"If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion."

-- The Dalai Lama

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Moving Advice Request

Update: Edited for the more literal among us...

As you know, we're moving across the country 1247 miles (or 968 as the crow flies) from Colorado to Oregon. I want to shoot for mid/late July while J is leaning more toward early August.

I've never moved out of state before, and am unsure about some things. For example, we will not be able to take a trip out beforehand to look at houses. Do we just lease a place over the phone? That kind of freaks me out, not being able to see the house, the neighborhood, etc. firsthand. We're planning on just renting a U-Haul truck and pulling the car behind. Has anyone done this, and if so do you have any advice, warnings, etc. for us?

I'm really very excited about the move, and surprisingly not at all anxiety-filled. I also don't know what I'm doing. Seriously. No clue. So any and all advice is welcome.

Thanks!

13 comments:

stag said...

I’ve had a few big moves. I would advise against renting a place you haven’t seen. If you have to, make sure it is month-to-month. You want to know the traffic/access to public transportation (Ms. No Car), and how loud it is. It could be bad. Try going out there before renting it, because you don’t want added stress of having a bad home or moving during your first year of LS.

I have done the U-Haul thing, and I’ve also done the full service move thing. Full service is much better. I did that because it was paid for by my company, and I was already living out of town at the time. With the Uhaul, just be sure you have some help for big items.

Go a week or two early to get yourself unpacked and set up and to get your license, bus passes, cable, and whatever else taken care of. The post office offers a good checklist on things to think about when you move. I know it’s free, and I think it’s online.

I don’t know what else to say, but if you have specific questions, ask me. Like I said, I’ve done a few big moves on my own.

CM said...

We had a great experience for our last cross-country move. We sold a lot of our stuff (mostly to one person, who had just moved to the area), hired movers, and took two weeks to drive cross-country and make stops along the way. If you've never done this, I highly recommend it.

Another option is to use a moving company that just ships your stuff -- you pack and unpack the storage unit, which they put on a truck. Cheaper than full service movers and you don't have to drive the truck.

Shannon said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Shannon said...

(I removed the above because of a typo!)

Thanks you guys. I will definitely look into the full service/shipping option.
I think they may end up to be outside of what we can afford, but maybe I will be surprised.

Stag, your advice makes a lot of sense. Maybe we should figure out a way for at least just me to go out again before August, maybe July makes the most sense, and get a place. Probably the cost of a plane ticket would be worth it, versus the hell of living in a bad place for 1L...

stag said...

You can get tickets pretty cheap on Travelocity or Southwest. I just purchased the second one-day trip to my out of town potential school where I fly out at 7am and get back that night. No hotel needed, and the flight is about $100 if you book early enough on SW. If I end up moving there, I’m going to fly up for another day to find an apt. Depending on the flight activty btwn the 2 cities, you could try that. Also, when I moved to SF from Dallas, I rented a really cheap motel room to stay in while I looked for an apt. It was shabby. But for 2 nights it wasn’t bad compared to moving to a shabby place.

Shannon said...

Luckily I have a super friend in Portland who has offered to let me crash at her place during this whole carnival of moving fun :)

$100! Wow! Unfortunately SW only flies east from Denver. I did just check Travelocity and found a flight for $220, that's pretty good. Hmm, this is beginning to seem like a really good idea...

E. McPan said...

I laughed when I read you're moving across the country...from CO to OR. When I say across the country I think like, more than 2 states between!

We used movers but then again, we have a lot of crap. You'll be fine with a U-Haul, but don't rent until you've laid eyes on it.

Shannon said...

Okay, okay...But those couple of states are BIG!

E. McPan said...

True. I've driven those states (well, not if you go thru Nevada) and it takes a while. But try driving through Texas - ugh. Twelve hours later and you can still be in the same state! Going through the whole south was a breeze for me!

PS - I haven't officially said it, so congrats on choosing a school and pre-congrats on the wedding. My wedding present (a juicer)* is in the mail, haha.

*Since you can't have juice anymore, and I lost the receipt, you can use it to uh...well, nothing. You're right. I'm a horrible person.

Shannon said...

Thanks, McPan :)

We did the drive last summer up to OR, but we stayed a night in ID so I'm not sure how long it takes driving straight through. I had the broken ankle so it was a bit uncomfortable, but the drive itself was nice. I imagine driving all the way through TX is a little, um, repetitive.

kstrna said...

I made the move across the country 3 & a half years ago for graduate school (CA to CT). My Dad was nice enough to drive out with me. He went up to Boston to see his mom afterwards and made a full vacation out of it. He drove the U-Hual with all my things and I drove my '91 sentra. We kept in contact while driving using those cheap walkie talkies you can find everywhere now. It worked out pretty well. Depends on how much stuff you have but all in all with some smart packing you be amazed how much you can place in one of those trucks. A lot of my stuff I bought at IKEA and kept in the boxes until I left figured it would be easier on the move and I would still have actual furniture when I moved in. As for leasing sight unseen. I would agree with the others and fly out and get a place. I did that, got a great apartment. Those in my class who went sight unseen either lived far away from campus or had horrible apartments. If you end up not being to fly out, do you know someone who can check out the apartments for you? At least then you can get an idea of the type of neighborhood and distances to school and the like.

Menagerie said...

Something to remember when renting a truck and driving is that it takes a lot longer than it does in a car. We tested out Reno to Portland in our car and drove the speed limit in order to test how long it would take in a Ryder truck. It was 12 hours. The reality (Ryder truck towing our pickup, plus our car driven by my siblings) was a whopping 18 hours.

I'll be happy to check out apartments for you, but do think month-to-month is the absolute safest bet. Also, look at the Tri-Met website to make sure you're close to a bus/MAX stop!

Shannon said...

Shelley, I missed this comment when it first posted because of the comment notification problems I was having! Sorry!

Thanks so much for your offer of apartment checking! It does look like I'm going to need to take you up on it. I'll buy you something shiny in return :)