03-21-2015, 05:14 AM
#1
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EDIT: The move is now complete!! YAY!!

Hey guys, 

I know people here on the Nook have varied experiences, and I'm hoping some of you have pointers for someone making a cross-country move. 

Some of you guys know that I've lived on the East Coast for many years. Recently, issues with my in-laws' health have made us want to move to where they are, so we can help out. Also, it's made it clear that (like it or not) the time our kids will have to spend with them is limited, so we want to maximize that as much as possible. Of course, they live right across the country - in the Seattle, WA area!

For a while, career considerations made it hard for us to move, but I've recently started on a career change, and that allows me more freedom. So, after considering it for a while, we've decided to choose family over familiarity with a geographical area and move.

The planned move is the cross-country one from one end of I-90 to the other. 

[Image: 290px-Interstate_90_map.png]

This is exciting, of course! It is also daunting.

We're really looking forward to being with the people on the other end. We have several family members who live there in addition to our in-laws, and my daughters will have access to their cousins too. What we're not looking forward to is the actual move. 

It turns out that we're not too attached to any of the 'stuff' we have. After considering many alternatives, we decided to pare down to just what will fit in a medium trailer and drive across. As I mentioned elsewhere on these forums, the only thing I'm really bummed about is the possibility of losing a lot of my cooking implements. I like cooking, and have gathered a lot of things that make it easier, and fun. Some things, like my favourite knives, will be easy to squeeze in, but others will be hard to move. I also have a large library of books, and will not be able to take most of them. Oh well! It's easier to get rid of some things than it is to get rid of others. 

I'm planning to stop along the way at several of the national parks as well - so we're making it a grand road trip. Niagra, Yellowstone, Glacier, etc. We'll stop and stay in the area for a while to break up the monotony of the trip. (At least, that's the plan at the moment). 

Luckily, we'll not be left to our own devices when we get to the other end. We'll have family to help us. At this time, we're planning on settling in the Bellingham, WA vicinity. I've been there, and I like it. Like this end of the country, it's beautiful there. 


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Has anyone done something like this? How did you work it out? I've been scouring the internet for advice, but people who do things like this are usually single, or married without kids. Having a family do this is a logistical nightmare.

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 03-21-2015, 07:31 AM
#2
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 Good morning,

I have had to move 6 times for my job until two years ago when I made it back to my home town.  I learned a lot and made some mistakes I wish I could change.  Not knowing your financial capacity I will offer a couple thoughts I have had along the way.  First: if your cooking implements and books are important to you and bring you joy I would get a bigger trailer or find a way to bring them.  Like all our shaving gear, it's a stress reliever and a focus point distracting us from the rush of our busy lives.  So unless your finances allow you to replace them upon arrival to WA I would find a way to bring them. I had gotten rid of several things along my moves in an effort to streamline the trip but looking back once I was settled I sure did miss them....

My only other thought would be to add roughly 15% to your budget for unforeseen obstacles along the way.  Cross country provides plenty of distance for things to go wrong.  Enjoy the trip especially with family but prepare for a bump or two...

These are my thoughts, I hope they help.

Tappan

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 03-21-2015, 07:59 AM
#3
  • greyhawk
  • Senior Member
  • Southern California
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This sounds like the most fantastic adventure imaginable. What an amazing journey; this will be something that will bring your family closer together and you will have lifelong memories. Congratulations on a great choice and putting family first.
We moved from the Chicago area to Los Angeles when I was in 6th grade, but of course I didn't learn much about the logistics. We also took a couple of month-long cross-country driving vacations, and I vividly remember some of the little towns we passed through, the motels we stayed in, and the sights. 
I do have one suggestion, though: think about shipping some things if there isn't room to pack, especially the books. Books have a special shipping rate (4th class?) that is very inexpensive, especially given the weight. Even some of your cooking items--you can ship them the slowest, cheapest way and it might be worth it.
Best of luck and keep us posted!

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 03-21-2015, 08:32 AM
#4
  • evnpar
  • Emeritus
  • Portland, Oregon
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We were living on the East Coast when we moved to the Pacific Northwest, and I'm sure that you will enjoy living here. I would make doubly sure that the items in the trailer are secure when left unattended. I've known several people whose cars and trucks were broken into, especially at motels and tourist attractions. One of the most popular tourist attraction near Portland, Multnomah Falls, has the highest rate of car break ins, as vandals are on the lookout for people leaving valuables in their car. I also agree with the above recommendations as to finding a way to ship your cooking equipment, and possibly your books. I've shipped personal items needed for college cross country on Greyhound for a very reasonable rate, and have also shipped things as an add-on to a moving van going cross country with a full load for someone else at a low rate as long as I didn't care how long it took to arrive. I wish you the best on your adventure.

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 03-21-2015, 08:39 AM
#5
  • Johnny
  • MODERATOR EMERITUS
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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As for as the move, packing, culling, etc., I don't have much advise.  My last move was 26 years ago and the company I worked for paid for the move.

The advise I will give is two:  Don't drive through Chicago pulling a trailer while the sun is shining.   Spend the night in Indiana just on the boarder with Illinois and leave the motel at 4:00AM.  Day time traffic in Chicago is a killer.

Spend at least two day of your trip in Rapid City, SD and have your camera at the ready.  If possible, be in the Black Hills at sunrise, it is stunning.  And of course, Mount Rushmore.

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 03-21-2015, 09:11 AM
#6
  • freddy
  • Banned
  • San Diego, California, U.S.A.
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Yohann, I have to agree with what others have stated about trying to find inexpensive ways to ship those books and cooking implements.  When I moved from Toledo to San Diego almost forty years ago, there were some things I simply didn't care enough about so were either sold (furniture) or given away (some clothing, etc.).  Anything that was particularly precious to me was either shipped or taken with me in the car.  To be honest, some of the things I chose to take could have easily been replaced and really didn't need to come along but 40 years later I am so happy I chose not to leave them behind.

Whatever your family and you decide, I wish you a safe and fun-filled journey across the country and all best wishes for a new start on the West Coast.

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 03-21-2015, 09:34 AM
#7
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Everything has already been said that i would have suggested as well. The only thing i will add, is welcome fellow Washingtonian!

From my Tab through the Tap

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 03-21-2015, 10:19 AM
#8
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Wow! You guys are the best! 

There have already been a few things mentioned that I hadn't thought of. 

I will certainly be shipping some items (some of my books). The thing about my books is that I now have electronic copies of most of them. Some of my books are collectibles, and they'll be coming with me. Of the rest, I'll be pruning them carefully. They're old friends, but they have been sitting around unused for a while, so maybe it's time to pass them on. 

The kitchen things are items that will be interesting. My wife and daughters are not really into cooking, so it's my domain. I will be careful about this as the replacement value can be pretty high, but taking specialty items may be hard. 

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Trailer security has been keeping me up at night a bit. I am aware of the possibility of having our stuff stolen and it is something that may push me to professionally ship our stuff (expensive, but less hassle).

I hadn't thought about driving through or around Chicago. I'll have to keep that in mind when I'm going through there. 

I certainly hadn't considered when (what time of the day) we'd be going through some of the more magnificent scenery that the west has to offer. We all love the outdoors, and I imagine this will be our favourite part of the trip. 

One thing we thought of (not sure how smart it is) is to actually camp at some of the parks out west. That way, we can enjoy the scenery all the time while we're there. 

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 03-21-2015, 10:52 AM
#9
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No advice, but want to wish you luck and a safe trip  Smile

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 03-21-2015, 11:07 AM
#10
  • Johnny
  • MODERATOR EMERITUS
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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Just remember, when you are camping out west (Rapid City and beyond) there are wolves and bears.  Be careful.

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 03-22-2015, 01:08 PM
#11
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Yep, I had thought about the bears (though not the wolves). The camping was just a a thought, and may not seem so attractive when the time for the move comes closer. The move is a few months away, and we're considering several options. 

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 03-23-2015, 10:10 AM
#12
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Congratulation, Yohann! I guess you'll be coming up for a visit if you are in Bellingham, then! You'll finally be able to see the background to all of my SOTD phots and expericence just how beautiful Vancouver is!  Biggrin

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 03-23-2015, 03:50 PM
#13
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(03-23-2015, 10:10 AM)celestino Wrote: Congratulation, Yohann! I guess you'll be coming up for a visit if you are in Bellingham, then! You'll finally be able to see the background to all of my SOTD phots and expericence just how beautiful Vancouver is!  Biggrin

Absolutely!! I will certainly be coming in to Vancouver. I have family there. 

I would love to meet up. I seems like it is possible to ride a bike across the border. It's not so far, so I would love to ride over if I can. 

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 05-15-2015, 02:53 AM
#14
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So, we're now about six weeks away from the move and there's a lot that needs to be done before we leave. It's amazing that even in a small house, we have collected so much stuff. Smile

Plans have changed a bit. After thinking about it ourselves, and reading some of the advice I have received here and elsewhere, we decided to spend the money and ship our stuff instead of lugging a trailer along. I was not very comfortable with the idea of pulling a heavy trailer all that distance. It just seemed to multiply the chances of something going wrong.

Secondly, the kids are flying over to Seattle. While it would have been a great experience for them to see the country as we went through it, it would also be a long, and often boring ride for them. Having a bored 5 year-old in the car may have got old after a while. Biggrin Granddad will be picking them up and they'll spend a few days with grandparents and cousins, so it should be fine for them. 

My wife and I will get to spend some rare time together without the kids. It will also be less stressful to no have them with us.

We're actually looking forward to the trip now. I'm not so sure about the packing and loading, but the trip itself could be fun.

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 05-15-2015, 02:59 AM
#15
  • Johnny
  • MODERATOR EMERITUS
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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Much success on your move, Yohann.  I agree, ship the goods, ship the kids, and spend some quality time with the wife crossing this great Nation.  Major moves are never fun, but the trip is well worth it.

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 05-15-2015, 07:25 AM
#16
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Exciting time! I made a major move in 1991 from Los Angeles to Seattle -- so, not as far as you. I rented a Uhaul truck and a trailer for my car to pull behind. It worked out fine, but I think you're being smart doing it your way -- driving a rental truck and pulling a trailer is a major task.

I've no advice to give, other than bring along your rain gear -- even in July it can get pretty wet here in the northwest. Seattle is often called the Emerald city because it's so green here.
Very true, but the green comes with the price of many rainy days. The average rainfall in Seattle is not much more than, say, Manhattan, but it is spread out over many months instead of concentrated in just a few -- but when those clouds clear and the sun comes out the lush greenery is eye-poppingly beautiful!

I hope that you love it here as much as I do.
Euro

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 05-15-2015, 09:48 AM
#17
  • freddy
  • Banned
  • San Diego, California, U.S.A.
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Yohann, it sounds as if you are making all of the right moves (no pun intended) and I wish you every success and happiness.

Since you have decided to ship, will your wonderful books and cooking gear get to go to the Pacific Northwest with you? Smile

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 05-15-2015, 05:26 PM
#18
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Freddy - Yes, I think all the books and the kitchen stuff will fit. If not, I plan to mail some of my books over using media mail. I'm in no hurry to receive them, so it doesn't matter that the Post Office will take a while to get them over.

We're now debating about some of the non-essential furniture. Our initial plan was to take nothing other than the beds, but now we have room for some more items, so more decisions have to be made. Honestly, while it would be convenient to have some of the furniture with us, nothing is so important to us that we cannot imagine living without it. In some ways, it is a liberating experience to let go of so much of our stuff and to (temporarily) pare things down.

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 05-15-2015, 05:59 PM
#19
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(05-15-2015, 05:26 PM)yohannrjm Wrote: Freddy - Yes, I think all the books and the kitchen stuff will fit. If not, I plan to mail some of my books over using media mail. I'm in no hurry to receive them, so it doesn't matter that the Post Office will take a while to get them over.

We're now debating about some of the non-essential furniture. Our initial plan was to take nothing other than the beds, but now we have room for some more items, so more decisions have to be made. Honestly, while it would be convenient to have some of the furniture with us, nothing is so important to us that we cannot imagine living without it. In some ways, it is a liberating experience to let go of so much of our stuff and to (temporarily) pare things down.

Johann,

I moved from Boston all the way to Seattle. The advantage was that my employer paid for the move. I think shipping your stuff is a smart move as a lot of folks have commented that you should move your cooking tools. I would highly recommend packing the books in wine boxes with large plastic wrapped around to protect them as you noted they are collectible. You can buy the painters plastic roll in Home Depot for around $20. This will protect them from moisture damage.

I am not sure where exactly you are moving from. If the non-essential furniture is just that, you should know that there is an Ikea near Seattle. The furniture there is cheap and because most of their furniture is pressed wood, you can end up changing the look every couple of years as it is not expensive. You can either take the best of your non-essential furniture or ship all your books.

No matter how you decide, good luck with the move and welcome to the Northwest. You are coming at about the time when the weather is the best in Seattle. Cheers

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 07-01-2015, 06:50 PM
#20
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Well, we're on our way. Just the wife and I. Cross-country.

We got a bit of a late start and had to change our day 1 plans. There were a few things that took longer to take care of and so our start time was delayed by more than 6 h. So, we added another stop to our itinerary.

It's actually for the best, as we'll have a chance to settle into the trip now.

We're done with MA and NY, and are in PA now. We have a few more states to go before we hit WA. Smile

Sent from my Passport using Tapatalk 2

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