We Moved from DC to Denver. This is How. (It Wasn’t Perfect.)

The Argument.

I started working for Closetbox on contract starting in October 2015 from my home in Washington, DC. In March 2016, I started traveling to Closetbox HQ in Denver once a month for a week until we all got sick of that mess. By August, it was clear that I needed to be in the office full time and we were moving to Denver. Then my wife and I had several awesome arguments about how we should move.

We aren’t a couple that argues. First, my wife is brilliant. Never even made a B in her life. Full rides to undergrad and masters. Student of the year in graduate school at Syracuse. I could go on, but just trust me this isn’t the typical husband-saying-his-wife-is-a-genius crap. She just is. And if she and I don’t agree, it’s usually because I’m slow to realize or understand something. If I have a saving grace, it’s that I recognized this chasm of intelligence between her and me long ago, so I’m fairly settled into this after 18+ years of her hanging off of my right arm. 

Her Side

She wanted to do a professional move. We were both working very heavy hours, and we didn’t have time to mess around with this. That was her basic case. She took a poll of her friends and co-workers, some of whom had recently moved. Mostly women. Unanimous to go with the pros.

My Side

I, being the dumb one, wanted to move ourselves. We had priced-out professional moves. Just general pricing and nothing super-specific, and we were looking at $6000-$8000 for the movers—not including driving ourselves across. If you know our CEO, he treats nickels like manhole covers so you know he ain’t gonna pay for it. I was traveling back and forth to Denver every month anyway. My plan was to drive a rental truck with about half of our stuff in October. Then put the rest in a container (PODS or 1-800 Pack Rat) in November and we drive out in our sweet 2004 Volvo wagon (jealous much?).

Then in October, I could sleep in our apartment, instead of a hotel or AirBnB, and move straight in the following month.

I had taken a similar poll of my friends, mostly male, and it was unanimous in the other direction.

I felt that a professional move would only save me two days, which was one of the days driving a rental truck on the road (a Friday) and pack time. And that for a professional move, one of us—likely me, since I worked from home—would need to be around at least one full day while they packed everything.

It was a two day drive across, plus all the time packing. So let’s say three days. But I had a plan to save us time packing, which I still hold as being sound judgment.

Georgetown Waterfront

We ate dinner with some friends right before we left on the Georgetown Waterfront, not far from the Washington Canoe Club–a second home for the last several years, and which may not be heaven, but you can see if from there. There were a few comments made from my wife and our friends, the kind that make you believe another conversation had been happening without you and not in your favor. We ended up having a civil but tense conversation about this move, not being on the same side, etc. in front of whoever wanted to listen—also not our style—in the middle of that gathering area.

Moving Sucks

This wasn’t us. We are pretty laid back creatures, but the move and the speed of it was getting to us. Renting out our home in DC, finding a new place in Denver, two separate moves, while trying to work full time and see everyone you know one last time before you go, was just sucking all the life from us. On top of that I was trying to move us ourselves, which, as we know from the previous knowledge of my wife being a wizard, that I am going against custom and it’s going to hurt.

Our Customers

I had a discussion in here somewhere with our Head of Product and Strategy, Matt Glissmann, and he noted that this gap was why our customers lean heavily female. Men choose to do it themselves, statistically own more trucks, have friends that own trucks, and know people who will help them haul things into storage. Plus dumb.

And then women are just smarter about valuing their time and let companies like Closetbox move their things into storage. Moving begets storage events. Not everything fits in the new place. Not everything is fit to be tossed out.

I Won (I Guess)

I got my way on this one, which meant I needed to make it look easy so as not to be a complete fool. Super.

I talk about the first move in the next post –> Move 1


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