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Thread: Best way to move household items?

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    Member tboehm's Avatar
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    Default Best way to move household items?

    Just wondering what people have found to be the best economical way to get your household items moved to Alaska? What companies ship containers from Seattle to anchorage? One thing I was considering was to purchase a 53' container and ship it myself instead of hiring a moving company. Just wondering if anyone has done something like this or what other things and method you have done instead of selling all your belongings?
    Semper Fi and God Bless

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    Quote Originally Posted by tboehm View Post
    Just wondering what people have found to be the best economical way to get your household items moved to Alaska? What companies ship containers from Seattle to anchorage? One thing I was considering was to purchase a 53' container and ship it myself instead of hiring a moving company. Just wondering if anyone has done something like this or what other things and method you have done instead of selling all your belongings?
    I know several families leaving AK that have rented the biggest uhual truck you can get packing it full and driving it to the lower 48. So in your case that could work out for you moving up to AK. But they do tend to give a lot of stuff away or have yard sales etc. cause even a big uhual truck is not going to fit all your worldly possession's in it.

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    Member theultrarider's Avatar
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    Depends. Are you military or is it out of your own pocket?

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    I think this thread isn't getting many replies because not many people have done it, unless military.

    It's just easier and cheaper to sell old and buy new.

    I know many who have purchased a small enclosed trailer for those few items they were unwilling to sell.
    I am serious... and don't call me Shirley.

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    I would pare down your stuff to the maximum extent possible. It's not worth moving stuff you can purchase for less than it costs to move...when you do the math, that covers a lot more stuff than you'd believe.

    The first time I moved to AK, my wife and I came with 4 suitcases and a wad of money. That worked out OK. We did store some heirloom type items with family and brought them up a few parts and pieces at a time. We were young, so selling out to the bare walls and heading out wasn't so dramatic as it seemed at the time.

    Second time we hired a relocation company... it cost a lot, several things were broken, a few more got lost, the furniture we moved didn't fit up the stairs in the new house and we sold it off anyway. If I were doing it over, I'd have moved a lot less and maybe nothing except clothes.

    It depends a lot on your level of pragmatism, but I found the "less is better" approach to work well.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    Member Casper50's Avatar
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    I drove a 28' uhaul with a 20' trailer behind it up. You can fit a lot in and on those. 12 years ago the uhaul was $3500 from Seattle to Anchorage. First thing I'd do is make a list of things I know I don't want to bring. Next I'd price out what the big stuff will cost up here vs. hauling it up. Then decide on the size truck I'd need.
    The military paid me to drive the truck and paid for the truck. I also made about $1300 between what they paid and what it cost.

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    When I moved my family back up to AK last yr on our dime we rented a uhual trailer and the uhual joint in Colorado springs called us and said if you take this trailer we will cut x amount off the price. They had a surplus of trailers and looking to get them off the lot. We get to Alaska we took it the first uhual place to turn it in they said thanks and it would be gone by the end of the day. What's the point look for a uhaul place with a truck load of 28foot uhaul trucks and they might cut you one hell of a deal to get it off their lot.

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    When we came up in 96, we rented the largest trailer uhaul had. I think the trailer was 12' long. We hauled it with a Ford Explorer. We brought along: queen sized bed, mattress & box; 2 night stands; a couple of lamps; a tri-dresser & mirror; bedding; towels (etc); a second queen size matt, box & frame; 2 loveseats & living room chair; 3 end tbls; 3 lamps; pots; pans & small appliances. There was a bunch of other (small) stuff like framed prints, pictures, clothing, etc. When we got here, we purchased a new tv & some other small appliances. I (purposely) did not bring guns with me at the time as I had to work for a few more months (in PA), so brought the guns along on the flight back in November). We have since added a house (& garage) full of stuff. I think the rental cost around $1100. It took us 7 days from PA. We made the move in June (peak of rv season along the AK Hwy). A couple of years back, we drove up again in May - much less traffic than in June and we saw more game, too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary View Post
    When we came up in 96, we rented the largest trailer uhaul had. I think the trailer was 12' long. We hauled it with a Ford Explorer. We brought along: queen sized bed, mattress & box; 2 night stands; a couple of lamps; a tri-dresser & mirror; bedding; towels (etc); a second queen size matt, box & frame; 2 loveseats & living room chair; 3 end tbls; 3 lamps; pots; pans & small appliances. There was a bunch of other (small) stuff like framed prints, pictures, clothing, etc. When we got here, we purchased a new tv & some other small appliances. I (purposely) did not bring guns with me at the time as I had to work for a few more months (in PA), so brought the guns along on the flight back in November). We have since added a house (& garage) full of stuff. I think the rental cost around $1100. It took us 7 days from PA. We made the move in June (peak of rv season along the AK Hwy). A couple of years back, we drove up again in May - much less traffic than in June and we saw more game, too.
    We did the same thing as you.. But still have a bunch of stuff in storage in Colorado my buddy is headed up their this fall and is going to pull uhual trailer up their for me.

  10. #10

    Default Best way to move household items?

    We moved from our 4 bedroom 2 bath house in Montana 4 years ago and did the 26' long Uhaul and pulled a car hauler with our landcruiser on it (fully stuffed to the gills). I drove the Uhaul and my wife and friend followed in our other pickup with our two dogs in the bed secured with a canopy. We kept all of our quick access travel items in the pickup and landcruiser. We camped in a few locations along the way and made a nice trip of it. The Uhaul broke down about 20 miles outside of Whitehorse and if you're going to break down on the AlCan that's the place to do it . It took 3 days and after some negotiation we got Uhaul to cover our hotel rooms and meals for the delay. The Alcan is perfectly fine for that kind of load and there are only a few sections where the frost heaves made for slow going. The whole move ran us about 8k factoring in gas, rental, rooms, etc... I have a CDL and considered renting a big rig but the fuel cost and border crossings were prohibitive and in the end the Uhaul was by far the cheapest option. ABS, UBF, and Lynden Transport were all in the 12k - 20k range and we would have had to get our stuff to Seattle for the barge. Which was a detour that we didn't want to do not to mention still quite a bit more than just hauling it in the Uhaul. You might try this and see if there are any big rigs looking to make a trip http://www.uship.com/find I shipped some of my guns to an FFL and brought my long rifles along in the Uhaul. I had all the paper work in order and had zero issues crossing into Canada or back into the USA. It really wasn't that hard of a trip as long as you give yourself enough time so your not rushed and pushing into the all night red bull make it or else zone.

    It can seem a little overwhelming for sure. We got rid of a lot of stuff we didn't use all that often and it actually was sort of a relief once we trimmed the fat so to speak. Our motto was, "if we haven't used it in a year than we can live without it." Best of luck and safe travels.

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    I recently moved up here from Washington and went from a 3000 sq ft home to a 500 sq ft. We left most our items behind but shipped a jeep ($1700), couch Luv seat and table were sent on a barge (free). We were able to put 250lbs in the jeep that contained dishes toaster plates etc. after being here for 3 months I went back and got my truck w/canopy stuffed it full with the rest of our items and drove up. Driving up in the truck was only $700 for gas so driving two is still less than shipping one.
    if I were to do it again and, had the time I would think I would have hauled a trailer and driven both vehicles. Maybe small trailer..Uhaul..with jeep and buy an enclosed trailer for truck. The drive only sucks on the last 80 or so miles of the alcan.
    The cost of buying a trailer is probably not more than a few thousand dollars more than renting a Uhaul. I know a lot factors involved but Once your up you can always convert trailer to a camper or use it for toys atv snow machine.

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    Buy a 27-30' v nose enclosed snowmachine trailer brand new down there in the states. Pull it up and sell it up here for what you paid for it there. It'll sell in a week if you only ask what you paid for it there.


    And like many others are pointing at, what you can't fit in a 30' trailer and the back of a truck, you really don't NEED and would be better off selling most likely.

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    Member tboehm's Avatar
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    This is helping a lot and I can't thank everyone enough. One issue is, that I have a large quantity of ammo which I can't drive across the Canadian border. They limit to 500 rounds from what I have found. I'm interested in info if anyone has any experience with moving large quantities of ammo. Can anyone share the costs and companies that they used shipping by way of water. Maybe the pro and cons of using the ferry system vs driving. Also using shipping containers via the water and then driving.

    On a side note, I understand the thought of down sizing and then buying new up there but can use some help in where you draw the line. Moving is the most important thing for us but where do you draw the line on things. I.E do you bring the washer and dryer or do sell and buy new. We have some large solid hardwood furniture. Say a $2000 dollar dining room set, if we sold it here you might get $600 and then I would imagine that new up there might cost $2500 (I'm guessing) so I have a cost difference of losing $1400 and then adding $2500 so now i'm at $3900. So I'm thinking that we bring it. It's not a heirloom or sentimental but this is the same with the entire house of furniture. A large quality desk that is big and heavy, A large freezer, etc. IS my thoughts or logic wrong? Any thought or insights would be greatly appreciated.

    Please keep the comments coming.
    Semper Fi and God Bless

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    Member theultrarider's Avatar
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    First thought is do you really have to buy everything NEW up here? Lots of military and others that move out of here. Shop craigslist. Pick up a $600 table to replace your $600 table since it is NOT an heirloom or keepsake. Same goes for washer dryer ect. Pull up craigslist now and look around and see just what an average day holds when it comes to availability and prices on this end.

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    Member Casper50's Avatar
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    how much will it cost you to ship that table and chairs up here? You have to add that in also. If shipping weight and bulk kill you. If driving it yourself it's the bulk.

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    When my wife moved back up we took the dining room table apart and took it up. Cause of the trailer we could not put the stand up freezer in it. I did not feel Comfortable laying it down for a long trip up their. Next trip the master bedroom set is going up. We gave away the couch and love seat and just bought new it was time for a new set anyhow.

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    What brings you up to alaska? Have you lived here before?

    Im on a 2yr contract with option to stay. So it was easy for me to leave stuff behind. Plus I get to fly back once a month and grab things. Another member said if you haven't used it in a year leave it behind. That's great advice!

    as far as ammo goes I know alaska lets you check 50lbs per person per flight. I load up everytime I go back.

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    Member scott_rn's Avatar
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    I'd also recommend getting a quote from abf (upack is the other name). They drop a 28' semi trailer in front of your house and you have a day or two to pack it, then they drop it in alaska for you. I didn't ship any ammo with them, don't even remember if it's allowed.
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    Tom,

    If you are thinking about selling some of your stuff there and buying again when you get here, check Craigslist here in Anchorage. It is your friend and you can get great deals on there from people leaving the state. Let me know if you need help on any of this.

    Randy

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    Member Hughiam's Avatar
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    I moved up here driving up that AlCan twice in the last 2 years. On the first trip I was coming up to see if I liked it and left my family in Idaho. I took my pickup truck, a new 14' enclosed trailer, a shotgun and a rifle and minimal furniture. When I got here, I sold the trailer for $2,000 more than I paid for it and it paid for the trip. A year later, I moved the family up. I rented the biggest UHaul, bought another enclosed trailer, a car hauler and away we went. I drove the UHual pulling the car hauler with my jeep on top. The wife pulled the enclosed trailer. We sold the trailer when we got here making another $2,000 profit. If you can afford it, get the big Uhaul and pull a trailer and sell it when you get here. Since then I flew down once to buy a new pickup at Dave Smith in Idaho. I saved $13K over cost of the same truck up here. Bought another trailer dragged it here and sold it for $2,500 more than I paid for it......

    Oh the limit on ammo is 5,000, not 500. http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/cfp-pcaf/f...porter-eng.htm. You can bring your guns up, just fill out the forms first. Leave your pistols at home with a friend or neighbor. Next time you fly home for a visit or they come up, they can take them as checked baggage.
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