As we prepared to initially plan our move, one of the first considerations that arose was how we were going to move our belongings from Wisconsin to Florida. We had three options we could utilize: a professional mover, self-move using U-Haul, or PODs portable storage units. We researched each choice, and decided the professional mover was the best option for our family. We have always chosen U-Haul for our previous moves, and while financially it was the best option, overall it provides for a less than stellar moving experience. PODS are slightly better, but they are quite expensive, require you to have a place to keep the unit while you are filling it, and the basic fact that you have to fill it, as opposed to a mover doing the work for you.
We have always wanted this to be an adventure for our family. While moving to Florida close to Walt Disney World has been our dream, it also comes with the harsh reality that everything will be different. For our children, this will be the most difficult hurdle, as there will not be a routine or familiarity around them. This is one of the reasons we chose to use a professional mover. We did not want to start our moving adventure tired and totally exhausted. We consider this a mini-vacation of sorts, and who wants to do work on vacation?
We chose to use Mayflower as our carrier. We have discovered there are a lot of online moving companies who want our business, and they will offer a cheap estimate, then all of a sudden find extra expenses they need to charge for before delivery is made. We wanted to go through a reputable company and be assured that our belongings as well as ourselves would be treated with respect. Mayflower came highly recommend, and we were impressed with the level of service we received.
Our in-home visit took almost three hours. He provided us with printouts on information of Clermont, inventoried all our belongings, entered them into his computer, and provided us with a written estimate, which is binding. If you are considering hiring professional movers, two words of advice: (1) Make sure you are dealing with a direct agent of the company, and (2) make sure your estimate is binding. Only a direct agent has authority to provide you with an estimate, and you want it to be binding, because then you are guaranteed you will not be charged any additional fees. Basically, what you see is what you pay. You may pay less, but you won’t pay more.
Overall we are pleased with the level of service we received and the cost is not unreasonable given the length of our move. We have moved up our move date to July 22nd. We now need to sit down and plan our travel itinerary, so we can book hotels. Our goal is to be in our new apartment or house by August 1. We discovered that storing our belongings is quite expensive (even more so than the move itself), so we are under a little more pressure to find living arrangements quickly. Mayflower will extend delivery as much as possible, and it helps that we will be moving in a peak season, which means delivery would have been extended anyways. So we are thankful that storage is an major expense that can be avoided.
We would love to hear your packing tips. Thanks for following our dream; we appreciate your support!
Mark and Jen