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Real People: Moving 2,800 Miles with 1-800-PACK-RAT

Posted in: I'm Moving, Long Distance Moving, Moving Containers, Moving Stories

Thursday Bram
Here’s another true story in our Real People series. This one is from Thursday Bram about her 2,800 mile cross country move using 1-800-PACK-RAT.


Two thousand eight hundred and five miles. I mapped out the move my husband and I were making from our old home in Maryland to our new home in Oregon and it came in at just a hair more than 2,800 miles. The number intimidated me: not only did I need to figure out how to get all of our belongings packed up, but I had to figure out how to get them all the way across the continental United States.

2500 Mile Move Map Screenshot

I was lucky, despite how much work I knew I’d have to do. I have a professional mover in the family. My dad has run a local moving company since I was in high school. I knew I needed some expert advice, so I phoned home.

To Truck Or Not To Truck

Dad made sure that I didn’t have any crazy plans about driving a moving truck cross-country myself right off the bat. I can’t say that the idea hadn’t crossed my mind, but I did think better of it immediately — there are way too many places along that long drive for a big truck to break down. What surprised me, though, was that Dad suggested leaving the truck entirely out of the process.

Since we had a relatively small house — 1,400 square feet — and were actually planning to downsize a bit more in the process of moving, we probably wouldn’t have been able to fill a full-sized moving truck, even assuming that the cost of having a truck driven from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean made sense. Instead, Dad suggested 1-800-PACK-RAT. The company drops off a shipping container in front of your home and makes arrangements to come back for the container when it’s full. Then, once you’ve actually arrived at your new home, the company drops that same shipping container off at the new address. Somewhere in the middle, all of your possessions go from Point A to Point B: I honestly kept thinking about the process as a type of magic trick, where my possessions stopped existing for a few days in the middle. I didn’t have to think about the process.

1-800-PACK-RAT Container Picture

Movers Are Happy To Help

I wasn’t particularly excited about moving all our stuff by hand — especially since there were plenty of steps in our house that I was sure would be tough to bring furniture down. But it turns out plenty of moving companies are happy to send out movers, even if they aren’t providing you with the truck to actually transport your possessions.

I had to pack up everything ahead of time, but we had a long enough lead time before our move that I was able to box most of our possessions long before the shipping container showed up. The day it arrived, I had help already lined up to get all of our boxes and furniture moved into the container. Those extra hands were able to pack that shipping container tightly, to the point that there was even extra room where we could have moved even more than we owned!

We flew those 2,800 miles and were there to receive our shipping container when it arrived a few days later, right on schedule. Finding local movers to help us get all our boxes and furniture into our new home was a snap — the scheduler was able to line up two movers well in advance and let me confirm that the box arrived on time, just so that I wouldn’t have to worry about shipping delays throwing off the rest of my moving plans.

While I have my fingers crossed that I’m not going to have to move cross-country again any time soon, the process isn’t nearly as stressful as I expected.


  1. stevie

    But how much did it cost in the end? Did I miss that bit?

    1. Daniel

      Hey Stevie, I’m not ignoring your comment – just checking with Thursday to get an accurate number for ya! We’ll keep you posted.

    2. Daniel

      Stevie, I couldn’t get a price from Thursday (the post’s author) but I got a ballpark* estimate from 1-800-Pack-Rat for a similar move.

      1 container going 2,800 miles from Maryland to Oregon could cost around $4,722*.

      *This amount varies by season, conditions, availability, etc. and should not be taken as a quote or offer for your unique moving situation. Call 1-800-Pack-Rat to get an accurate quote for your move.

Comments are closed.


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