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Moving across the country - advice, stories, etc.

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by amraeder, Oct 17, 2012.

  1. amraeder

    amraeder Well-Known Member

    So, I am no stranger to moving. I've moved from Wisconsin, to Alaska, to Ohio, to Texas. But this one is a little different.

    1) The company is handling relocation expenses.
    2) I have reached an age where I actually have "stuff." This wasn't the case for my other long distance moves (I took a car and 2 suitcases up to Alaska, 2 suitcases back form Alaska, and a U-Haul trailer down to TX).

    So, I guess I'm looking for any general moving advice. I've never tried to find someone to move my stuff before, so any suggestions along those lines would be great.

    Feel free to share any good or horrible moving experiences you have.

    The details of my move: Moving for a new job I just got. I'm trying to start the new job on Nov. 5. I'll be moving from Houston, TX to Madison, WI. I'm just moving myself. I have roughly a very full 1-bedroom apartment worth of stuff.

    (I have the joy of spending summer in TX and winter in WI. Best of both worlds).

    If there are any Madison peeps have suggestions of great places they have lived in Madison, feel free to chime in with that, too.

  2. Buck

    Buck Well-Known Member

    Are you sexually attracted to roadside animal carcasses?
  3. amraeder

    amraeder Well-Known Member

    Why else would I take a job in Wisconsin? That's one of the perks they mentioned in the interview!
  4. Amy

    Amy Well-Known Member

    I have moved states frequently, sometimes personal moves and sometimes job moves but in all cases I used moving companies.

    If you pack yourself - or if you have the movers pack - be sure to mark the boxes very very clearly so you know exactly what is in the box. This is key to being able to unpack in an organized manner.

    There are a few things you'll need that first night even if you don't have time or inclination to unpack so keep out and bring in your car things you will need like bedding, towels.

    Ask lots of questions about when your stuff will be packed and even more importantly, delivered. My experience is that it is extremely difficult to get a date certain on a state to state move. I think with a small load like yours they may put your stuff as an afterthought to a big move that has a little extra space available. You need to be prepared to be a bit flexible regarding delivery date. How much time in a hotel will the new job cover if you have to wait a week for your stuff to show up?

    i haven't found one moving company any better than another. It really comes down to the moving team.

    Get the name/number of your relocation person and keep it with you.
  5. ColdCat

    ColdCat Well-Known Member

    I've done the Uhaul thing and that was pretty painless. Drove my car with a few things to the new town a few days before I started, looked for a place, then flew back, picked up a Uhaul truck and drove back down. It was quick and painless, but between the plane ticket and the truck rental not cheap.
    I've also done the relo-cube thing. They drop off something that looks like an oversized phone booth and you fill it with stuff. They come and pick it up when you're ready and drop it off at your new place. This is OK, but it takes a while and if you're moving to a small, remote area it will be a place they don't serve.
    The option I feel I should have taken was sell my furniture on craigslist, pack everything else into the car and buy new furniture when I get to the new city. Would have been cheaper than moving it all.
  6. PCLoadLetter

    PCLoadLetter Well-Known Member

    Are they covering all the expenses, or are they capping it?

    If it's everything, I would see if there's a moving company your employer typically deals with, and have them pack your stuff and haul it.

    Definitely do some homework on the mover. The sleazy ones will turn up on the other end claiming your load was over weight, and they won't unload your stuff until you cough up a few thousand extra.
  7. Brooklyn Bridge

    Brooklyn Bridge Active Member

    I would get the company to toss in a bit more for expenses. My buddy just moved from Florida to the Northeast and asked for several grand more because it is taxed like a bonus-at a 40 percent rate.

    Also heard some companies won't take the job if you pack yourself, they don't want to be blamed for something broken in the box they did not pack.
  8. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    When I got my second job in journalism, I was told they would handle everything. This is back in 1999, so I can't imagine this happening under any circumstances these days...

    HR called me and told me to schedule a time for the movers to come to my apartment. I asked what I should do to get ready for the movers and was told, "Do nothing... They'll do everything..."

    I was 25 at the time and owned nothing. They came into my house and wrapped my 7-11 cups like they were crystal. They put bubble wrap around tupperware... They packaged my old Sports Illustrateds like they were first edition Hemingways. The couch that I had bought at a garage sale was wrapped and handled like it was an antique. It was just insane. They were so serious about it.

    I was moving about 1,800 miles and it cost the paper $6,000. I wasn't compaining, but it was funny as hell...
  9. amraeder

    amraeder Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the advice. The company pays 2 weeks of extended stay, if need be. So, I am OK there if I have to wait.
  10. amraeder

    amraeder Well-Known Member

    There's no hard and fast cap. Either I just take $500, or I itemize things, give them the receipts and they reimburse me. Basically, that's the one I'm doing. They said they "will reimburse you for reasonable relocation expenses that you incur." How they define reasonable, I don't know. The also said "Keep in mind that [company] does not reimburse full-service moves, when the moving company packs and unpacks all your things" though I'm perfectly fine packing boxes, so I don't think that will be a big deal.
  11. Johnny Dangerously

    Johnny Dangerously Active Member

    What Amy said. And heck, I went beyond that. I had a packing slip on each box, a hard copy with me, plus electronic copies saved in Gmail. Each box and its contents: JD1, JD2, JD3, with the list of items in each.

    If your boxes are going to be in a big truck with other people's stuff, put colored tape -- purple? -- all the way around each box. Once around vertically, once around horizontally. That way, it's harder for the crew unloading the truck to accidentally drop off some of your boxes with those nice people in Illinois whose stuff is also on the truck and in generic-looking boxes.
  12. Buck

    Buck Well-Known Member

    Does the company cover expenses incurred as a result of lewd and lascivious acts performed with or upon roadside animal carcasses - fines, court fees, etc?
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