Moving in Mid-Retirement, Part III: Choosing a Moving Company

When you decide to move you must also decide how your possessions will get from your old home to your new one. Some people I know have rented trucks. Others have sold much of their furniture and arrived in their new community ready to purchase new items. We decided, given the time constraints that we had put on ourselves and my piano, that we would use a moving company. I called three companies to learn how to go about it.

Moving out

The process of figuring out what company to use is a very different process compared to before the coronavirus pandemic. Instead of an individual coming out to your home and walking through the rooms, the company asks you to make a video by walking around your house and showing the contents of each room. The video is sent back to the moving representative who then makes an estimate of what it will cost to move one’s possessions from one place to another. It’s important to note, however, that the actual cost may be more than the estimate, which may be in the ballpark — or not. Moving costs are high, and they are broken into two parts — the pick-up which you pay for after the truck drives away from your old house and the delivery. If you have items that require special attention, artwork or mirrors, for instance, they may need to be crated for an additional charge.

The company that we chose, JK Moving, based in Virginia but working worldwide, appealed to us for a number of reasons. For one thing, every single person we spoke at the beginning was helpful, professional, and friendly from the first contacts, and this continued right up to the man who delivered the goods to our new home. The company was a big supporter on one of one of the public radio stations that we listened to — a big plus. We had also passed by their headquarters in northern Virginia and were impressed to by the cleanliness of the trucks and the organization of the site. Finally we spoke to a number of families who had used JKMoving more than once and who were more than pleased.

One issue that we needed to consider was storage, and that would add additional charges each month. We knew that we would need to store our furniture, which included a piano, for awhile until our new home was ready, so we wanted to be assured that everything would be well cared for.

Once we chose the company, we got serious about downsizing, getting those fourteen loads of possessions to the thrift shop. The Facebook Buy Nothing group was also a great resource.

Moving in

To get ready we decided to do a lot of the packing ourselves, but have the movers pack the more delicate items. The company provided boxes for a charge, but it turned out that Staples boxes, given the regular coupons that they sent us, were cheaper. So up until the movers arrived, we used boxes and newsprint from Staples.

On the day the movers arrived at our house, the team included eight people. They immediately rolled out protective coverings for the floors and and connected ramps to the front and back porches. If I had any lingering concern, it was assuaged when I saw how they packed and protected our furniture as well as the piano. Some of our mirrors and pictures were put into specially built crates, and the cost was well worth it. It took most of the day to get everything into the truck.

Once we arrived at our destination, it turned out that our new house was not ready — nor would it be three more months. Knowing my possessions were in clean, climate controlled storage was reassuring.

The night before we moved into our new house, we received a phone call from the JK truck driver. He told us what time he would arrive, that he would arrive a bit earlier than the crew, and that if we did not mind, he would like to start early. We did not mind. When his truck pulled up he walked through the house. When the team arrived they rolled out the protective floor coverings and ramps and got to work. It takes a lot less time to empty the truck than to fill it.

Nothing, not a single item was damaged. We had heard so many horror stories from others who had moved, but our experience was terrific, so we could use our energy setting up our new home. It was expensive, but we were satisfied. Thanks JK Moving!

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