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Text Box:        How To Move Efficiently
First, decide if you can afford to hire professional movers or not. If you decide to use professional movers planning ahead can save you time and money. A little research now will save you from a big headache latter.
Whether you use professional movers or not, get as many moving boxes as you can. You can never have too many boxes. A good moving company will supply you with a few free common sized or used boxes (1.5 cf, 3.0 cf, & 4.5 cf). Except to buy wardrobes, pictures, and bed boxes.
Contact three or four moving companies and get "binding prices" from them. Know the difference between a "binding price" and a "binding estimate", and do not accept bids that say "up to" or "if you have"... these key words generally go hand in hand with binding estimates and automatically invite price changes. Insist on a "binding price" bid.
Make sure you understand all the details of the bid. I good moving company will include everything into the "binding price". Make sure that all packing and materials, fuel and mileage are included in the "binding price", and that the bid states that there are no additional or hidden fees. The last thing you want to do is get hit with hidden charges at the delivery end!
Read Your Rights And Responsibilities When You Move and Ready To Move. This article is a must read for anyone that is considering hiring a moving company. Federal law (49 CFR 375.213) states that any moving company or broker that gives you a relocation estimate, price, or bid must provide you with a copy of this federal publication.
Do most of the packing yourself. Read Packing Tips. This will significantly reduce the cost, as "full packing" is more expensive then "partial packing". Partial packing is when the moving company takes care of the larger glass items, TVs, and beds, and it is usually included in "binding prices". If it is not, it is an add on or hidden fee. Insist that it be included.
Talk to you mover about packing hints (how to pack). A good moving company will give you suggestions on low-cost packing that will maximum the protection of your shipment. Good suggestions are wrapping glass items and dishware in bath towels instead of paper, putting a pillow in the bottom of the box before you pack the glass items and dishware into the box, and marking the box "GLASS" and "KITCHEN". 
When packing other boxes, number them and label them for the room that they belong in. Never write the contents of the box on the box. This invites dishonest people to go through the box if he/she is interested in one of the items listed as contents. Keep a separate pad of paper and list the box numbers and contents of each box on the paper. You keep the pad, so you are the only one that knows the contents of each box, and after the move is done, when you are looking for a specific item, it is easier to find it on your list then looking through several dozen boxes.
Have a toolbox available at both locations. You never know when you may still need to dismantle things to fit them through doorways or stairwells. A good moving company will have the most common tools to disassemble and re-assemble your shipment. You might have to supply that odd tool that came with your bed or table if it is not a common tool.
Get U.S. DOT numbers and ICC-MC numbers on every moving company that you are considering. Take the time to call the United States Department of Transportation (1-202-366-4000) and give them the DOT & MC numbers... ask "how many consumer complaints does this company have?" and "how many federal violations does this company have?". This will give you a good look at what kind of moving company you are dealing with. For instance... one or two... people make mistakes, fix them, learn from it, and move on... five, ten, or more... these are the companies that are no longer making mistakes, they are deliberately screwing their clients. Don't let them screw you! As you read earlier... A little research now will save you from a big headache latter.
Book your move as far in advance as possible. Waiting till the last minute can delay you shipment from arriving to its destination on time. If you mover guarantees delivery dates, get it in writing. A good moving company will not only put it in writing, but they will put a $ amount on it if the shipment is not on time.
Never buy moving insurance from a moving company... they are movers, not insurance agents. Insurance (by federal law) is set at $0.60 per pound per article. $0.60 per pound per article is not allot of insurance... but it is free, so it is highly recommended that you purchase additional insurance... better to have it and not need it then to need it and not have it. Most moving companies like to sell moving insurance to you. They buy it online from an insurance company that specializes in moving insurance... add 10% to 15% to the cost, and sell it to you. Make the call yourself and save your hard earned money. You will also get the insurance that you need, not just whatever some person decides for you. Its like car insurance... would let a stranger purchase your car insurance for you? A good moving company will explain this to you. 
Never give a moving company a deposit for them to put you on their calendar, or for them to "book the job". Some companies like to charge $150.00 or more to put you on their calendar. You do not know them, so why would you give a stranger money for them to promise to work for you? And if you have to change move dates or cancel your move, you may have a hard time getting your deposit back... if you can get it back at all. A good moving company will not charge you to schedule your move... even if the amount does go towards the final cost. However, it is common for moving companies to collect 50% of the move cost on the day they pick up your shipment, and the remaining 50% on the day they deliver you shipment. A good moving company will collect 100% at the delivery end.
On the moving day, make sure to get a copy of everything you sign! Let me say that again... get a copy of everything you sign!
Finally, I said it before and I'll say it again...  A little research now will save you from a big headache latter.
! ! ! Don't Get Scammed ! ! ! 
Let me say it again . . .  A Little Research Now Can Save You From A Big Headache Latter