Need help finding good, trustworthy cross country movers
October 16, 2010 10:02 PM   Subscribe

Looking for recommendations for reliable cross-country movers (San Francisco to DC).

A friend just found out he needs to move across the country on relatively short notice and asked me to post this question for him.

He needs to go from San Francisco to Washington, DC. He doesn't have that much stuff (full matress no frame, a dresser, possibly a couch, and then a ton of boxed up cookware). In terms of timeframe, the stuff would ideally be picked up 2 or 3 weeks from now.

Cost is not the biggest factor. Cheaper is better, of course, but the expense will largely be reimbursed. What is really important, however, is the timing and reliability. He is absolutely clueless as to how to go about finding an appropriate moving company, and any recommendations for companies you've had experience with would be extremely helpful.

Two other side questions:

1. How much extra does it typically cost to have the movers pack things?
2. How can he insure his things for the move? He has renters insurance in SF but doesn't know if it applies. If it doesn't, how does one insure items during a move?
posted by caaaaaam to Home & Garden (7 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Check out movingscams, they have a ton of info and reviews on movers all over the country. If he doesn't mind packing up himself, I would check out ABF UPack and Door2Door.
posted by sophist at 10:28 PM on October 16, 2010

The site has endorsed movers (list on the right side) and the forums have in depth reviews. Great resource.
posted by sharkfu at 10:30 PM on October 16, 2010

Oops, too slow.
posted by sharkfu at 10:31 PM on October 16, 2010

Also, side answers:

1. I moved a similar amount of stuff from SF to Boston a few years back, and including storage for a month it was ~$1500 using Door2Door. UPack is approximately the same price, maybe a bit more. The quotes I got from moving companies were at least twice that.

2. Insurance should be available from any reputable mover, including the "pods" moving services.
posted by sophist at 10:34 PM on October 16, 2010

Even if you do U-Pack, you can still hire people to help pack. In fact, some of the newer U-Pack places list people, but I've had good luck with And yes, is great.

An aside if he does go full service as I almost did: Full service movers will apparently not guarantee a delivery date. ABF U-Pack will.
posted by eleanna at 11:47 PM on October 16, 2010

My son has been in the moving business for the last 25 years - coast-to-coast - with a national company - not always the cheapest. He has always told me to encourage ALL friends and family that are moving to take out the additional insurance that any reprutale moving company will offer you. If not, any breakage is reimbursed BY THE POUND! (Just think Ming Vase!) Have your bedroom/bathroom/kitchen packed last on the truck (It comes off truck first and at least you wll have a bed, towels for that night and coffee for the morning)! The other rooms can be set up the next few days. Hope this info helps.
posted by pamspanda at 3:28 AM on October 17, 2010

Also remember that most moving companies are locally owned. So the fact that somebody 10 states away had a horrible experience with North American is really only relevant if the same people or franchise own the North American movers near you. I'd look for local sources of referrals that know the folks that own the local moving companies. They will be the ones loading your stuff onto the truck. If they load and pack properly your odds of damage are greatly reduced. Got any friends in real estate? Or any friends that have moved recently?
posted by COD at 1:53 PM on October 17, 2010

« Older Needle in a bottle. Needle in a bottle, yeah.   |   For Once I Want the Ads Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.