Should I get movers for an intra-building move (so no trucks required)? Bonus for recommendations in Chicago.
July 19, 2009 6:26 PM   Subscribe

I'm moving from a 2bdr (had a roommate) to a studio in the same apartment building on the south side of Chicago. I'll be moving, oh, maybe 15 floors down. The building has a freight elevator. Since I don't even need a truck, should I hire people? My desk almost doesn't fit in the door, my then-boyfriend had to tilt it in strange and crazy ways that I don't think I can do by myself. I have a loveseat, bed, giant expedit bookshelf, and a desk - everything else I could handle myself I guess.
posted by anthropomorphic to Home & Garden (17 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Doesn't sounds like you need more than one person. Do you have friends/family you could coerce with beer/dinner?
posted by stray at 6:31 PM on July 19, 2009

no family, my friends will all still be away for the summer. i'll be alone.
posted by anthropomorphic at 6:35 PM on July 19, 2009

What I'd do is look in Craigslist for a "man with van" mover, and call and explain that all you need is the man, plus a wheeled dolly for the heavy furniture. And reserve the elevator for an hour or so.
posted by zadcat at 6:45 PM on July 19, 2009

I wouldn't risk hurting myself like that. I would just hire someone. It shouldn't take long or be very expensive.
posted by amethysts at 6:47 PM on July 19, 2009

Seconding zadcat-- hire a guy off Craigslist.
posted by darth_tedious at 6:48 PM on July 19, 2009

Yes, you should hire someone, but you don't need to hire professional movers. Just pay a college kid or two to help you for a few hours. Depending on where you are on the south side, UChicago Marketplace might be a good place to find willing hands; Craigslist has a much wider circulation (obviously), which has both good and bad aspects. The going rate is probably around $20/hour, though if you have enough time you could start your offer lower and raise the pay if nobody bites.

My partner and I hired someone this way last year when we moved, and dear god, it was worth it.
posted by pluckemin at 6:53 PM on July 19, 2009

If you're a girl, you might want to be careful with the "hire a random guy off Craigslist" approach. However, if you live in a college town (or even just near a high school) where you have any connections at the school, you may be able to put out the word and get a couple of students to come help you out for an hour. Better yet, ask people you know who have kids if they'd like to make a cool $30 (or whatever) for a half-hour's work.
posted by you're a kitty! at 6:56 PM on July 19, 2009 [1 favorite]

Just from personal experience, whilst being very stubborn and "I-can-do-it-myself-dammit!" I pulled a muscle in my back and sprained my ankle while trying to move a giant expedit bookshelf by myself.

If you're wary of hiring someone off Craigslist, do you have a neighbor or building super that you could offer $20 to help you with the bigger furniture? $20 for a helper is way, way, way cheaper than the medical bills from a hernia.
posted by banannafish at 6:59 PM on July 19, 2009

I'll check out the UChi Marketplace, that's a good idea.

I've (tried to) hire man with a van movers before - in fact, it was to move this particular enormous desk from its owners house to my apt and stood in the freezing cold for 4 hours waiting for a mover who never came and never answered his phone. it was terrible. how to ensure this doesn't happen again?
posted by anthropomorphic at 7:10 PM on July 19, 2009

What about the maintenance people in your building? Oftentimes they'll help for a little something. Maybe not strictly above-board, but, meh.
posted by charmcityblues at 8:21 PM on July 19, 2009

Hell when are you moving? Memail me and I might be down to help for a nominal fee.
posted by Uncle at 8:41 PM on July 19, 2009

When my wife and I moved down the hall (literally down the hall), we hired two guys for a half day each from the local day labor hiring hall. Paid them $80 each, and it was money well spent. They were nice, careful, and did good work. Took a couple hours, but half day was a minimum (and they knew they'd be working a half day). Would definitely recommend.
posted by YoungAmerican at 9:52 PM on July 19, 2009

Seconding the day laborer recommendation. There's a day laborer hiring center in Chicago. And if it's not convenient for you to go there, I'm sure you can call them and they could tell you the best way to hire a day laborer in your neighborhood.
posted by gubenuj at 10:14 PM on July 19, 2009

Two people and lots of overlapping time (will you have access to both spaces for days and days?) will be fine. That's a nice luxurious way to move: all indoors, you can take your time, etc.

(I was in Chicago most of last month. I would have helped for pizza!)
posted by rokusan at 6:06 AM on July 20, 2009

Hiring movers, even $20/hour college students, is the best money you can ever spend on yourself. A one-person move, even in the same building, sounds like it will be nbd but will actually turn out to be a giant pain in the dick. Cause you aren't going to feel the need to pack things properly like you would for a long distance move (not dishes, but dumb things like the shower curtain, drying rack, plant stands, ironing board) and those annoying little things will necessitate a single trip each unless you have a cart. Then there's the locking the door, cause you will be alone and not ferrying with a bunch of other people, fumbling for keys at each location while trying not to drop the fish tank or whatever, which sounds like nothing until you've done it for the 40th time that day and you feel like kicking walls.

As for recommendations about how to find someone who actually shows up - I guess it's like anything else, book in advance, ask for multiple references, and maintain contact in the weeks up to the move. If he/they are flaky about returning calls from the start, that's a decent red flag.

An interbuilding move will be a walk in the park for movers, particularly the kinds of movers who are used to steps/trucks/millions of boxes. You will thank yourself at the end of the day.
posted by 8dot3 at 6:43 AM on July 20, 2009

Do you have a job? Ask people at work if they know anyone willing or able to help. People are actually very generous. Just announce your predicament to everyone you know and at least half of them will be dying to solve your problem. If not actually help they might have a recommendation for a company they have used or friends who need quick cash.
posted by Gor-ella at 6:58 AM on July 20, 2009

For what is it worth, that bookshelf breaks down very easily. You need an allen wrench and that's all. I've broken it down 3 times now to move it.
posted by collocation at 7:46 AM on July 20, 2009

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