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Moving....across the country, ocean, planet

141
Starland Vocal Band

I am a grad school thread regular experiencing a temporary bout of paranoia, thus the new personality.

I've noticed that quite a few of us are going to be moving soon....some starting in June and then the rest of us will more than likely begin the exodus in July or August.

And I don't know about everybody else, but I have a lot of crap. Too much to fit comfortably in my car, and too much to just leave behind once I make the move, especially since I have no plans to come "home".

Does anyone have any insight into this moving cross country thing? I know it's going to be expensive, but anything I should avoid? Moving horror stories? Companies I should stay away from?

 
Mar 25, 07 8:00 pm
Starland Vocal Band

For instance, I found these "pod" things that you can have delivered to your door, you load it up and lock it, then the moving company picks it up and delivers it to your new address 5 or 500 miles away. This seems like a pretty good idea because I don't have to drive it but the movers don't have access to my stuff.

eh?

Mar 25, 07 8:03 pm  · 
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Living in Gin

I'm looking at a long-distance move this summer regardless of whether or not I go to grad school in the fall. I've made several such moves in the past, so I have a bit of experience in this matter.

I've usually used U-Haul in the past, and gotten friends to help load and unload the truck. Just a note about U-Haul, though: Your "reservation" doesn't really reserve anything; it just locks in a particular price. Whether or not the equipment is actually available when you show up is an entirely different matter. I found this out the hard way when I moved from Chicago to Philadelphia in 2002. Other truck rental outfits such as Ryder or Budget may cost a little more, but you actually get a real reservation.

I don't mind packing and unpacking, and I don't even mind driving trucks long distances, but I absolutely hate loading and unloading the trucks. In most cities you can hire people to help with this part of the move.

Mar 25, 07 8:49 pm  · 
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b3tadine[sutures]

don't use PODS, just don't, too damn expensive.

go here - http://www.movingscam.com/

priceless information above

i used this - http://www.upack.com/default.asp?refnum=2149

to move from jersey to st. paul

and this - http://www.dasautoshippers.com/car_shipping.html?EADID=002Car_Moving

to ship our Neon

aside from a couple of minor things broken, a plate and shelf, everything arrived in great shape.

the key, and i mean KEY thing is to hire someone from - http://www.emove.com/

to pack and unload - packing is critical when using ABF, the professional packers can size up a move like no-ones business and pack it quicker than shit, and tight as hell so nothing moves. i estimated 3 hours to pack our apartment, it took them under 2 and that was with two guys.

do not hire until you visit moving scam, trust me, you don't want any problems with moving and almost all movers are scammers. PODS for what you get it's not worth the money, and it's alot of money.

Mar 25, 07 8:58 pm  · 
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Starland Vocal Band

Oooh I think ABF was the one I got a quote from. I will definitely check out those links! Thx.

My problem with renting a truck is that I have a car and will have to be taking it with me. The thought of trying to hitch that thing up on the back of the truck with the tail lights and everything just freaks me out.

Mar 25, 07 9:06 pm  · 
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b3tadine[sutures]

stay away from uhaul and rider, if you go with anyone of those types use Penske, much safer equipment. trust me moving scam saved my ass, and i know it.

Mar 25, 07 9:09 pm  · 
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Heh heh, I'm having that same issue pop up. I've lived in the same place for the last 5+ years and will be moving soon. I don't have the luxury of many of the suggestions listed above so I've used my talents/budget to assist instead. I'm building a house simply so that i can store all the stuff i've accumulated over the time. So instead shipping etc etc, I've started designing book shelves et al.

Mar 25, 07 9:12 pm  · 
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I've been wondering about this lately, thanks for bringing it up. Does anybody have advice for how to move, when you don't know the address you're moving to yet? Is there anyplace that I could tell the general area, pack it up, then get on a flight and call them with the precise address once I've found an apartment? I would like to make a trip before the move to find an apartment, but if that's not possible, I'd like to know how difficult moving will be.

Mar 25, 07 9:41 pm  · 
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b3tadine[sutures]

yes, we did the same thing, called a week before the move to give final location. in fact we could have called while in transit.

Mar 25, 07 9:44 pm  · 
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treekiller

uhaul has the worst trucks- I'll second penske as having the best fleet.

'Nother thought is how much stuff you have and how many stairs you got. After 10+ years of doing my own loading/driving/unloading, I'd rather let the professionals get the back aches and risk falling down the stairs carrying the sofa. I just buy them a six pack and lunch and nothing gets broken beyond my wallet. Most xcountry coast to middle or other coast will cost $4k+ for the privilege of not driving a truck or sweating with the load/unload. If you figure that renting a truck will be at least $1500 + another $1000 gas for the same distance, going professional starts to look like a bargain.

r- you have few options of relocating without a specific address yet. first is rent a storage unit and unload into that for the duration of finding a new place, then reload,drive,unload a second time... next choice is to hope that you sign a lease before the moving van shows up with your stuff. if you hire a professional truck, they tend to be a few days/weeks slower then a car with you behind the wheel. I my last move, we lucked out in signing the lease and got the keys two days before the truck pulled up. third option (with a professional mover) is to let them store your stuff in their warehouse- this is the riskiest way to have things disappear/break- until you get a set of keys.

Mar 25, 07 9:54 pm  · 
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glutisolator615

Do not use Flat Rate Movers. I used them last july to move crosscountry and they are crooks. And definitely check out the moving scam website, unfortunately I found it afterwards.

Mar 25, 07 10:51 pm  · 
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glutisolator615

you want to go by weight. Anyone promising to price your stuff by volume, like Flat Rate, are crooks. big time crooks. I repeat crooooks! (sorry I guess I still have some residual anger.)

Mar 25, 07 10:53 pm  · 
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Living in Gin

By the way, chances are I'll be moving to NYC in early July, so I'll be looking for housing and a job there. I'm open to any leads that any archinectors may have. (I'll probably start a dedicated thread when my plans are more certain, but it never hurts to put the word out there early.)

Mar 25, 07 10:55 pm  · 
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miss_j

i really hate moving...especially moving across oceans.

i always wish that i could just teleport myself...

Mar 25, 07 11:25 pm  · 
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What's the best way to go if you don't have a ton of stuff? I don't anticipate having any furniture left beyond an inflatable bed which packs up quite small. It seems infinitely more sensible when one is looking for a room of unknown size in an apartment or house to sell my furniture before the move. So I'm really looking for something pod-sized, but you guys say the pods are a scam. Are there any pods that aren't a scam?

Mar 26, 07 12:06 am  · 
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WonderK

Easier said than done re: selling furniture. Sometimes you can post and repost things on Craigslist and they just don't sell. I've been trying to unload a little desk for months now and I'm only getting rid of it because I am now giving it away.

Mar 26, 07 12:10 am  · 
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well, maybe any archinectors that end up moving to LA (hint, hint) might want some of it. = ) I've generally had good luck with that sort of thing in the past though.

Mar 26, 07 12:20 am  · 
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WonderK

OH crap. I really like my stuff though! Hmmmm. We'll talk :o)

Mar 26, 07 12:25 am  · 
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why 'oh crap'? No pressure, I was half joking. I don't even know which of it I'll have the right to sell and which bits the bf will claim.

Mar 26, 07 12:31 am  · 
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Katze

I've moved a million times without knowing where I was going to live and where I was going to work. Get some balls, pack your belongings (or store it) and make the move. Live dangerously and learn along the way. Lessons Learned - Just do it, damn it.

Mar 26, 07 1:04 am  · 
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Chairman-Mao

Here is my story:

I'm selling my 4-door sedan and getting a wagon. I'm going to put all my shit in the wagon and drive to the school.

Mar 26, 07 1:14 am  · 
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chupacabra

University of Hawaii by chance?

Mar 26, 07 1:15 am  · 
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FOG Lite

I second the ABF/ Upack. I used them for a cross country move and they were great. They will also store the containers for you at a monthly rate. It was more expensive than getting a storage unit, but definitely worth it as we got the lay of the land.

It worked out to be quite a bit cheaper than doing Uhaul. You do need to heed their warnings about packing everything really well, a couple of my wooden pieces that I didn't bother to wrap did get some vibrations damage, basically black smutz from jiggling for 3000 miles.

It always helps to be fearless about the move and getting rid of stuff. I always look forward to moving as an excellent way to force my wife to get rid of some of her junk. (Marry artists interested in collage at your own peril.)

Mar 26, 07 1:16 am  · 
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garpike

I second the wagon. Stuff your car. You'll figure out what you get to keep. The rest? Well... starting over is fun.

Mar 26, 07 1:21 am  · 
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Chairman-Mao

No worries. I got it down. I just need to take care of the car now. Subaru is good. I need more cash for an Audi A4.

Mar 26, 07 1:26 am  · 
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Katze- I don't think anybody here needs encouragement to do so. We're here seeking strategic advise, as at least I have never done that sort of thing before. For instance, I didn't even know that you could hire a moving van or crate or whatnot if you didn't know the precise address it was going to from the start. Knowing those little things makes it a lot easier.

Mar 26, 07 1:32 am  · 
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garpike

Wasn't thing Audi... but I do like that new A3.

Mar 26, 07 1:35 am  · 
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Chairman-Mao

Yeah... I test drive the A3, it's nice. A4 is bigger though, that's what i need. A bigger non-SUV car. The Subaru Outback 2.5 is nice too, 10K cheaper than the A4.

Mar 26, 07 1:43 am  · 
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Katze

Strategic advice? Call a moving company and ask for your options. We are not talking about brain surgery here – it's common sense. If you don't want to move a bunch of crap, pack the car with essentials and move. It's really that simple.

Mar 26, 07 1:54 am  · 
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...Unless you're not planning to bring your car to school with you. What the hell is with people lately that they comment on a thread only to say how stupid the questions being asked are? I've certainly learned from this thread already- if you have nothing to contribute to it or learn from it, be content with your all-knowingness and leave the rest of us be, please.

Mar 26, 07 1:57 am  · 
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bowling_ball

I started contacting companies for quotes today, incidentally. It's me and my girlfriend moving, about 1600 miles away. We're not sure yet if we're going to use movers, or more likely, just rent a truck and move our crap ourselves.

I did an inventory of our place today. We have a little one-story home (plus basement) and started figuring out what stays and what goes. It would be nice to just pack up our little car and drive, but reality is that we have stuff that can't be replaced easily or cheaply - power tools, rare books, original artwork......

I shouldn't be stressed about it, but regardless, it's expensive and time-consuming. Best to plan ahead. Unfortunately, I can't use much of everybody's advice here because I'm up in Canada, and my options are limited. Boooo!

Mar 26, 07 1:58 am  · 
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Katze

rationalist, I'm not looking to pick a fight, so please refrain from the soap box mentality. I'm simply stating the fact that moving is not a difficult task. You simply need to make a few phone calls, review your options and plan accordingly. My contribution is to call various moving companies and weigh out your options. No one can make this decision for you. slantsix has the right idea – call for quotes. If you don't have a lot of stuff, load your car and make the trip. If you do not plan to bring your car, get on a flight and have your belongings shipped to your location, or store your stuff until you return. I will revert to the phrase "its not brain surgery". I could walk you through one but I might be accused of having the "know-it-all-knowingness" complex.

Mar 26, 07 4:13 am  · 
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b3tadine[sutures]

katze, moving is one of the more stressful things to do in life. imagine getting your shit on a moving truck, after they have given you an estimate that you think is fair, only to have to pay thousands more once they have your crap in THEIR possession.

just calling a moving company and getting prices is retarded and going to cost you more than you think. and slantsix is wrong, you'll spend more time with researching moving companies and trying to weed out the schisters, they charge by an estimated weight - something that can't be determined until your gear is on board and they weigh the truck - so if an asshole estimator underestimates your apartment/house and then you find you are 1000lbs more than the estimate that'll cost you, and if you try argue the point, they can keep your gear until you pay. ABF and Broadway Express do it differently, ABF only puts your stuff at the head of the trailer, and puts commercial goods at the rear, so no commingling of shit.

while it might not be brain surgery, the dumb asses that move you think it is, and fuck you over the coals just the same. that is why it's best to get second opinions on how to move and not just do it, that is unless you are running from the law or have pocketfuls of money and given that most of us are architects, i'd say the latter is not the case.

uhaul and rider trucks break down.

ratio, ABF has pods, but they are much cheaper than PODS the company.

Mar 26, 07 4:41 am  · 
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b3tadine[sutures]

oh and ABF charges by the linear foot the same for Broadway. before i get a comment launched at me, slantsix, i didn't mean to suggest you were wrong.

Mar 26, 07 4:42 am  · 
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Katze
"just calling a moving company and getting prices is retarded and going to cost you more than you think".

You are talking to a person that has moved many times coast-to-coast and internationally. As long as you get your details in writing and you are honest about the approximate weight and room measurements, you have nothing to worry about in a court of law. If the company tries to change the agreement at time of delivery, they have the burden of proving the agreement has changed. Moving companies have the opportunity to review the contents at the time they boxed and moved everything. If they believe that the contents have exceeded the original contract, it is their responsibility to change any contractual agreements. Changing the agreement after the fact e.g. delivering the goods and requesting more money for the move is fraudulent. I have had my share of paying the mover excess money due to distress, but you can recover these costs relatively easily if you have a written contract. Most people run into problems when they don't get it in writing.

Mar 26, 07 6:09 am  · 
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b3tadine[sutures]

so, it's not as easy as just do it? finding the "right" moving company is not as easy as you think. i too have moved many times, both here in the US and overseas, if moving were so easy and moving companies so reputable, then sites like movingscam would really not have any leg to stand on, and the attorney generals in many states would not be going after them, and moving companies would not be hiding behind so many DBA...point is, aside from using Penske, places like ABF, put control back in your hands, and give YOU the last say and let YOU determine your exact needs, without the ambiguities that so many people deal with. if i ever have to move again, and i am paying for it, like this last time, i would not use anyone but a self-mover.

Mar 26, 07 7:08 am  · 
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b3tadine[sutures]

...also, the estimate places an undo and unknowable burden on the consumer; i don't know what the contents of my apartment weighs. so boxing and placing my apartment on the truck only to find out that the so called "expert" did accurately estimate what my one bedroom apartment would weigh does me no good whatsoever, and negotiating the rate after they have possession of my belongings only aggravates the situation, and takes the control away from me - because what can i do on the day of the move, when i am scheduled to be out of my apartment on that day? am i supposed to go to court and seek some kind of relief?

Mar 26, 07 7:17 am  · 
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aquapura

Nobody has mentioned getting a job with a firm that will pay your moving expenses. It's nice when the Mayflower or North American big rig shows up in front of your house and everything is taken care of, bill and all. I know of many firms that will do that, and not all huge either.

Now if you are moving for college, well, everything you need should fit in an army sized duffel bag.

Mar 26, 07 8:32 am  · 
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nambypambics
http://flatratemoving.com/

A close friend of mine used this company to move from Chicago to NYC and raves about the good quality of service. You pack your own stuff, then they come and put the boxes in & out of the truck.

Mar 26, 07 9:06 am  · 
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nambypambics

I would also like to mention that the one I mentioned, flatratemovING.com is a DIFFERENT company from the one someone mentioned above as a scam, which is flatratemovERS.com

Mar 26, 07 9:10 am  · 
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WonderK

That's a very shortsighted way of looking at things. Not all grad students are perky 22-year-old coeds with little more than their IKEA starter kit to put in their car. Several people on the grad school thread have full lives (ahem), some even have families, and we're talking about a substantial amount of stuff that you can't just leave behind.

Furthermore, it's not "just that easy". I too have moved across country a couple of times, and that doesn't make it any less stressful. If you're packing up your car, you're talking about driving for 3 days, with a car full of crap, that any common thief will view as the jackpot if they see it sitting in the parking lot of that Hampton Inn you just pulled into. And if you're moving into a big city, well good luck, because that bookshelf you have strapped to your roof certainly doesn't help matters when you're trying to navigate your way into the Lincoln Tunnel along with about 50,000 other cars.

It's a pain in the ass, plain and simple. I think this thread is going in the direction of making it a *little* easier to deal with. For which I am grateful.

Mar 26, 07 9:14 am  · 
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WonderK

My first comment was directed at the "duffle bag" post. I have no opinion on the flatratemoving.com people....yet.

Mar 26, 07 9:16 am  · 
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nambypambics

I'd also like to, for the third time in a row, say that calling a company and getting a quote in writing is not all there is to moving. Someone I know used one of those "scam" companies and went through hell. They raised prices on her by over $1000, and lost some of her things, and delivered someone else's things to her (a really lovely antique mirror, which someone was probably anguished to lose, but this place was so sloppy they couldn't figure out who owned it originally).

She might have been able to get her money back by taking the company to court, but nothing will ever replace her lost-by-movers heirloom chest passed down from her dead great grandmother to her dead grandmother to her now-dead mother, which was filled with childhood toys, yearbooks, and all kinds of irreplaceable memories. I think that is what most of us fear more than just being screwed out of money or not knowing how to move!

Mar 26, 07 9:16 am  · 
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i'll say i haven't moved across the country in, oh, 13 yrs. back then all of my belongings fit into a 14' rented box truck with room to spare. loaded and unloaded myself, not trusting anyone else to do this for me and not wanting to pay for it anyway.

i recently had some local experience with pods. if you manage it well, it's a great system. we moved our own stuff into the pod (so we knew it was handled carefully). the pod went away to a/c'd storage. we got the pod back 3 wks later at a new place across town and unloaded it on our own schedule over the course of the next week. i can't imagine how it could have been cheaper than the $300+/- that we paid.

as far as moving across the planet, my brother-in-law moved to maui from wyoming a couple of years ago and found that a shipping container worked out well. it's not cheap, but also not crazy expensive. you just have to be willing to wait for your box for several weeks. take anything you need to live in the meantime.

Mar 26, 07 9:32 am  · 
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treekiller

getting a quote by phone ain't the same as getting an estimator to visit your pad and provide a detailed inventory/not to exceed estimate. the key is the 'not to exceed' language. Now you know the worst case price- everything is in writing. typically the actual tariff is a few $100 less. If you are flexible on move dates, you can save even more money. Ask the company what dates there discount on tariffs change. Moving across state lines is highly regulated and so if one company quotes you a 64% discount versus a 63%, you can tell which is cheaper the milage and actual weight will be the same. Just look at the other costs, most of them will be similar- loading/unloading 3 guys versus 4 guys won't really cost anything different.


yeah, moving sucks! but ya gotta do what ya gotta do.

Mar 26, 07 9:38 am  · 
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a bit different in japan...longer distances to go home, longer distances to get here.

lotta my friends hired shipping containers to ship their vehicles back home, etc. you wouldnt believe the things you can accumulate for next to nothing in jpan if you live here long enough. all of those friends had zero problems, even with shipping to czech republic...

i have moved across canada several times, to london once, to tokyo once, and back and forth from canada to japan about 5 or 6 times, never mind all the moving round the various cities...basically i am a nomad...

rather i WAS a nomad. i have no heirlooms larger than a wristwatch, no furniture i care about, and until my kids were born we only kept things that could be packed into a suitcase...an extremely minimal life, at least when it comes to objects of desire...

but now with kids we are suddenly swamped with things (and i don't know where ANY of it came from!). last trip from countryside to tokyo we hired a crew. they moved it all, we packed it. was perfect cuz japanese companies don't include the scamming type. they carried everything up 5 flights of stairs even (no EV in THIS ode to 1960'S collective housing) without complaint, without demand for extra cash, and a genuine thanks for the ice tea...amazing. i love japan for things like that.

funnest long distant move was with me da in '87, 3000 km in 2 weeks, driving in a 67 ford caliente, sold most everything we owned, stopped at all the major cities long the way, and bought new stuff at the other end. sort of set the pattern for me since then. maybe not so common in north america nowadays...

worst trip was going back a few years later, this time with cats in the trunk, which we converted to a kind of pen...turns out cats don't like driving long distance....;-)

have fun!

Mar 26, 07 10:12 am  · 
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Steven- my parents also used a shipping crate when moving out of the country, and the only reasons it wasn't great had nothing to do with the company. They packed up their cars, drove them into the crate, and then packed everything else in around them.


Katze- I was reacting to your 'it's common sense' comment. Which moving companies are good vs. which are scams is NOT common sense. Pods being crap vs. the penske pods being ok is NOT common sense. FlatratemovERS.com being a scam vs. FlatratemovING.com being an ok company is NOT COMMON SENSE. That is stuff that you cannot find out by just calling the moving company. They're not going to tell you, "oh, ma'am, you don't want to hire us. Our whole outfit is one big scam." because it would hurt their business to be honest like that. THAT's common sense.

Mar 26, 07 10:49 am  · 
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Living in Gin

What rationalist said. In reading here that Penske seems to have a much better track record than U-Haul or Ryder, I logged onto Penske's site to get a price quote for a move to NYC. Lo and behold, it was actually slightly cheaper than either U-Haul or Ryder for the same size truck.

Also, I had no idea about flatratemoving.com until Namby posted the link. I'll definately check them out as well.

Thanks, archinect!

Mar 26, 07 10:55 am  · 
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Living in Gin

While we're discussing moving, can any NYC archinectors suggest a reliable outfit that I could hire to simply unload the truck at my destination? I can probably ask friends here in Chicago to load the truck at this end, but I don't have as much of a social network in NYC to rely on for that sort of help. Thanks...

Mar 26, 07 10:58 am  · 
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b3tadine[sutures]

gin, go to emove, trust me, you can hire two guys for as little as 1-2 hours.

Mar 26, 07 11:04 am  · 
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Living in Gin

Cool, thanks... I'll check them out. I may even hire them here at this end as well. Like I said, I don't mind packing, and I actually enjoy long-distance driving, but I loathe the whole loading/unloading thing. Especially if I'm moving into the top floor of a 12-story walk-up.

Mar 26, 07 11:24 am  · 
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