Oct 19, 2007

Full-Service Movers: For When You Know You've Grown Up

I've always been stuck in the poor-student mindset when planning a move: I invite a bunch of friends with pickups, tax their strength, and risk grave bodily injury maneuvering boxes and furniture, then pick up Chinese takeout for the exhausted (but proud) group afterwards.

So I was impressed when two of my friends (I'll call them K and L) decided to take theBoxes grown-up approach and hire a moving company to take care of the whole deal. The movers boxed up their possessions (right down to the Q-tips in the drawers), professionally padded any fragile items, shrink-wrapped furniture that could be scratched, loaded everything onto the truck, and delivered it all to the proper rooms of K and L's new home.

Of course, full-service movers cost more. Our friends didn't have much of a choice, what with two boys under the age of four running around their household. But having watched the process, I can see where the cost might be worth it for anyone.

As L said to me, "These guys are so efficient, I'm sorry I wasted time trying to pack any of my boxes!" And the truck loading was a sight to bring out all the neighbors. The moving guys (I think I counted five of them) looked like they spend their spare time weight training. I'm tempted to  say they balanced couches and dressers on one hand, but though they didn't quite manage that, it wouldn't be a huge exaggeration. The only near-mishap came when one guy spotted a spider on the large potted plant in his arms (I guess large biceps are no protection against arachnophobia).

And I visited K and L right after the move, as they cheerfully unpacked boxes, showing no signs of the sweaty brows and sore elbows that I associate with a recent move.

Just one caution: A few days later, they still couldn't find their cutlery. Turns out it was still in a drawer back at their first house. So make sure to do a final walk-through before the truck takes off! And to learn more about how to stay sane while you move, and other tips for a smooth relocation, pick up Nolo's Essential Guide to Buying Your First Home (Nolo) - it's got something in it for everyone out there looking for a new home.

Ilona Bray