Bailey Guns

So You Wanna Move Out of State?

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It's no secret that my wife and I moved from Colorado to Idaho last year. Apparently a lot of you are thinking of moving, too. I've had several forum members contact me regarding my moving experience, how I like Idaho and for other information related to the move. That's why I wanted to detail some of what we went through in hopes in might help some of you that are thinking about it but don't know where to start. I know it's only if you care to but keep in mind these are our experiences...yours may vary:

Why Do You Want to Move?

For us, it was mostly financial. The cost of living in Colorado was getting beyond what we were willing to pay in exchange for the crowds, congestion, traffic and other negatives. We wanted a place with far less people and a lower cost of living but where we could still both find work.

A secondary reason was the political climate in Colorado. We'd both become very unhappy with Colorado turning solidly blue and the problems that brings.

Do Your Research:

So, based on what we needed in terms of employment, cost of living and political climate we started looking for suitable alternatives.

Another factor that was important to me was milder winter weather.

The beauty of the information age in which we live is that you can virtually travel the world, or in our case, the country, without leaving home. I decided to look at locations where I could transfer with my company and easily eliminated most of them...not interested in: the mid-west, the east coast, the southern states, the southwest or the west coast states. That left a few states in the Rocky Mountain region: Utah, Idaho, Montana, Nevada and Wyoming. Milder winters quickly eliminated MT and WY. No work in NV. That left UT and ID.

After some additional research it was apparent the political climate was near perfect in both states. So, once again, it came down to cost of living. ID won in a landslide.

In spring of 2014 my son and I took a short road trip to southern Idaho. Even though that's not the area we wound up moving to, it did affirm to me Idaho was the place I wanted to be. Now to find the right part of Idaho.

Once again, the internet saved the day. I spent hours online looking at potential areas where I could relocate with my company. We had initially thought Idaho Falls was where we'd go. But no company office there. That left Nampa, Coeur d'Alene and Lewiston. Nampa was by far the lowest cost of living. CDA was by far the prettiest. Lewiston was by far the location with the best climate (and it turns out the area around Lewiston is gorgeous!).

Have a Plan:

So, we (mostly me) decided on Lewiston. I started the wheels rolling with the company. We suffered a setback in our timetable when I was injured at work and required 19 months time off to recuperate from surgeries and such. The silver lining to that was I had plenty of time to research. I finally made it back to work in October of 2014 and immediately asked for a transfer since there was an opening in Lewiston (Clarkston, WA, actually but they're literally like one town separated by a river...close enough). By June 2015 I was told the transfer was approved and I could report on Aug 1.

I spent most of June and July taking care of improvements around the house. I bought a used 5th wheel trailer to live in. Now that we knew where we were gonna land our plan basically consisted of: 1) getting the house on the market, 2) me moving to Lewiston, starting work and scouting the area while living in the 5th wheel, 3) wife staying and prepping things (packing and such) while waiting for the house to sell, and, 4) me returning to complete the move once the house sold.

Have Another Plan:

Because the first one probably isn't gonna work. Well, it worked, it just took longer than we thought so plan for that sort of thing. And then, get ready. Because when the ball starts rolling it picks up speed very fast.

Moving is a LOT of Work:

No. A LOT. Like more than you've ever done in your life.

We spent a lot of time and money prepping our place to sell. Our home in Bailey was nice, but quirky. We knew the right couple would have to come along before it would sell. Well, the right couple did come along. With cash. And they wanted the place like RIGHT NOW!

It was literally 10 business days from offer to closing. So, be may not have a lot of lead time. We were fortunate to have friends that are nicer than they are intelligent. They put in countless hours of very hard work in the 7 days before closing helping us pack 25 years worth of accumulated crap.

It was very stressful...but we finished. We didn't even have time to have the house cleaned but the buyers were very understanding and accommodating.

Moving is EXPENSIVE...Even DIY Moving is EXPENSIVE:

We went the DIY route. Big mistake. I own an 8x16 enclosed cargo trailer. That was dedicated to my tools, guns, safe and ammo. 7500 pound gross weight rating my ass. I found out it'll handle at least 50% more than that.

We had 3 truck (towing the cargo trailer), and two cars. We left one car behind with a friend because the wife needed to return to finish up at work and would drive that back to Idaho. So, we rented a 20' U-Haul truck and scheduled 4 U-Haul “U-Boxes” (think moving containers) to be delivered and picked up and trucked to Idaho. We also rented a car-hauler trailer to tow the wife's car behind the U-Haul truck. Still not enough space. Lots of stuff was sold or left behind and everything was packed solidly, side to side, floor to ceiling. No space was wasted.

In total, the moving and storage fees probably cost us right around $10,000. And that doesn't include all the other things that come with moving from one house to another...the things you'll need to buy for the new house that don't carry over from the old. Thinks like curtains, rugs, etc...

*NOTE: For about another $1,000 we could've had professional movers come to our house, pack our stuff, deliver it to Idaho and unload it in our new house. I highly recommend you consider having your move done by professionals. It's not that much more and it's gotta be easier than a DIY move.

Not to mention the monumental hassles caused by the U-Haul truck losing the transmission in Burley, ID.

Avoid a DIY move unless you don't have a lot or you're just into self-inflicted pain.

Living In a 5th Wheel Sucks:

Really. But, it worked. Our household goods remained in storage while we house-shopped. Actually, we found the perfect place our first day so shopping was quick and easy. It was waiting for the VA loan to close that took two months.

Then, when we finally got the keys, we got to move all over again. But this time we didn't have any help. Major PITA. Also, I was out of vacation time so I had to schedule moving in around work. It was slow, difficult and so worth it. We're still not completely settled in but we couldn't be happier with the choices we made.


There are lots of them. We pretty much did this based on a faith that we were doing something to better our lives.

In our case, fortunately, it worked. We love the area, we love our new home, we're in a far better financial position and the hard part is behind us. All of the expense, hard work, stress and brain damage that went into this was worth it.

The wife isn't exactly thrilled with the hospital where she's working but she has other options so that problem is solvable.

But, others may not be so lucky. Just be prepared for that.

So, for those of you thinking about uprooting and heading into the unknown, I hope this helps. Good luck.
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  1. GilpinGuy's Avatar
    Good stuff Carl.

    I have heard the same advice about hiring a moving company from others as well. I won't think twice about that.
  2. Cman's Avatar
    Thanks for the details as this is a move we are seriously considering.
  3. thedave1164's Avatar
    Well done
  4. OtterbatHellcat's Avatar
    Yep..thanks for sharing your experience. I'll be doing this type of thing within a year from now I believe.

    Congrats on it working out for you in the end, that's cool.