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Moving blues

And once again ... Eleanor and I went to our storage unit in the afternoon to get ready for moving. It's like a never-ending story. But now we've moved beyond the sorting phase and have been just re-packing boxes to survive a long-distance move. That means the end of this arduous task is near.

The problem is the mammoth cost of moving. This is not a corporate move -- we have to pay for it. Initially I got a quote from a mover who estimated we still have 6,000 lbs of stuff (which I think is high) and she figured a cost of $3,600 to get it to Tucson. (The new car came in at another $1,500, which is ridiculous. We'll probably find someone trustworthy to drive it southwest instead, at a fraction of the cost.)

Then, the mover's quote changed. Apparently the rep calculated the mileage incorrectly, and suddenly our estimate was $4,500 for the stuff (plus $1,500 for the car). Let me tell you, we don't have $4,500 worth of stuff left in storage. I'd rather set fire to the entire pile than pay that. It would be cheaper in the long run.

U-Haul, et al, are not much better. A truck with a dolly for the car would cost about $2,400. Add in fuel, a one-way air ticket, and motels along the route, and it's about $3,600. That's a lot better than the mover, but still I look at what we are moving and wonder if a match and a gas can would be a better choice. Plus, I'd have to do the driving of the truck for a week.

Perhaps the mover's estimate overstated our weight. We got rid of a lot of heavy stuff already. We will only pay for the actual weight of the shipment, so it could be much less than the estimate, but we won't know that until we've committed to the move. Risky.

The cost of storage and moving are not topics we'd put a lot of thought to, when we decided to go full-time and eventually relocate. If I knew what I know now, I would have sold/trashed/donated 90% of what we had in our house at the outset of this. For what it has cost us to store it for two years, then give most of it away, then move the remainder, the bonfire would have been a financially much smarter move. Next time -- if there is a next time -- we'll do it differently.


Hi Luhrs. Have you looked into Amtrak Express Shipping or Ship Smart? Haven't used either personally, nut know people who have. Amtrack, so I've heard, is cheap, but you wouldn't want to ship your grandmother's china with them. Ship Smart loads your stuff into a shipping truck that is already going cross country. Good luck.

Rich, there's nothing in your storage that can't be taken care of with a gallon of Amoco 93 octane and a match.
Take your important stuff that's irreplaceable with you in the Airstream, and call the Salvation Army to pick up the rest.
Find a secondhand furniture store, or Salvation Army store when you get to your new home, and load up there. $19.95 for a day's rental of a small U-Haul truck, and $2000 will get you all the furniture you can use, plus some good small appliances.

Rich, I feel your pain. Moved out to Vegas newly married with 7500lbs including 4500lb car. Moved back to Wisconsin 3 years later, 14,000 lbs, no car! Luckily it was a corporate move. Had a contract for 3 yrs minimum employment or I'd owe them! Now moving again, interstate. Home on week-ends, load up pick-up and trailer and transfer to new home during week. 5 months and still at it. This to avoid a $2500 move. NOT WORTH THE VALUE OF STUFF. We are slaves to our belongings. And relatives who give us sentimental "heirlooms" just keep the mass growing. Heavy sigh!

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