Jul 16, 2011

Moving Advice - How to Keep Costs Down

 Background
    In a blog post I wrote back in February, I spoke about aging in place.  Should we AGE IN PLACE or Are There Other Choices? was the title of the blog.  I wondered at the time if I would know when the time had come to find a home that reflected my age and not my youthful dreams.  We wanted to make the move to a one level home when we could enjoy the move and getting to know new people.  The thoughts I was mulling over in my head back in February must have taken root.  We are making the move and we are very excited about the choice.
     Back in 2001 we moved into a multilevel condo with soaring views and three beautiful deck for my plants.  During those ten years we made this our home, watched our grandchildren grow up and enjoyed a beautiful retirement lifestyle.  It has been a very happy time in our lives. Then this last spring I fell on the golf course and twisted my ankle severely.  We were in Arizona at the time so I was able to heal in our little park model.  Still, I was given a taste of what it might be like to live for a length of time with limited mobility.  It was a wake up call for my husband and I.  We both knew that the time had come.  When we came home to Oregon, we listed our home.  It sold at the beginning of July.  We will move this next week.
Moving Tips
    The last time we moved our choices were limited...you hired a mover or you rounded up a bunch of friends and family or you moved yourself.  We chose to use a mover that time.  The process of moving has changed since those olden times 10 years ago.  I guess I haven't been paying much attention. Now people are doing things a lot differently.  They are learning to save money on the moving costs because a whole world of new resources are available now.  This is what we found:
Angie's ListImage via Wikipedia
  • Angie's List:  This a service that provides rating and listings for local service providers.  Member join in order to get access to the list but service providers do not pay to be listed. Getting on Angie's List is a major thing for service providers. You can find everything from a painter to a dentist and then read so see what others have said.  
"Before Angie's List, selecting a service provider was like throwing darts blind folded. Those who report on Angie's List have helped me make informed, logical, educated decisions. I am truly grateful."
- Nancy B., St. Paul, Minn.
"When I had a problem with a service provider, Angie stuck up for me, and I got action immediately. I wish I would have called earlier!" 
  • Hire A Helper:  We need some help with a few very heavy furniture pieces that are in our upper level.  When we looked for movers we found a website called Hire a Helper.  They have a list of movers, day laborers or cleaning services.  This website not only allows you to hiring a mover online,  it also has a section for people looking for work.  I really liked the review and rating system.  We hired movers for three hours to move large pieces of furniture.  This service does a lot for charity and 1% of their gross revenue goes to the International Justice Mission.
  • Boxes:  We bought one large bundle of moving boxes from Costco.  The boxes were called Scotch Moving Kit for around $50.  It included bubble wrap, tape and 25 boxes of assorted sizes.  We also bought a bundle of small boxes from Uhaul.  Uhaul will take any boxes back you do not use.
  • Pods:  We have having a Pod delivered the day before our mover come.  These portable on demand containers can be rented by the month or in some cases for only two weeks.  The company will set the container in the location of your choice and you load it at your own pace.  They then come and drop the Pod at your new location and you can unload without worrying about an extra charge from your movers.   Our family has used this service before when they were having hardwood floors installed.  The containers served as a storage unit in their driveway while the work was being completed.
  • Moving Trucks: We will use a moving truck from Uhaul to supplement the Pod.  There are a number of different companies renting moving trucks.  What amazes me about these trucks is how reasonable they are.  Uhaul, Penske and Budget were the companies we compared online.  We are going to use Uhaul because they have a location close to us.  We will also rent a hand truck from them.
  • Movers:  Why didn't we use a moving company?  We had a bad experience with movers last time so we are trying to do this on our own with our young family's help.  I can only advise you to check references carefully, buy the insurance that they offer and be available to watch the move itself.  We were told by our home owners insurance the move was covered.  When movers broke one box of antique china, the insurance company refused to pay citing movers negligence. Just check the options our carefully. 
     The fact that we can actually find people to work for us on a short term basis is a wonderful change from the situation 10 years ago.  When so many people are unemployed we were delighted to find that someone had been ingenious enough to gather people together that want to work even for a day.
     I will let you know how this goes.


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