Preparing for the move
Jun 22, 2006

With my moving date (July 21) now less than a month a way, I figure it's time to get serious about figuring out all the logistics. The biggest question, of course, is how I actually get my stuff from San Francisco to Boston. My first thought was to use PODS. I really like the concept, and their way of doing things just seems very convenient. (For those that don't know, they deliver a container of the appropriate size to your house, you pack your stuff in it, and they take it off to either a storage facility, the destination of your move, or both depending on your needs.) However when I got a quote from them it was around $7000, a bit more than I was looking to spend. My next thought was the tried and true standard of U-Haul. Obviously U-Haul is a known quantity. They've been around, they're well-known, they're reliable, and whenever you drive long distance you always see more U-Haul trucks than anything else. How can you go wrong? When I got a quote from them it was about $1800 to get a truck for 11 days and three thousand something miles, along with a trailer to tow my car. Not a bad deal, other similar companies (like Penske) were all in comparable price ranges. This is all perfectly good, I have no problem driving 3000+ miles in a U-Haul towing my car, but I wanted to drive down to New Mexico on the way to visit my mother, and I didn't really relish the idea of taking the U-Haul with trailer down one lane dirt roads where I might not be able to easily turn it around to get it back out. In addition, my calculations suggested the cost of gas for this option would be around $1000. Then it was suggested to me that I try some website where you can post what you need in terms of moving services and different people can bid on your move. It sounded great to me, although by the time I got home that night I had forgotten the name of the site (I need to figure that out still). A Google search of the what I thought the name might be lead me to Help U Move. Help U Move's approach is something of a mix between PODS and a traditional moving company. They deliver a trailer (like the back of a semi) to your house. You pack your stuff into it, using as much or as little space as you need (though they'll charge you for at least 3 feet even if you don't use it all). Then they pick up the trailer, take it off to wherever it is they take it, load it up with commercial goods, and drive it to your destination. They'll even hold it in storage for two days at no extra charge. Because they're using it for commercial deliveries as well they're able to offer very low costs. The quote they gave me: $1700. That's right, they beat U-Haul on price as well as convenience. There's still a few things I want to check out, but the BBB has received no complaints about them, so I think there's a good chance I'll be going with them. I'd much rather drive my own car from San Francisco to New Mexico to Minnesota to Illinois to Boston (lots of people to visit on the way); it'll be significantly faster, more comfortable, use less gas, and did I say faster? Now I just need to get on with my favorite part of any move: packing. [Edit: whoops, apparently a bad quote in a link had chopped out an important part of this post...]
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