As mentioned, we recently moved from Madison, WI to Seattle, WA.
We had never moved, professionally, before. Sure, we had loaded a U-Haul truck and driven it from San Francisco to Madison, but we had never been professionally moved. If we could have avoided it, we would have. But after 11 years and one child in Madison, we had simply accumulated too much – a common problem, I suspect.
So we started soliciting offers from moving companies and asking around to see what others had done. All I heard were horror stories. Broken furniture. Missing or stolen items. Sharing trucks with others. Getting someone else’s stuff. Etc…
Fortunately, none of that was our experience, and I wanted to write this quick entry, because I think the company we used is worth mentioning, and I hope this might help someone else down the line.
We contacted America’s Moving Services, because they are well-rated with the Better Business Bureau. They are a brokering service – meaning they will negotiate a good deal and a mover from their network of movers. They were really great to work with, helped us anticipate the experience and were very honest.
If you’d like to avoid the middle-man, though, you could probably call A Better Way Moving And Storage directly. They’re based out of Indianapolis and did a fantastic job.
Jake, the mover who drove our truck, managed expectations extremely well and was in constant phone contact with me as he drove my stuff around the country.
In order to achieve less expensive rates, they do schedule multiple pick-ups and drop-offs around the country. Meaning, your stuff will be on the truck with other people’s stuff. But they separate the goods well, they label everything with inventory tags and also ask that you label your own items with a name and phone number.
They also provide you, up-front, with a list of possible extra charges – which gives you a chance to work to prevent them. In our case, we had estimated our stuff would weigh about 5,000 pounds (based on an inventory of our things). When weighed at the truck weigh station, though, our things weighed 10,000 pounds (which was interesting to me, because I can’t say I’ve ever thought of all of my belongings in terms of how much they weigh).
But he had told us prior what the per/pound billing would be for any overage, and we knew what was coming, in terms of price increase.
When our things arrived in Seattle 10 days after pick-up (earlier than we were told), everything was accounted for and in excellent condition – except for one glass table top. But it was less damage than we were prepared for, given what others had told us of their horrible experiences.
Giving all of your possessions to a stranger to drive around the country in a truck can be a pretty stressful thing. But A Better Way made the experience pretty painless and they did really well. If you’ve got to move, I would strongly recommend them.
And if you do have a good moving experience, please don’t forget to tip your movers.