In the course of moving south recently Janie and I have researched numbers of ways of doing this. The “givens” are…
1. Nothing gets broken (duh – what’s the point if you have nice stuff that gets cracked up along the way regardless of savings?)
2. Personal sanity. Enough said.
We discovered two ways specific groups and ways to do this. I don’t mind mentioning companies. Hey, I’ve done the research. I’m not going to hold onto this info. My life goal is to help as many as possible to become successful in what they (you) are up to.
A. Load and unload your own traditional services. If you are willing to do the packing of your boxes, the loading and unloading of all your stuff, there are lots of companies out there with this policy. However, do your homework. Look closely at references of past customers. Among our pastoral talent team, with about a dozen families in this group alone, some have had very trying experiences. One was a “Christian” group based in Tampa and proudly made it known they were long term attendees of a large fundamentalist church in town. They outright lied to the family on the west coast who were using them. The truck driver (a middle aged woman who had driven for over 30 hours to get there.
The best prices among these sorts of services – they are usually Ma and Pa Kettle companies you have never heard of. (In the case of the fundamentalists, after calling them on their many promises they had utterly failed on, the “president” called our pastor an “A-Hole” then stated crying on the phone and eventually invited he and his family to come to church with them… (This is almost as entertaining as the highlights DVD of Chris Farley on SNL.)
B. Load and unload… but with a name brand. Those who had the best experiences were in this category. The company most used was Planes. Not sure if they are a nation-wide company, but in each case they were timely, had a great attitude and all goods arrived without damage.
You’ve seen the commercials. The mini-garage like “pod” is dropped off. Fill it. Approximately 5 to 10 days later your stuff shows up, depending on where in the U.S. you live.
The Pods approach is far less expensive than any of the above, IF, big IF, you have lots of friends to help you load. In our case, we hired great laborers who weren’t one bit afraid of working. We didn’t ask too many questions about their passports. We paid them a fair wage. They were happy as clams. We loaded three large Pods in a matter of eight hours. That’s what it took to load up our old large, 4,500 s.f. house.
By the way, the Pods people went way out of their way to accommodate us in many many ways that were very impressive. We were blown away at their service orientation, including me calling the local delivery point near closing time to explain my wife was so stressed out she was crying because we needed one more Pod… The driver said, “Ah shucks, we can’t have that now can we. I’ll be right over with another one. I’m off the clock but we aim to please.” That is a company, like Apple, Tag Heuer, BMW, Chipotle… that realizes the obvious principle that most companies just don’t get – it’s not the itsy bitsy product in front of us we are selling – it’s raving customers for life we are interested in!
Those who think like this – they aren’t necessarily brilliant, they simply aren’t stupid like 99.99% of the manufacturers, poorly run companies, churches, etc. that abound in the U.S. and beyond. It is a tremendous pleasure to do business with people who actually get it. I will not only do business with them, I will become evangelistic about spreading the good news of their simple insight.