Moving to a new city… (Part 2)

So… As you may or may not know, moving is alot of things, but easy isn’t one of them!  When you do it locally, it’s a pain in your butt, but manageable.  Normally, you rent a moving truck that you pick-up, load, drive, unload and return it all yourself.  Most of us have done this at least once, if not six or seven times, in our lives. I usually rent from U-Haul, as I find they normally have the best deals, no local mileage cost and generally have pretty decent hours, depending on location.  There are plenty of companies to choose from, with most being fairly equal to the next, such as Budget and Penske to name a few.  The choice is yours to make, just make sure you shop around and compare prices, mileage and other details that may pertain to you to ensure your decision  isn’t loaded with unwanted surprises!

Moving across the country, coast to coast, is an entirely different beast!  My wife had performed a reconnaissance mission to find a house for us to land in, whilest I was busy taking care of our 4 month old son and trying to begin the laborious ordeal of packing our lives into boxes, as well as finding a moving company to get it all from Los Angeles, CA to New Jersey.

Needless to say, while I was taking care of our baby, I failed to get very much lot done in the way of packing.  However, I did manage to fight my way through more than a half dozen or more moving companies, looking for solutions to my moving nightmare. And as you know, my first consideration had to be pricing!

Some companies will come out, pack all of your stuff into boxes, load it up, drive it out, unload it and put it all in the house for you…for a hefty price, of course! If you have the money to spare and your main concern is ease of transition for you and your family with minimal physical or mental stress, then this is the way to go!  Besides certain items that YOU must do yourself (i.e. important documents, jewelry, etc.), for your own piece of mind, let someone else have and deal with the headache.  I reminds me of hiring a surrogate to carry your child to term either because you can’t or don’t want to.  Only, instead of a child, it’s your material life.

The next step down in pricing is the one where the company still comes out, loads all your stuff, drives it cross country and delivers it to and inside your house. But the big difference here is that YOU have to pack all of your own stuff into boxes yourself.  This is the most commonly used option I’ve found that people choose to utilize.  Depending on the size of your home and how much additional goodies you have in tow (not including vehicles), this option usually starts around $2,500 and goes up,up, up…

Unless you actually own, or have a friend who owns their own “big rig” (and is willing to help you out), I wouldn’t even begin to disillusion yourself with the fantasy that you might be able to somehow pack everything up yourself and then drive across country on your own.  Seriously? You must be out of your ever-loving mind!  There is no money to be saved going this route… I promise!  I only say this because I explored this possibility (due to my previously admitted cheap streak) and had to slap myself around!  I don’t know what I was thinking, but I swore I’d never smoke crack again!

Laughing yet? Good! That was a joke…you’re supposed to laugh!

As I prepared myself to go into the fetal position over the unGODly amount of money I thought I was going to have to spend on my family’s move, I discovered my saving grace, the answer that restored my sanity and allowed me to breathe again, as though everything might actually work out in my favor…it was the moving company ABF.

ABF will come to your place, drop off a trailer (you know, the big box on wheels that hold lots of stuff and gets pulled/dragged behind the actual truck) and let YOU load all of your stuff on your own in as much or little time as you need to do it.  Once you’ve completed loading it up, you call them up requesting a pick-up and within 24 hours, they’ll come and get it.  The beauty of this, is that you only pay for the amount of space your belongings take up in the trailer.  They have other customers that need items transported also, but don’t require an entire trailer to themselves, just as I didn’t or you wouldn’t.  They reduce the cost for themselves by doing so, and in turn, pass along some of that to the customer as well.  It’s a win-win situation.

I, Señor Cheap-o, got off the hook for between $1,200 and $1,300… WOOOOHOOOOO!  Talk about being a happy camper! It was half the price of the next best option out there! Sorry if I’m hurting your eardrums by screaming (using exclamation points) so much!  It’s just that I get really animated when I recount the money I saved and the piece of mind that I had not worrying about some ding-dong, knucklehead with all thumbs and two left feet, being in charge of loading, driving, and unloading my precious belongings!  I was the only jerk to blame if something went awry due to the packing/loading process.  I could live with that!

After ABF came and picked up the trailer, I drove myself across country, cuz I’m too cheap to have my car transported ($900-1,300), and then upon my arrival, I called them up to let them know I was ready for my stuff. ABF dropped off the trailer at my new home the very next day, I unloaded it over the course of two days, and then they picked it back up after I called to let them know.  It took me five days to travel 2,800 miles with 3 cats (that’s an entire entry right there!) and the day I arrived I made the call.  My stuff was already there and waiting for me, making me happier than I’d imagined I could be.

There are lots of different options out there to suit lots of different needs.  I don’t know where anyone else’s lies, but I found the answer to my moving need within the time I needed and for a price I could live with!


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