If you’ve been following my social media or some of my latest blog posts, then you know that we recently moved. But you might not know all that went into how we quit our jobs and moved to Florida.
To be fair, my job quit me two years ago, and I became the primary caregiver for my mother. But this past October, we began transitioning her care to my brother, and unfortunately, she passed at the beginning of the year. It wasn’t how we really wanted to start our new adventure, but we decided to go for it.
We didn’t have jobs or a place to live when we started the trip, but we did have a plan in place. Below are some of the steps that we followed, as well as some tips to make your next move/adventure easier.
Where to go and where to stay. We knew we wanted to be anywhere in central Florida, from the St. Petersburg/Tampa area all the way across the state to Melbourne and the Cocoa Beach area. Our plan included staying in our timeshare for four weeks in the Orlando area because it was the most central location. From there, we could drive to either coast in 1 to 2 hours for any interviews.
Start Applying for Jobs. Although we knew we weren’t going to be in Florida until January, we updated our resumes and started the job hunt right away. By the time we were headed to Florida, I already had two in-person interviews scheduled and one phone interview.
Move wherever the first job is found. Our plan included that both of us would apply for jobs like crazy, and whoever got a job first would dictate where in Florida we would move to.
Hire Movers and ask them to store our stuff for one month. This turned out to be the most problematic and one that we were prepared for after reading a lot of reviews about movers. Everything we read included horror stories about being charged more than quoted and having your furniture held hostage until you cough up more money in cash.
If you’re thinking of moving to Florida, then read this Relocate to Florida: The Ultimate Guide.
What Really Happened
The timeshare worked out beautifully for us. Although we were in one place for two weeks and another place for the second two weeks, we didn’t mind moving in between. Since we were in timeshares that included kitchens, we were able to make our own meals to save money. We also brought our printer and set that up so that we could print out resumes for interviews. It also helped with all the paperwork that I needed to handle for my mom’s estate.
Because I also needed to have an office with me (my computer, files, and blogging information) I bought a rolling file cart to hold my things. I actually bought two, one for my “office” and one to carry supplies to run a Vision Board workshop that was booked in Orlando the second week we were there. The carts are great because they can be carried, or you can use the handle to roll them. They fit into the back of the Subaru and traveled with us.
If you don’t have access to a timeshare, try Airbnb or other short-term rentals.
When we got to Orlando, we went to the closest UPS store in between our two timeshares and set up a mailbox with them. Not only were we able to start receiving mail, but we also had a local Orlando address to use. Once we put that on our resumes, we started getting more calls for interviews. This really was a key move and made a big difference in Chris’s job hunting as a chef.
I was the first to find a job in Orlando which meant we needed to find a place to live. We looked at a couple of places, keeping in mind where I was going to be working and the fact that I didn’t want to drive I-4 to get to work (the infrastructure in Orlando has not kept up with the growth, so the highway is under construction and a nightmare to use during commuter time.) Luckily, we found a place that doesn’t require me to drive I-4 or use my Sun Pass and pay tolls to and from work every day.
We also talked to friends who already lived in Orlando and many of the workers at the two timeshares we were staying in. This was not only about where to live but the best place to get our car fixed and other essential things you need to know when you move. Everyone was super friendly and very helpful.
The only nightmare was the moving company. We contracted with a moving company advertised as national and mainly had nice reviews. What we didn’t realize is that they hired local movers to do the work. Once they got everything packed and on the truck, we were told that we needed to pay an extra 2000.00 because of the extra load, which was more than estimated.
I was actually prepared for it to be more than the estimate because the woman doing the estimating made a ridiculous statement that one room should only be ten boxes of things to move. What? How big are the boxes supposed to be? I disagreed with the mover, and he “threatened” that I’d pay even more if I didn’t take his estimate, and he would instead go and weigh the truck again, and it would probably weigh even more than he was estimating.
I called his bluff and told him to go to weigh it because I knew we weren’t as overweight as he was telling me. (When I was packing my boxes, I weighed and labeled each one.) Once the truck was weighed, we found out it was only an extra $1000.00, which I was ready for.
Once we found our apartment, we called the movers. This time it was a different set of movers who brought our furniture to us. And there was a different con game going on. The new game is one where your furniture is “held hostage” until you agree to pay an additional amount in cash.
It was something that I read about in a lot of the reviews, but not for the company that we contracted. Still, I wasn’t surprised. We ended up paying half of what he demanded to be done with it and get our furniture. In order to get rid of the stress of dealing with the movers, we reminded ourselves that we were in Florida, where we wanted to be.
Next time we move, we may use the “pod” option. This is where a storage pod is delivered, and you pack it yourself or hire someone to pack it for you. Then the pod is taken to storage until you’re ready for it to be delivered. On the other end, you again have to move everything into your new home yourself or hire someone to do it. You may have to pay for your own packing materials, but no one is extorting you for more money.
What was your last move like? Did you experience a similar situation with the movers?