July 2nd, 2004

after all

Moving van options

So, after weeks of research and dozens of phone calls, it seems there are three basic choices in types of moving operations. (Well, four if you count just renting a semi and driving yourself, but I'm not choosing that one.)

There's the traditional "some guys show up, move all your stuff into their truck, drive to your new place, and then they unload it into your house". Estimates based on a verbal description of our household ran about $12,000. Yipes! And besides, we're willing to do a lot more of the work that that - or hire someone just to help move stuff.

More attractive is the "we drive a really big truck up, you pack all your boxes and things into it, we put in a bulkhead, then we get the next guy's stuff, and eventually we arrive at your house and you unload it".

This has fairly tight time contraints - you need to have your crew ready to go when the truck arrives. This particular company also doesn't offer to bring it all the way to the house (on Vashon Island). You need to meet them in Kent (WA) and then get the stuff moved from there. They estimated around $2,200.

The third option at first seemed the most attractive. A truck drops off a set number of shipping containers, you pack them up and the truck takes them away the next day (or even two). The verbal estimate was that we would need six containers (we have a lot of books) and the quote was for $5,300. Additional containers would add about $450 each.

This company also would not be able to deliver to Vashon - we would need to pick up the stuff in Kent. But they could easily hold it in their storage facility and we could make trips for it, or rent our own smaller truck to move things. However, their containers are only 8' long. And we have about 12 big shelves that are 8'6" as well as four that are 7'11" and might not fit the interior dimensions.

So at this point I'm more tempted to go for the cheaper, less convenient "load it right away" truck (Option 2) even though we would then need to work out how to unload and move the stuff once we reached the other end.

I figure I have until Tuesday to decide, since a lot of places have already closed up for the long weekend. Mike's the one who suggested chatting about the whole thing here, and seeing if anyone had any particular suggestions or stories to tell.

For now, I think I'll pack some more boxes, and price some yard sale stuff.