Move to New Orleans“Exsqueeze me?” (Me, upon hearing quotes from moving companies)

March 17, 20200

(In the interest of giving you a little variety of reading subjects while you practice social distancing, I’ll return to our originally scheduled programming.)

I’ve already mentioned that I’m completely out of practice when it comes to long distance moving. The last time I did it — from Michigan to Colorado — was 1994. I was a young ‘un and didn’t have all that much stuff, so a couple of buddies helped us pack up a U-Haul, drove for a couple of days (55 mph speed limits the whole way) and we unloaded it upon arrival.  No big whup.

Twenty six years later, I’ve learned the wisdom of recognizing one’s limitations. I want to load a truck. I honestly do. However, my back is enthusiastically against that idea. So I hopped on the Information Superhighway — another dated reference — to research moving companies. I was expecting to be shocked by the quotes. I was not disappointed.

The first company I called is the local outlet of one of the country’s biggest movers. They asked to make an appointment for one of their salespeople to come out to the house and survey the contents for a quote. My research told me that was a good thing. Apparently, there are moving companies out there who will have you answer some questions, give a lowball quote to get your business, pack up your stuff, weigh it at a local truck stop and tell you that they’re so sorry, but you have much more stuff than the estimate allowed for and you’ll need to pay a few thousand more if you want them to continue. If you don’t, they’ll take it back from whence it came. Fun!

The “relocation consultant” came to our house on Boxing Day, took a look around, asked some questions and we got quotes later the same day. That part was pretty awesome. For them to pack our stuff, move it to New Orleans and bring the boxes into our new place, the fee would be $9,564.98. If we’d like to take on the packing ourselves, that would drop the price to $6,039.48. That part was not awesome.

For a sense of scale, we’re moving from a 3 bedroom townhome, although we’re only moving two beds. Mindy and I have done a pretty good job when it comes to minimizing. We’re not asking ourselves if the rubber chicken brings us joy, but we’re neither collectors nor hoarders. I knew it wasn’t going to be cheap, but great Caesar’s ghost.

There was one more moving company I’d never heard of before that got great reviews. They were characterized as upfront and honest with great customer service. Yes, please. I called them up and they do not have a local outlet, but they do have a pretty cool app that has you take a video of every room and add a little commentary to let them know what stays and what goes. I did all that, submitted it all to them and got a quote in return for $7,762.72 is they pack it up, $6,545.92 if we do it.

I can only imagine how much moving companies pay for insurance. The service they provide is almost a necessity. However, I don’t mean to sound like Mr. Krabs (getting slightly more current with the references), but that’s still a ton of dough.

A friend told us U-Haul now has a service where you book the truck and book movers to load it up at your old place and unload it at your new one. All you have to do is drive. I got a quote online and it added up to about $1,600. Jackpot! The price sounded great, but it came at a price. Driving a U-Haul truck at a time of year when blizzards are a real possibility in eastern Colorado and Kansas was a lot of risk for a sizable reward. Was it worth it? More research.

That’s when I found glowing reviews for U-Pack. It’s basically the U-Haul concept with a driver. In addition to pods, which aren’t available in Colorado, they provide moving trailers. They drop off a 28’ trailer for three days to load it up and charge per linear foot of trailer that you use. They drop it off at your new house and give you 3 days to unload. If you’re delayed, they can store it for you until you’re ready. (As opposed to the pods people, they don’t add storage into your cost if you don’t need it.) The cost for room on the trailer, transporting it to New Orleans and movers in both places will cost us around $3,150. If we end up using less than the 17 feet, they’ll reduce the price.

So far, so good. We had to push the trailer back a week, which was no problem. Their customer service has been great up to this point. I’ll give you all an update when we’re moved in, which is very soon. The trailer gets here a week from tomorrow. I’ll also let you know if I end up resisting the urge to spray paint a “T” in front of the “U-Pack” logo.

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