This week I’ve been fixating on the logistics of figuring out this cross country move. Namely, how we’ll be getting everything the 2,800 miles to the east coast.
When we moved from Washington State to California in 2004, we had a lot less stuff than we do now, after all, we had just graduated college and had been living in small apartments. And even then we had to rent a 14 foot Uhaul + vehicle towing bed for my husband (then boyfriend) to drive, and it was pure hell driving straight through the night, with one cat and two geckos in my car with me. My cat kept trying to crawl under my seat or down between my legs, just because she knew I didn’t want her to, and I was afraid she was going to get under the foot petals and cause a wreck. It got so bad that at one point I had to grab her by the scruff of her neck and throw her in the back seat! Not. Fun.
And now we live in an almost 2,000 square foot house, own a full size pool table, fridge, washer and dryer, lots more furniture, and have two more cats. And I drive a smaller car now than I did back then.
At first my husband suggested we just hire movers to load and transport all of our belongings, including both of our cars, and we’d fly. But there’s no way I would ever risk checking our pets on an airplane—way too many die each year. And after some research, we learned that most airlines will only allow one pet carrier as a carry on per passenger, although you can put two animals in the same carrier if they’ll fit. Well, our fat cat would barely fit by himself, and our two smaller kitties play fight too much, and it was just going to be a huge headache, not to mention the fact that there’s no direct flight, and you can’t exactly take cats out of their carriers for a walk in a busy airport (rescue kitties = scared as heck kitties with strangers around). And even if we could manage a day of torture, flying with the cats, there would still be no way to transport my gecko, so flying there is basically out.
So, we have to drive there. All 1 day and 21 hours (per Google maps). It’s not going to be fun either, with three cats and a gecko in a car, staying at Motel 6’s that allow pets, but it's better than the flying option.
But now the next question is, what about our belongings? Do we hire a moving company to move all our stuff and a car, and we drive together with our pets in our second car? Do we rent a Uhaul and towing bed and do it all ourselves again? Can we at least hire help to load and unload the Uhaul?
Even figuring this out is a PITA.
Ideally, we would want to do option #1, and have full service movers. But after submitting quotes on mover’s websites, they all want to come to our house to evaluate our stuff. Which in the first place makes me nervous to invite possibly shady people in to take stock of our belongings. And right now all we really want is a general dollar amount, since we’re not even sure we’ll go this route, and it’s much too early in the moving-scheme-of-things for them to need to traipse through our house (we have a LOT of crap to throw away/give away still). Even if a quote is off by $1000, it is still better than nothing at this point. So the best I’ve gotten on this front is a quote from one mover’s website based on basically nothing. They had me enter nothing more than the zip codes we’re moving from and to, the date of the move, and the number of rooms in our house, and returned a $7,500 quote. Yowza! I knew this was going to be an expensive move, but that is a LOT! But again, it was based on pretty much zero info, so who knows if it’s accurate.
After getting the $7,500 quote, we went on the Uhaul site to price that option out. And for renting the truck and car trailer for 10 days, it’s about $3,200. Plus about $250 to get 2 movers for 4 hours to help us load, and another $250 for the same to unload the Uhaul. All in all, a little over $3,700 + gas to drive ourselves. Which certainly sounds a lot better than double that to have someone else drive, considering we have to drive with our pets anyway. But if we could get a quote for movers closer to $5k, I think we’d still jump on that option.
I’ve always enjoyed logistics planning in the past, but this is all just becoming a huge pain in the ass! Can’t we just snap our fingers and be moved already?
Have you ever had to deal with professional movers before, or are you like us, and have always just did the Uhaul thing yourself? Did you have a good experience if you did use pro movers?