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HELP with arranging a state to state move (not local)?
Old 05-27-2019, 08:34 AM   #1
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HELP with arranging a state to state move (not local)?

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We're trying to arrange to move all our stuff from here to 750 miles south. We thought about Pods, U-Haul, etc., but we're (too old, lazy & bad at packing so) looking for a full service move - packing, loading, transit, unloading. All our prior moves were arranged (and paid) for by former Megacorp, so I've never had to make arrangements myself.

Background So Far If Needed: We plan to leave behind about 2/3rd of our furniture, so boxes will be a disproportionate part of our "household." We have a 4 bed/2.5 bath house, but our cuft has to be lower than normal due to much less furniture?

I went online and filled in some basic info, and not surprisingly I got lots of replies. They all asked me to fill out a complete inventory of non-boxed items. I did that and got lots of quotes - they varied wildly ($1900 to $4000) and said nothing about packing anything. So I replied to each and said we'd want our stuff packed too. Got new quotes, higher ($4900-$7000), only one said "packing" and they all seemed to take wild guesses as to how many boxes we'd need for stuff. One even asked me to tell him how many boxes we'd have - I wouldn't know how to estimate that accurately. One guessed 50 boxes, another said we use 8-12 boxes/room. One said "no worries" if you have less than 50 boxes we'll reduce the price. I take that to mean if there are more than 50 boxes the price will increase, though he didn't say that of course.

I get the distinct impression they float teaser quotes, and then the actual move will cost (a lot) more once they show up.

In the old days, movers sent out an estimator who looked over all our stuff, and developed a firm quote. I'd really be more comfortable with that, maybe no one does it that way any more?
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Old 05-27-2019, 09:12 AM   #2
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We moved and DW hired a direct mover that International Van Lines suggested. The only thing international about these folks was their international mafia connections.

We had cashier checks for payment, half up front, half on delivery. Yeah, the last half had to be cash if we wanted our stuff. I think the thief increased the price by 1000 too. I'd really suggest reading the reviews on the movers carefully. We left a review on these folks, however it was somehow disputed by the mover. I learned that when another person who had the same problem contacted me about my review.

The entire experience was horrible. Many small items were stolen by one of the helpers. I never thought someone would steal heirlooms to pawn for a buck or so apiece.

I'd rethink the pods approach and hire people to pack for you. Good luck.
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Old 05-27-2019, 09:57 AM   #3
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We moved and DW hired a direct mover that International Van Lines suggested. The only thing international about these folks was their international mafia connections.

We had cashier checks for payment, half up front, half on delivery. Yeah, the last half had to be cash if we wanted our stuff. I think the thief increased the price by 1000 too. I'd really suggest reading the reviews on the movers carefully. We left a review on these folks, however it was somehow disputed by the mover. I learned that when another person who had the same problem contacted me about my review.

The entire experience was horrible. Many small items were stolen by one of the helpers. I never thought someone would steal heirlooms to pawn for a buck or so apiece.

I'd rethink the pods approach and hire people to pack for you. Good luck.
Thanks.

Pods (the brand at least) are not available in our zip code. DW is looking into alternatives like UPack and UHaul. Then we'd have to find someone to pack.
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Old 05-27-2019, 10:24 AM   #4
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We always pack our own stuff. It costs a fortune to hire that. We always get a couple of quotes and they come to the house and look at our stuff. Never had a bad experience.
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Old 05-27-2019, 10:35 AM   #5
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Thanks.

Pods (the brand at least) are not available in our zip code. DW is looking into alternatives like UPack and UHaul. Then we'd have to find someone to pack.

Never used Pods myself but had a friend that just moved and he stated the Pods estimate he was given was more expensive then the full service moving company he used. This was an in state move of ~250 miles.
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Old 05-27-2019, 10:37 AM   #6
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We moved from Houston,TX area to Grand Junction, CO back in 2016. Prior employer offered moving service to pensioners, but it looked like just a middle man service agency when I looked into it, so I went it alone and scheduled it myself. I remembered my prior corporate moves using Mayflower, so I called the local rep or did it online (can't remember for sure). Anyway, they scheduled a local representative to come out and inventory the house and give me an estimate. My estimate was around $7,600 and included a few wood frames for mirrors (etc), boxing pictures, loading truck, transit, and unloading truck. We packed/unpacked ourselves, although they did provide all the boxes we wanted for a modest delivery fee ($50). Also, they charged us for packing paper on same delivery, (although their paper prices were much cheaper than want I paid at Lowes when we ran out of their paper). Our weight was less than estimated, so they credited my CC about $800 in the end. Surprising everything went very smooth. I too had reservation about the hostage pricing you hear about with moving companies, which is why I just paid to go with a major moving service. All of paperwork letterheads showed Mayflower, although the truck trailer had a big United emblem on its side. The oddest thing about the move was that the same three folks (driver and two helpers) both loaded and unloaded the truck at each end (??).
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Old 05-27-2019, 11:08 AM   #7
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We decided to pack our own, mainly to take the opportunity to further purge our valuables cr*p.

We also struggled with finding a company who would send an estimator. I just wasn't comfortable with the phone or online bids. We finally found one, who brought the boxes with him so we could get started.

I think we paid approximately $2500 for an in town move, and then had to pay an extra $150 for them to to hold the trailers overnight because we couldn't take possession until the day after we needed to be out of our old house. So we were homeless for a night and felt fortunate to be able to afford a hotel.

The movers made a big deal out of how much more stuff we had than they'd anticipated, and how it took so much longer, but they would stand by the estimate they gave us. DH gave them a tip, which I didn't realize was a 'thing', but it is. We also provided them with cold beverages because it was hotter than Hades the days we moved.

Good luck. Make a pact the day of to not kill one another. Lots of deep, cleansing breaths...
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Old 05-27-2019, 11:24 AM   #8
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We recently moved 1200 miles. We packed almost all items ourselves which was much more work than expected and very time consuming. We moved very little furniture, only lanai furniture, and breakfast area table and chairs. No living room or bedroom furniture was moved. We still had enough "stuff" to fill a large two car garage.

We initally intended to rent a UHaul truck but once we saw the amount of "stuff" we had we were afraid we would not be able to pack it tight enough to fit it all in their largest truck. We called several moving companies on line but did not trust that they would maintain a price site unseen. We finally settled on Allied who came to the house to give us a firm quote.

Allied wrapped up all the larger items too big for boxes. The brought in two contractors to help the Allied truck driver load it all into one of those large semi truck/trailers. Our "stuff" only filled up the front raised deck in the trailer.

About 10 days later Allied showed up at our new home and with two more local laborers they unloaded everything anywhere in the house we specified. We have been here about a month now. Only damage was a partially crushed hose on a canister vacuum and a missing stick vacuum. All of the items we packed were undamaged by the move.

We paid a premium using Allied but we saved a lot by packing most ourselves. I think we moved 17,000 lbs 1200 miles and our cost was $4,875.
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Old 05-27-2019, 11:40 AM   #9
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The good thing about packing yourself, if you have the time, is that you can carefully wrap fragile items and label boxes with EXACTLY what's in them. We did this during the past move. The larger items were packed and loaded by the movers.

Box inventory is pretty critical when you have 40 or 50 boxes to unpack at the new location.
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Old 05-27-2019, 11:44 AM   #10
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My last interstate move was 23 years ago, so I can't really help with moving companies.

However - - I do know that apparently most people have 100-200 boxes or more when they move a 3 bedroom home, assuming around 2000 sf. When I moved my 1600 sf home across town, after decluttering 3 times in a row, I still had 52 boxes and people on the "General Moving Issues" subform on city-data thought that was a very low number of boxes.

You are probably tired of hearing this (I know I was!), but honestly just get rid of everything that can be replaced. Keep the nostalgic items but try to move as "light" as you can. It's hard to declutter that much, but it is SO worth it. Personally I haven't missed a thing and wish that I had decluttered more than I did. Plus, the less stuff you have, the less it will cost to have it packed.

Also, despite the cost, I applaud your intention of having the moving company pack your stuff. It's just smart for those over 55 or so who can afford it, to have that done for you. Even though I had been lifting a total of over 20 tons three times a week on the weight machines at the gym (and felt like I was in great shape and very physically fit, therefore), packing and maneuvering around all those half packed boxes for weeks completely did me in at age 67.
Here's what I said about my experience, a year after my move:
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To me the biggest negative in my move was that I tried to do too much. I was 67 when I moved and was thinking like a 25-year-old; I packed everything all by myself and that was too much for me both physically and mentally. I had some really bad falls as a consequence, broke several toes, had a head injury, threw my back out very badly, got stung by bees which I am allergic to because I wasn't looking, well, I could go on and on because I had more than a dozen bad injuries due to over-doing. Also I badly needed cataract surgery and didn't know it at the time, so I was over-doing while half blind. I spent the past year recovering. If I had it to do all over again, I'd tell the movers to pack everything. Then I'd pack just one suitcase, go to the Extended Stay America, and continue my normal life there until everything was moved (unpacking was a breeze in comparison with packing). My suggestion is that you spend the money to get someone to help you, and that would lessen the work load that your DH is concerned about.
Unpacking was much easier for me, because there isn't any rush or deadline plus it is faster and more fun. Unpacking took me 12 days although I really wasn't rushing at all. Packing, on the other hand, took almost twice that long and I worked like a dog at it.

I agree with Aja8888 - - an inventory of what is in each box, or at least the main things in each, is tremendously helpful. I kept that sort of inventory on my laptop. I put a number on each box in giant numerals, along with the room where it was destined in big letters, with a wide tipped black marker. Like, "#18 - - Kitchen".

The room specification helped the movers figure out where to put the boxes at my new home; they are FAST and I would not have had time to tell them where to put each box. I put the box number and main contents in Excel on my laptop inventory file for the move. When unpacking, if I needed something I could just check my inventory on the laptop, and unpack THAT box next.
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Old 05-27-2019, 01:02 PM   #11
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Maybe we'll just start packing stuff ourselves, a lot of it we could live without for a month or more. Then once we have a handle on how much stuff, we could use a (generic) pod or a moving company. If we find we aren't able to pack everything ourselves once we get well into it, we find someone local who can do the rest.

The other concern with (generic) pods is having blankets/quilts for furniture to keep pieces from hitting each other and to keep stuff a little cleaner. I know the pod outfits will supply boxes, tape, etc. but I hadn't noticed if they had quilts for furniture. I'll look more...
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Old 05-27-2019, 01:14 PM   #12
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The other concern with (generic) pods is having blankets/quilts for furniture to keep pieces from hitting each other and to keep stuff a little cleaner. I know the pod outfits will supply boxes, tape, etc. but I hadn't noticed if they had quilts for furniture. I'll look more...
Will bubble wrap serve this purpose? You have the luxury of time (well, some anyway) and while not as durable as quilts it is a lot cheaper and can be bought in a variety of thicknesses from multiple sources.
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Old 05-27-2019, 01:38 PM   #13
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Will bubble wrap serve this purpose? You have the luxury of time (well, some anyway) and while not as durable as quilts it is a lot cheaper and can be bought in a variety of thicknesses from multiple sources.
Not sure, but DW and I threw out three bedspreads (one quiltish) and a slew of towels yesterday, all went into the 95 gal trash can first. We just emptied out the trash can on our front lawn and took all the spreads and towels back out to use as packing. I am sure neighbors were WTH if they saw us!

We have about 25 pieces of wall art, the towels will come in very handy there.

The spreads will be good for furniture. And it seems like a huge waste, but large (disposable quilts) are available from U-Haul for $15 each. Another option if push comes to shove.

And they also sell plastic bags sized for mattresses, rolled rugs, etc.

This might work...thanks for all the great ideas folks.
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Old 05-27-2019, 02:26 PM   #14
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check your local Goodwill or thrift store for cheaper quilts & bed spreads.
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Old 05-27-2019, 02:33 PM   #15
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Not sure, but DW and I threw out three bedspreads (one quiltish) and a slew of towels yesterday, all went into the 95 gal trash can first. We just emptied out the trash can on our front lawn and took all the spreads and towels back out to use as packing. I am sure neighbors were WTH if they saw us!

We have about 25 pieces of wall art, the towels will come in very handy there.

The spreads will be good for furniture. And it seems like a huge waste, but large (disposable quilts) are available from U-Haul for $15 each. Another option if push comes to shove.

And they also sell plastic bags sized for mattresses, rolled rugs, etc.

This might work...thanks for all the great ideas folks.
Re my earlier post regarding Allied, my cost including an unlimited number of moving blankets and big elastic bands to wrap up all items that were not in boxes. Allied truck was independently owned by the driver who was very helpful in making our move as smooth as possible. We also used many old blankets and bed spreads and towels for packing inside boxes. Our experience was that bubble wrap and packing paper was very expensive, packing boxes not so much. For larger art work that hangs on the wall we used un-assembled shipping boxes. Tape up the edges and they are like a big envelop. We probably packed a total of 20 pictures that way and not a single one was damaged during the move.
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Old 05-27-2019, 02:34 PM   #16
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Check with ABF Freight. We used them a couple years ago for a move from Calif to Florida. They drop off pod-like containers that you have a couple days to fill. We took our time filling them up. Then, you call and they send a truck to haul, and store at you new location until you are ready for delivery. We hired a local company to unload them for about $150. It was much cheaper than pods and very accommodating.
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Old 05-27-2019, 02:37 PM   #17
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Check with ABF Freight. We used them a couple years ago for a move from Calif to Florida. They drop off pod-like containers that you have a couple days to fill. We took our time filling them up. Then, you call and they send a truck to haul, and store at you new location until you are ready for delivery. We hired a local company to unload them for about $150. It was much cheaper than pods and very accommodating.
Yep, they're the ones who are associated with U-Pack mentioned above. Thanks.
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Old 05-27-2019, 04:13 PM   #18
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I would check Clark Howard’s website. He had a bit on a recent podcast on how to find movers who give firm bids versus the horror story operators (bad estimates, delays, etc.)
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Old 05-27-2019, 04:26 PM   #19
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The good thing about packing yourself, if you have the time, is that you can carefully wrap fragile items and label boxes with EXACTLY what's in them. Box inventory is pretty critical when you have 40 or 50 boxes to unpack at the new location.
I would strongly recommend not putting detailed labels on the boxes themselves. That just tells thieves or potential thieves what is in each box.

Instead, my wife and I put our own serial numbers on every box, and then make our own detailed inventories of each box by its serial number. This is a lot of work on the packing end, but it makes unpacking much easier because we can find things very easily.
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Old 05-27-2019, 04:33 PM   #20
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I would strongly recommend not putting detailed labels on the boxes themselves. That just tells thieves or potential thieves what is in each box.

Instead, my wife and I put our own serial numbers on every box, and then make our own detailed inventories of each box by its serial number. This is a lot of work on the packing end, but it makes unpacking much easier because we can find things very easily.
Things that are very valuable (to you) need to be packed and moved yourself. I think it comes down to common sense as to what you allow to be packed, kept, and delivered by the folks you hire.
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