Our Crosstown Chicago Move

We’ve officially been in our home for over 2 weeks now and we are loving every minute of being in our new space. It’s so cool to wake up and think “We own this place!” Still kinda surreal for these rookie homeowners.

Packed BoxBut it took A LOT of work to get where we are today, including one heck of a crazy day moving our stuff across town.

In order to save money, we decided to do what’s called a “hybrid move.” It’s in between a DIY move (where you rent the truck, load it, and drive it) and a full-service move (where you hire movers to do it all.) Basically you rent the truck and drive it, but you have help loading & unloading the container. It seemed like the best option for us because we could save a bit of cash, and we also didn’t have to beg ask our family & friends to help us move. Which I’m sure they appreciated…

UHaul Moving TruckOn moving day, we rented a big ol’ Uhaul. And when I say big ol’ I mean it. Poor Finn had to drive this 20 foot truck all around busy city streets. It was kinda scary at first, with me hopping out to guide him in and out of tight corners every now and again…but he drove it like a champ.

Box and TruckOnce we got the truck outside of our condo building, it was time to load her up. And this is when the pros stepped in.

Happy HireAHelpersWe hired 2 professional movers from HireAHelper. Bridget & I have a weekly column on the HireAHelper blog, so we’re very familiar with this awesome company. Plus, Finn & I used helpers back in 2013 when we moved out of St. Louis. So it was a no-brainer to use HireAHelper again.

Our 2 helpers came on-time and ready to get to work. And when I say work…I mean it.Boxes and Helpers

They carried boxes, hauled furniture, and kept everything organized and packed tightly into the back of our truck. Boxes Organized in TruckLoading FurnitureThey also kept our furniture and oddly shaped items safe from damage. We borrowed a few moving blankets from family members to protect our furniture in the truck, which worked out really well. Helpers Moving Large DresserHolding Moving BoxLoading up Uhaul

Between the helpers and that hubby of mine, our truck was loaded up in less than 2 hours. Uhaul with Boxes

But our day was far from over. We drove the truck to our new place, the movers helped us unload everything, and then Finn & I drove all the way out to the suburbs to get a few more items from storage. All in all, it was a long day of moving (10+ hours!) and our dogs were barking by the end of it.

But the hard work was well worth it to get all of our belongings into our new home. Happy Mover Holding Box

Plus, I got to capture this joyous photo of Finn celebrating our move (which he may kill me for posting here and on Instagram…but it’s too cute not to share right?!)

Finn & I have done 4 moves together and we’ve gotten pretty good at staying sane throughout the chaotic process. Here are a few tips we’ve learned along the way to make moving a bit easier.


Box with Supplies

1. Purge, purge, purge!: Get rid of stuff before you move. That way you’re not wasting money or space transporting stuff you don’t want or need.

2. Washi Tape Rocks: We love washi tape for craft projects, but it’s also great for moving. We used it on every box to label what was inside. It was great because we were able to move over some boxes early and then rip the tape off easily to re-label it, and use it again. Way better than scribbling on the side of the box with a sharpie. We didn’t do it, but you can also color code your boxes so your movers know where to drop everything off as they unload.

3. Cushion your Furniture: You can use moving blankets, or try to wrangle up some drop cloths, blankets, and old comforters.

4. Start Early: We had a few days after the contractors were done in our home before our big move, so we took advantage of this time and brought items over to the new place every night after work. It was exhausting, but ultimately we were happy that we worked hard that week. We were able to get our closet and kitchen organized and unpacked prior to our moving day, so that was a big win!

5. Make the Most of Every Trip: Since we were going back & forth a lot to the new place, we always stuffed our car to the brim with boxes and belongings. This was especially helpful for oddly shaped items or breakables that we didn’t want going into the moving truck.

6. HireAHelper: Finally, DIY moves suck. Even if it’s just a couple of miles, or heck a couple blocks, you’re going to save lots of time and hassle if you hire helpers for your move. Even though your friends may love your pizza and beer offer, we think it’s best for your sanity (& friendship) to hire some real pros to do the loading and unloading, even if it’s just the big stuff.

Finns Move Stress-free Now I want to hear…how did you survive your last move? Any good tips to make it stress-free? Is a stress-free move even possible?


[Disclaimer: We partnered with HireAHelper to bring you this post. All opinions are 100% mine and are not influenced by HireAHelper. Thank you for supporting the companies that support this blog!]

  • Jessie

    Every time I see that picture of Finn, I can’t help but smile. 😀

    When we moved across town, we did something similar (although we had some problems with our movers…must remember that site). It was so helpful to have someone else do the heavy lifting, while still saving some money.

    I’ll be moving back into my own apartment in a few months (FINALLY) and I love some of your tips, particularly the washi tape one. Brilliant!

    • hahahah, right?! He puts up with a lot being married to a blogger.

      Good luck with your upcoming move!

  • Alice H

    I put stickers on the box so the movers knew where the box went. I use paper and washi tape on furniture. At the new home, I put up signs for every room, even the obvious ones such as kitchen but we have 4 bathrooms so I had to indicate which bathroom; same for the four bedrooms. The movers said that I was the most organized person they had ever moved.

    • Alice….THAT IS GENIUS! Wow! You are by far the most organized mover ever. Using this idea next time we move.

  • Christan Flaherty

    This post is so helpful and timely for me because hubby and I have been considering doing a “hybrid move” when we move from Chicago (sniff) to South Carolina in December. I will definitely check HireAHelper!

    Congrats on your new home!

    • It really is a great company and made things a heck of a lot easier for us! Good luck with your move. Chicago will miss you!

  • Thanks Michelle! Miss you.

  • I always do the coding for different rooms, but I also number the boxes and keep a list of what general items are in each–that way if I need something that I haven’t unpacked yet after I move I know exactly which box to get into. Hope you are loving the new house!

    Visiting from LorimerLiving.Com
    XO, Jaclyn

  • Kate LaCorte

    We also did an across town hybrid move just a few months ago. Best decision ever.

    We had to close on the house, and move out of our apartment the same day. We started at 7am and end at 11pm. Glad we won’t be doing that again anytime soon. #newbiehomeowner

    • Congrats! And that does sound like a loooooong day! Hope you’re feeling settled in your new home.