After celebrating our year anniversary last month, it was clear to the Valet team that our goal of creating a daily web product with the style and substance of a magazine and the immediacy and functionality of the web was ready for the next level. And for that we thank you, the user, for reading, commenting and coming back every day. We also decided that the next step would not be in our current city, Washington, DC. So we're moving the operation to Los Angeles to satisfy a want for an endless supply of great restaurants and shops, a more tech-infused environment and well, 325 days of sunshine. We talked about the best way to get from one coast to the other, until we realized there was only one real option—road trip.
After all, is there a more American tradition than packing up the U-Haul with your worldly possessions and hitting the interstate? And in researching the move, we were fascinated by the history of the country's largest DIY moving company. Founded in 1945 by 29-year-old former Navy man, Sam Shoen, in just five years it grew into a national brand and by 1960, with a fleet 50,000-strong, carried Americans into an optimistic new age. So, with a truck packed with office equipment, a few misplaced interns and more clothes than we'd care to admit, we're heading west. Feel free to come back, as we'll be checking in along the way.
- Cory Ohlendorf, Editor in Chief
Leaving Oregon, 1961.
Locations in North America.
Lower decks, a patented ramp and of course, Mom's Attic were all innovations to make loading a truck less of a pain.
Know of a good barbeque joint in Kansas City? A rustic dive bar in Denver? Is there a vintage shop outside Vegas we should hit? Let us know.
Luke Krueger's "A Noble Function: How U-Haul Moved America" recounts the Shoen's trip from a mom-and-pop operation to an American institution.
$25, on Amazon
Dumpster diving for boxes and hauling your stuff in trash bags might've worked in college. But the best way to survive a move is to get organized and then hire movers.
» How to: Move (Without Stress)
The number of people who used U-Haul last year.
The best places to eat, shop and stay when visiting the city of angels—now Valet's new home base.