Welcome to South Dakota! (plus my move with U-Pack)

DisclaimerI was offered a small discount on my move with U-Pack in exchange for writing this post, and was asked to provide my honest opinion of their service. 

Hello, it’s me! I was wondering if after all these years… you’d forgot about me? OK, that’s not how the song goes, but I know it’s been awhile.

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I made my mom pull over on the freeway so I could jump out and take this picture. And I still love the pure joy on my face of finally arriving here.

I’m very slowly settling into my new home in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, which if you follow me on Instagram, this isn’t a surprise, but I’m not sure if I ever quite announced it on my blog. I took a job as a reporter at a TV station out here and am pursuing my new(s) dream, since that whole Broadway thing didn’t quite work out. 

Yesterday marked one month since I started my job, but I’ve been in town for more than a month, after my amazing mom volunteered to drive halfway across the country with me, helped get me moved in, and did that really nice mom thing where she bought me a bunch of stuff, because she’s the best. (Moms are the best, right? Mine should get an award.) I also cried–bawled, actually–when I dropped her at the airport, and in perfect mom fashion, she ordered me to stop crying so I wouldn’t ruin my makeup. She was never quite a “stage mom” (which I’m grateful for) but she had all the makings!

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My giant U-Pack trailer in my driveway in Massachusetts

Moving is seriously stressful. If you’ve ever moved once in your life, you’d probably agree. In fact, even though my apartment is a little small, I’m planning on probably just staying here next year (I have a two year contract for now), as long as the building management doesn’t change, because they’re pretty awesome. (Shout out to Lloyd Companies, who helped facilitate my entire lease via email and phone calls, then was here waiting for me on move-in day to show me around. THEN, welcomed me with a sweet package of “welcome home” goodies — like dishtowels, snacks, a mug and more. They’re awesome if you ever move out here and are looking for a place to live. Any issue I’ve had so far, they’ve come the same day, and within hours to fix it!)

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But back to that whole moving thing. Moving across the country is stupid expensive. STUPID expensive. I had half a studio apartment worth of stuff, and way too many clothes and I got several quotes between $2,200-4,500. WHAT. I had a couch, and like three other small pieces of furniture, no bed, and boxes of clothes. Cray. 

I looked into small shipping containers that you pack yourself, and the cost rivaled those quotes! If I’m going to pay that much, I’m going to need white glove service, please and thank you.

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That’s when I found U-Pack, which works with ABF freight. You get an entire trailer dropped off, you purchase space in the trailer and then they pack it up with the rest of the freight they need to get across the country, saving you money. Genius, right? I thought so.

So initially, the quote you get is for five linear feet of space, if you use more, they charge you more. The only confusing part about this, is that inside the trailer, only even numbers are marked (2, 4 and 6 feet of space). Luckily, we used the five without issue. My mom, cousin Eric, and dad did most of the packing of the trailer because I worked until the day after Christmas at my old job, and we left on the 28th. Whoops. (Didn’t I tell you my mom was a saint?)

Once the trailer was packed, we called U-Pack and they came and picked it up. I opted for expedited shipping, which cost about $250 more, in order to get it to Sioux Falls by Friday, so when we arrived, so had my stuff.

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My mom, dad and I packed up my car (which also proved I have entirely too much stuff) and my mom and I set off on Wednesday for South Dakota. After stops in Cleveland and Des Moines, seeing a whole lot of nothing in parts of rural New York and Iowa, and driving in an 80 mph speed limit zone for the first time, we arrived in Sioux Falls early Friday afternoon.

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We called U-Pack, who came and dropped my container off in my new apartment’s loading area, which we unloaded super fast, because the trailer couldn’t be left there over the weekend, since it was New Year’s. Our driver was super nice and even though he couldn’t help us unload anything, he helped us take down the “walls” that you have to put up, and he gave me a giant stainless steel ABF travel mug, welcomed me to Sioux Falls and told me I was going to need it here with the cold weather! Man, midwesterners are nice. Once we were finished, (it took us about 2 hours — go mom, go mom!) we called U-Pack and a driver came and picked it back up. 

That was it! It was the easiest process ever and cost a whole lot less than a regular move –under $1,700 for my move — and was totally worth it. I would definitely consider using U-Pack to move again, although, I’m hoping I have a boyfriend by then to help do some of the heavy lifting!

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