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.

Moving into a new home requires a lot of packed boxes. But 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…

U-Hauls are great for moving. On 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.

Loading boxes onto the truck is a big part of moving. Once we got the truck outside of our condo building, it was time to load her up. And this is when the pros stepped in.

Professional movers transport boxes into the U-Haul. We 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.Movers work together to load up the truck with boxes.

They carried boxes, hauled furniture, and kept everything organized and packed tightly into the back of our truck. Stacking boxes in an organized way is important when moving. Furniture should go into the moving truck last. They 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. Movers work together to load a dresser into the U-Haul. It's important to be careful when carrying boxes as you move. Casey's husband loads a box onto the U-Haul.

Between the helpers and that hubby of mine, our truck was loaded up in less than 2 hours. U-Hauls have plenty of space for moving 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. Casey's husband is happy to help move boxes.

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.


Label all boxes with a sharpie and tape before moving.

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.

Use these tips for a stress-free move. 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!]

The Year of Casey

Hey there!

I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m a Chicago gal teaching you how to design, DIY, and maintain your home…by yourself! Learn more about me right here.

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