The Other Side of Relo

Nan Banks
Nan Banks

Nan Banks is currently the Sr. Manager of Strategic Planning for Corporate Communications. Her travels through Toyota have taken her to TMMK, TEMA, TMA (but based in Torrance) and now to TCAL.

Nan grew up in South Carolina but has lived (and moved!) all over the U.S. and spent a little over 3 years in Europe. This will be her first move to Texas.

There seems to be no end to the boxes coming off the moving truck and into the new house!

I’m going to start with everything that went wrong. First, the movers arrived with a truck that was too small to accommodate our household shipment. This necessitated a second truck and then the total repacking of our entire shipment…we are still missing two boxes of books and the hardware to my great-grandmother’s hall tree.

Then, there was the fire outside of Barstow that kept us parked on Interstate-15 for hours before we even got out of California.
And that’s about it.  That’s the worst parts in a nutshell.  On the other hand, let’s be fair, some things went really right, like our other car and the moving van arriving exactly on schedule.  The closing on the sale of our old home in California went off without a hitch and our new next door neighbor is charming.  But, before you think I’m going all Pollyanna on you, here are some things to expect and some things I highly recommend.

What to expect

  1. Packing and unpacking take longer than you expect.  The more you can edit your stuff BEFORE you move, the better.
  2. If you relocate before the fall, it is going to be hot, particularly if you are relocating to Texas. Temps during our move-in were above 100 and, with the doors open, it was impossible to keep the house cool.
  3. The open road, just outside the Petrified Forest National Park, Northeastern Arizona. It was on the way and the scenery was spectacular. Glad we took the detour to drive through.

  4. Not everything is “included” in your move.  For instance, you’ll pay extra for having flat screen TVs taken off the wall and you’ll pay extra for having them put back up.  Also, if holes need to be drilled in the wall for reinstallation of the TVs in your new home, that’s extra too.  If you need to have TVs remounted, it’s best to have a handyman lined up to do this or have your tools with you so you can do it yourself.
  5. Your movers will pack all your stuff, but they’re not going to unpack all your boxes.  They’ll unpack your furniture, put together the items they took apart and make sure the boxes are all in the right rooms.  There may be two people who pack your stuff and as many as 5 or 6 who unload it! The volume and speed of the boxes coming off the moving truck can be overwhelming.  You may have to ask them to slow down at times, just so you can be sure the right boxes are going into the right rooms.  You’ll have 90 days to find and report missing or damaged stuff, but it’s much easier to organize your unpacking if you’re not searching in the living room for a box that should be in the garage!


  1. On the packing side, if there are things you want to be sure you have FIRST when you arrive on the unpacking side, tell the movers so they load those things last…your tool box, for instance.
  2. If you are driving with kids and/or pets, do not make your cross-country move a reenactment of the Bataan death march!  Build in stops along the way (tourist attractions, national parks or scenic routes). Moving isn’t a vacation but it doesn’t have to be a total grind either.
  3. Have sports drinks and water for the movers and for yourself on both ends of the move.  My wife and I both got a little dehydrated on the day we moved into our home in Dallas and, frankly, it made us mean!
  4. This is Puji, our Portuguese Water Dog. She’s a Texan now!

  5. If you’re usually very conscious of exercising and eating well, don’t feel guilty about the quantity of fast food and pizza you are consuming during your move! Fruit and nuts make good car snacks, but you’ll likely spend a few days eating all your meals in restaurants where the healthy choices may not be plentiful. Your exercise routine will likely be disrupted, too. Remember, the move is temporary and so is the deviation from your normal routine. 
  6. Lastly, my experience has been that it is rarely advantageous to get into a yelling match or a shin-kicking contest with the relo-providers (movers, car carriers, real estate agents, inspectors, etc.).  If something goes wrong, use your Toyota problem-solving skills and help THEM find the solution YOU are looking for. If you don’t get the service you expect, escalate it through Toyota.  The company is paying these folks to help you and if you’re not getting the service you require, Toyota needs to know.

I hope these posts have been helpful and I look forward to reading more posts from more pioneers. Gotta tell you, I am glad the move is over, glad to be a Texan, and l look forward to welcoming more of you as we build TMNA together.