Moving Day DIY Success Story

When I say moving “day”, I really mean moving “month.”  In actuality, we’ve been moving things here, there, and everywhere the entire month of April.  However, the biggest tasks of any moving day are the pieces of furniture.  We thought long and hard about what we had to do in order to successfully move our furniture out of our current apartment.  We wanted to get it done in one day, too.

After donating the IKEA couch I’ve had since moving to Chicago (to my parents for their lake house), we had 5 large pieces of furniture, a bunch of small pieces (defined as pieces I am able to assist in carrying) and a queen size Tempurpedic mattress set with headboard.

We did have a couple of obstacles to address first…

Heavy Furniture

My husband is super strong, and I’m reasonably strong, but the two of us just cannot move furniture together.  If he ends up with most of the heavy lifting on his end, he’ll be too tired to give me a back rub later.  It just doesn’t work out well.  So, what did we do?

Two things, actually.  Husband’s grad school friend, Nick, graciously offered to help us move (this is not even the first time he’s offered – thank you Nick)!  We definitely accepted his offer this time and he hitched a ride to the ‘burbs on the weekend train.  My job on Saturday was as superintendent and professional packing tape applicator, thanks to Husband & Nick’s strong physiques.

The second solution was to purchase the AMAZING Forearm Forklift.  It was originally a solution before Nick came on board, because like I said, I’m not strong enough to carry the weight equally with Husband.  This product, OMG, it’s amazing!  It is so easy to use and distributes the weight of the piece of furniture over more area, meaning the item feels lighter.  Not only that, but the position of the lift is at your center of gravity and it’s just so much more natural than bending your back over or lifting above your shoulders.  It’s amazing – and we got it at the local U-Haul distributor for $24.99 (update: Husband found it at Ace later for a few dollars less).  This is the MVP of Saturday’s move, hands down!!  Check it out in action…I’m surprised Husband’s free hand didn’t have his iPhone to check the draft!




Beautiful Furniture

I don’t know about you, but I really didn’t want to pop my furniture uncovered and unprotected in the back of a pickup truck.  Professional movers do such a great job of blanketing and wrapping each piece of furniture fast, furious, and effectively.  Husband and I wanted to replicate that, especially since the furniture is staying wrapped until we move next time and I wanted it protected in our storage space too.  How did we solve this problem?

We researched all over the place for reasonably priced moving blankets.  The big ones (72″ x 80″) range from about $12.99 all the way up to $16.99.  No way am I paying $16.99 for ONE moving blanket.  Each piece of furniture takes two, minimum.  After a few weeks of searching and then resigning ourselves to just moving the pieces uncovered, Husband found Harbor Freight Tools which was selling large blankets for $7.99 and small ones (72″ x 40″) for $4.99, both on sale the night before our move.  Such a great deal!  I had hubby pick up 6 large and 5 small.  We ended up grabbing 4 more small ones on moving day to cover a few extra pieces.

We covered each piece with the blankets to fit, wrapped the blankets securely with tape, then with the plastic wrap left over from the movers on our last move (thanks, Two Men & a Truck!), Husband went round and round the furniture until it was completely encased.  Nothing is more fabulous on moving day than a fully wrapped piece of furniture!

first load-inside

Lots of Furniture

We have access to my father’s Chevy Suburban, which would have fit all of our furniture in the back…but one at a time.  With 5 large pieces of furniture, plus lots of small pieces, that’s 5 trips minimum to the storage unit about 10 minutes away.  10 to get there, 10 to unload and position, and 10 back is 30 total minutes per large piece.  2.5 hours JUST to load the large furniture into the storage unit.  That’s too much time.  How did we reclaim our time?

When we donated the couch to my dad to take up to the lake house in Wisconsin, he decided to rent a trailer instead of trying to put each piece within the Suburban and on top (which is how I got it home when it was originally purchased).  I used my daughter-charm to convince him to coordinate the couch move with the furniture move and spend some extra time with us to move our furniture to storage.  It worked out PERFECTLY.  Husband, Nick & I wrapped furniture while we waited for Dad to arrive with the trailer.  When he arrived, we loaded the trailer with the first load and took it off to storage.  We sent 2 loads to storage on Saturday and it could not have gone smoother.  Without that trailer, we would have been a mess of stress, and the boys would have had less time to pay attention to the draft.

first load done

Our final load went directly to our “new” home where we dropped off the mattress and then my Dad headed up north to the lake with the couch where my mom was waiting for him.  I also sent him up there with the Forearm Forklift straps…and he and my 5 foot tall mama did this:

There you have it!  Our DIY move tips in a nutshell.  I could NOT believe how smooth it went to move this furniture.  It was a few hours longer than I had originally thought, but we also ended up moving more smaller pieces than planned because of the trailer usage and overall rapid progress we’d made in the beginning of the day.  We stopped for lunch at Potbelly in the middle of the move and our bellies were happy!  I ended the move with a late afternoon Saturday nap, thanks to the men who made this move successful!!


Now, today (Sunday) marks the day we need to finish packing all of the boxes, removing nails from the wall, and overall cleaning of the apartment.  Tuesday, April 30th is our last day of the lease and I’m hoping we don’t have any punchlist after today.  I’m so happy that there’s still plenty of room in our storage space after the furniture arrived.  This will certainly be filled up after today!

storage space

Stay tuned for more moving tips later on – once we actually get ourselves out of this apartment!

lifestyle blog kate & trudy

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