Container Delivery and Storage: DC to Denver
We left the container at our home in DC to be picked up the day after we hit the road on Friday Nov 11. We had confirmation that it was picked up and in transit. My wife came in on Tuesday Nov 22. I had the turkey brining in the fridge. We were going to have a feast with my buddy Jeremy, who wasn’t going home for Thanksgiving. Isn’t that sad?
We had been in contact with Pack Rat about the delivery date, hoping to get the container at least by Wednesday Nov 23, so that we had the weekend to unload. They could not promise delivery then, but it wasn’t a problem. We had packed smartly and didn’t leave anything critical in the container. It was just a nice-to-have, and as mentioned, we built a good amount of wiggle room into the container delivery because we knew that it was sometimes difficult to determine an absolute date and get it.
Pack Rat is headquartered in North Carolina, so every time you hit the call center, you talk to someone with a great southern accent, who is super polite and respectful. It’s all part of the Pack Rat charm.
Frickin’ Motorcycles & Commercial Dumpsters
Some dude up the street had a genius idea to park his two motorcycles on the street in front of our house. He didn’t want to park them in front of his place because that would be inconvenient for where he wanted to park. So he used our place. As of this writing, one of the motorcycles has remained unmoved, now three months later. I’m not mad.
We parked our super cool Volvo wagon in strategic spots all week to guarantee a space as close to our door as possible. On Monday that week, the construction crew that was building a home two doors up dropped a commercial dumpster in front of their place so the street was getting congested. (I just took a break to research abandoned vehicle policies in Denver.)
Pack Rat showed in the morning on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. The driver was an absolute champ. He had no space to work with, but managed to drop the container just upstream of the motorcycles, with a enough room between his front bumper and the commercial dumpster to be able to get back out, all while leaving us max room to open the container doors. He was awesome.
As you can see, whoever on the block owns these sleds didn’t make any friends in our house on this day. Everything had to be moved out through a small opening. We couldn’t get the left door open more than just a little bit. It was mostly those plastic tubs, which was easy, but some things were pretty tricky. Ain’t no thing. It wasn’t the hardest thing we have had to do.
Jeremy showed up again to work off that holiday weight, and we had everything out of that container in just a couple hours.
Our same guy came back on December 5 to grab the container still wearing his Rockies hat. We had only one more day of cushion before we would have been charged another month. The customer service reps reminded me of this on each call, which was excellent of them, as it’s not very often that companies help you against their own best interests. Respect.
We were very pleased with Pack Rat. The only thing that didn’t go to plan is that they charged us the full $2355 on Nov 14. They said they would charge $500 at dropoff empty, around $1600 at pickup, and the rest, about $170, once they picked it back up empty. It didn’t make me any difference, as we put it on a credit card and it all would have been billed within the same month. But something to note if you are time-sensitive on charges.
It took us a while to get settled and figure out what went where and how to live in this new space that was not our own and lived very differently (from bungalow to modern duplex). We now have a garage, which we haven’t had before—at least one we could park in. And we took our sweet time getting unpacked.
At our place in DC, we had tons of storage space in the attic and a detached garage that was decently full. So here is what it looked like once we were certain we had everything we needed in the house.
Did Tubs Work?
You can see the tubs. They are still working for us, but word to the wise on stacking them. I tried to put the heaviest stuff on bottom, but it wasn’t always possible.
If you are a hustler and want to sell these tubs on Craigslist, or the like, just to recoup some expenses, more power to you. That’s not my action. I got my value out of them and still have them to move again when this lease is up (which is apparently in less than two months). They take up about as much space as broken-down cardboard boxes, but water won’t end them. Don’t stack them 29-high like I did. It is space-efficient, but it’s difficult to pull the top one down when you need it.
For us, they worked. You can save a little bit of money by going the box route, but it’ll increase time. I’m not thrilled to have tons of these sitting around, but if that’s the rub of two, smooth cross-country moves, I’ll take them. And if anyone wants some or all of these, hit me up. I have 29 (with lids) that I’m not using.
The rest we put into Closetbox storage. This winter in Denver wasn’t bad, but we bought another car (we have only had the Volvo since we moved to DC)—it is not the one parked in there. That’s Terry Ratzlaff’s Subaru. He took these pictures and we needed a second car while mine was at work to make this before and after shot come to life, but you get the point.
We had one of Closetbox’s local agents, Amazing Moves http://www.amazingmoves.com/, come pick up the rest.
All told, and I know this to the number because we just did our taxes—word to the wise: you can write off a move if it’s for work—and I have it in front of me:
I’ll leave it to you to decide. Obviously, I’m a blockhead and should have used my time more wisely.
I don’t think I could have engineered a cheaper move through a professional company.
I used to handle the local moves/deliveries for a company while we lived in Syracuse, plus I work for Closetbox, so I had a good idea about how to pack our things and keep them safe moving across country.
I could have bought back a few days of each of our time by paying for a professional move. I can’t feel those days today, thought I sure could then.
I can’t feel the dollars we saved, as it just wasn’t so much savings that it was too much to pass up.
But man. That sure was a lot of work.