Moving It Out
April 16, 2005 6:56 AM   Subscribe

I have to relocate under time pressure. Can you recommend what to look for (and avoid) for a house cleaning service, van line and the like?

I can't move my date back (three weeks from Monday). What's better in your experience? DIY or getting full-service people to help you? Anything I should expect as to how much they've cost you for moving out of a 3BR house? Many thanks!
posted by nj_subgenius to Work & Money (8 answers total)
I used Mayflower to move across the country, and my mother used them to move just a few towns over. We both had good experiences with them. They were very professional. I just have an apartment, and so usually my husband and I just do it ourselves. I think though for a 3BR house, similar to what my mother has, it is best to hire someone due to the volume of work involved. We moved my mother ourselves one time, and it was such a pain that she has hired someone ever since.

For us, the cost was partly dependent on the distance of the move, and because it required them to move our stuff using more than one truck (they used the big truck for across the country, but needed a smaller truck to fit down the street we moved to), so I'm not sure what to tell you for an estimate.
posted by veronitron at 7:45 AM on April 16, 2005

When hiring movers for full-service moves, watch how they pack your belongings - one mover had started to pack my garbage can (with contents!) into a box for a month-long move from Montreal to Vancouver

The move was month-long, because my stuff would travel by truck across Canada, then wait in storage until I found a place to live in Vancouver.

So - prepare for the move, help ID'ing boxes, have a plan of where things will go (into which rooms)

And, another tip once you are moving in - ask the full service movers to unpack all your boxes and take them away as soon as they are done. This way you will have an incentive to put away your things as soon as possible, and not live in a 'semi-moved-in state' for weeks on end.
posted by seawallrunner at 7:54 AM on April 16, 2005

for weeks on end.

Moved last August. You should see our basement. "Weeks" would have been nice. In a couple of months, we'll hit the Year mark.

We went with Nationwide for cross-country moves. Both times, we took the time to make up a one or two letter code for the outside of the boxes to identify their contents. U-Haul has a nice selection of boxes with checkboxes you can mark for easy identification, but I've found that within a couple of moves, you'll either have old boxes mislabeled, or you just won't be using all U-Haul boxes.

Learn to use a simple plastic tape cutter (you know, the rollers that hold the packing tape with the metal teeth on the end). Figuring out how to train your fingers and wrist to make a clean cut and then fold the tape over on the end before it sticks back on to itself means so much less stress.

Do most of the packing yourself. Not only can you be assured of the state and consistent contents of each box, but you can nearly cut the moving costs in half (YMMV) if you do all of the packing yourselves. I've found that if you do it with an eye toward "finally throwing away that stuff you've pack-ratted for years", you'll move less overall stuff, and your garbageman will hate you by the end of the week.
posted by thanotopsis at 12:55 PM on April 16, 2005

Thanks so far all...hope I can get some ideas on pre-moving cleanup. Anyone?
posted by nj_subgenius at 1:11 PM on April 16, 2005

I hired a service to do a move-out clean from an apartment I lived in. Even though it was done without me having to think about it, I remember finding little stuff that I would have gone after were it up to me. And this was after I had moved everything out, so there wasn't anything in the way. The house will look the best if you get four or five friends to tackle it in an afternoon. Asking around locally would get you recommendations on a service, maybe call a property management company, they'll know.
posted by airguitar at 3:05 AM on April 17, 2005

I have to relocate under time pressure.

So quit wasting time on the internets already and start packing!
posted by sour cream at 6:02 AM on April 17, 2005

Thanks everyone!
posted by nj_subgenius at 7:27 AM on April 17, 2005

Be sure to carefully set aside and protect anything small and valueable. Although I can't prove it, I'm sure that one of the movers we hired 3 years ago swiped my Palm Pilot. Also, if you have access to a van or even temp-storage, you may want to move anything small (that you can carry) yourself. That way the movers can concentrate their time (they're usually paid hourly) on the big things that you actually need help moving...
posted by devilshgrin at 2:32 PM on April 18, 2005

« Older how to repair carpeting?   |   Mitigating Alcohol-Induced Stupidness Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.