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Subject: Cross country moving tips rss

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Mike Cross
United States
Atkinson
New Hampshire
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My wife and I are contemplating our first cross country move (from Utah to Haverhill, MA). Any experts out there with tips for moving a family with 3 small kids? Right now it just looks like a long, expensive nightmare
 
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Kendrick Martin
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Wow. I've never moved that far of a distance before so I can only imagine the amount of preparation and work thats gotta go into that sort of move. Have you lived at your current location long? You might find it helpful to start donating/garage-selling/craigslisting any excess or unneeded items to cut down on moveable stuff.
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David Kahnt
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It's fun, it's healthy, it's good exercise. The kids will just love it. And we put a little sand inside to make the experience more pleasant.
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mcross wrote:
My wife and I are contemplating our first cross country move (from Utah to Haverhill, MA). Any experts out there with tips for moving a family with 3 small kids? Right now it just looks like a long, expensive nightmare


Well I just moved - only 1 kid though - all I can say is sort through your stuff before you pack and label everything!

-DK
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Billy McBoatface
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Depends on how small. If you mean "3 or under," then I'd recommend flying and hiring somebody to move the car. I know it's expensive...but wow, 2500 miles with small kids in a car? crycrycrycrycrycry

Edit: What we really need is a "screaming in unholy terror" emoticon.
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Amy Wiles
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When I was a kid, my family moved across the country several times. The furthest distance was from Denver, CO to Maryland. We drove.

First off, get binding estimate from several movers, and pick the cheapest one. If they're binding, you don't pay if it costs them more to move you. Also, if you pack your own stuff, it's going to be cheaper. You can also put a car on the moving van. When we moved from Knoxville, TN to San Antonio, TX four years ago, we found that was the cheaper way to go (it was $1000).

It depends how old your kids are. Can they keep themselves reasonably entertained? I was 11 and my sister was 6 when we moved from CO to MD. My parents played music, we read books, played some simple travel games, drew, and looked for license plates from each state. Yes, we got both Alaska and Hawaii! It took three days. Thanksgiving dinner was Burger King on the Missouri site of Kansas City. Yum. These days, there's the portable DVD player/laptop with a DVD drive option to help distract kids.

If they really can't entertain themselves at all, then you should probably fly. I'd say, check to see if your carseats are classed to fly, and if so, take them with you. It's a pain to haul them, I know, but the kid is safer and more comfortable in the carseat on the plane. And then the seat is there when you land.

Good luck!

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Dan Becker
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Agreeing with others, I would pack all the belongings and hire a moving company. Then fly with the family, perhaps staying a few days on vacation between leaving and arriving, so the moving van catches up with you.
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Chief Slovenly
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We moved from the San Francisco area to the Boston area maybe two years and change ago. I'm a native Californian while my wife is the original Masshole (sorry, honey) -- however, the adjustment period was hard for us both.

GM me and I'll talk your ear off about anything you want to know: practicalities, things that worked really well for us, things that didn't, trials, tribulations, all that stuff. Most questions you have I might actually be helpful in answering... I hope.

Looks like Haverhill is a bit too far away for joining our game groups in Cambridge and Waltham, but you're probably a natural for a New Hampshire group or two. At any rate, no doubt we'll see you at Unity one of these times!
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Dick Leban
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Assuming you have the usual amount of stuff, I think a moving company is your only choice. I've used one twice, so here's my thoughts.

If you pack yourself, you are essentially responsible for damage so pack accordingly. There's a separate "Packed by Owner" box list.

I would also strongly recommend an inventory. I numbered every box on three sides and checked it off on a list as it went out the door and as it came in. The movers also put on their own number, I wrote that down. In this day and age I'd probably make heavy use of a digital camera.

You need to be neurotic about the inventory they take. If a box goes out the door, you must log it yourself and make sure it's on their inventory. Double check. If it's not on their list and you sign, you should assume it won't be there at the other end.

The ideal situation is when the actual truck is sitting outside when things are getting loaded and unloaded. Sometimes a local company will take your stuff themselves, store it somewhere, and load it some other day. Do anything to avoid the local company storage. No need to have your stuff laying around where who knows can get at it and there's an inventory to boot. I think the truckers keep better eyes on their trucks.

I was able to choose between paying by weight or volume. They should send out someone to check out your stuff and tell you the cheapest. Since I packed myself and didn't have a staggering amount of stuff, I packed it in advance to give the consultant a better idea.

If you manage to load and unload into the truck, don't be surprised if the total transit time is a few days. That'll depend on how empty the truck is when you load and the driving route. If you load towards the back, you might have to hurry to get to the other end before the truck does. 'Course you might not fit in just one truck...or two....

There will be a high-value item list. Mine was based on some cost/weight threshold. Pay attention, it's easy to leave things off that list that should be on it (and vice versa).

Consider that it might be cheaper to trash and rebuy some stuff at the other end.

The trucks get hot. I moved my LP collection in the car.

Even if you pack by yourself you can arrange for some work by the loaders. I had them wrap my furniture. Just make sure you tell the consultant.

Enjoy, don't stress, it's a lot of work but it'll be over soon.
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Amy Wiles
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TVDinner wrote:
I would also strongly recommend an inventory. I numbered every box on three sides and checked it off on a list as it went out the door and as it came in. The movers also put on their own number, I wrote that down. In this day and age I'd probably make heavy use of a digital camera.

Yes, we had a little book in which I wrote down the general contents of every box that I packed. That way if any got lost, we'd know what exactly was in there. Also, we knew we wouldn't be able to unpack immediately, so we knew what boxes we needed to open right away and what could wait.
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Mike Cross
United States
Atkinson
New Hampshire
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Thanks for all the tips (serious and humorous). When moving time rolls around we'll have a 5-year old and 3-year old as well as a 1-month old baby. I think the idea of flying while hiring someone to drive the truck is the most appealling. I'll have to look into it.

At least now I can check into a few options and figure out the best way to go!
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