Apartments.com has a link to submit your move details to moving companies, and this got me contacts from six of them. I'll go into detail some other time, maybe, but when the smoke cleared I went with an LA-based company which was one of four that had a clean record with the Better Business Bureau. http://www.BBB.org is an excellent place to look up any kind of company.
I need to put in a special plug for Vector Moving & Storage, the local Mayflower affiliate, because they were the only company which sent an actual human being to the apartment to give an accurate estimate. Bob is congenial, articulate, professional and knowledgeable, and my cats liked him too. They even have a video CD which was very well-done for an in-house effort. I wanted very much to hire them, but their hourly rate was 40% above the next highest bidder.
I chose a company called NorthStar, because they were the first BBB member with a good record who responded with a reasonable price. I also liked the fact that their web site said to check with the BBB before considering any mover.
I delayed too long to get boxes online, but the prices are about the same s U-Haul anyway. Got what I think will be enough for the move, along with the associated goodies like tape and wrapping stuff. $150 bucks. yikes.
The project for the weekend is to consolidate all my electronics junk, throw out some obsolete cables and cards, bring a bunch of stuff to Goodwill that I haven't used in 3 years, and box up everything else I don't need on a daily basis.
Plan A is to sign the papers and get the key next Friday morning, put in the phone with the answering machine, then go to work. After work I'll bring over the cats and their stuff, the computer and most of the contents of the fridge. That will probably take 2 trips.