I get by with a little help from my friends

by statia on June 14, 2004

My head is swimming with stuff to do before I move. I’d like to ultimately get movers, but I’m not sure if that’s going to happen. I’m not sure if it would be that much more expensive to get movers to move my shit for me, and then just drive cross country. Anyone have any advice on getting movers? I really don’t have that much stuff. I’m not sure how it could be that much more.

I need a plan… stan, joe, matt… etc.


Sekimori June 14, 2004 at 10:11 am

Having been through one 600 mile move (still got the shakes), I HIGHLY recommend selling everything but the dog and buying new shit when you get there.

Or having a fire.

OR, if you’re really serious about schlepping your shit cross country, pare it down to the bare essentials and rent a tow-behind from U-Haul. Having Mayflower et al do it is going to cost the fuck out of some $$. Unless the new company is ponying up…

Deltus June 14, 2004 at 10:35 am

First, yeah, see if the new company will give some money for the move, and if they do, use it for pro movers.

Otherwise, have a huge-ass sale, and have it in your mind that unless you REALLY want or, more importantly *need* that item, you’re selling it. Then moving gets a little easier/simpler, if only because the amount of stuff is reduced.

Ryan June 14, 2004 at 11:12 am

If you need any help let me know. I am in the moving business and can point you in the right direction. Deltus is right though, when interviewing see if you can get any relocation money as part of your hiring package. Alot of companies will offer it.

LT June 14, 2004 at 12:22 pm

sell what you can replace.

when I moved across country, I had my car shipped, as well as my things. I didn’t hire movers. I shipped a lot of boxes and it came out to less money that way, and it was easier for everyone. Obviously you won’t do that with your car because you can use your car to put lots of things in it, but in general, shipping is a breeze… and you’d be surprised how much stuff you can give away and sell and be able to get back when you get there.

todd June 14, 2004 at 3:01 pm

When I moved to Austin, TX (from Cleveland, OH) I did it my self. In a U-haul. 3 days at 55 miles an hr is quite trying. Especially by your lonesome or even w/ G-dog.

If I could do it over again, I would have sold all the crap I didn’t need to move down and got one of those “tagalongs” to hook up to my Blazer. Instead I had to drive down to Austin w/ the Uhaul, fly to Cleveland and drive back down w/ my Blazer. Driving to Austin twice in one week. Not fun.

Faith June 14, 2004 at 4:11 pm

I’ve moved many, many times. From Cali to Kansas City, then Kansas City back to Cali. Then from SoCal to NoCal, and then from NoCal to Boston, and Boston back to Kansas City. (All within the span of 7 years. Yes, yes, I’m a freak…) Anyway, I always use shipping companies for my moves, for the furniture, and what not. Pack as much of my clothing into my car with me, and then pack everything else into boxes for the shipping company. My move from Boston to KC was the most expensive one EVER. All the shipping companies they have there (in Boston) run their pricing by the square inch. Previous moves had all been done by weight. And my stuff didn’t weigh a whole lot. However, it apparently takes up WAY more square inches than I’d ever given it credit for.

Anyway, if you do go with a moving company (or a shipping company, which is generally much cheaper, as they arrange to pack your stuff up in a crate that will be included in one of those really huge moving vans that’s already headed in the direction you’re going), I would highly suggest having them out for an in-person estimate. My movers in Boston estimated my move to be between $1,000 and $1,200 over the phone (for a one-bedroom apartment – no fridge, no washer/dryer, no couch, etc…), and it wound up being $2,200!! I wash shocked, and pissed, and in between a rock and a hard place. I had no choice but to give them what they asked, as it was moving day, and I was flying out the next morning. Bastards.

In person estimate. It’s just plain ol’ good advice.

robyn June 14, 2004 at 6:04 pm

As mentioned above, when I moved cross-country (OK to AL, AL to PA, PA to OK) it was much cheaper and easier to ship most of the items each time than pay for moving it. Because we had furniture we wanted to keep, we paid over $1750 seven years ago for the smallest U-Haul truck to move from OK to FL!

I know Joelle just went through this when she moved and got a lot of good recommendations on her blog, one of which she ultimately went with. You might dig around in her archives. (She was going from TX to CA.)

adi June 14, 2004 at 7:57 pm

I’ve moved x-country twice – from NY to CA and from CA to NY. Drove both ways, which is kind of fun if you have a loose schedule and aren’t scrambling to get to the other side for say College Registration or Christmas.

The last time I used ‘California – New York Express’ and they were really great. Price was reasonable too.

Of course, I’m not sure if they’ll pickup in PA, but it’s worth a shot. :)

fran June 14, 2004 at 8:17 pm

Sell Sell Sell….as much stuff as possible…it’s not worth carrying much stuff across states…not only do you save yourself money from not having to move stuff, but you also get some money that will help you replace your old stuff….it’s a win win situation…

Kevin June 14, 2004 at 8:33 pm

Seki’s right. Get insurance and have a fire. Honestly, don’t pay a couple thousand just to have a garage sale when you get there. Penny on a dollar.

If you have to move things ((again, bad idea)), get a couple guys from the day labor place and have them schlep it into a U-haul. Whatever doesn’t fit – stays.

Step one: insurance. Step two: fire. Step three: replace stuff with insurance money.

Princess June 15, 2004 at 11:17 am

I can’t tell you to do it my way because my cross-country move was entirely unique and, well, weirdly fortunate.

What I can tell you is that I agree wholeheartedly with everyone who suggests selling/getting rid of as much stuff as possible. I suggest setting aside all the stuff you know you won’t move with (i.e., larger items, perhaps?), take pix and make flyers and post ‘em everywhere you can – move forces sale, must sell by (date), etc. Lots of people post those kinds of flyers at work.

Also, if it will be of any help to you, my company has offices in the Philly area, and I can list some of your sale items on our online classifieds. All I need is a description, asking price, sell by date, and your preferred contact method. Not sure how many Philly folks check the classifieds, but it’s worth a try.

ed June 15, 2004 at 1:22 pm

sell everything! everyone’s saying it, i’m saying it again…sell sell sell… i moved from NY to SoCal in January and was yessing everyone to death over the “sell everything you own” speech…only to discover they are ALL right. you *think* you need all that crap, but you DON’T! :)

do it eBay! ;-)

ed June 15, 2004 at 1:45 pm

i must also insist, for the road trip:


or http://snipurl.com/73o8 if the link doesn’t work.


Donna June 15, 2004 at 3:56 pm

For the love of God, do NOT use North American if you hire professional movers. We moved from Connecticut back to Dallas last summer, and they were a NIGHTMARE to deal with. Our belongings were delivered to our new house THREE WEEKS to the day after they were picked up. It took us two days to make the drive. No reason on earth the movers needed three weeks. Grrr… I’m still bitter.
Best of luck with your move. And definitely do your purging BEFORE you pay someone to move it across the country!

another ed June 15, 2004 at 4:31 pm

traveling light seems to go well with the whole theme of the move.

tony June 15, 2004 at 4:41 pm

As I see it, your simplest move would be to skip the whole West Coast idea and move next to me. You still get to skip town, but the U-Haul drive isn’t nearly as bad. You don’t have to part with that set of “Bloom County” pint glasses that just wouldn’t fit (you can take a weekend drive back to get them later), and most importantly, I don’t have the apparently horrifying addiction to coffee that certain other men have. See? I just made your life easy. Sometimes being this smart is painful.

Of course, if you’re dead set on the caffeinated life, where NFL games start at 10am and the confusion of looking WEST to find the nearest large body of water, you could always get a temporary job at a shipping company. “Conveniently forget” to bill a certain female customer for a cross country move, and then either quit or get fired. Worst case scenario, they try to get their money out of you, and you pay what you would have paid anyway. Again, its just that easy!

ciz June 15, 2004 at 10:49 pm

my 2 cents!!
i wanted a fresh start and plus everything i had was a collection of junk from being young and drunk :0
but i sold what i could, gave away what i could and took what i needed
just me some crazy lady and no sleep on the open road and i have all new stuff in a place i want to be ……. which is cali

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