Moving: Tips for Finding the Best Mover for You

In November of 2004, my husband found a great job opportunity in a different state. It was going to be a wonderful promotion for him and it meant much more money for our family. So, after much discussion, he accepted the position. He then packed up a few of his belongings and moved 950 miles away. This left me at home with a two year old and a seven month old. This also left me to pack our entire house, alone. Did I mention that I had a two year old and an infant? It wasn’t an easy task. My husband’s new employer would only pay us $2,000 in moving expenses. That wasn’t enough to have a professional moving company come and pack for us, and load our things. We were left to rent our own truck, load it, and somehow drive it halfway across the country.

Let’s cut to nine months down the road, after we are settled into our new city in our new state, far from all of our friends and family. My husband discovered that no amount of extra money in the world was going to make him like his new job, his new boss, or anything about his new position. He was miserable! So, rather than looking for a new job in our new state, we decided that he might as well look for a new job closer to our home state. It was our intention to only be away for a few years, so we decided to just try to get back a lot sooner rather than later. My husband was quickly offered a wonderful management position one state away from where we had originally moved. He quickly accepted the position. This time around, there were no moving expenses allotted for our relocation. It was all out of pocket. Therefore we began packing our belongings (again), and started the moving process all overâÂ?¦a mere nine months after our first move from halfway across the country, we moved again.

I believe that having two moves halfway across the country in less than one year has given me some insight into how to make a large move much easier. We moved our entire household and our two small children twice in less than a year. The most we had moved before that was to go to college and return to where we grew up for jobs after college. Add to the fact that we had to do these moves on our own; I researched many different moving options. I never realized there were so many out there, especially for people who must make a major move on their own. There are things to do to help make moving easier, and there are many different moving options to choose from.

Use a Major Moving Company: Hire a moving company to come and pack for you, and then drive your belongings to your new home and unpack for you. Unfortunately, many people aren’t able to do this. We were some of those people. We did have the three major moving companies come and give us a free estimate on what it would cost to move our belongings. These types of companies, while making your move easy and stress-free, are expensive. Our $2000 in moving expenses came nowhere close enough to pay for a major company to move us.

Rent a Truck: This is a commonly used form of moving. Not only is it very reasonably priced, but you also get to keep your belongings with you at all times. If you like to have control over everything that occurs during your move, I recommend a rental truck. This is what we did with our first move. We rented a Penske truck, which gave us the biggest truck for the cheapest quote. The drawback to this type of moving is that you must load the truck yourself. You will need friends and family who are willing to help you load. This can be difficult if you are moving some place where you don’t know anyone. We were lucky in that many of our friends and family helped load our truck, but also drove 950 miles and helped us get settled in our new home. Another negative to this type of moving truck is that your items may not all fit into the truck. We rented the biggest truck, it was said to be able to fit a three to four bedroom home. It didn’t. We had to leave many things behind, including: a queen size guest bed, a sofa and love seat from our basement, and our children’s swing set. You are also responsible for all of the gas and for returning your truck before the time allotted is up.

Rent a Moving Pod: We researched moving pod’s in depth when we made our second move. We had decided that we couldn’t turn around and ask friends and family to come back and help us move a second time. Therefore, we made the choice to some how find a company that would allow us to pack up our own truck, but have someone other than us, drive it to our home. A moving pod is a basically a trailer to a moving truck. The moving pod company will drop the pod off in your driveway and leave it for an allotted amount of time (usually three days). You load the pod, and then eventually someone from the pod company returns and drives it your new home. The company then drops the pod off at your new home, and leaves it there for a determined number of days. You unload the pod and then someone from the company comes and removes the pod from outside of your house. We really liked this concept. But, we were actually living in a townhouse and didn’t have a driveway. The pod company would have had to leave the pod in our parking lot for up to three days, thus blocking other drivers. It just wouldn’t work for us. It is reasonably priced, but much more expensive than driving your own truck.

Contract with a Moving Service: This was what we chose to do for our second move. We contacted a moving service via the Internet. This moving service then hires a moving truck and a driver to come to your home on a designated day. You pay for the amount of space you estimate your belongings will take up on the truck. You pack everything and load everything yourself, but the truck driver drives your belongings to your new home. What was nice about this type of moving was that we didn’t block our parking lot for days with a large trailer. The truck driver also was extremely helpful, he helped us load our belongings and he arranged everything in the truck so that all of our items would fit with no problem. We, of course, tipped him generously for his extra help. Another plus to this type of moving was that we were able to pick the date we wanted our driver to come for loading, and we were able to pick our date for delivery. Some other types of moving services do not allow for specific dates of delivery, instead pinpointing up to three different days your items may be delivered. This type of moving is a bit more expensive also, but it was a lot less stress and hassle than driving our own truck, or flying friends and family down to help us. It is also much, much cheaper than having a major moving company move you.

I want to add one more small, helpful hint. If you are moving with small children, I highly recommend breaking up the travel time into a couple of days. Our drives for both moves were around fifteen hours apiece. We broke up the travel time by driving seven hours the first day, then stopping at hotel with an indoor pool. We then got up early the next morning and got on the road while our children slept for a few more hours in the car. It really worked out well. Not only did our kids tire out from playing in the pool and thus slept well in the hotel, they also slept in our car because we left so early in the morning. This allowed for some uninterrupted driving time, which meant a huge chunk of driving without stopping, thus getting us to our destination a little quicker.

Moving isn’t easy. Moving twice in less than a year certainly isn’t easy. It can be less stressful than you think. Try researching your different moving options, you may be surprised at how much help is out there for you, especially if you are moving without the assistance of a moving company.

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