Moving from San Diego to Los Angeles with a Moving Company
July 12, 2014 5:41 PM   Subscribe

It looks like I will be moving to LA in as little as 6-8 weeks. I would like to use a moving company to make this happen as my parents and friends will largely be unavailable at the time I need to go go go. Can you recommend a moving service in San Diego, and can you tell me what I should be aware of from a safety, budget, bargaining, etc standpoint?

Budget: I *think* I will have about $1000 to make this happen.

Will Need to Move:
two small bookshelves
one large TV unit (if new apartment will fit it)
and then many boxes of books, cookware, and all the rest of my stuff

I'm thinking that I will want to bring the books and my valuables (and my cat) up with me in my car, and then everything else needs to go with a mover.

What company in San Diego would you recommend, and how should I go about arranging all of this so I am safe and not taken advantage of? How can I make sure I treat the movers right? Do I tip? Am I responsible for gas? Is my budget enough for what I need to move?
posted by Hermione Granger to Home & Garden (8 answers total)
Response by poster: Also, I would prefer to pack my boxes myself, if that makes a difference in cost/service.
posted by Hermione Granger at 5:44 PM on July 12, 2014

Are any of the big items particularly valuable, either in terms of replacement cost or sentimental attachment?

If not, and you don't need a company that carries special insurance to cover your stuff: you could look into using to hire movers. Two strong people and a large panel van could probably do that in one trip, depending on size/shape of the furniture.

I've used taskrabbit to get rid of some big bulky furniture, and was very happy with the service and outcome. I've found the people I've hired through them to be a lot more flexible and can-do in their attitude than the established moving or junk disposal a fraction of the cost.
posted by nacho fries at 5:54 PM on July 12, 2014

As a single woman who moves frequently, I have had good success many times with local moves through Two Men and a Truck. I would use them again. I'm in a different state, but there's a branch in San Diego.

- They charge by the hour, including round-trip driving time. So for you, they would charge the time to drive back to SD.
- They provide a truck, the labor, the gas, the dolly, the loading ramp, the furniture pads. I drove my own car. I never had to lift or move anything myself. They even set up some of the furniture, when asked.
- The guys were quick and strong and nice and careful.
- Yes, absolutely tip. And have water and gatorade, etc. to offer.

I packed my own things, and I move a lot, so I have a ton of rubbermaids for that very purpose. That got expensive but I re-use them. But you can buy boxes and packing materials. The moving service offered to sell some to me and deliver them as well.

I think you might be able to make it on 1K, or perhaps a little more. They will do a free quote based on your stuff. They had a small discount for moving on a weekday.
posted by mochapickle at 6:07 PM on July 12, 2014

Response by poster: Also moving a stacked washer/dryer unit potentially! Forgot to mention that. That's probably my biggest concern.
posted by Hermione Granger at 6:14 PM on July 12, 2014

I did this in April. We had a 3br house (but only one bed, the other two rooms were basically offices), a couple very large pieces of furniture, and a shitload of boxes. it filled a 24' truck.

Moving companies wanted around $4000 to do this.

What we did was rent the truck from Penske, hired movers for 2 hours in San Diego, drove the truck to LA ourselves, and hired movers for 1.5 hours in LA. We got a midweek deal on the truck and paid $150 for it one way. My husband did the drive late at night to avoid traffic (though he still had to stop at the border patrol/weigh station in San Onofre) The movers were a couple hundred on each end.

This is such a crap situation that neither short-haul nor long-haul movers want the work. It's expensive for them to make one way of the trip empty. If you absolutely cannot bring yourself to drive the truck, ask your friends to ask around to see if they know anybody who would drive it up and take the train back.
posted by Lyn Never at 9:11 PM on July 12, 2014

How about ABF. They can get folks to help you load it, or you can do that yourself to save money. Ditto at the distant end.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 5:24 AM on July 13, 2014

I've used Kalifornia before-
posted by ElectricGoat at 8:03 AM on July 14, 2014

I did this move in the other direction exactly one year ago, moving from a 1BR to a 2BR. Your budget of $1000 *might* be barely enough, but I'm guessing it's not.

I agree with Lyn Never: you will be much better off if you are willing to drive the truck yourself. Hiring moving help for a couple hours (based on your stuff listed, I would estimate about 2 hours for 2 guys) on each end, and about $200 for the moving truck would save you a lot of money. Most moving truck rental places will also have a tow-trailer that attaches for a car. The rental truck company will typically offer add-ons, such as extra blankets, boxes and packing materials, etc. The packing materials are typically really over-priced, but for a place your size you might not care about the difference vs. getting boxes elsewhere. I'd get twice as many boxes as you think you need, and LOTS AND LOTS of newspaper. We used a stack roughly 3' high, and still wished we'd had more.

Whether you hire movers on each end and rent a truck yourself, or hire a full-package moving company: call several places, at least 3, and get quotes. Don't be afraid to mention to Company A that you're getting a better price from Company B. I would tip the movers, have water and Gatorade on hand, and might offer to buy pizza if they're doing a good job. I'd try to schedule the driving portion around mid-day on a weekday to avoid traffic as much as possible.
posted by hootenatty at 10:54 AM on July 14, 2014

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