Friday, August 5, 2011

moving back to the US - choosing the option that works for us

So the big thing that I've not been talking about until it was truly official is this: we are moving back to the US, to Portland, OR to be exact. And since now our house is officially sold, I can talk about it and the unnerving process of moving back to the country from whence we came. I can also offer you all of my own personal trials and tribulations in the process, and won't that be fun /sarcasm.

For the past two days my time at this screen has been involved in all manner of changeover details: insurance, auto, storage quotes, finding a place for our cat for a month....anyone in WA or OR want to petsit a cute little orange tabby for a month - in your home? We're happy to pay for the service...

Hubby and I are at that age where moving companies begin to look like both viable and appealing options, so I looked into the costs of hiring one. The only caveat is that taking all of our possessions across the border constitutes an international move, complete with all the requisite paperwork, and therefor warrants adding a bazillion fees to the process - making most moving companies cost prohibitive for us. (Or at least, we are not willing to spend that kind of money when we don't have to).

Another option that also offers convenience is a service like PODS, where they come and drop off a big container and you fill it at your leisure - then they come and take it away and store it until you're ready for it, at which point they will deliver it wherever you wish. They also offer international services, and are only half the cost of the moving companies. And also? For some reason a 6 hour drive across the border takes them 5 business days.

But Hubby and I? Well, we like a deal. And we're big do-it-yourself-ers. If there is something we CAN do ourselves, we tend to do it ourselves. And if it is something like moving all of our stuff and filling out paperwork, well...we're all over that. Because paperwork is what the government is all about! /sarcasm

But seriously, the price difference between renting a truck and loading it yourself then driving it to the storage facility ourselves? It's pretty hefty - as in "covered the airfare for the three of us to fly to St. Louis" hefty. So we're renting a truck. Except there's this one thing: we have plenty of help to load the truck here in our cohousing community  - plenty of strong men to help Hubby load the large appliances, and also, a dolly and carts and anything else we'd need. But when we get to Portland and need to unload into a storage unit? Well, we don't know so many people there. And we don't know anyone well enough to ask them for a favor as big as helping us unload a moving truck into a storage unit.

But because I have access to the internet and pretty much anything I can conceive of that might need doing exists in the world if you just use the right Google search, I discovered that there is, in fact, an answer to my needs.  Delightful, no? You can hire a crew of strapping men to come and help you move your stuff - and they come with customer reviews, so you know what you're in for.

Also, in case anyone is interested because you're considering an across-the border move, here is a screenshot of my spreadsheet I made to compare the costs of DIY moving vs pod moving. An FYI but not included, most moving companies charged about $3K for them to move it (without storage). My spreadsheet:

Interesting note: See how it costs $343 CDN to rent a truck in BC? (Because we're taking it across the border). While in Portland, it is a mere $40 plus mileage? And even with the cost of hiring those guys twice, doing two unloads and one loading of truck, it still comes to less than half the price - so yeah, even though the idea of not having to do all of the unloading is appealing, the idea of saving $1200 is even more appealing. And anyway, there is always the possibility of Josh not doing any of the work and just paying the guys from movinghelp.com to do all of it.

In other news, I got four boxes packed today, including my beehives - prompted by Hubby asking me, "How are we going to pack the hives?" (Don't worry, they're empty.) Plus that nifty spreadsheet there. Progress made!

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