Home Forums Living Spaces Bedrooms Yet Another Moving Post

This topic contains 30 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  Vivace 7 years, 8 months ago.

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  • #159340

    Vivace
    Member

    Me, my girlfriend and our pets are going to be moving from the south to the north in a little less than two months. We’re planning to sell almost all our furniture (most of it was either cheap or secondhand; we’re keeping the mattress because it was expensive, but unfortunately it’s also large) and moving with the “u-box” service from U-Haul. Has anybody used them before? It seems easier than renting a truck and towing the car and cheaper than paying actual movers.

    What’s your best advice on what to keep and what to replace cheaply on the other end? Best packing tips? Anything you wish somebody had told you before you did something like this?

    Also, anybody in Portland, OR? 😉

  • #187628

    genny
    Member

    Yet Another Moving Post

    Think about the cost of transporting each large item. It is not likely to be worth it.
    This is a golden opportunity to “clean like you are moving”, because you are!

    My daughter brought back so much stuff from college that was not worth it. For what it cost her, she could have purchased all new.

  • #187630

    snosie
    Member

    Yet Another Moving Post

    I read a good article recently about moving – the two suggestions were ‘label boxes with more detail than ‘kitchen” – cause you’ll not know where the glasses are etc

    Secondly, lots of people like an unpacking service – I’ve never used one (an expense I couldn’t justify), but they like it cause it means they sleep in their bed, have food for b’fast etc – someone sorts out those little details, in a day or less often.

    Obviously, the less you have the easier it is!

    Simple tips (from experience)
    – put ALL like with like
    – book in small boxes (they are HEAVY!)
    – remember the essentials (ie, pack a suitcase like a holiday, but with extras, like toliet paper and snacks and things you’ll need and won’t be able to find – a water bottle, a knife (swiss army?) etc)
    – scan as much paperwork as possible and toss the excess (check regulations in your areas)
    – start EARLY, a little each day after work

    Best of luck

  • #187667

    Vivace
    Member

    Yet Another Moving Post

    @genny: We’re definitely trying to get rid of as much as possible. We’re not taking anything that doesn’t fit in the storage box or the car, that’s for sure.

    @snosie: I can’t imagine using an unpacking service – we’ve only got a one bedroom apartment between us as it is. XD Starting early is GREAT advice. The only issue I’m running into is where to start! We sorted through the DVDs last night, and I’ll probably do our little collection of Christmas decor tonight, but there’s a lot of things I feel like I can’t or shouldn’t pack yet. What do you recommend for long-range packing?

  • #187672

    Nithy
    Member

    Yet Another Moving Post

    Here’s an article from someone who used the PODS for moving, and was less than thrilled with the experience.

    Note: this is an article from Cracked, so a lot of the language will be offensive.

    http://www.cracked.com/blog/5-awful-things-nobody-tells-you-about-moving/

  • #187677

    Vivace
    Member

    Yet Another Moving Post

    @Nithy: Okay, that was actually pretty hilarious. So now we’re discussing installing a trailer hitch on the car and renting an 8×5 trailer instead. Anybody tried that and have horror stories for me? XD

  • #187682

    Yet Another Moving Post

    Vivace – my moving story. It was the night after returning from our $500 honeymoon, because we were broke. We had packed up everything I owned that we could from my parents house and loaded it into a U-haul trailer (either the smallest one they had or second smallest)and attached it to my trailer hitch on my Corolla.
    We started on the 300 mile journey to our new apartment. Car was acting up, but still moving. About 60 miles from our destination, our car would barely move. We ended up driving on the shoulder of the Interstate at 25 miles an hour in first gear. We didn’t want to stop and call AAA because they wouldn’t be able to tow the trailer, just the car. We definitely did not want to leave the trailer by the side of the freeway and we were not going to split up, one with the car and one with the trailer. We had just seen the movie Breakdown the night before!
    So what normally took us 4.5 hours took over 8 hours. My husband said if we made it we would never buy anything but Toyotas again. We got to our apartment at 11:30 at night and still had to load everything ( up 2 flights of stairs!) so I could get the trailer back the next day and get the car repaired. Turns out we had driven 300 miles with only 2 of 4 spark plugs working and a bad distributor.

  • #187693

    Rosa
    Member

    Yet Another Moving Post

    Vivace, I moved to Minnesota from southern Indiana with a 10 year old Dodge Dynasty pulling a trailer about that size. It was heavy as shit because half of what my boyfriend at the time owned was bike frames/parts. I had to go real, real slow on the hills in eastern Wisconsin.

    Depending where you’re moving from, you might hit mountains heading to Seattle; I have driven to Seattle from the midwest once, and Denver multiple times, and every time we see some horrible near calamity – a boat trailer with one wheel missing and the axle sparking on a big downhill with no pullasides, or a car driven down into the truck emergency offramp because its trailer was too much for its brakes. I would not want to haul a trailer across the Rockies.

    I would discard everything you can, except musical instruments and personally loved items. Almost everything is cheaper to replace than to ship long distance and I hear Portland is great for thrifting/dumpstering furniture. And if you pull a trailer, try to keep the dense stuff out – sometimes book rate makes it cheaper to mail books than to pack them, as weird as that is (I moved back from the east coast by mail, except what fit in my suitcase – I wouldn’t do a computer that way but it’s ideal for books.)

  • #187705

    Vivace
    Member

    Yet Another Moving Post

    @cheesehead4ever: Definitely going to get the car checked out before we try anything. XD

    @Rosa: I priced it, and even buying a hitch, using a trailer is still 1/2 the cost of our mattress. I might be able to replace it for somewhat less than we paid for the current one (which is nearly new) but I have neck and spine issues and can’t really sleep on a cheap mattress anymore. I think the trailer would be mostly the mattress, folding bookshelves, and maybe the sewing machine.

  • #187726

    Rosa
    Member

    Yet Another Moving Post

    Those things would make a pretty light load, especially if you can offload most of the books. And you’re right, a good mattress is worth moving – I never owned one until a few years ago so I wasn’t thinking about that. Sewing machines are expensive to replace.

    I’m jealous of your move! The Pacific Northwest is lovely and the I really love packing up to move and having an easy excuse to shed a lot of crap. We’ve been stationary so long, we’re the place everyone else unloads their stuff on.

  • #187733

    Yet Another Moving Post

    Rosa – it was the hills of Wisconsin that did us in with the trailer! My husband mentioned that even though we had each driven that stretch umpteen times, neither one of us had noticed how hilly it was, especially between Eau Claire and Minnesota!

  • #187743

    Rosa
    Member

    Yet Another Moving Post

    It’s crazy, isn’t it, Cheesehead? Luckily we did it at, like, 3 in the morning (rolled into Minneapolis around 5:30 or 6 am, in time for breakfast at the hippie cafe, and was never so glad to be home in my life. Even though I’d never lived here before.)

  • #187777

    Vivace
    Member

    Yet Another Moving Post

    @Rosa: Yeah, the books are going to be hard. I’m replacing the ones I can with ebooks, and selling a lot of them. I’ll make a note to try to minimize the mountain roads on the trip. XD

  • #187792

    Ella
    Member

    Yet Another Moving Post

    Books first! Start packing your books right now, and be brave about letting go of books that are no longer relevant to your life. Go to markets and liquor stores for wine boxes, which are small and have the sturdiest bottoms. Be sure to get uniform sizes for stacking stability.

    Use towels and clothes to wrap breakable items. Or wrap in papertowels that you can re-use for cleaning on the other end.

    Label every box on top and all four sides.

    If you have any furniture with drawers, remove the drawers and fill them with heavy items to be stacked on the floor of the U-box. Then fill the drawerless spaces with pillows or clothes.

  • #187809

    Gypsie
    Member

    Yet Another Moving Post

    So here is the story of my last move…

    DH and I are military and usually, the military pays for a moving company to come pack your stuff, load it up and drive it to your new duty location. This time (last summer) we were waiting for the moving company to come look at how much stuff we have to move when we got the call. No one is coming! We were one week from leaving. One week from a new renter moving into our house. Did I mention that I was 6 months pregnant? Or that my husband had just herniated two disks in his lower back? How about the fact that we had two vehicles to move and 4 animals? Did I mention that we were one week from departure?

    With one week to pack, clean and leave we sprang into action. As much as a broken man and pregnant woman can. We rented the largest U-haul we could and a car trailer. We sold our little travel trailer. Our original plan was to live in the travel trailer during the try and until we had a house. But I wasn’t comfortable towing the trailer as DH was going to drive the U-haul and tow my car. I was driving our big truck with all of the animals. Then DH took the rest of the week to pack. We bribed our co-workers to pack the truck. We hired a company to come clean the house. And then we drove. We drove for days. I had to pee constantly. DH needed to stretch his poor back and the animals needed breaks from the car.

    The best decision we made: Once we got here and found a house, we hired some guys to unload the truck. We found them on the u-haul website, movinghelp.com . You pre-pay on the website. If you are happy with the work, you give the worker bees the code and they get paid. It was completely worth it. I sat in the garage and told them where to put what.

    Now, I second using smaller boxes as boxes get heavy fast. Take about a week’s worth of clothes, toiletries, and anything else you might need with you in the car. Take breaks as you are driving. Clearly label everything! Put the things that you might need first closest to the door of the trailer.

  • #187816

    Parsifal
    Member

    Yet Another Moving Post

    I’ll be moving 200 miles in about 3 weeks. We have already downsized as much as DW is willing to do and our first estimate for a full service move (we just pack the boxes) came in at over $2,000! Still, I think we will do it because our last move cost over half that just to rent a 53′ truck and I was almost incapacitated for weeks after. To add insult to injury, we paid the driver under the table to help us load and he only carried a few things and still managed to break something. Now, we’ve added at least a ton (literally) of large furniture to the mix.

    In the past, we have rented a U-haul and hired local laborers to do the unpacking. If you are willing to coordinate this service yourself, you can save quite a bit of money. On the downside, some of our stuff arrived in pieces and we had zero ability to track down whodunnit.

    My advice is save up for a move whenever possible and hire as much of a full service crew as you can pay for. There’s nothing like paying movers to carry boxes at $100 an hour to encourage you to declutter!

  • #187877

    Vivace
    Member

    Yet Another Moving Post

    @Ella: I went by the BevMo but I couldn’t find any boxes that were all the same size. Maybe it’s something to do with local tastes? It was a little frustrating. I’m probably going to go with fruit boxes from the grocery instead, they’re more likely to be the same size.

    @Gypsie: That sounds more like a comedy film than real life – I’m glad you guys made it there in one piece! We’re definitely sticking to banker’s boxes and fruit boxes, nothing bigger.

    @Parsifal: I’d love to go full-service, but my girlfriend’s a grad student and this is relatively short notice so we’re a little tighter than I’d like to be. Where did you find your movers? I’ve heard such horror stories about full service/freight shipping ending in tons of broken stuff.

    I’ve started blogging about my decluttering/packing process. I don’t know if anybody would actually be interested in reading it, but if you are, I’m here: http://coloredtabs.wordpress.com/

  • #187887

    lucy1965
    Member

    Yet Another Moving Post

    @Vivace I don’t have any moving advice beyond lightening your load as much as possible (it’s been 10 years since I did it), but I’m jealous of your move to Portland: I was there in March and loved it, and my husband and I are hoping to get there ourselves in the next year or so. What neighborhood are you moving to?

  • #187899

    Vivace
    Member

    Yet Another Moving Post

    @lucy1965 We don’t actually have any idea yet! I’m waiting to see if an office transfer is an option, and if it is I’ll be looking near whatever office I end up at. XD

  • #187901

    Gypsie
    Member

    Yet Another Moving Post

    I almost forgot the most important piece of advice for any move!

    Renters/homeowners insurance! If you have it, do NOT get rid of it before moving. It will cover your possessions during the actual move! So if something does get broken, etc. you are covered.

  • #187932

    Vivace
    Member

    Yet Another Moving Post

    @Gypsie: Thanks! I don’t think I would have thought of that.

    I’m looking around the apartment tonight and kind of freaking out. I spent a few hours going through old sketchbooks and saving the handful of decent art in each, and making arrangements to get rid of most of my painting supplies. I managed to pare down both my file box and my old journals box enough to combine the two, and that should progress!

    But I still have no idea how we’re going to pull this off. I feel really overwhelmed when I look around at everything. I know it’s hard to see what’s really going – for one thing, all the furniture’s getting sold, so the vast majority of what’s taking up space will be going. It’s still hard to see there from here, though.

    Guess I’ll just keep going, one box at a time…

  • #187934

    Parsifal
    Member

    Yet Another Moving Post

    Agreed Gypsie! I’m in the process of transferring my renter’s insurance now, and if it won’t cover the move I will be purchasing additional insurance.

    I work with a guy whose moving truck crashed and burned during an interstate move. Fortunately, his homeowner’s insurance covered the loss.

    More moving advice I wish I had gotten before the last time:

    1. Make sure everything has a definite place in the truck BEFORE the movers arrive. You might think you can fit everything else in the car, but you will end up leaving behind things you don’t want to throw away. You too could enjoy the sight of the apartment groundskeeper making off with cookware, clothes, unopened bottles of champagne etc. as fast as you can throw them out…

    2. Take your car to a professional mechanic and do any necessary maintenance before the trip. I just decided what the heck, I’ll get my tires rotated like I should, and the mechanic found that I was missing a lug nut. How does that happen?

    3. Pay for the full service move even if you have to charge it. Sure it costs twice as much, but unless you happen to know several large individuals to help you carry a sofa up three flights of stairs, you’ll be happier when your stuff arrives in one piece.

  • #187945

    Rosa
    Member

    Yet Another Moving Post

    One box at a time is the way to go, Vivace. You can do it!

    If you know what size truck you’re getting, you can stack the boxes as you finish them, and then measure the pile so you know if you have to purge more. I know that when we rented a storage unit so we could stage our house (just before the market crashed; we ended up not selling) it sounded really small, 4×6, but since it was just for stacking, not for living in, we never did even fill it half full.

  • #187970

    Vivace
    Member

    Yet Another Moving Post

    @Parsifal: Thanks for the advice about getting the car checked! I plan to do that.

    I really think full-service movers would be overkill for us, plus my personal worst moving experience was a full-service move – stuff arrived broken, the movers demanded an extra $1k before they would deliver the stuff, and so on. It was a huge clusterf.

    At least if I’m moving my own stuff, the only one who can screw it up is me, you know?

    @Rosa: We’re looking at an 8×5 trailer or the 8×5 ubox, so at least I only have one size to worry about. I alternate between thinking it’ll be plenty and it’ll be way too small, depending on my mood. XD

  • #187993

    Gypsie
    Member

    Yet Another Moving Post

    When we moved ourselves across country, before we had a house we put our stuff in storage. We lived in a Red Roof Inn for 5 weeks. Once we had our house, we had to get stuff from storage to the house. By this point, I was 7 months pregnant and it was August.

    We used the U-haul website http://www.movinghelp.com/and hired three guys for 5 hours for about $250. It was our responsibility to rent the truck and drive it but they loaded the truck from the storage unit. Followed us to the new house and unloaded the truck. I just sat in the garage and directed the location of items. The 3 guys took less than 3 hours for the entire job! They were awesome! And I would definitely recommend that. You prepay on the site. The site gives you a code that you give to the workers after they have completed the job to your satisfaction.

    You might want to check the site out for loading and unloading.

  • #188007

    Yet Another Moving Post

    Advice for putting stuff in storage! Factor the temperature into your plans. We had almost all of our belongings in a storage unit while we built a home. All of our photos etc. went to my in-laws house, but never thought about the few snow globes we owned. They froze solid and then shattered.

  • #188056

    Vivace
    Member

    Yet Another Moving Post

    @Gypsie: I’ll definitely check it out; I think we’re more likely to want it on the other end, so I’ll bookmark that site on my phone.

    @cheesehead4ever: I’d definitely be more worried about leaving stuff in storage here in the desert than on the other end – I’m not planning for anything to get stored more than a few weeks at most. But thanks for the advice!

  • #189647

    Vivace
    Member

    Yet Another Moving Post

    @Anita: Thanks for the idea! Since we’ve moving a long way, I don’t think we could borrow a bunch of plastic totes, but we do have a half-dozen or so we’re planning to use for fragile things. My girlfriend is a big believer in using identically-sized boxes with handles – she swears by banker’s boxes, which we can store flat and are quite sturdy for cardboard – but I think plastic Rubbermaid totes would have the same selling points plus being even sturdier.

    I’m down to just under a month before the move. Our biggest triumph: My girlfriend and I are both total bookworms, but I managed to get all my books into ONE BOX and she’s down to TWO, plus the two cookbooks that get packed with the kitchen stuff. (Last time she counted during a move she had SEVENTEEN and I had about the same, so this is HUGE for us.)

  • #189696

    Rosa
    Member

    Yet Another Moving Post

    That is huge, Vivace. You can totally make it work!

    I actually prefer banker boxes to totes, because they aren’t brittle & they give the stuff inside some padding. Rubbermaid can fail catastrophically, but cardboard fails kind of…squishily. Unless it gets wet, of course.

    I had a boyfriend who kept pretty much all of his belongings in sturdy plastic shipping boxes, the kind they use to ship small heavy things (like bike parts) to stores – they are uniform, stack well, and he got them free from an employer that went out of business. When he wasn’t using them, or moving, they were the support for his futon mattress – the only other furniture he owned was a milk crate bedside table, and a floor-to-ceiling pole to hang his bikes up. Very minimalist.

    The bed was kind of lumpy, though.

  • #189918

    Vivace
    Member

    Yet Another Moving Post

    Well, this just got a lot easier and a lot more complicated at the same time.

    My girlfriend and I were talking about furniture and how much space some things take up and we decided we’re not going to bother with a pod OR a trailer OR movers – either it fits in the car (or the roof unit we’re going to buy) or it’s not coming. All the furniture is getting sold. We’re having a party to let our friends go through our apartment and take anything they find useful.

    It’s really amazing how much less stressed I was after making that decision! I thought it would be harder, but it takes so many complicating things out of the equation, means we can find a furnished sublet without having to worry about storage, and will save money on gas during the drive.

    I’m still kind of scared witless but at least it’s one less thing to be scared about.

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