storage facilities:

“A facility with air-conditioning will provide an environment similar to an air conditioned home or office. For items that would normally be kept in your home or office, an air-conditioned unit will be your best bet.”

“A facility that is climate controlled often contains humidity levels higher than normal.”

Things That Could Go Wrong With A Move and How to Address Them

Goods are damaged
All moving companies must give you the minimum carriers liability of $0.60 cents per pound / per article, not to exceed the shipment weight. The consumer has the option to include additional valuation. This additional option is based on the weight of the shipment. It operates like insurance and is accompanied by a deductible.

The shipment being delivered out of state is delayed
A mover will give a delivery spread of when your goods will arrive. Unforeseen circumstances sometimes arise, such as a vehicle malfunctioning or from accidents on the route pushing back the deadline while in transit. A customer should always make sure they are available to receive a move from the first day to the last day of the delivery spread just in case problems arise. Cross country hauls can take time. A delivery spread is typically from 1-2 weeks.

A driver can only travel 11 hours a day, as mandated by the DOT. If a driver is stopped and the travel log does not reflect this, the driver cannot travel for 8-12 hours. This means that truck does not move, referred to as “lock-down.”

If a move is delayed the operations manager in a moving company should provide a new delivery date. Contracts may not include reimbursement for delays. Some moving companies allow monies for delayed deliveries, however there are restrictions.

The Destination Location Cannot be Accessed
A moving company can only deliver goods if the destination location can be accessed with the tractor trailer. Otherwise a shuttle may become necessary to access your home or business in order to ensure a successful delivery. Anyone can receive the goods. They do not have to be named on the moving contract. It is important for the customer to arrange for receipt prior to delivery in order to prevent the goods from returning to their origin. You may incur additional fees if goods return to their origin.

Additional Tips for Evaluating a Moving Company

Our best tip to evaluate a moving company is to call an Independent Moving Advisor with your questions. Modern Movers is the only mover in our area who has a person on staff employed to help answer your questions. They will not try to sell you our services. Give the Independent Moving Advisor a call with your questions today at 1-800-226-4663.

Another tactic to make sure you're working with a reputable moving company is to ask a few direct questions:

  • Ask how long they have been in business.
  • Ask if they are licensed and insured.
  • Ask if they are a member of the Better Business Bureau and if so, what is their rating.
  • Always ask if the company is a broker or if they subcontract any of their work to outside resources.
Remember, moving companies have their own language. If you are not satisfied with the answers you receive to your questions, talk to a different company. Beware of answers to your questions that you don't understand.

We strongly recommend reviewing estimates from at least three moving companies. Always get the estimates in writing and each estimate should include details about your move. There are three different types of estimates. They are Non-Binding, Binding, and a Not-to-Exceed estimate.

Always ask for a breakdown of the charges listed on the estimate. Inquire about undisclosed fees and unforeseen circumstantial fees such as shuttle fees or storage in transit fees. Always ask about valuation and what coverage is included in the price. Most companies offer extra valuation for your goods in the event they are damaged during the move.

We hope this guide has helped answer some questions about your upcoming move. Remember, you can always send us a message or give our Independent Moving Advisor a call with your questions at 1-800-226-4663.

39 Essential Moving Tips

To help with your upcoming move, Modern Movers & Storage has compiled a list of expert moving tips for the Fort Myers area!

  • Follow Best Packaging Practices
  • The standard move will require boxes, and plenty of them. Be sure to safely secure these packages with strong tape on the top and bottom. Also, be sure to fill boxes to the edge—and not above—for safe stacking.

  • Avoid the Transportation of Perishable Foods
  • If any food spills onto your items during the move, the carrier is not liable for those damages. That's why we suggest you avoid the transportation of perishable foods or open containers.

  • Be Aware of Items That Cannot Be Transported
  • Some of your possessions cannot be transported by the carrier. It's important to be aware of which items you'll need to transport yourself. Those include:

    • Pets
    • Plants
    • Unsealed containers
    • Bleach
    • Oils
    • Antifreeze
    • Matches
    • Paint
    • Firearms
    • Candles
    • Aerosols
    • Flammables
    • Corrosives
    • Caustics
    If you have questions about a specific item, feel free to call us for more information.

  • Check With a Service Expert When Transporting Dryers
  • When moving a dryer, you must secure the motor and disassemble any gas lines or vent hoses. You must also shut off and cap any gas lines. We recommend you work with an expert when disassembling or assembling a gas or electric dryer.

  • Don't Worry About Your Bed
  • If you are worried about dismantling and reassembling your bed, don't be. Our movers will do that for you!

  • Remove Heavy Items From Furniture Drawers
  • You may keep light objects, such as clothing, in furniture drawers. However, you must remove firearms, breakables, liquids, and heavy items. Filing cabinet drawers must be emptied entirely.

  • Protect Your Books
  • Remove all books from portable bookcases and furniture drawers. We recommend packing these items cover-to-cover in small, but strong, cartons. We also suggest that you individually wrap any books of value.

  • Consider Having Your Curtains Cleaned
  • You may opt to send curtains to the cleaners and then have them delivered directly to your new address. If not, you may fold and place these items in cartons, or place them on hangers and in wardrobe cartons.

  • Properly Store Your Canned Goods
  • Pack your canned goods in sturdy, small containers. Each container should store approximately 24 cans (no more than 50 pounds) of food.

  • Safely Wrap Your Clocks
  • To keep your clocks safe, remove any pendulums and secure them to the base of the clock. If you'd like, you can wrap small clocks and place them in moving containers.

  • Secure Your China and Other Fragile Items
  • All fragile items, including china, should be individually wrapped. Pack these items in containers with large objects on bottom and smaller ones on top. We recommend that you store plates vertically, with pads of paper between each item. Also, we recommend you pad the container with three inches of paper on bottom and two inches of paper on top.

  • Leave the Packing of Hanging Clothing to Us
  • We will transport your hanging clothing directly from your closet into our wardrobe containers. Each of these containers holds approximately 25 hangers. Smaller items of clothing should be packed in suitcases, boxes, or small moving cartons.

  • Defrost Your Freezer
  • If you are moving a freezer, we have a few moving tips for you! First, you must defrost it at least two days before the move. Then, to avoid musty odors, allow these containers to air and dry out completely.

    We cannot guarantee the safety of any contents. That's why we recommend you remove all items stored in the freezer.

    We suggest that clients consult an expert when assembling or disassembling an appliance.

  • Craft Your Mirror for Safe Handling
  • Mirrors are among the most fragile objects we transport. To protect these items, consider wrapping them with paper.

    Be aware that our movers will load your mirrors onto the truck, but not if the mirrors are secured to the wall. Furthermore, we will not install any mirrors on the walls of the new Fort Myers residence.

  • Move Your Microwave Carefully
  • Protect the contents of your microwave by removing the turn table and glass tray. Wrap these items and place them in a moving container.

  • Protect Glass Top Furniture
  • To protect your furniture, we recommend boxing or crating any glass tops. Let us know if you are moving a large glass item and we will pad-wrap or box the object.

  • Wrap Glassware Individually
  • Before placing glassware items in the carton, be sure to wrap each item individually. Do not nest these items inside each other or store them on their sides.

  • Seal All Medicine Jars
  • Medicine bottles should be properly sealed and individually wrapped. These items should also be labeled as medicine and stored in cartons.

  • Do Not Roll Your Mattress
  • Our movers will take care to wrap and protect your mattress. Avoid damages to the springs or fabric by covering the mattress with a sheet or cover. Do not try to roll the mattress.

  • Consult With a Clock Company About Your Grandfather Clock
  • Transporting a grandfather clock long-distance? If so, we recommend you consult a clock company.

    For shorter distances, remove any chimes, chains, weights, or pendulums. Then, secure these smaller items to the base of the clock with strong string or wire.

  • Hold On to Valuable Jewelry
  • Protect your valuables, including jewelry, by keeping them in your possession at all times.

  • Use Packing Paper to Keep Dust Off of Linens
  • You may store your bed and table linens in medium-sized cartons. Line these items with packing paper to avoid the accumulation of dust. We recommend that you don't use newspaper as packing paper; the ink may stain the fabric.

  • Wrap Your Lampshades
  • Your lampshades are considered fragile items, so be sure to store them in containers that are properly marked. Wrap them in packing paper only and store them carefully in cartons.

  • Safely Store Your Lamps
  • If your lamps have ornamental tops, remove these items, wrap them, and store them in containers. You may also wrap and store your smaller lamps in containers.

  • Clean Kitchen Utensils Prior to Packing
  • Clean your kitchen utensils and then pack them in cartons—large items on bottom and smaller items on top. To protect these items, you may consider wrapping them individually. You may also wrap and store small appliances (toasters, waffle irons, etc.) in these containers.

  • Wrap All “Knick-Knacks” and Other Small Items
  • If you have any small items or “knick-knacks” that need stored, be sure to wrap them individually first.

  • Drain Your Mower's Gas Tanks
  • Safely transport your mower and gas-powered tools by draining gas tanks and oil reservoirs. Remember, we do not transport any flammable mixtures or items.

  • Pad, Wrap, and Crate Your Pictures and Paintings
  • Pad and wrap all your valuable paintings and pictures before storing them in containers. Smaller items may be wrapped in pillow cases or blankets and stored in carton edges.

  • Have a Service Expert Prepare Your Washer for Moving
  • As with all appliances, your washer should be serviced by a professional prior to the move. You must also secure and check the motor, fasten the tumbler action, and disconnect any hoses. Be sure to also remove any clothing from the agitator barrel.

  • Keep Important Documents on You
  • To best protect your important documents—including legal papers and currency—keep them in your possession.

  • Consult a Florist for Proper Plant Transportation
  • We will not assume responsibility for any living plants. You can either handle those items personally or consult with a florist.

  • Thoroughly Dry Your Refrigerator Prior to Moving
  • As with your freezer, your refrigerator must be thawed and dried before the move. Disconnect any water lines and leave the door open to allow the appliance to air out. Also, be sure to consult with a service expert!

  • Wrap Valuable Tools Separately
  • If you have valuable tools, be sure to wrap them individually. You may also store these items, wrapped or unwrapped, in storage cartons.

  • Seal and Store Toiletries
  • Perfume bottles and cosmetics must be properly sealed before storage. Wrap these items and store them upright in containers.

    Remember, we cannot transport any nail polish removers, aerosols, corrosives, or flammables.

  • Clean Rugs Prior to Moving
  • Our movers will do the heavy lifting and remove your rugs for you. Please be sure to remove any carpet tacks, and have the rug cleaned if it's to be stored.

  • Disconnect All DVD and CD Players From Your TV
  • We are happy to transport your large TVs, but some of these items should be serviced prior to moving. Also, please be sure to disconnect all DVD and CD players.

  • Leave Silverware in Original Containers
  • You may also wrap these items individually, if you'd like. If you are moving a silver chest, we recommend you use padding to avoid scratching.

  • Disconnect Your Stove
  • If you are moving a stove, disconnect it and tightly shut off any gas lines. We can also help with the removal and safe storage of griddles, coils, and deep fryers. You may store any pots and pans in our storage containers.

  • Remove All Stereo Components From the Unit
  • To safely transport your stereo, remove all components and store them properly. These components may include:

    • Small speakers
    • Video/audio components
    • Surround sound systems
    • DVD players
    • Turntables
    • Tape decks
    • CD players
    • Stereo receivers

    You should also store DVDs and CDs separately.If you have any other questions for our moving professionals, or if you need more moving tips, please call today! You can reach us at (800) 226-4663. We're confident your Fort Myers move will prove to be smooth and stress free.