Interstate Moving – quite the experience

As you already know, I recently picked up my life in Seattle and moved to Los Angeles.  The only time I’ve ever done anything like this was when I moved from Idaho to Seattle for college.  And as you can probably tell from my previous posts, this move was definitely an experience I wasn’t quite prepared for and it feels drastically different than moving for college.

I think that this felt significantly harder because I wasn’t within driving distance of my childhood home so it meant that my parents couldn’t drive with me to my new home and help me move in.  What’s funny is that I remember move in day at college as if it were yesterday.  My parents have always wanted me to be super independent and because of that, they drove with me to Seattle and helped me unload all my boxes (with the help of the orientation advisors) into my dorm room and then left. That’s right, they decided they were going to go camping in the Olympics and left me to unpack my entire room to myself.  Looking back, it’s indicative of the relationship I have with my parents.  They have trusted me and given me a lot of freedom to be independent.  I’m actually glad that they dropped me off at college in the manner they did (even though at that moment, I was so confused and baffled, although I did think it was funny). I’m glad because it meant that moving never quite felt like that big of a deal after that.  That is until this latest move.

This was bigger than any other move I’ve ever done, partially because I have significantly more than I did when I left Boise.  I own furniture now, which realistically I could have just as easily thrown away since all of my furniture was purchased in college or immediately following college.  I’m just so lazy and quite content with the pieces that I purchased and built because Ikea makes durable enough products for me.

That being said, I learned a lot from this move.  Here are some tips for anyone considering an interstate move for a job.

  • If you’re moving for a job and your new company is helping with relocation – you can utilize the packing services that the company may offer but let’s just say, it’s a weird experience.  I almost wouldn’t recommend it because you have to be okay with other people touching all of your stuff and packaging it for you.  You end up not knowing where anything is (which almost makes unpacking like getting a bunch of gifts since you don’t know what’s in each box).  But you also run into the issue of potentially not having things packaged well.  So be prepared for that if you utilize the relocation packing.
  • If you are hiring movers to move all of your stuff, be prepared that your stuff may be sitting in storage for a little bit of time.  Keep everything well labeled, make sure you take inventory and you know what products are being disassembled to be reassembled. There is definitely a cost involved with the storage so be sure to take that into account.
  • Take into account that for many interstate moves, there is a chance that your stuff will be loaded onto a truck with other people’s belongings.  My stuff was loaded onto a truck with about three other people’s belongings which meant that it didn’t show up in LA until over a week later because they had to drop stuff off along the way.  Take that into account when you pack whatever you are bringing with you.
  • Most movers will not take certain things that are opened (liquids or foods).  Even unopened foods, if they are liquids, will be left behind.  Cleaning supplies will be left behind and anything that can be considered flammable or could break and leak.  I had to give away all of my cleaning supplies, nail polish, candles, batteries, and lightbulbs.
  • That being said, take inventory of what you’re getting rid of, what needs lightbulbs and batteries.  When your stuff shows up, it’s quite the experience going to use something that you forgot is missing it’s key component and realizing that you’re out of luck until after you run to the nearest Target…
  • Travel size hygiene items are key. If you’re flying or driving to your new home, make sure you have key hygiene items.  Especially laundry detergent if you’re living out of a suitcase.
  • If you have anything that is considered precious (whether it’s valuable or something that holds some level of nostalgia for you, pack it with you).
  • Don’t assume automatically that the movers will take good care of your items like it belongs to them. Be prepared for the possibility that things will show up dirty or broken.  It leaves less room for disappointment.
  • Get rid of as much as stuff as you can prior to moving.  Unpacking in a new city is hard when all you want to do is go explore, but at the same time it is a nice distraction from getting homesick.

I have to say that it was less stressful to have movers pack and move all my stuff.  I’m glad I had the help but I’m not sure the packers were worth the money.  But realistically with the level of stress and the fact that I had three days between one job ending and the next beginning, I had no choice. But I’m glad I had the experience and now the lessons learned for next time (whenever that is)


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