So we are in the trash, keep, donate, sell phase of moving. The next step is figuring out the best way to get our stuff up to our new location. Do we get a truck and load it ourselves? Do we get a truck and pay someone to load it? Do we pay a service that has a truck to load it? And then what do they DO with the stuff? Should we have it stored here in Florida and then pay to have it shipped up once we have a permanent address? Or do we go ahead and move it up north and just store it somewhere semi random?

Of course if money was no option or a company was relocating us this would be insanely simple, but when every dollar needs to be accounted for things can get stressful and scary.

Case in point- I thought this one company would be totally awesome. I won’t say the name as you can infer on your own, but basically this company would deliver a large pod-like unit to your driveway and you could load it at your leisure and then they would store it and ship it out when you are ready. And based on the on-line quotes it seemed ideal. Maybe even perfect. But then a bit of time digging and searching on consumer affairs and BBB and this place does not seem on the up and up.

So then I started researching local moving companies. And wouldn’t you know almost all of the companies had reviews available to be read via google. And wow! Some of the companies just seem so awesome and fair. But then I noticed that the rest of the reviews were kind of robotic and unhuman. And then I noticed that other people had noticed this and wrote their actual reviews. You know the kind that lets us know that the companies in question broke things, stole things, gave quotes and then did not honor them.

I found one company that was local that I even spoke to on the phone. The woman on the phone was a great salesperson and I felt safe and protected and excited that it was a good deal. She proposed that we box up our own stuff (we already planned on that) and then pay her team an hourly rate to load up one of their trucks. Then they would store the stuff here in town and when we had an address they would move the stuff up for us. AND we could save costs by “piggy-backing” with someone else moving up north.

The price sounded fair. The plan sounded easy.

And then I checked the BBB and this company has a D+. Sigh…

We are just nervous as we are totally ripe for ripping off: broke, desperate, gals. Blah.

Anyone done an out-of-state move on their own with little funds/man power? Got advice or warnings? Bring it. (please)


  1. There are other pod-type companies out there. Maybe they’re a bit more respectable? Other than that, I’ve got nothing. Sorry. Good luck figuring out the logistics!

  2. For our last move from San Diego to CT, we had a section of a tractor trailer. We loaded it, they moved it, we unloaded. It helps to have some large men with that route…

    When moving from Boston to the mid-west, I put alot of boxes on a train. A rather inexpensive way to move books and clothes (i.e., non-breakables). You just pick stuff up at a destination train station.

    Not knowing where you’ll be, I’d suggest storing locally. No point in moving stuff only to move it again. Also, in a new city you won’t be as familiar with options/areas so you can probably make a better, more informed choice of storage facilities locally.

    I’ve also tried dragging a Uhaul. NO fun. Don’t recommend that unless that’s your only viable option.

    Good luck!

    ps–yes, I’ve moved around the country quite a bit.

  3. We rented Uhauls and paid people to load ’em. The kind you drive, not trailers. We stored locally until we had a place to live. Interstate moving companies aren’t well regulated and can rip you off/ break your stuff with impunity.

  4. If you have a place to move your stuff to PDQ trailers(pods) were referred to me by friends.

    I ended up donating a lot to goodwill. Anything I could basicly buy again in NYC. The bulk of my clothes and a few other items I stored for months that I paid ahead for in advance. Once those months ran out a friend moved them to one of her empty apt. She mails them up a few boxes at a time.

  5. I HIGHLY recommend packing your own moving truck and bringing your stuff with you, then storing it once you get there. I have heard horror story after horror story about interstate moving companies – holding your belongings hostage, charging by weight and then having no real way to measure the weight (thus charging insane rates), etc. Storage facilities are usually very secure and will have insurance options for your things.

  6. Movingscam.com!!! Saved my sanity when we were planning to move to Sweden.

    For all other moves, we did Uhaul and the like and did all the moving ourselves.

    I also recommend getting rid of as much as possible.

  7. i’m gonna email you b/c we just did this (moved cross country on the cheap)

  8. One of my best friends used ABF U-Pack Moving (you load your stuff onto their trailer) to move from WA State to San Diego and a former coworker is using them this weekend to move from Maine to Florida. My best friend loved them and said the only problems were with how she loaded the truck. My former coworker has been very happy with everything so far and I’ve asked for an update once the move is done.

  9. One of other option is to look into Amtrak. I researched every option under the sun and it was nightmare $$$ wise. I decided it was cheaper to buy new stuff than try to take it with me.

    But I did ship a palette from LA to Philly for insanely cheap. All of kitchen stuff, books, camping stuff, most of my clothes…it worked out to be a couple hundred bucks. So that is an option IF you decide not to take any furniture…but it sounds like you want to take furniture so I recommend taking the very least and getting a little hitch for your car…

  10. I sent this to Cali, but anyone else who is looking: we’ve used UShip to great success. It’s like ebay of shipping — you post the contents of your move, expected dates, and companies bid. They all have very easily-seen reviews and with the way the payment system works, the reviews can’t be very easily scammed (so the companies can’t up-sell themselves or badmouth other people).

    We’ve been super impressed with the service and prices, and that’s saying a LOT for moving companies.

  11. Yes.. from PA to NY.. from Canada to NY, from NY to Fla… lots of moving. Almost every moving truck/van company sucks. That’s just the reality of it. Especially if they pack it themselves. What they do usually is pack and unpack the stuff from truck to truck so that things get broken or lost quite often. And they tend to be crappy with replacing.

    We found that ABF worked best for us too. What you do is buy a certain amount of square footage in the truck that is also shipping other (usually business related) items through that area. It NEVER leaves the truck and stays as you pack it. So if you mess up and pack wrong, you’re the one to blame, not them. Just MAKE SURE to get the right amount of square footage. We were so insane on saving money that we got a little bit too small and had to pack it to the top and really shove. As a result we did damage a few of our things. But nothing was broken badly. You also have to put the separation wall that separates your stuff from the others yourself, which can be hard. And there are some gaps between that wall and the wall of the truck, so smaller things definitely need to be secure. But they delivered exactly as promised, gave us the time we needed, and the price was MUCH better than almost anything else we looked at. You just have to be ready to go to their business type loading docks to unload and load it. I don’t think you got to have it at your house. Or maybe we just chose that option b/c we didn’t want to pay more. I can’t remember. (this was over 5 yrs ago. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    The only other things I think I would consider are shipping some things or renting something to drive.. towing the car, and moving it yourself. :( Sorry. Uhaul sometimes has really crappy trucks though, just so you know. Check it out THOROUGLY before you rent if you go with them. We’ve had bad problems with their trucks 3 different times (turn signals not working, shifter not right, etc).

  12. Like others.. sadly we also had to part with a lot of our larger furniture items. Just too expensive to bother with old furniture. :(

  13. If you have someone else move/store your stuff (ie not uhaul…): First remember that stuff gets broken when we move. Period. Just part of the dealll.
    My tips:
    When packing up: number each box and made an inventory of the contents with estimated value.
    Then when stuff is delivered to you (or your storage unit) at the new destination, be sure to have your camera. Take photos of all boxes that have ANY damage to the outside of the box. That way, if things are damaged inside, you have a better chance of collecting from the moving co.

    My 2 cents…good luck!

  14. http://www.bekins.com/moving/

    Go with a brand name, such as Bekins above, and then negotiate with them. SO NOT go with anything from craigslist, or any of the “man with van” folks. I grew up with someone who worked for Bekins – great place, trustworthy, and reliable.

    And you want to move your stuff NOW. Do not leave one thing in FLorida to end up “unaccounted for” later.

  15. I’ve actually done several. Often what ended up happening is I would store stuff on which ever end was cheaper and then move it myself. I usually even drove the truck although the last couple of times I skipped that and had friends do it. When I was traveling I usually drove it all myself but hired someone (from cra.igs.list) to load and unload. I never had a problem with anyone I hired and I did it at least 5 or 6 times. This last time I hired a mover off cra.igs.list and they turned out fine too.

  16. Movingscam.com. Awesome advice there – used the advice there for the last 3 or 4 moves and every time it’s come up aces. Make sure that you don’t do a craigslist mover – insurance for intrastate moves is a MUST!

  17. Hmm this is rough. Personally, if you can get someone to supervise W for the day so you and your mom can carry everything, I would move it all yourself in a U-Haul. My girlfriend moved a few years back and an all-girl team helped her move and it was the best organized move I’ve ever been a part of. Definitely ask anyone and everyone you know to help, and buy some pizza/beer for everyone, but if it comes down to it, you guys could probably do it (though it’s not fun at all, I know). That way you can guarantee you won’t get robbed and things will be treated with care, and you’ll save a boatload of money.

    Then I would store everything up north at a P*blic Storage. I’ve had a very good experience with them, and you don’t have to do a lot of heavy lifting since they have these flatbed dolly things that you can load up and put into a freight elevator if you have to go upstairs. If you and your mom are up to the project of moving it yourselves, I think it’s a good idea. But definitely try to downsize as much as you possibly can — like bare bones necessity items and any family heirlooms.

  18. Check Uhaul. They were at one point offering one month free storage when I moved from TN to FL last year.

    I moved from TN to FL using Uhaul. The only thing I regret is having someone unload it. I was so fucking sore from doing it myself. It may be worth it to have someone load it for you, too.

    If you need me to come over next weekend to help pack or anything, I might be able to. I’m in Tallie so it’s only a few hour drive.

  19. I haven’t moved out of state, but I’ve moved across a state several times, some in the dead of winter–the college I went to made you remove everything from your dorm over winter break and you weren’t allowed to come back after finals until the break was over. Asshats.

    The cheapest option I’ve ever used was Uhaul. I did all the packing myself and moved everything myself. If you make sure to go in when a young male clerk is there, flirting can get you a discount. :)

    Second best, if you have a lot of stuff that isn’t urgent to move, is renting a storage shed and only taking what’s absolutely necessary.

    Good luck!

  20. we used an ABF U-Pack cube for our move from texas to nyc after researching online and realizing that a lot of the moving companies weren’t what they said they were. There are a lot of scams out there, and each time a customer reports a scam or too many scams, the company changes their name. we had arrangements with a particularly friendly service. i felt hesitant so we did some online searching, and come to find out, their websites were shockingly similar to other websites. they all had different company names, but all had the same contact numbers… we canceled and they refused to return our deposit, but i would have rather been out of $50 than all my furniture and the money to move it.

    ABF was cool to because if you aren’t moving right into your house (like us), they were able to store our cube on their property until we wanted it delivered. this was clearly ideal and allowed us to move one time, so to speak, even though there was a lag. we didn’t have to move our stuff from the house to the moving company to a storage facility and then to a moving company and then to our final destination. we packed it up into the ABF cube and when we were finally in our own place after three months, we moved it out of the ABF cube into our house.

    company has great reviews! we got fantastic service. the only damage to our items was a scratched dresser. everything that we put in there arrived and we didn’t have any types of “oh, it weighed too much we are charging you an extra $1000 or else hold your furniture hostage” scams.

    basically you schedule a delivery day of the cube. they bring it to your driveway. you can load it yourself or pay a local moving company to load it. they also have a loading service, but i’m sure it’s far cheaper to just hire two men for two hours if you already have everything boxed up. (we found a local moving company because with the baby it was just easier to have them load it since they had experience, then us load it – $150). here in nyc we found a local moving company to move it out of the cube in front of the building into our apartment for $200.

    our move from texas to nyc with the loaders, unloading, and storage for 3 months came in at around $1400. if you are moving a shorter distance, i’m sure it will be cheaper. good luck!

  21. oh, one last piece of advice. if you don’t have renter’s insurance, get it now before you move your stuff. moving companies often only insure up to like a $1 a pound or something crazy like that, unless you pay more, which is expensive. get yourself a good renters insurance policy. they are only like $30 a month and choose an amount that covers more than the value of all your stuff just in case. think about how much it would cost to replace all your shoes, clothes, linens, ect.

    renters insurance has an floater in the sense that it covers your stuff no matter where your stuff is. so, if it disappears during your move, not only can you file with your moving company, but you can also file with your renter’s insurance and you are more apt to be returned to your original “had stuff” state, well at least financially.

  22. I’ve moved from the east coast to the bay area and back to MA and then back to CA several times, with a few other states thrown in. AMTRAK is awesomely cheap, and your stuff takes a while to get there (about 2 weeks from MA to CA), which gave us time to settle and figure out where to put the stuff. Anything “media” related (books, CDs, old paperwork) can be shipped media mail through the post office for super cheap, too. We do both, and then rent a small UHaul for the rest of it!

  23. If my parents weren’t helping us out money wise, I would have driven a U-Haul and loaded it all up with some help from friends. I don’t know if I would feel comfortable leaving my stuff in a storage unit in a completely different state. Look into some rental facilities where you are going and ask who you are moving in with to see if they could drive by some of them to see how they look.

  24. I have moved many times being a government brat and then a Navy wife. Many moves involved a U-Haul and a cross country trip, some by myself if my husband was out to sea at the time, as it was easier to take all of our belongings with me than to wait for the Navy to ship them. It can be done, and it is not that difficult. A truck can be rented, the best boxes are from liquor stores, and are usually just for the asking. Cloths make the best wrapping for delicate dishes and breakables,and you may be able to store some of your things with family or friends until you get a more permanent place of your own.
    Just be sure to mark the boxes very well and while traveling I always planned to stay with family overnight as I felt safer with my belongings than if I was staying in a hotel and leaving the truck in a parking lot.

  25. Hey checkout http://www.flatrate.com/new-york-movers-long-distance-overview.html

    We have used them and they were pretty good. They seem kind of expensive but they cant pull any surcharges.

  26. ABF= all our stuff broken. Horrible horrible. They never mentioned that our tractor trailer would be hauled via train. Boxes stacked on furniture (which had been double wrapped in padded moving blankets) wore through the stain on the furniture from the constant vibration of the tracks. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. I won’t go on because I already feel my blood pressure rising. U-haul or Ryder. Not a blast, but safe.

  27. doin it yorself would be my first bet. Look up Budget Truck Rentals, they are better that u-haul and up in the DC metro area are often associated with a storage place. You can drop off your truck and put your extra stuff in storage. The trucks are nicer than u-haul and the peole working for them are moderately more competant.

  28. I would get rid of everything I could part with and then hire a moving company to move what’s left. This must be so stressful-I am sorry buddy! I hate moving-esp. cross country. Blech.

  29. BTW-u haul=u stall. We always use Budget and like it.

  30. OMG-I can’t quit commenting-*if* you have friends to help you supervise on both ends-then you could get a budget or other like moving van-and get a friend to go down to home depot-there are always (sadly) men hanging out for day work. We’ve done that-they are always awesome-and goodness knows they need the money. But if you’re on your own-for safety reasons-of course you wouldn’t want to do that.

  31. when we moved from CA to VT in 2007, we used Broadway Express. They were one of those you pack it, we drive it kinds of deals and their reviews were very high online. They were FANTASTIC, the driver was amazing, none of our stuff got broken, and the whole thing cost us $2000. We hired the driver at some set amount per hour on each end to help load and unload. his experience on how to pack our square footage to maximize space and safety of our goods was INVALUABLE! he called us all along the way to let us know his progress and our stuff arrived in perfect condition about 10-14 days later. i would highly recommend BE! email me if you have any questions. oh, and if you go to my blog, you can see pics of our process and our driver (with his cute dog), posted in August 2007.

  32. We hired a friend of the family who is a high school football coach who does moving on the side. He packed and loaded for us and then drove our U-Haul across the country, pulling my car. Matt and the dogs and I drove in Matt’s car. Maybe you could find someone respectable and hire them on the side?

  33. Another rave review for movingscams.com. The info on their site totally saved my bacon when we moved from NY to the PNW.

  34. Moving was so hectic for me! I had to hire a moving company because of my boyfriend and family wasn’t within the state at the time. high touch moving company was a really great help. they helped me pack and move all my furniture and items to my new apartment in the city. I thought it was be hell but they made anything quite possible to do! you can visit there website at http://www.hightouchmoving.com

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