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Wrapping Up My Cross Country Move with U-Pack

December 29th, 2011 - 4:58 PM

What's the hardest thing about moving across the country? Besides figuring out how to keep your plants alive and remembering where you packed the bottle opener (keep it in your purse – you'll thank me later).

Some might say that packing sends them into a frenzy, or maybe it's figuring out the logistics – apartment hunting from 2,000 miles away is kind of a pain. But for me, the hardest part is always the first step: getting quotes from movers.

In-home estimates kind of make me nervous (partly because I watch too much Lifetime) but mostly because I'm not sure what the protocol is. Should I clean up first? I feel that the estimator will get a better sense of my kitchen if the dishes are piled up in the sink rather than tucked away inside cabinets.

I found that the best way is just to call the company directly. I thought I could save time with an online quote, but in most cases, I've just given my phone number and email address to 12+ moving companies that are very persistent callers. And more times than none, the online quote can't be completed and you're asked to call in to answer more questions. Why those questions aren't on the form to begin with is beyond me, but I digress.


U-Pack moving container

After a rather aggressive call with a similar company I decided to call U-Pack. I had used their service when I moved to Los Angeles, but I was hesitant because I didn't want to load the ReloCube myself. Despite my 23 moves, I'm still not a very good packer and I wasn't sure I could convince friends to do the heavy lifting.

I spoke with Daniel who was the most calming moving rep I've ever dealt with. I was so impressed with our conversation that I even told Twitter. He listened to me as I rambled on about my move from LA to Chicago and how I wasn't sure if I'd be able to move everything on my own and oh my god how am I going to fit my couch into a ReloCube?! Sensing my impending panic he told me about MoveBuilder, a service that would help with the labor-intensive portions of my move. I. Was. Sold. From there, everything seemed to fall into place.

Leading up to my move I worked with Angie from MoveBuilder who made sure that I had everything I needed (except for her to fly out to help me pack – I asked). With my apartment full of U-Pack boxes I was ready to go. On the day of my move, MoveBuilder had sent out a team of movers to help load the truck that would take my belongings to the ABF terminal – unfortunately ReloCubes couldn't be left on my street and I didn't have an above-ground parking lot. The team was super friendly and surprisingly fast. And anything that wasn't packed in a box was wrapped in protective paper. That was an unexpected touch that was much appreciated.


Packed moving container

I was able to track my ReloCubes along the way and at one point I saw that we were in the same city. Of course, I assumed that every ABF truck I saw during our drive had my stuff in it. My belongings arrived in Chicago a day ahead of schedule, which is something that impressed me the first time I used U-Pack as well. I met the next moving team that MoveBuilder arranged and they were even more impressive! Instead of two guys there were five and everyone introduced themselves and engaged in conversation with me.

Once we arrived at my apartment, they managed to get everything upstairs and unwrapped (remember all that protective paper?) in about an hour. They even bagged up all the paper and brought it to the dumpster for me. After I thought I couldn’t ask for a better move-in process, they offered to help me assemble my furniture, as most of it was taken apart to free up space in the ReloCubes.

It goes without saying that I was once again impressed with the service I received from the very first phone call all the way until the last check-in email from Angie and Autumnn. Thanks for laughing at my jokes, preparing me for this crazy cross-country move, and enabling me to have fun during my road trip!

Jennifer is the author of a great blog called Bottle Up the Crazy. This is the last of a three part series she wrote about her cross-country move with U-Pack. Make sure to check out My Experience Moving Across the Country with U-Pack – Part 1, and My U-Pack Moving Road Trip – Part 2!


Moving into our new home