Oh Moving Day! How we loathe you. You always come with your boxes, tape guns and hard-to-reach dustbunnies to make the most emotionally & physically draining exodus of our most valued possessions. Now that my fiancée and I are moving from NYC to LA, we were determined to beat you at your own game and make the move quick and seamless so we could actually enjoy our last week in New York City.
Here's how we made our move stress-free and are now just tracking the location of our stuff while sitting here on the beach...
I've compiled below my "Top 5 Moving Tips", "Top 3 Moving Companies" as well as "3 Alternative Moving Options" based on our research & experience. So good luck all you gorgeous wayward travelers. I hope this helps you with your move!
XO from Anderson,
TOP 5 MOVING TIPS:
1. Pack up boxes with a friend to keep it upbeat & help get rid of clutter (I did it with a friend, a glass of wine and a lot Carly Rae Jepson sing-alongs)
2. Keep the moving hassle-factor low by finding a great moving company you are confident in to do the heavy lifting & answer all your questions
3. Give yourself a limited time period to do the bulk of the work so you force yourself to be efficient. We allotted 3 days to throw things out, sell or donate items not worth shipping and get packed up.
4. Number your boxes and keep an inventory list of key items in each in case you need to claim insurance.
5. Start by donating & sell extra items early so you have extra cash & space, less stuff to move & so you aren't scrambling last minute items. Arrange all your pick-ups in the same time window.
TOP 3 MOVING COMPANIES:
Here was our move criteria: Move 2 people's "stuff" and a couple pieces of furniture from New York City to LA (large sectional couch, dining table & chairs, TV & electronics, bookshelves and about 50 boxes of various size). We will pack our own boxes and the mover will do the rest professionally so we can be stress-free and confident that our items will arrive safely when we fly in next week. Our top 3 moving company options:
1) California New York Express
Our winning choice for movers was California New York Express. We had an easy seamless move, and got to spend time with our friends in New York and with family at the beach while our stuff is being driven to LA. Perfect! They were professional, friendly, available, easy to deal with, efficient and had the best rates of any of the legitimate movers we looked into. We dealt with Noel at the company and he has been absolutely wonderful and available for all questions with an incredibly friendly, helpful attitude. CNYE was recommended by two friends who had used them before with great results. We packed our boxes and had them ready, so CNYE came and in less than 3 hours wrapped our furniture and moved out our items from two separate apartments. It was seamless and easy, and now we can check our email updates about where our stuff is while we are sitting here on the beach!
Delivery: 7-14 days delivery
Insurance: use Baker Insurance, $.60 per item per pound
Packing: They pack furniture and provide any moving supplies needed day-of. They don't charge for blankets, but do charge for bubble wrap, boxes, etc, as used
Pricing: They send someone to your apartment to do an on-site estimate & consultation. The final price was based on how much space your items take up in the truck. Phone estimate was around $2,000, in-person estimate was $3,000 and final cost based on actual volume around $3,500
2) Liffey Allied
We love this company and had a great experience with them, their staffers, advisors and would book them for another job, but this specific job was not the right fit for us and them. Definitely recommend working with this company, but this cross-country move of boxes and a few furniture pieces that were not highly valuable was not the best fit for us to work with them. Great company, great people- we'd use them for a range of other scenarios, for example a bigger scale move, moving a whole house, moving more valuable items, etc.
Delivery: 9-17 days delivery
Insurance: Purchase extra insurance at additional cost
Packing: They pack w/ blankets
Pricing: Very professional but based on conversations about anticipated needs, estimated pricing was twice what the other phone estimates were coming in at.
3) Oz Moving
They had competitive rates with NYCE and seemed like a good option but came in slightly higher than NYCE in the phone estimate. I have a future classmate who used Oz moving for a similar move and has been happy so far. We felt move comfortable and confident in the movers we ultimately went with as NYCE was super-friendly and professional from the get-go.
Delivery: 8-18 days - 10 day window
Insurance: Baker International Insurance - 800-356-0099, www.bakerintl.com
Pricing: Phone Estimate was around $2200, slightly higher than NYCE
3 ALTERNATIVE WAYS TO MOVE:
Other New Yorkers moving to Los Angles for Anderson went with other moving options. Here are three :
Amtrak: if you only need to ship boxes (no furniture), have a limited budget and need storage at your end destination, Amtrak is a great option. Their service ships boxes incredibly affordably and will store them for about a month at your destination free of charge for you.
Cross-Country Drive: For anyone with only a few things or anyone looking to travel with a friend or see the states, this is a great option. One of my future Anderson class-mates loaded up a truck and drove out with her boyfriend and the reports (and photos) are fantastic. You can't put a price on those memories! I would have loved to make this trip, but had too limited time to enjoy it so we chose to go to the beach while out stuff was shipped instead of driving. Roughly estimating costs (we would have had to hire movers on both ends, rent a truck, stay at hotels) we thought we would end up spending twice what we paid our movers in the end.
Uship.com: Great for tight budgets! This website is wonderful for anyone who wants to get competitive bids and might be happy doing the move more informally. It is really easy to use and you get quotes from people willing to work with whatever specs you put out. I actually used this website to ship my apartment furniture from NYC to my friend in DC for only $300. It was super-cheap, I got a quote and set it up in one day and the delivery was in the exact narrow widow of time we needed. Great! This was definitely not a job by a professional mover and was not as efficient as professional movers, but our best bidder moved a couch, bookshelf, dresser & mirror, chest, armchair, side tabe all for $300 in one weekend. It took quite a while for the man to actually move the items into the truck on both ends, but my friend was thrilled to get the furniture and I was thrilled that it had a good home.