Long Distance Mover from Rockville MD to Bellevue WA

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almostretired1965
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Long Distance Mover from Rockville MD to Bellevue WA

Post by almostretired1965 » Tue Sep 17, 2019 10:41 pm

Looking for some advice on how to go about getting a long distance mover. We are in the process of moving my elderly parents from their senior apartment in Rockville, MD to another similar facility in Bellevue, WA in the next month or two. Their current place has two bedrooms and a bit over 1000 sq feet. The new place is also two bedrooms but around 850 sq feet. Here are the items they are definitely taking:

Sofa, love seat, and a couple of chairs
A small desk
Clothes
Few boxes of miscellaneous momentos/books, etc.

We plan to furnish the new place with a bed, dressers and dining table/chairs before they arrive.

I've only moved coast to coast myself once before and my new employer arranged for everything so I'm not up on the particulars. My other moves have been local and we generally did our own packing and hired a local mover to handle the large furniture and boxes. For this move, we will definitely hire someone to pack. So I have a couple of questions:

1. Does anyone have a recommendation for a moving company?

2. My parents have a lot of pots/pans/dishes/silver wear, etc., but none of them are heirlooms or collectibles. Are such things really worth packing and moving rather than just buying new once they arrive?

Any thoughts and suggestions would be much appreciated.

A

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catdude
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Re: Long Distance Mover from Rockville MD to Bellevue WA

Post by catdude » Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:17 am

I used Town and Country Movers for a cross-country move in 2013. They're based in Gaithersburg. I moved from Gaithersburg to central Oregon, and their fee was around $3400, IIRC. I didn't have a lot of stuff and that $3400 fee may have been their minimum for a cross-country move. Here's their website:

https://townandcountrymovers.com

They did a good job for me, no complaints at all...
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Mr. Rumples
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Re: Long Distance Mover from Rockville MD to Bellevue WA

Post by Mr. Rumples » Wed Sep 18, 2019 2:53 am

I've moved across the country and back. I researched and so forth. Both experiences were not good even with name/top of the line movers; Atlas going west; United coming back. When you move, the items, unless they will fill an entire tractor/trailer load are bundled. The move is outsourced. The items might be stored in filth. Both times the movers were paid to pack.

When we moved out west, when the movers arrived at the destination, the items were exposed to the weather. Some were literally strapped to the back of the tractor without the trailer...picture the Beverly Hillbillies. When I moved back, I had the items stored for a while. Items which were wrapped in my home were unwrapped when they arrived and covered in dust and dirt. Some items were damaged like the sofa and "my" chair. Upon arrival, the tractor/trailer had only the driver. He said he was doing all the work since to have help would have come out of his pocket, so here's this middle age man, hunched over, carrying everything and not being careful, covered in sweat...it was gross. I have an antique British chest of drawers. It survived the London zeppelin bombings in WW1 and the blitz in WW2 undamaged, but not the movers; it now has a broken leg; thankfully its in the back so only I know.

I will never move a sofa again long distance. Someone had obviously sat in it along the way. I packed my own cloths. I carried with me all of my sensitive information like old tax records. While the dresser and sofa and other items were damaged, surprisingly, the most fragile things like the china was not damaged at all.

I did have insurance and they paid the claim, but some items damaged were not repaired, just cleaned. Take pictures of everything.

One thing to keep in mind is that cross country moves are not regulated by the states; they are regulated by the federal government; Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration / DOT. Complaints are rarely investigated. Their website specifically says that a complaint may trigger an investigation, not that it will.

https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/protect-your-move
Last edited by Mr. Rumples on Wed Sep 18, 2019 6:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

forgeblast
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Re: Long Distance Mover from Rockville MD to Bellevue WA

Post by forgeblast » Wed Sep 18, 2019 6:29 am

We used ABF U-Pack. They drop off a semi, you put in your stuff, put in the bulk head and only pay for the space you use. I would go to harbor freight and buy a bunch of movers blankets, and a tarp or two, but it was easy for us to use their service.

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RickBoglehead
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Re: Long Distance Mover from Rockville MD to Bellevue WA

Post by RickBoglehead » Wed Sep 18, 2019 6:43 am

Recommendations for movers are a waste of time. Moving companies very often use independent contractors to provide the truck and crew that drive cross country - and are in charge of the packing. The company, or the contractor, may hire temp/day help to help them load/unload.

National companies have local owners. So United Van Lines in one city may be great, whereas United Van Lines in another city may be awful. Or

Start by reading this: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/sites/fmcsa.d ... s-2013.pdf

It's very important to oversee the packing, and unpacking. If your elderly parents aren't capable of this, you may need to be there on both ends. Ensuring what goes into boxes is inventoried, ensuring all boxes are inventoried and loaded, and unloaded. Determining if the load will stay on the trailer, or be unloaded and then repacked for shipment cross country. Guaranteeing delivery date range. Etc.

You can also hire local help, load cubes / trucks, and then have someone transport it, and then unload on the other end.
Avid user of forums on variety of interests-financial, home brewing, F-150, PHEV, home repair, etc. Enjoy learning & passing on knowledge. It's PRINCIPAL, not PRINCIPLE. I ADVISE you to seek ADVICE.

Mr. Rumples
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Re: Long Distance Mover from Rockville MD to Bellevue WA

Post by Mr. Rumples » Wed Sep 18, 2019 6:44 am

U-Pack seems a viable option. One caveat; here you can't park a truck like the ones they use overnight on the street. (Nor can those self pack storage boxes.)

Mr. Rumples
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Re: Long Distance Mover from Rockville MD to Bellevue WA

Post by Mr. Rumples » Wed Sep 18, 2019 6:47 am

RickBoglehead wrote:
Wed Sep 18, 2019 6:43 am
Recommendations for movers are a waste of time. Moving companies very often use independent contractors to provide the truck and crew that drive cross country - and are in charge of the packing. The company, or the contractor, may hire temp/day help to help them load/unload.

National companies have local owners. So United Van Lines in one city may be great, whereas United Van Lines in another city may be awful. Or

Start by reading this: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/sites/fmcsa.d ... s-2013.pdf

It's very important to oversee the packing, and unpacking. If your elderly parents aren't capable of this, you may need to be there on both ends. Ensuring what goes into boxes is inventoried, ensuring all boxes are inventoried and loaded, and unloaded. Determining if the load will stay on the trailer, or be unloaded and then repacked for shipment cross country. Guaranteeing delivery date range. Etc.

You can also hire local help, load cubes / trucks, and then have someone transport it, and then unload on the other end.
Gotta agree. I used local movers both times with sterling reputations. In one case, I knew a person at DMV (which regulates them in state) about who he would use. A few months after my move, they went out of business...and they had been in business since the 1930's. Its a gamble. As I said earlier, my antique dresser was better off being bombed by the Luftwaffe than in the mover's hands.

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RickBoglehead
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Re: Long Distance Mover from Rockville MD to Bellevue WA

Post by RickBoglehead » Wed Sep 18, 2019 7:05 am

Horror stories abound.

Used United Van Lines for a company move in 1982 (HUGE COMPANY, BIG CONTRACT with United Van Lines). Of course local United Van Lines is owned by a family, they have their name plastered on the trucks, and United Van Lines below. We were just out of grad school, so no a huge amount of stuff. They loaded into a small van, drove to warehouse, put items in warehouse. Pulled items from warehouse to load in semi for the move (less than 300 miles, 4 1/2 hours). Sitting in the blistering sun (summer) boxes popped open due to tape failing. Birds pooped on things. Wind blew door of truck, which knocked over bookcase, which fell and shattered dining table into lots of pieces. Items were dragged on concrete, ripping up edges of legs. We are in destination waiting, and waiting. They came days after window allowed, delivered dining table in pieces wrapped in a furniture pad, like Santa's sack...

Because my employer self-insured, the very apologetic owner of the United Van Lines company could offer not a dime and took fool blame, saying he employees college kids in summer (college town) and they didn't follow rules (too bad, your fault buddy). Dining table took 6 months to be rebuilt by a furniture expert. Mattress and box spring, bookcases, and many other items were totaled and paid for in full. Most items were usable, we still have the book cases in our basement. Big holes in back to fiberboard were bent back in place, fine for a basement. Very traumatic move.

When we moved the next time on a company paid move, my recollection is that it went near perfect, because we dictated things in the contract now that we had knowledge. "Items will be loaded into the destination truck and not unloaded or repacked except for delivery from the truck into the final home" and such.

When we moved to our house here in 2007, same deal. The "expert" driver who "has been doing this for years" did most of the damage because he tried to move pieces of furniture himself. Really annoyed. On the packing end, they again hired temp help and didn't supervise. Two piece dining room piece had to be unscrewed on the back where it joins, then lifted off. They slid it off, gouging the top of the lower piece. Furniture refinisher redid everything plus monetary compensation.
Avid user of forums on variety of interests-financial, home brewing, F-150, PHEV, home repair, etc. Enjoy learning & passing on knowledge. It's PRINCIPAL, not PRINCIPLE. I ADVISE you to seek ADVICE.

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galawdawg
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Re: Long Distance Mover from Rockville MD to Bellevue WA

Post by galawdawg » Wed Sep 18, 2019 9:49 am

If the sofa, loveseat, desk and chairs are not family heirlooms or otherwise have significance for your parents, here's what I'd suggest: Sell or donate the furniture, pots, pans etc. in Rockville and purchase replacement furniture and household goods in Bellevue. Assuming they will be flying from MD to WA, take any valuables, small heirlooms and medications in their carry-ons, pack enough clothes for a week in the checked luggage and ship the rest. Books that they want to keep can go USPS Priority Mail, everything else that is boxed like the mementos can go UPS or FedEx.

Or if moving the furniture is important, you can look at a U-Pack ReloCube Container. One container is 6' x 7' x 8' and it will fit in one parking space. You can load up the sofa, loveseat, desk, chairs, clothes, books and anything else that will fit in all the space in and around the furniture. One of those will run about $2,000 from Rockville to Bellevue.

I agree with the others who suggest either you and some friends/family pack and load yourselves or at least be present and supervise those who are doing the packing and loading. Long distance moving companies will often hire day labor to do much of the packing and loading work and therefore your experience may vary widely from very satisfied to an absolute disaster.

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almostretired1965
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Re: Long Distance Mover from Rockville MD to Bellevue WA

Post by almostretired1965 » Wed Sep 18, 2019 1:03 pm

Thanks to everyone for the suggestions. I think we will try and get rid of as much stuff as possible. U-Pack option does not make financial sense since they are not really able to do it themselves and I will need to take time off from work. I am currently planning to fly out from Seattle and stay/visit with them for a week to two weeks to help with the final arrangements, etc., before putting them on a plane. I will hang around to take care of any remaining issues, clearing out the apartment, etc. for them before coming back to Seattle. I was planning to put them on a flight the day after the movers come, but perhaps it might be better if they left on their flight the day before the movers arrive. Not sure if my mom will go for that, however.

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Don_Qua
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Re: Long Distance Mover from Rockville MD to Bellevue WA

Post by Don_Qua » Wed Sep 18, 2019 2:38 pm

forgeblast wrote:
Wed Sep 18, 2019 6:29 am
We used ABF U-Pack. They drop off a semi, you put in your stuff, put in the bulk head and only pay for the space you use. I would go to harbor freight and buy a bunch of movers blankets, and a tarp or two, but it was easy for us to use their service.
2 thumbs up for ABF U-Pack. We used them to 3 years ago to move from Seattle to Arizona. And we did buy our movers blankets at Harbor Freight because the trailer you fill isn't cushioned as a moving van is. Our neighbors paid $10k and never saw some of their belongings again. We paid $4k and nothing got lost or broke.

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elcadarj
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Re: Long Distance Mover from Rockville MD to Bellevue WA

Post by elcadarj » Wed Sep 18, 2019 2:44 pm

galawdawg wrote:
Wed Sep 18, 2019 9:49 am
If the sofa, loveseat, desk and chairs are not family heirlooms or otherwise have significance for your parents, here's what I'd suggest: Sell or donate the furniture, pots, pans etc. in Rockville and purchase replacement furniture and household goods in Bellevue. Assuming they will be flying from MD to WA, take any valuables, small heirlooms and medications in their carry-ons, pack enough clothes for a week in the checked luggage and ship the rest. Books that they want to keep can go USPS Priority Mail, everything else that is boxed like the mementos can go UPS or FedEx.
^This. Perfect time to complete the decluttering. Re-furnish at Costco in WA.

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galawdawg
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Re: Long Distance Mover from Rockville MD to Bellevue WA

Post by galawdawg » Wed Sep 18, 2019 4:26 pm

elcadarj wrote:
Wed Sep 18, 2019 2:44 pm
galawdawg wrote:
Wed Sep 18, 2019 9:49 am
If the sofa, loveseat, desk and chairs are not family heirlooms or otherwise have significance for your parents, here's what I'd suggest: Sell or donate the furniture, pots, pans etc. in Rockville and purchase replacement furniture and household goods in Bellevue. Assuming they will be flying from MD to WA, take any valuables, small heirlooms and medications in their carry-ons, pack enough clothes for a week in the checked luggage and ship the rest. Books that they want to keep can go USPS Priority Mail, everything else that is boxed like the mementos can go UPS or FedEx.
^This. Perfect time to complete the decluttering. Re-furnish at Costco in WA.
Whoops...meant to say USPS Media Mail for books...

Kennedy
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Re: Long Distance Mover from Rockville MD to Bellevue WA

Post by Kennedy » Wed Sep 18, 2019 4:34 pm

I just finished moving a relative's belongings across country. We are selling all of the furniture. As far as the other items, we found UPS was by far the cheapest way to go.

I had around 15 boxes totaling around 700 pounds or so. The total UPS charge was around $650, if I'm remembering correctly. The boxes went by ground and arrived less than a week later. Tracked all the way.

I used an affiliation code that discounted the price by 30 percent.

I paid around $11 total for the UPS man to pick up all boxes directly at my house. It was an overall good experience.

The only glitch was that five or so of the boxes were "audited" by UPS once they arrived at the local processing facility. Lasers measure the boxes, and they are weighed. If a tiny section of a box bulges out at all, the lasers will catch it, and the boxes will be re-priced accordingly. Of course, all of the adjusted prices were in UPS' favor, none in mine. I didn't try to argue, however, since my credit card was only billed another $27 from the original charge.

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almostretired1965
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Re: Long Distance Mover from Rockville MD to Bellevue WA

Post by almostretired1965 » Wed Sep 18, 2019 8:55 pm

Kennedy wrote:
Wed Sep 18, 2019 4:34 pm
I just finished moving a relative's belongings across country. We are selling all of the furniture. As far as the other items, we found UPS was by far the cheapest way to go.

I had around 15 boxes totaling around 700 pounds or so. The total UPS charge was around $650, if I'm remembering correctly. The boxes went by ground and arrived less than a week later. Tracked all the way.

I used an affiliation code that discounted the price by 30 percent.

I paid around $11 total for the UPS man to pick up all boxes directly at my house. It was an overall good experience.

The only glitch was that five or so of the boxes were "audited" by UPS once they arrived at the local processing facility. Lasers measure the boxes, and they are weighed. If a tiny section of a box bulges out at all, the lasers will catch it, and the boxes will be re-priced accordingly. Of course, all of the adjusted prices were in UPS' favor, none in mine. I didn't try to argue, however, since my credit card was only billed another $27 from the original charge.
Did you have to measure, weigh, and print labels for the boxes yourself? Will they pick up without a shipping label, say, like when I visit a UPS store do a ground shipment?

random_walker_77
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Re: Long Distance Mover from Rockville MD to Bellevue WA

Post by random_walker_77 » Wed Sep 18, 2019 9:50 pm

Also read movingscam.com to get educated on badly things can go wrong.

When deciding whether to move something or sell/rebuy, consider:
1) any sentimental attachment to item?
2) relative cost for sale / repurchase
3) weight -- if something isn't too heavy, then it'll be less expensive to ship.

Silverware can be higher-value, and low-weight, so that might be worth shipping. Given your limited scope, I like the UPS idea, but a POD might also work out. Books would ship cheapest via USPS media mail.

Bulky items (for example, a vacuum cleaner) and heavy items (i.e. exercise weights) or heavy and bulky items (i.e. a large dining table) probably aren't worth shipping unless you are really attached to that item.

Also, do note that bulky items like clothing can become much less bulky with vacuum packing. If you haven't done this before, put the clothes in a plastic bag ( a kitchen size trash bag works well). Then using a vacuum hose, you can remove the air and make it much more dense.

Kennedy
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Re: Long Distance Mover from Rockville MD to Bellevue WA

Post by Kennedy » Thu Sep 19, 2019 12:24 am

almostretired1965 wrote:
Wed Sep 18, 2019 8:55 pm
Kennedy wrote:
Wed Sep 18, 2019 4:34 pm
I just finished moving a relative's belongings across country. We are selling all of the furniture. As far as the other items, we found UPS was by far the cheapest way to go.

I had around 15 boxes totaling around 700 pounds or so. The total UPS charge was around $650, if I'm remembering correctly. The boxes went by ground and arrived less than a week later. Tracked all the way.

I used an affiliation code that discounted the price by 30 percent.

I paid around $11 total for the UPS man to pick up all boxes directly at my house. It was an overall good experience.

The only glitch was that five or so of the boxes were "audited" by UPS once they arrived at the local processing facility. Lasers measure the boxes, and they are weighed. If a tiny section of a box bulges out at all, the lasers will catch it, and the boxes will be re-priced accordingly. Of course, all of the adjusted prices were in UPS' favor, none in mine. I didn't try to argue, however, since my credit card was only billed another $27 from the original charge.
Did you have to measure, weigh, and print labels for the boxes yourself? Will they pick up without a shipping label, say, like when I visit a UPS store do a ground shipment?
Yes, I measured, weighed and printed labels myself. I just used the measurements that were pre-printed on the boxes (the moving boxes purchased from Home Depot, Lowes or UHaul). Just a heads up that the five boxes that were audited, UPS increased the dimensions and some of the weights a little. (I later read online that the dimensions printed on the moving boxes indicate the inside measurements, so maybe double check with a measuring tape yourself.) Didn't make too much difference so I didn't fight it.

As far as weight, I just used my bathroom scale. You can go to the UPS website and check for a quote for a specific size/weight box. If you fiddle around with it, you'll see that there is a sweet spot weight for the various sizes. In general, you don't want to fill a large box with something really light, because UPS uses something called dimensional pricing where they charge a minimum amount for a certain size box, even if it's filled with feathers.

It was super simple to generate the label online. Just input the dimensions, weight, where it's going/coming from and a few other bits of info on their website, pay for it with a credit card and hit print. Just tape the label on the box.

I kind of doubt the UPS worker will pick up a box without you first generating a shipping label. The boxes need to be good to go on your end, and then UPS will give you a several hour window as to when they will be by.

It was an amazing deal for me since I paid only around $11 total for the UPS man to pick up 700 pounds of boxes from inside my house. (Edited to add that it was the same price for UPS to pick up one box or for them to pick up 15 boxes at the same time.)

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