Who to call for a very short-distance move?
April 20, 2021 8:47 PM   Subscribe

We're moving to a bigger apartment (from an overstuffed 1br to a 3br). It's in the same apartment complex, but around the block and up a level. Who do we call for this?

Is this a "movers with a truck" situation, even if they're just going to load up the truck, make two lefts, and unload the truck? We've got some substantial furniture (two big desks, a bed, a bunch of shelves) and a large number of boxes so I think it's more than "a couple of guys off Craigslist." We should be fully vaccinated by the time of the move, and we've got a stash of masks, so, I'm not too worried about COVID, I'm probably willing to pay a little more to get a crew who will wear masks.
posted by Alterscape to Grab Bag (13 answers total)
I don't know if all local movers do this, but I've definitely hired a regular local moving company to do basically this (and it was 100% worth it.) I moved as much as I could myself and then they swung by for like 45 minutes to move my bed and furniture. The particular company I used would give quotes for that kind of move specifically, but I imagine most companies could tell you pretty readily whether this is something they do or not.
posted by jameaterblues at 8:58 PM on April 20, 2021 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Often they will use a truck for that, yeah, but it depends where the loading docks are relative to each other and the apartments and how easy/hard it would be to dolly things between them. Just call your (trusted/recommended) guys with trucks movers and describe the situation to them, and they'll quote you for it. It's not an uncommon situation.
posted by jacquilynne at 9:22 PM on April 20, 2021

You could try hire some private individual on TaskRabbit. I had good experience with it. Could be cheaper compared to official companies.
posted by Pantalaimon at 9:49 PM on April 20, 2021

Best answer: If your building is owned by a management company you could talk to them about it and see if they have companies they prefer to work with for this kind of thing and see if they will cut you a deal. Regardless, movers are absolutely worth it even for just a little furniture and some stairs. Imagine actually having energy to unpack important things on the first night in your new place.
posted by Mizu at 10:46 PM on April 20, 2021 [2 favorites]

We did this exact thing a year and a half ago. We hired a regular moving company (Two Men and a Truck) and were reasonably happy with them. It wasn't cheap but it was definitely worth it to us to have someone else do all the lifting.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 12:07 AM on April 21, 2021

I hired Two Men And A Truck to unload a small packed moving van I already had parked outside. Told 'em they didn't need to bring the truck, but they did anyway.
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 1:58 AM on April 21, 2021

I have also hired folks off TaskRabbit for small apartment moves where I basically needed someone stronger than me an hour to carry a handful of heavy things up/down stairs. I have had a hard time finding moving companies that were willing to take on such small moves without charging for a minimum number of hours, which is how I found out about TaskRabbit.
posted by forkisbetter at 4:40 AM on April 21, 2021

The time spent in a truck is much less, but all the other work - wrapping thing to avoid breakage, putting stuff in boxes, etc., is the same. With a short distance, you can use a smaller moving truck make 2 or 3 trips. I might do a pre-move with some clothing, bedding, cooking basics, the stuff you'd ordinarily put in a couple boxes and unpack 1st.
posted by theora55 at 7:32 AM on April 21, 2021 [2 favorites]

I moved four short blocks in NYC, but with a difficult stairs situation. It felt absurd to pay someone and to deal with the hassle of parking a truck twice for this at first, but in the end was totally worth it. We basically moved everything except the furniture ourselves, with a dolly, because I didn't want to pay for packing supplies and movers to wrap, e.g., my framed art, when I could just carry it in my hands and roll my clothes down the street on a rolling rack, etc.

But after the experience of moving the furniture up the stairs myself, with friends, I was not moving it back down the stairs. Hell no. So I called my local side-gig-for-musicians movers, they showed up with a small truck, seemingly effortlessly whisked everything out of my apartment and into my new one, I paid a couple hundred bucks (whatever the minimum hourly rate was for the moving company), would do again.

Seconding everyone else: call your local movers, you'll probably pay whatever the minimum quote is, if that's too high you could just hire some people on Taskrabbit or similar.
posted by sparkling at 8:33 AM on April 21, 2021

If Dolly is available in your area, I've had good experiences with them.
posted by batter_my_heart at 9:27 AM on April 21, 2021

Call a regular moving company. You have a fully stocked apartment's worth of stuff so they value they provide will be in the safe and efficient handling of your belongings (especially anything heavy/bulky) which doesn't depend on travel distance.
posted by 4rtemis at 10:19 AM on April 21, 2021

I used a regular moving company, the kind with trucks, once when I was just moving down a flight of stairs. They were jerks for other reasons, but they didn't act like there was anything surprising or odd about this.
posted by The corpse in the library at 11:17 AM on April 21, 2021

I've done this (moved in the same complex, across a parking lot). I hired movers and told them they wouldn't need a truck for the moving. They brought the truck because presumably they'd had other jobs that day, but just didn't use it. It was fine, though not much cheaper than a regular cross-town move since most of what you're paying for is the time they are moving your stuff out of one place and into another.
posted by lunasol at 12:55 PM on April 21, 2021 [1 favorite]

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