About a year ago, my husband and I packed up all of our belongings and moved from St. Louis to our current apartment in Chicago. We rented a PODS container and we used HireAHelper for the “muscle” portion of our move. I’m not saying it was a good time, because is moving ever really fun? But it actually wasn’t too incredibly painful, and we both lived to tell the tale. In fact, we detailed our moving escapade right here on the HireAHelper blog. Continue reading
Like every customer service representative at HireAHelper, I have assisted many – no, countless – no wait, an insane amount of customers looking for last minute help with their move. I’ve often questioned why anyone would wait so long to organize their move or to make sure the appropriate help they needed was confirmed.
My question was answered when my own moving plan took an unfortunate turn. After plans to have family and friends assist me fell through, I was stuck with a house full of heavy furniture and only me to move it (and in case you weren’t aware, I am not the Incredible Hulk). The kicker? My move was the NEXT day! So on Friday February 7th (the day before my move), I began searching for a moving truck and some help to load it. Continue reading
This post is part of our “Real People” series. Usually, these posts are written by a real person who is not employed at HireAHelper, who actually used the moving services they mention. Today’s Real People story is still written by a real person, and even includes a photo gallery of the experience, but this time it’s someone who HAS worked with us. Craig B. is an independent graphic artist living in Los Angeles, CA. He’s the one responsible for the awesome illustrations on our homepage. Craig says, “I’m not only the illustrator, I’m also a client!”
I’m getting married in a couple months, and I decided to put my things in storage and stay with my fiancé until we have a chance to find a bigger place after the wedding. At this point I’m only using my apartment as a $1,200 closet. So, moving my apartment into storage for $200 or less each month will save some serious cash.
I have moved a ton throughout the years, and, at this point in my life, I feel like I’m too old to ask friends for help, and too old to put my back through another move. I knew of HireAHelper because of some illustrating I had done for their website, and I thought I could rent a truck and use them to hire moving help. They call this kind of move a “hybrid move.”
I went online to HireAHelper.com and started to see who was available. I liked the way their site was laid out, because it was very easy to know what my first step was. After I put in my zip code and moving date, they gave me a list of companies available for my move. The first company on the list was Ogre Man Movers, and they looked good. I saw that they would be available for a good price, but I didn’t book them yet because I wanted to first make sure I had my moving truck reserved.
First time moving? Awesome. I’ve moved a few times and luckily the excitement of the next, new phase makes up for all the work involved in moving process! The one good thing about having a few moves under my belt is that I now have a pretty good idea of how to prepare and what to expect. Hopefully the lessons I learned the hard way will benefit you in some small way.
Start Early – Financial
The first thing I would say is to begin planning ahead by a couple months. Start putting away some extra cash for the expense. Moving is not cheap, even if you handle all the labor yourself. When you move into a new place, there are tons of fees like your new rent payment and deposit as well as all the other deposits required for the electric, gas, and internet companies. And if you’re not doing all the labor yourself, consider the cost of your movers and rental truck. Start your research of moving labor and trucks early so you can budget enough to get it all done.
Assess Your Needs: If you will need help loading and unloading your truck, how many movers and how much stuff do you have to load? And if you don’t happen to own a moving truck, how large of a truck will you need to rent? These two things are the main issues to consider when planning this aspect of your move. Here are two sweet help guides from Hireahelper if you have no idea what you will need:
Unexpected costs: Once you figure out how many movers and what size truck you’ll need, you can begin to think about all the other costs that are often after thoughts! For instance, make sure to ask your mover what kind of fees they charge for insurance, packing materials, and other fees for flights of stairs and carrying loads to your truck if you can’t get your truck right by the front door. These questions will help you get a full picture of exactly how much everything will cost, instead of being surprised by extra fees later on. By getting a jumpstart on saving for your move, you won’t have to stress about the costs at the time of your move!
Start Early – Packing
Another thing you can start about a month in advance is packing prep. Think of the materials you’ll need – boxes, paper/cloths/peanuts used to keep breakables safe, markers for labeling, packing tape, etc. Plot out how you will pack and organize your things. Packing things up according to rooms is a great way to organize. Box and label. No matter how big or small of a place you have, it always seems to take longer than you think. So give yourself time and invite a friend or two to help! Crank the music and get started. As you begin packing and organizing, you’ll probably run across things you haven’t used in a year (or five). If you can let go of these things, you just have that much less to pack and carry! Moving is a great time to purge.
Create a Checklist and Timeline
In the beginning stages, creating a checklist and timeline will help keep you organized through the process. You can list hiring movers and even include each room and the goal for when you want it to be packed by. Setting up a timeline will help you maintain some sanity as you go.
Here are a few things you don’t want to forget on your list: Call the electric, gas, internet, phone, satellite/cable companies to switch your address. You don’t want to be without electricity at your new place or continue to receive a bill at your old residence. These aren’t difficult things to do but they are easily lost in the shuffle. Write them down on your “to do” list. In addition to those changes, make sure you call any other important companies to let them know about your change of address – Post Office, magazines/newspapers, insurance companies, and anything else you can think of. Fill in the blank! Or, if that sounds too time consuming or complicated, checkout Updater.com. They offer a service that changes your address and updates any subscription services you have with your new address.
Last, but not least, make sure you pack a survival kit for your first week at your new place. Unless you are superhuman, you probably won’t unpack all your things the very day you move in. So pack a couple suitcases or boxes of everything you’ll need during those first few days – daily vitamins, a pillow, blankets, clothes, phone charger, laptop, alarm clock, toiletries, silverware, plate, glass, and snacks (unless you plan to eat out until you unpack kitchen items!). I’m sure you can add to this “necessities” list! Everyone has their own specific list of needs. Like for me, I would need my nespresso machine and a coffee cup!
These are the few things I’ve learned about packing and moving over the years. I’d love to hear the things you’ve learned from your own moves! What is the top tip you’ve picked up about moving? Share them below!
About the Author: Victoria grew up in rural Nebraska but has lived in Iowa, Hawaii, China, and Montana. She aspires to move somewhere warmer after grad school! At the moment, she works for HireAHelper and lives vicariously through her co-workers who live in Southern California.
If you’ve read my other posts, you’ll remember that I’m from rural Nebraska. Whenever I’ve moved in the past, my big, strong farmer boy cousins have done all the heavy lifting. They packed everything in their trailers and pickups and basically served as my own personal moving company. All I seriously had to do was help organize, pack and box all my belongings. However, as I dream about moving south after grad school, I realize a long distance move won’t really work for my beefy cousins because let’s face it, they can’t ask the neighbor to feed their livestock and harvest their wheat just so I can get moved! The most I can ask of them is to get me loaded on this side of my move.
To be honest, I didn’t know hiring moving labor alone was even an option. I assumed you had two options: 1. You could hire a moving company with a truck, who would load, drive, and unload; or 2. You could rent a truck (or borrow one) and load everything yourself, along with whichever friends and family members you could gin up.
Little did I know that secret option number 3 existed! I can rent my own truck and hire people to load and unload everything for me. I mean, Nebraska girls are tough but carrying couches and furniture solo is not how we roll. Hiring moving labor brings me back to my packing and boxing routine with the added responsibility of driving the rental truck. I’m fine with that idea as long as I don’t have to drive an enormous truck in the downtown traffic of some major city. No thank you! The cool thing is that I can scrap the rental truck idea altogether and leave the driving to PODS or 1800PackRat. They drop off a storage container at your place to pack/load, then pick it back up and deliver it to your new location. It’s the best idea ever.
So I now have a game plan for my next move. Rent a storage container through PODS or 1800PackRat and hire moving labor to unload at my destination. Boom. Solved.
Have you had experience driving a rental truck or hiring moving labor? Share any lessons and tips you’ve learned along the way below!
About the Author: Victoria is thoroughly enjoying the summer heat and getting outdoors whenever possible. She is taking the summer off from grad classes and working for HireAHelper. It is a nice change of pace!
Photo courtesy of Pirate Alice.