Tomorrow I have an interview with a mover who is going to give me an estimate. My move is going to be complicated, and the cost is a concern to me, so it’ll be good to begin to get a sense of what I am facing.
The complications start with the fact that I need to put most of my belongings into storage for a couple of months or more until I get settled in Toronto, and then I need to have the belongings moved to my new place without my having to come back to Saskatoon to supervise. This means, ideally, that I will have a mover who also offers storage facilities, rather than having to find a separate storage unit. (To add even more complications to the mix, I still have a storage unit half full of stuff in Edmonton, but I’m not sure I can bear to think about that at the moment… even though the frame for my bed is one of the things that is in Edmonton. I’ve been living without a bed frame and without a dresser for four years now – I guess I can survive for a bit longer.)
I have moved often enough to know that you can get really, really bad movers and really, really expensive movers, and that bad movers can be expensive. (I have had some really bad and some really expensive moves.) The best option, if there is any way to manage it, is to use a mover you’ve used before, and liked. (The next-best option is to ask your friends who they used and to find a reliable mover that way. The worst option is to try to find the least expensive and most reliable mover yourself by starting from scratch with the phone book or on-line listings. I have almost always had a problem when I’ve had to start from scratch. I suppose one could try to find kudos or complaints on the Internet to expand one’s knowledge about individual movers, but it would still be a crapshoot, and a lot of work.)
I am fortunate in regard to the aforementioned options at the moment. I’ve used two movers in Saskatchewan and I did not like the first one at all (they were expensive and made me feel like I’d been ripped off) but the second one was great (and I got the name from a friend, by the way)—they were careful, quick and reasonable (quick is important when you are paying by the hour, and careful is important when you don’t want anything broken–because movers rarely pay for anything they break).
Therefore, tomorrow I am talking to the mover I used last time, and liked. This company has storage facilities and although it is a small Saskatoon-based company, it will be able to move me across the country—and even collect the things from the storage unit in Edmonton if I do decide to do it all at the same time. In addition, the manager wants to come to see what we are talking about in terms of square footage of belongings before he gives me a quote, and I find that reassuring.
My plan is to get a complete quote from this company for everything I might need, broken down on paper into modules (i.e., cost to move stuff to storage, cost for storage for two/three months, cost of moving from storage in Saskatoon to Toronto, additional cost to pick stuff up from storage unit in Edmonton and add it to what I am packing up here before coming to Toronto). And then I will phone a few other moving companies and storage companies and get cost comparisons. If the company I like is in the ballpark, they will get the job.
I do have one card to play that will reduce my costs, I hope: I am flexible. I intend to move out of this apartment on a day that is mid-week and several days before the end of the month. I also hope to be flexible at the other end. I’d like to be able to wait until the moving company has another move to Toronto (or even try to make an arrangement with someone else who is moving to Toronto, even from Vancouver or Edmonton via Saskatoon. I’ll check Craigslist etc.) and combine my move with theirs. So even though I know this is going to be expensive one way or the other, I hope to make it as inexpensive as possible… if you get my drift.
A thought about giving notice – I have told the landlord I am moving at the end of October. I will provide them with official notice on September 30, but they asked me if I would give them as much notice as possible. In the past doing this has never served me well, and I have a feeling it’s not going to serve me well this time, either. I’d advise anyone else not to do what I always seem to do. Just give notice on the day you’re supposed to give it. As soon as you are moving, you are no longer a cherished tenant. You immediately become an impediment to all kinds of things the landlord wants to get done before the next tenant moves in. I am an idiot not to have learned this from my own experience.
The move is becoming more real, and I am beginning to wonder if I will get everything done in time. This is a normal part of the moving process, but it is still making me crazy and I have noticed in the past few days that my temper is even shorter than usual. I will draw a few deep breaths, cross at least one inessential off my to-do list, and try to fit a run in tomorrow somehow. All those things will help.