Sunday, January 11, 2015

Moving to Your Homestead: Moving Companies and Packing

U-Pack trailer not NEAR big enough for a family of nine.
First week and already having issues. Well, routine move-to-a-new-state issues I suppose. We are still waiting for one of our two moving trailers to arrive. We've been in our house ten days and luckily packed suitcases as if we were going on vacation. Thanks to that forethought, we have had clothes to wear and minimum daily living supplies.

Preparing For The Move (Tips)

Tip #1 Pack as if you are going on a vacation. If you aren't driving your things up in a uHaul yourself, plan on the moving company taking at least a week to get your things to your new house. Be mindful of work clothes, church clothes, play clothes and lay-around-the-house clothes. Pack your toiletries and enough snacks to tide you over for a few days at least (until you can get to a grocery store.)

We also towed my 8x10 enclosed trailer up behind one of our vehicles. Even though 60% of it is consumed with my portable workshop, the rest of it was used to haul four mattresses with us. Thanks to this, we don't have to sleep directly on the floor (but the kids are rotating.) We packed a modest supply of cooking supplies like pots, pans, and plastic forks/knives/spoons/cups. We also brought paper plates and bowls with paper towels and toilet paper.

I also packed one of our WonderWash machines for laundry and have already put it to use. The house we bought has no washer and after a week, our dirty laundry was piling up. After a few spins in the WonderWash, we opted for a quick run to the laundry mat.  Utilize any left over space for packing more supplies. We hauled a car on a tow dolly and packed that car to the hilt with boxes.

Tip #2 Research your moving companies. Atlas was a company that would do EVERYTHING for us: box it all up, load it on a truck, drive it to our destination and unload the boxes into the house.

Cost $12,000

U-Pack is a company that estimates the size of trailer you will need based on the number of people in your family and the size of your home (that you are leaving) by number of bedrooms and bathrooms. They drop the empty trailer off at your house and give you three days to pack it. Then they pick it up, deliver it to your new home and you have three days to unload it.

Cost $4500

Uhaul is a company everyone knows. You rent the truck, fill it up and drive it yourself. I did not investigate this option but hindsight has taught me that this might have been a better option. It would have been much cheaper and I could have driven the stuff straight to my house in one day...instead of it taking ten.

Cost: not sure but cheaper than U-Pack

My opinion: Although we chose U-Pack, we are very disappointed for several reasons. Two big reasons are that they have been horrible on staying on time and they grossly underestimated the size of trailer we needed. They were supposed to drop the trailer off between 8am and noon on a Wednesday. Instead they dropped it off at about 830pm on Wednesday costing us an entire day of loading.  You may thing one day isn't much but if you factor in all the stress that goes with moving your entire family, this is one more stress factor that you don't need. Then they were several days late picking it up, causing the delay in delivering it to our new home. To add insult to injury, their driver (Old Dominion) called me on a Saturday (yesterday) and said that if I would pay their driver an extra $50, he would deliver my stuff the same day. Otherwise it would have to wait until Monday. A formal complaint has been lodged regarding extortion. We ended up needing TWO trailers instead of one so I'm sure our cost will double although I have not received a response back yet as to if there will be any compensation for our troubles.

 The saga continues...



  1. Can you also file a complaint with the BBB? I hope your stuff shows up early tomorrow.

  2. OPSEC is another thing to consider. Are you moving things you don't want random movers to see? We had neighbors insist on helping us unload, would have rather done it myself and kept OPSEC. Guess they took pity on us old folks!

  3. Wow! What a fiasco! I certainly hope you've let UPack know that you're a blogger and have been keeping your readers appraised of the situation! Hopefully the truck delivers bright and early tomorrow and everything is in great shape!

  4. Just think what a relief it will be when you are all settled in your new location. Now, stay put for awhile.

  5. I feel ya....I moved from El Paso to New Hampshire (UPPER New Hampshire) in August 2014. I looked into UPack, but after going through the reviews for them, I decided to go with U-Haul.

  6. Another tip for moving: when you know you will be moving in the future, but maybe not the exact date, you can reserve a U-Haul truck (whatever size you need) and lock in the price. If you end up needing it later than you reserved, you can just extend the date. For instance, we reserved a truck for April 20, 2008 but we didn't find a place to live until August 2008 so every month I called and extended our reservation. I was still able to rent for the April price which was much less than the August price. By the way, the last time I checked the highest priced times to rent U-Haul trucks was May and August and any time the 1st-5th landed on a weekend.

  7. Wow, good tip about packing clothes in suitcases. I never thought about that but I'll recommend it to all my friends. I'm planning a move with

  8. Redwoodmoving...
    Packing, relocating and unpacking is a big chore that should never be attempted alone.


Don't you spam me...I'll just delete it!