Before We Age

A Ton of Stuff


If you’ve moved across the country before, you know it isn’t cheap. Since we’re on a tight budget, we looked into a few options for moving our stuff from Los Angeles to Columbus.

Option #1: The most obvious option is to rent a truck. A truck was estimated at $1800. Not too bad, but the need for a car hitch, increased fuel cost, very little room for our dog on the journey, and slower driving made us search out the other options.

Option #2: The whole Pods idea where a company drops off a container and delivers it door-to-door cost the most. The quotes we received were circling $3000.

Option #3: Then a friend, Tom Borland, suggested we build a crate ourselves and ship it through a freight service. I made a few phone calls to freight companies and found that it was hard to find companies that would ship household items. Some who did quoted us at about $1600. That was promising. Then I happened to call Pacific Atlantic Freight who gave us a quote for 2200 lbs for $1143. That included home delivery for $50 in Columbus!

Our search was over, we were going to ship our ton of stuff by freight. Now, we only needed to build the crates. Seeing as I have zero construction skills, Tom offered to help me build the crates. Later, Gerson Bonilla volunteered to help as well.

Tom’s generosity saved us from spending money on renting tools and buying nails and screws. The wood cost $254.

Some of the wood.

Gerson Bonilla cutting the wood to size.

Tom Borland also cutting on one of his many tools in his very manly garage.

A mostly finished crate.

We built three crates in about 4 hours. They were about 7′ (long) x 4′ (wide) x 4′ (tall). After assembling them at Tom’s house, we loaded two in a U-Haul we rented for about $123 and one in Tom’s pick-up. We drove over to our storage facility and loaded the crates. Here again, Tom’s experience in loading trucks for movie studios proved invaluable. We had to buy about $101 worth of moving blankets so our furniture didn’t get scratched up.

Filling the crate.

Screwing the lids on the crates in the rental truck.

The freight terminal we shipped from.

After a long day of building and packing (on one of the hottest days of the summer), Maggie and I drove the crates down to the freight terminal. Immediately, a guy drove over to us in a forklift and started unloading the crates. It was a good feeling.

Unloading our crates at the terminal.

On the other end in Columbus, we thought there might be trouble receiving the crates at the house. They had said the crates were a bit big for a lift gate, but it all worked out rather easily. It’s nice to have our stuff safely in Columbus now. We are so thankful to Tom and Gerson for their help.

In the end, we spent a grand total of about $1621. That includes even the tape we bought. Not bad for a cross-country move.

If you’re looking to move across the country, find a friend who knows how to build a solid crate and call Jeremy at PAF Shipping, (805) 523-7295. He’ll take care of you.