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Moving to US...the actual moving bit

Moving to US...the actual moving bit

Old Apr 12th 2013, 10:55 am
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Default Moving to US...the actual moving bit

Hi peeps!
I know it's been a while since I posted but I have a new set of questions so popped back up again.
I got my cat to the US, sadly she died a few weeks later from a genetic liver condition that no-one saw coming.
Our visa petitions were approved and we're on the way to having visas so we'll be allowed to move, woo!

Here's where I have to be awkward. I'm wondering how to actually move.
Obviously, the family and I will be on a plane once place to another, what I mean is relocating our stuff. We're in a furnished house right now and are moving to another furnished house so we have no actual furniture to move - all the moving companies I've found seem to expect a whole house move and that would be overdoing it just a tad for what we're taking. We're partially between the 2 houses already so don't have a lot of stuff and do have some stuff there.

For 2 adults and 1 child, we've got
-some clothes, but not a lot as we have stuff in the US already
-some books but not many, probably less than 1 shelf's worth of them are moving with us.
-some board games but I can leave them if it's a problem
-1 cake tin, one flat kitchen scales, pretty much nothing else kitchen-y
-a few odds and ends of bathroom-y stuff, less than 2 shoeboxes in size
-our laptops, some kids toys, a wooden toybox which is not heavy and is flat-pack-able
-assorted odds and ends but nothing huge or heavy.

I know full well all our stuff will not fit into our baggage allowance as it is (1 bag each person plus 1 hand luggage each person x3 people).
I also know we don't need the full-on shipping company as we don't have that much extra stuff. So I'm wondering, (suggestions please rather than just having a go) what would be best
-to pay for extra luggage allowance and try to get it all in the cases (doable space-wise but possibly difficult to move the cases as there are only 2 adults but saying that, it would be house to car to airport-airport where they have luggage trolleys- then to car ,and-by-car-I-mean-enormous-van, on trolleys with help from relatives picking us up)
-to take what we can get in cases and mail the other stuff in boxes (in which case, can anyone recommend a good place/site/company to send boxes with and are there any considerations like having to list box contents?)
-a US relative has offered to come over before we move, just for a few days, to help out with the packing and the kid. She's offered to take back a suitcase full and possibly our daughter, if that's allowed, so that it's just me and my husband and some more bags without the added stress of a child.
-is there another way I haven't thought of? Outside perspectives are quite helpful.

I'm not saying money's not an issue but to an extent, I'd pay extra for ease of travel. At the same time, I don't have a lot of money spare so there is a point at which I can't justify extra expense. If money were not an issue, I'd mail the lot of it in boxes and just take us and our carry-on bags. Any thoughts?
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Old Apr 12th 2013, 11:14 am
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Default Re: Moving to US...the actual moving bit

Most airlines let you take upto 8 bags per person, for a fee. It might work out that taking 'excess baggage' is easier than having a mover / shipping company handle the transaction for you. You might want to look into your airline's policy on this and the fees involved. Probably slightly more than a shipper like UPS or something.
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Old Apr 12th 2013, 12:08 pm
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Default Re: Moving to US...the actual moving bit

We got rid of our furniture but still had about 17 tea chests of books and other stuff to move. We ended up using Excess International Movers (part of the Excess Baggage Co you've probably seen at an airport). Cost us about £600 in all and the items went by ship so took a couple of months to get to us.

Sorry to hear about your cat. We lost ours to cancer in October. Once we've completed our move to our new house we plan to go to the local SPCA and adopt a couple.

Last edited by rpjs; Apr 12th 2013 at 12:13 pm.
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Old Apr 12th 2013, 1:48 pm
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Default Re: Moving to US...the actual moving bit

I got a moving company in to move I think it was 13 boxes of varying sizes (it may sound like a lot, but compared to what a lot of people move it really wasn't). I actually found it very reasonable. Have you looked at shipping just a couple of boxes across. It won't be the quickest as it will go as part of a container and you'll have to wait for the container to fill up but it's not that expensive in the grand scheme of things. I paid about 800 quid I think for 13 boxes (including clothes, iMac, music equipment, guitars, CDs, books etc etc).

Or you could UPS it or similar. Some of my friends did this and it cost them 100 quid or so to ship across a box or two of stuff.
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Old Apr 12th 2013, 2:24 pm
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Default Re: Moving to US...the actual moving bit

When I moved over with my 2 kids (aged 4 and 6 at the time), my husband had come ahead of us and started to get our apartment sorted. We brought zero furniture over and bought everything when we got here. Friends gave us stuff, thrift stores, stores like Walmart & Target etc were all frequented by us as we slowly furnished our little apartment.

When I flew over with the kids we have 2 huge over-sized suitcases each and 1 carry on each. I paid the fee for additional suitcase each but when we got to the airport it turned out they were ALL overweight. However, the lovely woman at the desk at Continental did not ask me to pay any more money. It was 5am and I was with 2 cranky and tired kids so I think she took pity on me.

In the cased I had vacuum sealed everything within an inch of its life. The kids had packed a few books and toys in their carry on bags, those little wheely things they can pull along themselves, and I had packed a few more things that could be vacuum sealed. I swear the guy at Argos thought I was mental when I bought so many of those bags in the weeks leading up to us leaving.

I brought all of our clothes, some bedding, towels and some books of mine but a lot of stuff is still in storage at my in-laws house. When we finally get our GC we are going to work out what we want to have shipped over, if anything. Although I know I want all my books shipped over and a few other bits and pieces.

I had gotten a quote before we came over for shipping everything over but all we had would have only accounted for a half container and it would have cost about £5,000. Decided would be cheaper to buy the bigger bits of furniture over here.

We did this partly because our relocation budget was very small and partly because we were not especially precious about our furniture. It wasn't expensive and there wasn't a lot of it.
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Old Apr 12th 2013, 3:49 pm
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Default Re: Moving to US...the actual moving bit

i would try to fit them into luggage.

Hand luggage you can take 3 small wheelies, one each and also a walk on bag each.
that could be a laptop bag or a small holdall/ handbag.

Just would like to also ask where in the USA are you moving to.
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Old Apr 12th 2013, 4:19 pm
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Default Re: Moving to US...the actual moving bit

I moved over in December with my husband and 2 kids and we brought no furniture with us either we packed our stuff into suitcases and paid the extra through the airline it was £40 a bag so it wasn`t that much to have it all immediately and not have to wait for it to ship over. We bought everything else when we arrived as our house was unfurnished.
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Old Apr 12th 2013, 4:26 pm
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Default Re: Moving to US...the actual moving bit

Originally Posted by penguinsix View Post
Most airlines let you take upto 8 bags per person, for a fee. It might work out that taking 'excess baggage' is easier than having a mover / shipping company handle the transaction for you. You might want to look into your airline's policy on this and the fees involved. Probably slightly more than a shipper like UPS or something.
That's what I did - one free bag and then paid for 2 extra - with Virgin but all airlines do it im sure
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Old Apr 12th 2013, 4:28 pm
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Default Re: Moving to US...the actual moving bit

I think with that small amount I would mail it and make the journey easier.
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Old Apr 12th 2013, 8:42 pm
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Default Re: Moving to US...the actual moving bit

Check the wiki. There's info on shipping small stuff like this, whether it's boxing it up and shipping it in the slow boat with the post office or using a pack and crate type service where you basically chuck everything on a pallet and shrink wrap it and they freight it over.
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Old Apr 12th 2013, 9:38 pm
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Default Re: Moving to US...the actual moving bit

Seen some really useful stuff in here (some not so much but it's all given me some more to think about).

We definitely won't be taking any furniture apart from the flat packable toy box which will go in a suitcase as it's not that heavy. I know this because we don't actually HAVE any furniture in the UK

Whoever said vacuum bags - I have a stash of them, they're amazing and will definitely be made use of

RPJS, the ship option really won't work for us. I know I'd only be sending non-essentials separate (if I went with a sending some stuff separate option) but these are things that are more essential than several months wait so that's going to be too long. We're also going to be adopting a couple of cats - it's my MIL's housewarming gift to us. Cat people are definitely the best kind.

Bink - again, I don't think we'll have enough stuff to justify sending it that way as it's really only going to be what I can't get in suitcases. Depending how we end up deciding, UPS/Post Office/courier etc are all on the maybe pile for shipping the few boxes over to relatives. What won't go in the suitcases could sensibly be mailed over as it's just a few books, some board games, maybe clothes - nothing heavy or dangerous. I suppose I was just wondering if anyone had suggestions for an actual company that were good. I'd mail stuff to relatives in advance so we can just collect it when we arrive.

Taking extra suitcases I THINK would suit the amount of stuff we're actually taking and would certainly be affordable, the only possible issue would be physically moving them from home to the airport then for our transfer (there are no direct flights from where I live) if it's in the US as you have to go get your bags and re-check the if you transfer inside the US. This is the likely option we'll take unless someone suggests something better though.

Thinking about it, we don't have that much to take. When we moved in here, I took the older and more battered duplicated stuff from my Mum's house that she'd saved for me moving out and that stuff will be donated or thrown out. We're living properly studenty, the bedding and towels have seen better days so aren't coming, almost all our kitchen stuff isn't coming (as I said in the OP, just the cake tin, scales and mine and hubby's favourite mugs are coming), the vast majority of my electronic devices (think hairdryer, straightners etc)my sister has claimed as the only UK ones I'm taking are my laptop and my nintendo DS, both of which I have US chargers for anyway. We have clothes, shoes, toys, books, bedding and furniture over there already as my OH is only in the UK for a year and I'm halfway moved into his place over there.

If it makes any difference, we're moving to New Hampshire and most likely flying into Boston Logan. I can pretty much guarantee we will have a connecting flight at some point as there's nothing direct from where we are and if there is, it's from somewhere it's more ball-ache than it's worth to get to.

I guess it comes down to the choice between extra checked bags and doing it that way OR suitcasing as much as possible to take with us and mailing the rest beforehand. Definitely something to think on.

Last edited by piercedprincess; Apr 12th 2013 at 9:43 pm.
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Old Apr 13th 2013, 12:39 am
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Default Re: Moving to US...the actual moving bit

IM from south yorkshire, so im guessing you will be flying manchester- newyork or philly.
then a connecting, if you flew manchester or leeds to dublin or shannon and then to boston you would have your bags checked straight through so wouldnt have to handle again until your at Logan international.

I dropped on lucky when i moved over here to DC. United started a direct flight from Manchester to DC but i only had 2 suitcases a wheelie and a carry on bag.

Good luck with your move.
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Old Apr 13th 2013, 1:15 am
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Default Re: Moving to US...the actual moving bit

When I moved, I had the usual suitcase full, plus a cardboard box about 3ft cubed full of "stuff". It was all just within the weight allowance for 1 person, but 10 years ago. You mention baggage allowance in terms of number of bags - is it not the total weight that counts anymore?
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Old Apr 13th 2013, 3:11 am
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Default Re: Moving to US...the actual moving bit

Originally Posted by piercedprincess View Post
If it makes any difference, we're moving to New Hampshire and most likely flying into Boston Logan. I can pretty much guarantee we will have a connecting flight at some point as there's nothing direct from where we are and if there is, it's from somewhere it's more ball-ache than it's worth to get to.
Where are you flying from? Loads of direct flights to Boston.

Once there, probably cheaper to have a car service pick you up and drive you out if your'e doing excess luggage as it won't cost that much.
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Old Apr 13th 2013, 3:13 am
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Default Re: Moving to US...the actual moving bit

Originally Posted by RICH View Post
You mention baggage allowance in terms of number of bags - is it not the total weight that counts anymore?
Weight too, but you're limited by number of bags and dimensions of bags too.
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