Tighten the belt in 2010

Here is a tip on how to move with lower costs and less hassle:

Hire a quality mover: If you hire help, get at least three price quotes and do homework. Seek recommendations and investigate a company's reputation with the Better Business Bureau (, and possibly the paid-membership site Angie's List ( Check a company's complaint history at the federal government site

For interstate moves, a company's ProMover certification with the American Moving & Storage Association is a good sign. The organization started in January 2009 to screen movers based on seven criteria. It kicked out some 220 of 3,100 members during the past two years because they didn't measure up, spokesman John Bisney said. See "Find a ProMover" at

Look for two things: A full-service mover should visit your home in person, not give a quote over the phone or online, and should provide a written estimate, experts say.