It’s Even More Official

April 10, 2009

The other day, Lou from
Mayflower came by to give us a moving estimate. He gave the house a thorough once over and the entire time I asked him question after question about the process. What do you do with the beds? Will the truck fit on our street? How would you recommend packing this artwork? How about this lamp? Bubble wrap or packing paper? How long does the packing process take? etc. We’ve been getting quotes from moving companies for weeks now.

The whole process can be pretty overwhelming. Some base the price on weight. Others base the price on volume. Some include packing. Others don’t. Prices can vary widely — most of our bids came in within the same range, but one was over twice as much! Which makes me crazy.

Of all the bids we got, of all the companies we talked to, Lou was the only representative that offered some solid ways to save money on this move. Things like: if you ask your neighbors to move their cars when the big truck comes in, that will save you a big fee — because we won’t have to use smaller trucks to transport your stuff to the big truck. Lou was clearly an expert. Had clearly been doing this a long time and knew all the secrets.

I think what I really liked about Lou (in addition to his patience with my questions), was that although he was representing Mayflower, a company with a nationwide trusted name, he was also part of what is essentially a local business, Molloy Brother’s Moving. That’s how Mayflower works — it’s a network of local moving companies across the country that have access to Mayflower’s national resources. I love that combo of small and big.

So friends. It’s official. We’re going with Mayflower. The truck is coming on April 29th. And we’re flying out on April 30th. Having made this decision, my mind is already 30% more at ease.


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{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

1 sallyavena April 10, 2009 at 10:20 am

Please do share what you learned. We will be moving in a couple of months as well and would love any advice!


2 kirsten April 10, 2009 at 10:27 am

Oh, how exciting and so imminent! Best of luck with it all…I am quite sure you will adore the Denver area!


3 Nancy April 10, 2009 at 10:34 am

We just moved about a month ago from Arizona to Utah; I had interviewed three different moving companies and also chose Mayflower. And let me just say the process was amazing, the packers were like superheroes, and everything made it safe and quickly. It was so nice to have the help, and made an emotional process much less painful. Good luck!


4 Smiling Mama April 10, 2009 at 10:37 am

It is so nice to just make a decision and then to let that aspect go. Sounds like you made a good one. Best of luck!


5 Dana Fontaine April 10, 2009 at 11:29 am

Having moved TWICE in the last four years cross country AND out of country, I know the relief you are feeling. We used Mayflower as well.

If I can offer one bit of advice, DO NOT let them unpack your boxes for you. I have done it both with and without the unpacking and I found that more was lost when they unpacked (including a small original painting we received as a gift) than when we did it.

I think that they were working quickly so more was missed or damaged as it was being unpacked off of the moving truck than it would have been had we done the work ourselves. To me it was worth the extra boxes and paper to save my treasure. And you can always Freecycle the boxes as you empty them!


6 Becca April 10, 2009 at 11:35 am

I think you’ve made a good choice with Mayflower. They moved us from Austin to north Colorado a few months ago and we were very satisfied. In order to save a little money, we packed and unpacked our own boxes. But the local moving office was very generous about giving us plenty of free used boxes and packing material.

My only recommendation would be to keep an eye on the guys that unload the truck when you get here. Our driver was fantastic, and the three men that loaded the truck seemed to be very careful. But the two guys that unloaded were not as careful as I would have liked. But once they realized that I was watching them pretty closely, they did try a little harder.


7 Neas Nuttiness April 10, 2009 at 12:11 pm

Remember that most movers won’t take plants, and food in glass jars or bottles.

If you already have a house in Colorado, place sticky notes on the doors of each room, which co-respond to the names/rooms, on the boxes.

Have the first items that you will need, in the new home, placed on the truck LAST. This should include T.P., some favorite toys and books, paper towels, spray cleaner, pet dishes and food (if this applies),and garbage bags.

I agree with Dana – unpack yourself. Have a camera ready when the movers arrive, so that you can immediately document any damage to boxes or furniture, and then keep it handy as you unpack.
Unwrap carefully, as you never know how many little things will be in one “bundle”.

Some movers offer a one time “pick up service” of the boxes and wrapping paper, once you’ve unloaded them. Just flatten the boxes…and we folded the paper as we unpacked and placed it in empty boxes. We saved a few boxes for later use, and I kept one box filled with paper. It comes in handy. You can use it for all kinds of things. It’s great for kids and crayons! Also, a great tip for hanging pictures…lay frames face down, onto smoothed out wrapping paper. Trace around frame, then locate “tab” (for hanging) and mark with a felt tip pen. Mark top of paper and label with name of photo or picture Cut out along trace lines. Now you can lay these out on the floor to decide on groupings for placement. When you are ready to hang frames, hold the “paper copy” against the wall, exactly where you want it to hang. Then place nail through the marked “tab” on paper. Remove paper, and then hang photo! (Even though I’m not a big Martha Stewart fan…this was a great tip from her. You can probably find this explained, along with illustrations, on her website.)

Hope these ideas help!

You’ll love Colorado…I wish I could move there!


8 Melissa Abby April 10, 2009 at 12:22 pm

We also used Mayflower to move from California to Rhode Island. They were awesome! We are moving back this summer and are planning on using them again. I’ve heard horror stories about some of the supposed cheaper companies that then hold your stuff until you agree to give them more money on the spot. We tipped the driver and the guys he used when they picked the stuff up pretty well so that might have helped with how hard they worked :) Good luck!


9 Amy April 10, 2009 at 12:51 pm

We used Allied once, and were also blessed with an “expert”. The man who came to our house to check out our stuff gave all sorts of tips on how to save money. He suggested buying “mattress bags” from a local moving store (such as U-Haul) and covering our own mattresses. Otherwise, he told us, Allied would charge probably 3x as much for the service.

I’d also suggest buying the moving insurance…otherwise anything broken isn’t covered. And from our experience, it seems they are less careful if they know the move is uninsured.


10 Kate April 10, 2009 at 1:10 pm

We are in the military and have made 5 cross country moves in the past 12 years. Mayflower did 3 of the moves and were absolutely wonderful. Not one breakage or missing box and everyone involved was very professional and fast. Good Luck and I hope Colorado is all you wish it to be.


11 Christy April 10, 2009 at 2:14 pm

When we moved from DC to Philly three and a half years ago, we went with Mayflower for the same reasons. You’ll be pleased with their services, no doubt. I’m so jealous that you’re actually moving to Colorado – what an adventure! I’m sure the 30% will rise to 100% soon!!!


12 lyonlingo April 10, 2009 at 2:37 pm

We moved two years ago from Seattle to DC and went with Allied. NEVER use Allied. We also interviewed 3 companies and after having done it have heard from so many people, oh you should have used Mayflower. Let me tell you if we move again we will be.

As for the insurance I would recommend it as well but be aware that when you get to the other end and you go to file a claim it isn’t as easy as we bought insurance please replace it. Allied somehow broke the casing on my G4 tower and the man they sent to inspect thought it was made out of plastic. They were only going to pay $300 for the tower and we had to then take our time to take the G4 to the Apple Store to get a quote and thankfully I had my original receipt for the purchase price so in the end they honored the dollar amount Apple said but what a pain.

Good Luck and I think you will be happy with Mayflower.


13 abby April 10, 2009 at 3:45 pm

what a relief, i’m sure! just in time for the weekend, too. enjoy. :)


14 Jennifer April 10, 2009 at 4:36 pm

I completely agree with Becca… I used Mayflower in October to move from SWFlorida to SoCalifornia and they were FABULOUS…. Same deal, the guys that unload will not be the same ones that loaded…. just make sure your boxes are clearly marked and that you know just exactly where you want everything….. I didn’t have one thing damaged, they were wonderful!!

Good luck!


15 Amy I. April 10, 2009 at 5:13 pm

Good luck with your move! Looking forward to reading more about your adventures.


16 Louise April 11, 2009 at 7:13 am

Good luck with your move! Is it strange that during conference, when one of the speakers spoke about change, I thought, “how perfect this talk is for Design Mom”?!! (Get On with Our Lives, Elder Steven E Snow). Can’t wait to hear your thoughts on Colorado.


17 Whitney April 11, 2009 at 2:42 pm

We used Mayflower when we moved from California to Boston and they were wonderful. We had donuts and coffee the morning of the big move for our guys and everything went so smoothly. We were so happy with this company. Best of luck!


18 Becki April 11, 2009 at 6:03 pm

Moving is huge. I have done it too many times. Good luck and happy beginnings!


19 Sessa April 12, 2009 at 5:48 pm

gosh, so i guess your big move isn’t really an april fool’s …


20 Stephanie :) April 13, 2009 at 1:06 am

My dad was in the Air Force when I was little, so we moved. A Lot. And when I was 7 we moved from California to Arkansas. We used Mayflower then. We moved three more times, when I was older. But I can only remember Mayflower. They must have been good for a 7 year old to remember for another 31.5 years! Oh, that make me old!


21 N April 13, 2009 at 12:05 pm

used mayflower as well and things went very well. the only things i would say are…
1. they pack everything that is not tied down to the ground. we ended up with stuff from our landlord’s house accidentally.
2. when they unload and they place something down, like a bureau, make sure you want it there. once it’s down it’s down….they will say. i called and found out that there are 15 minutes that you have to change your mind, which makes sense. and don’t let them ask you if “this is where you want it” while one side of the furniture is down and the other isn’t…how can you know until the whole piece is down on the ground. so just don’t let them get away with “once it’s on the ground we can’t move it” because they can….up to 15 minutes.
3. the unloading will go fast, very fast. you take your time watching the boxes as they come in and don’t let them rush you. you or your husband will be checking the list off and the other will be directing where the piece/box will go. try to have your children with someone so you and your husband can focus on the unload.

good luck.


22 N April 13, 2009 at 12:07 pm

p.s. keep the boxes or sell/give them away on craig’s list. as you unpack open up the packing paper and give that too. we got rid of our boxes to two different families. sorry, i’m a “make-as-little-trash-as-possible” person and the boxes for the most part will be in great condition…why throw them away when they can be used and reused.


23 Loralee and the gang... April 13, 2009 at 7:35 pm

Forty-one years ago, when my dad graduated from BYU and moved the whole family to Orenco, Oregon, which then was a tiny suburb-ite outside of Portland, the company who moved us was Mayflower. I remember this only because we used those moving boxes to store things in our garage for the rest of my childhood years. It’s good to know that the company is still around, and learn first-hand from you the reasons why!


24 Jenelle April 15, 2009 at 2:33 am

Good luck with the packing!


25 Jen April 15, 2009 at 11:57 pm

As a military wife(and seasoned cross country mover) I just have a couple of suggestions.

First, serial numbers on boxes and invoices. Second, take pictures! Digital pictures of everything and from all sides. This is especially important with big ticket items (just in case).

Last…make friends with your packers. Lemonade, cookies, pizza…if they like you they’ll be more careful with your stuff.

Good luck!! Hope you love Colorado!


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