Our move was a little complicated. We had to figure out what to bring, what to ship, and what to store.
It took a little foresight, to say the least. Especially since the movers would only show up on the weekdays, and we were leaving on a Sunday. Sigh. That left us with several days of confusion and chaos before we had the clear heads of those sitting around a house with no furniture for a few days. A dear friend loaned her air mattress, sheets and pillows so we wouldn't be without. We hoarded towels from the gym so we wouldn't be drip-drying in our final days.
The movers did a tremendous job. They were courteous and professional and wrapped up even the crummiest bit of Ikea furniture like it was good stuff.
I guess I won't really know how good they were for another two years when we get our stuff back, but for now I can highly recommend Reliable Moving in Storage if you are in need. They showed up on time (8 am!) both mornings, they didn't touch the stuff we didn't need packed yet and they even unpacked a box that my knives were in when I realized I forgot to put them in the "ship" pile (I can't live without my ultra-sharp German steel kitchen knives). They are a bit on the pricey side, but totally worth it. This is your stuff after all. Our last movers we hired were good guys and all, but total jokers compared to Reliable. They had sent three guys over to do the move, and one of them couldn't actually lift anything because he had gotten into a knife fight recently and could only watch the truck.
Everything was itemized to the letter, and each box labeled and tagged in case we need to order up a random box from the storage unit. Like if the urge to brew beer becomes strong with this one.
The shipping container was a huge pain in my ass, as everything had to be itemized and listed value in both british pounds (our insurer is in the UK) and in Euros (since it will end up in France), but the forms required different itemizations (shoes, women's shoes, etc) and the numbers somehow had to magically line up. So far, nothing has been red flagged and our container is still in customs at CDC.
Day one, they boxed up and we lived in the stacks of boxes for an overnight. With very little sleep, this made navigating a bit challenging. Day two, they moved everything out. Since the apartment is on the second floor of a walk-up, I figured there would be much huffing and puffing up and down the stairs that day. Not these geniuses.
They opened up a couple of those heavy refrigerator boxes and made two stair-slides. Every box in the house got a fun ride on its way to the van. Wheeeee!
Alas, the fridge still contained the last piece of information important to our final day in New York.