Moving Experience: Gillian’s Move with U-Pack

How much elbow grease would you be willing to put in for a long-distance move? Eager for a fresh start and a job change, Gillian and her partner carefully planned a move from Charlotte, North Carolina, to New Orleans.

Gillian, a real life U-Pack customer

The catch? They needed an affordable move but didn’t want to compromise on quality. At first, Gillian thought renting a U-Haul truck was the only way to go, but she was pleasantly surprised by the flexibility moving container companies had to offer.

While scrolling through moveBuddha’s moving container reviews — and checking out a few Better Moves Project posts — Gillian decided to hire U-Pack for the job. Gillian was nervous because U-Pack charged just $1,200 for the move, but things couldn’t have gone better for this new resident of N’awlins.

Gillian signed up to participate in the our Better Moves Project to share her honest experience working with U-Pack — including what she would do differently next time. Learn how she found a mover and packed fragile antiques for a 700-plus-mile move with zero damage.

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89% of users select this mover

Move day takeaways for U-Pack customers

  • Communication: Gillian has nothing but praise for U-Pack’s communication. They always gave her timely, accurate information through the online portal. She always spoke to a human being when she called the company, even during non-standard business hours.
  • Pricing accuracy and transparency: U-Pack gave Gillian a binding quote of $1,146 and didn’t charge her a dime more.
  • Professionalism: U-Pack’s representatives and drivers were perfectly professional. Gillian appreciated the team’s professionalism and kindness, especially when she had lots of questions.
  • Timeliness: U-Pack was on time for both pickup and delivery.
  • Loss and damage: Thanks to her careful packing job, all of Gillian’s fragile antiques and belongings arrived without a scratch.
  • Would Gillian use U-Pack again? Absolutely! Gillian recommends U-Pack to anyone planning a budget move, especially if you want to use a moving container but live in a city where door-to-door delivery isn’t possible. 

Gillian needed help moving from Charlotte, NC, to New Orleans

Gillian's belongings packed in a U-Pack

Gillian and her partner needed to relocate to New Orleans for work. They didn’t have much — just the contents of a one-bedroom apartment — but they did need to find a way to transport artwork, a crystal collection, and antiques cross-country without damage.

Full-service movers were out of Gillian’s budget, so she did her best to find options that balanced safety and affordability. She quickly realized that moving containers were more budget-friendly and could be a safe option as long as she packed carefully.

The catch was that Gillian was moving to an area of New Orleans with limited street parking and didn’t allow moving containers. This made her move to The Big Easy anything but simple. She needed a moving container company that could offer an alternative delivery point without the headaches.

Gillian’s move at a glance

Move date March 4, 2024
Moved from Charlotte, North Carolina
Moved to New Orleans
Distance 728 miles
Move size One-bedroom, one-bath apartment
Moving company U-Pack
Moving quote $1,146
Actual cost $1,146

Gillian got quotes from four moving container companies

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  • Fast delivery
  • Nationwide
  • 100+ miles moves
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moveBuddha logo iconrating starstarstarstarstar 4.8 / 5
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  • Unlimited storage
  • 3 container sizes
  • Nationwide
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moveBuddha logo iconrating starstarstarstarstar 4.45 / 5
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  • Price matching
  • 10% discount
  • Local/long dist.
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moveBuddha logo iconrating starstarstarstarstar 3.95 / 5
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  • Online pricing
  • Small containers
  • Insurance options
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Gillian spent three months carefully planning her relocation to NOLA, but she decided on a moving company in just a week.

She initially thought a U-Haul rental truck was the way to go, but DIY container pricing was surprisingly affordable. There were no hidden costs, like gas or tolls, and she certainly didn’t want the stress of driving a huge truck for 11 hours. Opting for moving containers instead was a no-brainer for Gillian.

She knew she wanted to use a moving container but still had to find a reputable company. She started her search on moveBuddha, which she credits for quickly helping her find a good moving company!

Gillian relied on moveBuddha’s Better Moves Project testimonials to see which moving companies were trustworthy. She also used the moving cost calculator and read reviews for U-Pack, PODS, U-Haul U-Box, and 1-800-PACK-RAT.

Truth be told, U-Pack was Gillian’s first choice, but she knew the value of requesting multiple quotes. She requested three other moving quotes to make sure she paid a fair price.

Company Estimated volume/weight Estimated cost
U-Pack 308 cubic feet (2,500 pounds) $1,146
PODS 402 cubic feet $3,320
U-Haul U-Box 257 cubic feet (2,000 pounds) $1,755
1-800-PACK-RAT 404 cubic feet (4,000 pounds) $1,780

Gillian chose U-Pack for their friendliness and affordability

Gillian chose U-Pack because of their great pricing and reviews. She appreciated the simplicity of the online quote process. The other moving companies sent her texts day and night, while U-Pack allowed her to request pricing without a barrage of calls.

U-Pack sent Gillian a quote for one ReloCube, two ReloCubes, and a trailer. Each option included three price points for door-to-door, door-to-service-point, and service-point-to-service-point delivery, which helped Gillian customize a reasonably priced package.

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At A Glance
  • Long distance moves only
  • Only pay for the space you use
  • No deposit or initial fees
  • Fast delivery time frames
read our full review
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93% of users select this mover

Plus, U-Pack offered a guaranteed binding estimate, which meant her final price would be the same as her quote. She felt anxious about surprise fees, so the idea of a binding estimate was appealing.

Gillian called U-Pack to kick things off. The friendly customer service representative helped her purchase service for one ReloCube, which also included:

  • Home dropoff and pickup
  • Delivery to the New Orleans service point
  • Storage at the service point
  • Basic moving insurance

U-Pack also offered Gillian a guaranteed delivery date, but she opted out of that upgrade. She asked the rep lots of questions, and they guided her through every step.

U-Pack provided an online dashboard with steps, the timeline, key contacts, and a digital checklist. U-Pack’s moving guides also instructed Gillian on how to contact origin and destination service points, as well as pack a container and track it once it was en route.

Best of all, U-Pack didn’t charge Gillian a deposit. She would pay the move in a lump sum via credit card only after pickup.

In the meantime, Gillian got to work preparing for the move. Eager to protect her artwork, antiques, and crystals, she carefully wrapped everything in foam and bubble wrap. She even put painter’s tape and foam protectors over the art’s glass, plus cardboard on the frame corners.

Once she packaged delicate items, Gillian dispersed them throughout different boxes with lots of cushioning. She labeled each box so she knew exactly where to stack it in the moving container, minimizing damage as much as possible.

Moving day was efficient and low-stress

U-Pack Relocube

Before moving day, U-Pack contacted Gillian and reminded her to have a clear area for the ReloCube drop-off. They told her to expect a call from her driver, shared a few tips for loading the cube, and reminded her to bring her own padlock for the moving container.

From there, U-Pack texted Gillian links to her moving plan leading up to the big day. One business day before the move, Gillian called the local origin center to confirm the ReloCube drop-off. The friendly representative asked for Gillian’s phone number and accessed her moving details in seconds. They gave her a slot of 8 a.m. to noon the following day.

The U-Pack driver called Gillian two hours before drop-off. They arrived on time and carefully placed the ReloCube in Gillian’s garage. She asked them to change how the cube faced to simplify loading, which U-Pack was happy to do.

It took maybe five minutes for U-Pack to place the container in her driveway. Afterward, the driver showed Gillian how to open and lock the doors and explained the pickup process.

Gillian spent the whole weekend prepping the container for a Monday morning pickup. She and her partner loaded the cube themselves but loved that they could take their time. The extra time helped them carefully pack, load, and tie down their belongings to prevent shifting in transit.

U-Pack returned on Monday to pick up the ReloCube and transport it to New Orleans. They charged Gillian’s credit card $1,146 and advised her they would be in NOLA within five business days.

Delivery was early but required some sweat equity

Gillian tracked the progress of her move through U-Pack’s MyMove dashboard. The dashboard frequently updated her on the container’s location, notifying her every time the ReloCube arrived in a new city.

U-Pack container

Gillian’s belongings arrived in New Orleans in just four days. She didn’t mind that everything arrived a day early, since it gave her more time to unpack!

U-Pack notified Gillian when the container arrived in New Orleans and instructed her to call the destination service center one business day in advance. She called them and requested a next-day appointment.

Since U-Pack couldn’t offer door-to-door delivery to her New Orleans address, Gillian and her partner had to rent a van and move their stuff from the U-Pack service center to their home address. It took a few trips to unload everything, but they finished the job in just a few hours.

Sure, it required a little bit of elbow grease, but Gillian was thrilled to complete the move for such an affordable price. The best part? When she unpacked everything, all of her items arrived in perfect condition. She was genuinely surprised that everything arrived without so much as a scratch.

U-Pack followed up with Gillian a week after the move, thanking her for her business and asking her to complete a three-minute post-move survey.

Our take on the move

Gillian’s prep and research laid the foundation for her perfect move. She requested four quotes — even though she had a clear favorite — just to make sure she had fair pricing, which we recommend to anyone planning a move.

Gillian used our moving cost calculator to see what kind of move her budget could accommodate, which is the perfect way to make the most of your resources during such a big move.

She also got a binding quote from U-Pack. Most moving quotes aren’t binding, which means your final cost could change based on many factors. But with a binding quote, you pay the same amount as your estimate as long as the scope of your move doesn’t change.

Many moving container customers don’t realize there’s an art to loading these containers, which often leads to unnecessary damage. Gillian saved herself a lot of heartache by learning to load moving containers. She also wasn’t shy about using plenty of packing materials, which paid dividends by protecting her priceless antiques and art. Gillian went to great lengths to wrap her items like a pro, and it paid off!

Now, it might seem not-so-fun to rent a van and move items from U-Pack’s service center, but this is the reality of booking a moving container. Not all streets accommodate moving containers, so you need a plan B. Gillian loved that U-Pack offered the service center option, which allowed her to enjoy the convenience and affordability of container shipping.

The verdict

Gillian couldn’t be happier with her U-Pack move.

She loved U-Pack’s proactive communication. The digital dashboard and Move Plan were also super helpful. Everything arrived on time and was damage-free. All in all, Gillian said U-Pack gave her the most stress-free move possible.

She had to pinch herself, actually, because U-Pack was the cheapest quote of the four companies she considered. She was nervous because it was so affordable, but the experience couldn’t have been better.

If you’re okay with renting a van and picking things up from the service center, Gillian believes U-Pack provides an excellent middle ground between convenience, speed, and affordability.

Gillian wouldn’t change a thing about U-Pack’s service, but on her part, she would have started packing sooner. She spent several late nights packing and scrambling to get the house ready.

She recommends anyone planning a move budget way more time for packing than you think you’ll need — and we agree with her. This is a common issue for Better Moves Project participants, so when in doubt, pack as early as you can.

Here’s how Gillian rated U-Pack’s performance on a scale of 1 to 5:

  • Communication:  5
  • Timeliness: 5
  • Quote accuracy: 5
  • Overall experience: 5

Do you have an upcoming move? Share your moving story with the Better Moves Project to earn a $500 stipend. Sign up now.

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