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Moving Cross-Country, with a Collection

Mandingo Rex

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M R, man, that really sucks. At least you're getting most of your collection back, but to lose all of your work on top of it all is terrible. I am glad, however, that you've opened my eyes to how cheap renter's insurance is. I will definitely be purchasing coverage when I get to my new place in June. Good luck on rebuilding your portfolio, and thanks for the tips.

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Wow, someone woke this thread back up!


Thanks for all the comments, I thought it had fizzled out, but has had a good deal of replies in the last few days.

I still feel it's an important message to send to people, to PLEASE insure your stuff, even if you don't insure your collections.


It's amazing how much stuff you can lose in an instant, even though it's not your fault... And nobody, especially the insurance company, is going to care besides those involved. It's one of those things that may rarely happen, but when it does, you want to be insured.


I'm living proof of that.


As for questions/comments, yes, I am getting most of my collection back. It's taken some time, but that's because I've put getting furniture and what else back together first. Toys, in this situation, are not priority, no matter how beloved. I'm just fortunate I didn't have a family yet and lose more than I did.


Yes, I flew out, twice actually: once, to get out here, where I stayed in corporate housing for a month and half, looking for an apartment... the second time, was flying back, to be there when they loaded up my stuff, then I flew BACK out here again.


At the last minute, I found out that I was able to pack at least 100lbs in my car, but the movers had already loaded my stuff. I was originally told to empty the car of everything but minor items and paperwork, and to put only a 1/4 tank of gas to save on weight. Had I known in advance, I would have put some of my electronics and collectibles inside. (My car was shipped by a different carrier, at a different time, and made it out here 2 days before my truck fire even happened).


I took 3 bags with me the first time on the plane, and my laptops (work, and personal). Since I had 2 laptops with me, I didn't have any room in my bag for my external drive, which had a huge case and power supply. In my carry-on bag, I did have some personal items, but mostly paper work, like car papers, checks, personal ID documents, and the like. I kick myself daily for not putting my external drive in my laptop bag anyways, but I packed it with all my home office stuff, including my desktop computer and peripherals. I didn't expect anything to happen to any of it, personally. Next time, I'll be more guarded with my electronic files.


I also lost all my work backed up on DVDs, which are hard to pack into bags, and I didn't have room in my carry-on.|


It's just that when you're moving cross-country, electronics in a checked airplane bag are as good as stolen, and you can only fit so much in the bags that airlines allow to be stored in overhead compartments. (You can't fit as much stuff as you think in 3 suitcases when you're actually FLYING to a new home).


Everyone though, do get renter's insurance if you're renting, and get enough coverage. I can't stress this enough.

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That a lot to handle. Around here most places have doubled & tripled the renters fees. It used to be $12-$20 a month, but now it's like $50-60 + a month. They say MI has a high risk. We still have a good rate but I fear the next policy will be crazy high.

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My condolences on the loss. Although I can't fathom why you would trust anyone else with your portfolio and hard drive(s). As an artist, whenever I travel with my artwork, it stays with me no matter what. (Lesson learned, I guess.)


Still, it's heartbreaking even from afar. Hang in there!

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This is why I move everything by hand. I'm very protective of my stuff and don't trust anyone else to jack around with it. I've moved cross-country several times, but every time I did all the work myself. Of course I understand this isn't possible for everyone. Just another reason to own a truck!

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Again, thanks for the comments guys.


Please try and keep any suggestions or helpful comments in the line of "Here's some tips, or here's how I moved successfully" instead of "Why'd you do that? That was stupid."


Obviously, my story is a warning/lesson to others, and I have already done enough hitting myself for losing everything I own. Yes, I should have shipped more personal things with me, but I specifically hand-packed items, was there with the movers when they moved things... I had a fully furnished one-bedroom apartment with a LOT of furniture and things, and one person can't move that by themselves. It took a huge moving truck to fit my stuff in, no uHaul or ordinary truck would have fit the amount.


And moving to a new city, I didn't know anybody out here besides my girlfriend, so no guys to help me move heavy stuff either. I also moved cross-country with my girlfriend when she moved out here, and I was not about to drive across I-40 another time with another truck full of stuff, especially with the amount of stuff I had.


Perhaps if I was paying for it, I may do that to save money, but my company paid for the move and they have a contract with Allied Vans to move employees, so they handled my move. Normally it goes smoothly, in my case, it did not.


But yes, packing yourself is recommended if possible. And you should definitely consider what is most important to you and try and pack as much stuff in carry-on as possible. Larger art items cannot be easily shipped on a plane as carry-on, so you have to check it as luggage, and we all know how careful baggage handlers are... I was banking on the moving truck being a more careful move option; obviously, I was WAY wrong.


Also, folks can ship things in their car, sometimes. Just check with your auto carrier beforehand, or ship items with you and drive yourself, if your destination isn't outside of driving distance.


You could also opt to sell larger items and buy new ones once you get to your new destination. I've found that buying new furniture, if you look at the right places, can be acquired for less than you'd imagine. And movers ALWAYS damage something, there's rarely an instance where your furniture isn't dinged or scratched at some point. It's also a nice opportunity to "clean house" and discard outdated furniture or that crap-you-don't-need. Sadly, it's also an opportunity for your girlfriend/wife to decide you should downgrade your dorky things, but that's another issue altogether.

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Sorry to hear about your loss man. I was terrified about my stuff getting destroyes when I moved from the United Kingdom to Spain. I think 1 or 2 figs were broken in transit but not a great deal

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  • 1 month later...

I can't imagine moving around the world. Moving cross-country in the United States was far enough.


Thanks for the comment.


I can't stress enough how important this topic is to me. Please make sure you get your collections insured, or at least have adequate homeowner's or renter's insurance to cover losses. A few hours itemizing possessions and paying for insurance will mean a lot in the long run.


Insurance is REALLY cheap compared to the loss you could incur if not insured.

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this is why i .... don't move!!


On the serious side, very sorry to hear about your loss. Even outside the TFers.. it's a tramatic experience to go through. As you said, be glad you didn't have kids and a woman going thru it with you.


Did anything ever come of you investigating their General Liability Policy? The fact the fire was from the truck, rather shows it was a maintenance issue and at worst their insurance should have covered that. Someone that works in insurance gave you very good advice up above. Did you ever get a free consult and investigate that?

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I once moved my BW/MW collection overseas - I just sent them in several shipments. The worse thing that happened was that one package was inspected by Customs, who repacked it very sloppily with some of the boxes getting scraped and dented - and worst of all, my MW Megatron card was bent in half.


But the toys were fine.


Ironic that of all the Megatrons I've sent or had sent from Japan (including G1 Meg reissue, Megaplex and MP Megatron) the only one that I've had inspected by customs was Machine Wars Megatron. (-_-)

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