(This post is part of our “Moving Guide” series. To get back to the table of contents, go here.)
Why we wrote this guide
Hey there! Welcome to the My Truck Buddy (MTB) Moving Guide. We wrote it to help alleviate some of the stress of moving. The Internet suggests – and they can’t put anything on the Internet that isn’t true – that moving is one of the Top 5 most stressful events in a person’s life. We don’t think it has to be that way. In fact, MTB’s mission is to make your move go as smoothly as possible, hopefully while saving you gobs of cash. (We make up the difference with online poker, an investment strategy also suggested by the Internet.)
The Guide is by no means comprehensive. It’s just a list of things that we’ve found to be quite effective in our eight-year history serving the Washington, D.C. area. People seem to agree with our methods – in our relatively few years in operation, as of this writing, we’ve amassed a modest number of kudos and awards (See “Awards” here). So, we might be doing something right.
By the way, this Guide was adapted from one that was originally in print form, so if there are any odd phrases like “turn to the last page,” please ignore that. I can’t afford a copyeditor, which is fine because don’t get me started on copyeditors…
The MTB First Principles
Here’s a little bit about how we think: Jimmy, who now heads up our box and moving supply division, once articulated our operating philosophy perfectly:
We are movers. Show up on time. Work hard and fast. Be friendly and careful. Keep it simple.
This replaced my general operating principle all the guys used to get on day one:
Don’t be an idiot. If I have to explain that, you’re probably an idiot.
Everyone liked Jimmy’s version better.
MTB is in the business of helping people. Seriously, that’s it. In the hierarchy of things I’m interested in, moving comes in somewhere near how the standards for weights and measures are kept, well, standard. (And now that I think about it, that’s actually pretty damn interesting. Bad example.) The point is that I’m far more interested in helping people. And since I’m the boss, I get to make the rules. Ergo, everyone who wears the Truck Buddy shirt is in the business of helping people.
We will happily do just about anything you need us to do, as long as it’s safe, ethical moral and legal. We see this as a cooperative process. We provide manpower and the truck, and you do a little bit of the pre-move work. Working together, we can not only make the process surprisingly fast and affordable, we can even make it fun!
If we left anything out, or if you have any questions, feel free to write or call. We’re available most of the time and would love to hear from you – even if it’s for general information and/or when you just need a buddy to talk to. (Yes, we’ve been a shoulder to cry on for more than one person.)
The key to a fast, inexpensive move is good preparation. If you get nothing else from the Guide, remember that. We’ve moved jam-packed two-bedroom apartments in 2.5 hours, and relatively light one-bedroom apartments in seven hours. The difference was that in the former case, the customer had a stack of same-sized boxes in a neat cube ready for transport. In the latter case, the customer started packing about 30 minutes before we got there. Other examples abound. Proper preparation is essential to the moving process.
This Guide assumes you’ve already found a place, signed contracts, and are ready to pick a mover or figure out how to do it yourself. Future updates will include help in finding Realtors, great places to live in the DC area, etc. Other companies may have different methods, but these are our best practices.
We’ve broken the Guide down into five quick sections:
- Decide how you’ll move
- Lighten the load
- Being aware of – and prepared for – The ‘X’ Factor
- What to do on moving day