Thursday, February 17, 2011


Commonly known as the third most traumatic life event after death of a loved one and divorce. At certain phases in my life, relocating my residence annually and sometimes more often was a cakewalk, everything I owned fit into one small room and I didn't have to file for an address change with quite so many agencies, just parents, friends, school, and the DMV. Eventually that progressed to living without roommates, and friends were happy and available to help me move as long as I provided the truck, pizza, and beer.

That was a long time ago, the next stage of my life is when I live in the same place for years and years, accumulating and investing in stuff. My friends are older and I can no longer in good conscience accept their offers to help me move, knowing the impact it would have on their (and my) aging backs. In 2010, I finally graduated to the stage where I pay professionals to move my stuff. Not only that, renting plastic moving bins instead of collecting paper boxes.

Hiring Movers:
Pro - They are really fast.
Pro - They bring their own truck, dolly, and moving blankets.
Pro - They are really good at moving stuff, especially big stuff.
Pro - They are insured or at least will cover replacement cost if anything is damaged.
Pro - I'm not tired when I arrive with my stuff at the new place.
Con - $$$ (expect to pay $100 and up per hour for 3 movers, estimating 1 hour per 400 sq ft's worth of stuff)

Renting Plastic Bins:
Pro - No need to curate or dispose of them.
Pro - Movers love the bins, they can be securely carried 3-4 at a time, and stack well so they don't slide and fall over in the truck.
Pro - They are clean and sturdy.
Pro - It's easy to go in and out of a bin that's already been packed, the top is secured with zip ties prior to transport.
Pro - You're motivated to unpack quickly because you have to return the bins.
Con - You're restricted to how much time you have to pack up your old place.
Con - $$$ (expect to pay $2-3 per bin per week).

I did start the moving process by packing the less often used stuff in paper boxes before the plastic bins arrived. And guess what? 4 months later, they're still in the same boxes.

The other task I outsourced was cleaning. For a long time I thought it was extravagant to pay someone to clean my apartment. After living in the same place for a number of years and not having very good cleaning skills, it really shows. The amount I paid for professional deep cleaning pays for itself in the rental deposit return.

The most painful part was having to change my address with various vendors and work, and setting up/shutting down utilities. Even in the electronic age, records still take months to be updated for some reason.

Moving still sucks quite a lot when you outsource as much as possible, but really, it could suck a lot more.

1 comment:

Ye Ha said...

Ah, but the more you move the easier it is to resist to accumulate necessary stuff. Because you know you'll have to move again one day!