Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Moving Requires Lots of Lube

Okay, so I guess it's getting to be the time to let the cat out of the bag. No, not Zombie Kitty, though she did get herself into a bag inside a box this morning... anyway. I've mentioned bits and pieces here and there, but with the subject matter of today's post, it's time to go ahead and let it out.

The kids, Z, and I are moving. While I'd like to post where we are up and moving to, I'm not sure if my stalkers (and I don't mean my Inklingers- you all clicked the 'follow' button and opted to let me know that you are stalking me- that's perfectly acceptable and actually makes me happy) have found my blog so, we'll just have to keep that one under wraps for a bit longer. (Though, kudos to those who are regular Inklings followers, because you all have figured it out by now!) But what I will say is it's 2000 miles away from our current location (yes, that we just moved to not 6 effing months ago) and back in the South. Grits, sweet tea, pig pickins and humidity- here I come!!!

So, what's today's post about to where I had to let the cat out of the bag? Moving, or, rather, movers. Ah, lets just dive in.

This is the first move I've ever had to pay more than beer and pizza for. Every large move we've had to make in our life was paid for and taken care of by the military. We just scheduled a date, big burly men (or tiny little guys who reek of whisky but are sweeter than molasses) came and packed our entire house up, and about 2 weeks later our household goods were being delivered at our new location for us to unpack and start a new life. This will be my fourth move in three years, but two of the moves were a few miles apart, so yeah, pizza, beer and some good friends was all I needed. Well, not this time. A 2000 mile move requires some sort of help (I am not driving a moving truck cross country, sorry), so I began last week calling movers out to give me estimates.

That's when the raping began. Three moving companies came out, and all three of them must have thought that I was a hooker and they could do to me what they pleased (and NOT pay me afterwards). The first mover at least hugged and kissed me a little, then took advantage of my naivety in this being my first self-paid move. The second one decided that no lube was necessary, but was still on the gentle side. The third one not only purposefully forgot the lube, but tried to give this to me in a most uncomfortable place (like the back seat of a Volkswagon). Let me explain my frustration to the number crunchers out there...

When we moved here, the contents of our entire house weighed 7000 pounds. I am taking with me everything except the large four poster solid wood queen sized bed and mattresses, the heavy ass solid cherry dresser set that's as tall as I am, 4 bookshelves, a washer and a dryer, a drum set, an entertainment center with a 32" TV, another 32" TV, the sofa, the recliner, the chaise lounge chair, 2 outdoor rocking chairs, and entire set of camping equipment including 3 tents, half of the kitchen, a storage ottoman coffee table, and a garage full of miscellaneous items, and 2 of the movers estimated me at 5000 pounds and the last one (Mr.Volkswagon I shall now call him) at 6,200 pounds. Hold on. I'm leaving all of the heaviest shit we own in the house, and you're trying to tell me it only weighs 2000 pounds, or even just 800 pounds (thank you, Mr.Volkswagon)?? I throw the bullshit flag on that one.

'Well, our estimates are over-estimates just to make sure we cover your move. If the truck weighs in less than what we've quoted you upon arrival, we'll give you a refund of $35 per 100 pounds we over-estimated, about 30 days after your move.' Heard that from all 3 of them, and not a single one could explain how we moved 7000 pounds out here and I'm supposedly taking 5000-6200 of it back with me, in leaving all of the heaviest items we own.

Ouch, can I get some lube, please, and please don't stick it there. I beg you.

So meanwhile, a friend of mine was curious, and started looking up moving companies online. I got a call from them asking if I had considered one of these you-pack-it-yourself places. The online estimate they gave me was $1300 less than the cheapest moving company quote I had received. So, I called them. Highly reputable company that does moving jobs for Apple, Target, Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Ford Motors, etc, is highly rated with the Better Business Bureau and customers have given it 4.5 stars out of 5 on epinions.com. Sounds good so far, right? Then the representative goes on to explain to me how their business works verses an actual moving company.

  • Moving Company: Charges by weight. Comes to my house, packs up the truck themselves, then they take my stuff to a warehouse and unload it. Once they run some numbers and some routes on other families' household goods, they repack a truck with up to 4 families' homes all mixed in there together, and start the haul, dropping the loads off in order as they go. The average damage rate/where's my shit rate in the moving industry is 24%. And, they can't guarantee me an actual day of delivery, it's a 3 day window that they'll call me in, anywhere from 5-12 days after my stuff leaves here. When I'm trying to book plane tickets to fly home, and make sure my kids are in school soon after we move, I need an exact date.
  • You Pack It Company: Charges by space on the truck. I'm quoted right now at 16 feet. If I only use 10 feet, I only pay for 10 feet when they deliver my stuff. No waiting 30 days for a refund, and I can pack up my 16 feet with feathers or 5 cars. Price doesn't change. They drop the empty truck off at my house, and I pack it up myself. Then they pick my truck up and drive it directly cross country to my new house. No other families' crap is on my truck, no one touches my stuff, and when they open the truck at time of delivery, my stuff is exactly the way I packed it. Their damage rate/where's my shit rate is less than 1% because no one unloads a truck or moves my stuff around, or combines it with other families' stuff. They guaranteed me an exact day of delivery, so now I can book my plane tickets accordingly. And, because of all the crap I'm going through right now, the guy started me off with $150 discount. So, if I can pack this bad boy just right, I stand to save $2000 on what the moving companies were going to charge me.
Suddenly, I feel loved, treated like a goddess, not only cuddled with afterwards, but served breakfast in bed with a rose in a little vase, too. 

So, needless to say, I booked with the you-pack-it-yourself company. Yes, now I have to spend 2 days loading up a truck, but it's so worth it. I'll pay in pizza and beer that weekend. And then there's the unpacking on the other end- that's gonna be pizza and wine, I've already gotten that planned out. 

While there's still so much to stress about right now, at least I've gotten one thing figured out. Fingers crossed this you-pack-it place is just as amazing as their reputation says it is, and my stuff gets 2000 miles away without a hitch, and keeping $2000 in my pocket. It's kind of ironic. With the $2000 I save, I could buy my own lube, but it seems like I won't need it with the you-pack-it place. 

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  1. Ouchies... moving is such a pain in the arse. I'll be moving in March and I'm not looking forward to it. Maybe I'll just post to craigslist and offer beer and pizza to random helpers who come do it for me :D

  2. I hate moving. I used to move every 6 months, no fun. Good luck with the move and I hope you enjoy your new location.

  3. I swear there will always be that scum that likes to take advantage of women be it movers or car repair men. I'm dealing with that one right now and it hurts. I forgot the lube at home! Dam it. I'm going to remember the travel one and slip it in my bag so I"m always prepared.

    This moving deal sounds so much better and hopefully you will bump into some new neighbors that will jump in and help you unload!

  4. Oh come on! I was TWO days behind..... Nut!