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Moving recap: New City Moving review (and our first time having packers!)

Alright, this post has been a long time coming–well, it seems like it anyway, as we have been in the new house for over a month now–but WOW it seems like we moved yesterday and also a year ago. 😂

If you missed it, we moved just outside the city to the Oak Park/River Forest area–the first suburb you hit going West. (It really doesn’t feel like a suburb though–more like a charming small city! “The L still runs here!!” I always implore. 😂) But truly, I could NOT be happier about where we ended up and I am so thrilled for this next chapter. ♥️

As I shared over on Instagram stories, we had spent the past almost 8 years in our Wicker Park condo, which means the last time we moved we were young, scrappy, childless, and owned about 1/8th of the stuff we have acquired over the past few years. Needless to say, this time around, it was going to be a much different ballgame! (I am very relieved that this move did not require driving a U-Haul through Lower Wacker 🤯 Which I DO NOT RECOMMEND.)

When the time came to start thinking about movers, the first people we went to for advice were Mitch and Kelly. I remembered them raving about their moving company because they ended up having Lucy the SAME DAY as their move. (I swear, only the Larkins.) They basically grabbed our shoulders and said, “IF YOU MOVE WITH ANYONE OTHER THAN NEW CITY MOVERS, YOU ARE NUTS. THEY SAVED OUR LIVES!!!! They moved our whole house and we weren’t even there!!”

So, yeah. That made the decision making process pretty easy. 😂 (You can read more about their crazy story here!)

On top of that, I was even MORE confident that I had made the right choice when I received a flood of DM’s echoing how amazing New City was! (See just a few of your DMs below!)

For full transparency, we then reached out to New City to see if they would be open to a trade of services in exchange for my review, and to our EXTREME excitement they saiid yes!! It also turns out that Clare at New City has been a reader forever (Hi Clare!) which meant so much. ♥️ Important to note that this did not affect our decision to hire them, as we had heard so many good things about the company, they were our #1 pick. I am 110% honest in my review here and would never recommend a company I didn’t fully stand behind. (Your trust is way too important for that!!)

What YOU all had to say about New City Moving:

In short: New City was amazing and I highly recommend them for both packing and moving services if you’re moving in the area. (Or just within the state of Illinois or from Illinois to other states as far west as Colorado!)

For the long version, more details, what I learned, what I’d do differently and more–keep on reading!

Hiring packers & movers: how the process works:

You have a quick face time call with one of their specialists to show them everything in your house that their team will be in charge of packing and/or moving (this also includes anything you have in storage, you’ll need to show them that as well!) You’ll discuss what services you’ll want and the various options.

You go through room by room, open drawers, closets, show them under the bed, etc. The whole process takes only a few minutes and they tally up the estimate that they’ll email to you a couple hours later. (Of course the house was kind of a disaster, per usual, but Heather, who I chatted with, was SO NICE and laughed and told me she’s seen a lot worse and she wasn’t judging!!)

Another thing you’ll do is talk moving dates: worth noting that New City does give reduced rates for moving on weekdays and mid-month, vs. weekends and month-end (which is their busier time). So if your move date is flexible, definitely ask them to price out the cost difference!

Our kitchen and living room all packed up. This only took them like an hour. 🤯

Now let’s talk packing services:

Did you know that in addition to moving, you can hire PACKERS? Yes–like, people who show up to your house, bring all the supplies, and pack EVERYTHING you own. You don’t have to lift a finger!

Truly: it’s a dream. I don’t know what we would’ve done without it. I am forever spoiled and can never go back to packing myself.

The cost of packers includes the hourly rate of labor plus the hard costs of supplies needed: think boxes and tape. Then, the day before (or maybe a couple, depending on how much you need packed!) before you move, a team of packers shows up and goes to town!

We had a team of four guys, and in just a few hours, our ENTIRE house was packed with the boxes stacked and neatly organized (except for our beds, which they disassembled and packed up for us the next morning during the move so we could sleep on them that night.)

ARE packers worth it for moving?

In my mind–absolutely. We will now never move without packers. 😂 It’s like flying business class and then having to go back to the last row of coach next to the bathroom. But like WAY WORSE. 🫣 FOREVER RUINED. But really, with everything we had going on, plus having a toddler, I don’t know how we would’ve done it all ourselves. It would’ve been the end of me.

My makeshift office for packing day

More about the process and helpful learnings in hindsight:

First, just in case you skipped the above paragraphs–this was one of the best decisions we ever made.

After watching how much these guys accomplished and how much work it was, I am 110% confident that being in charge of doing it all ourselves would’ve killed me. 😂 Anyway, continue on for more about how the packing day went and some learnings on my end!

While we had thought ahead to pack an overnight bag with all the essentials we would need for moving day/that night, I hadn’t really thought about how the packing process itself would go. I wish I had been a lot more organized ahead of time. (Story of my life.)

I was still gathering some last minute things when packers arrived. After chatting a few minutes with Eric, the foreman, going room by room giving him an overview of the place–the team of four guys quite literally DESCENDED. It was like watching magic happen before our eyes–a moving ballet!

They moved SO FAST that it really threw me for a loop. These guys are MACHINES! They see it, they pack it. But METICULOUSLY.

Each piece of china individually wrapped, each glass in bubble wrap.

Rugs rolled up and wrapped so not a smudge would get on them (if they only knew how dirty they already were 👀).

All furniture swiftly but carefully disassembled and meticulously wrapped in bubble and plastic wrap, and labeled. FAST FAST FAST.

The foreman is calling out orders–the guys are delegating who is packing what and how and in what order. Think an episode of The Bear but moving edition.

Honestly, I’m not sure what I was expecting, but I was taken aback by the efficiency (in a good way, but also because I LITERALLY wasn’t prepared for how efficient they were! 😂) so plan accordingly and don’t be like me and leave your diaper bag with your kid’s iPad, snacks, and clothes in the LIVING ROOM because–duh–it’s going to get packed!!

Anything you don’t want packed, I would get it out of the house if you can (put it in your car, for example). Or label with a bright sticky note DO NOT PACK, and go over it with the foreman in charge when they arrive so everyone knows the drill. This also includes things that may or may not be nailed into the wall (like curtain rods, TV mounts, etc).

Another thing I didn’t think about: while they label every box by room (i.e. “Kitchen” “Living room”) which is amazing, they obviously aren’t going to label the contents of the boxes. (Which, let’s be honest, if it were me packing myself, I wouldn’t do either because I wouldn’t have it together enough to do that.)

In hindsight, anything you want or need the first, say, week, I would probably pack a couple essential “first week” boxes myself and make sure the boxes are labeled meticulously so their contents are easy to find. I thought about this, but only in the context of things like clothes, toothbrush, makeup, etc–not things like dishes, pans, silverware, bedding, pillows, blackout curtains for the windows, etc!

(Don’t be like us, not being able to find our silverware for days because it was at the bottom of the LAST kitchen box we unpacked–because duh, it always works like that right?!)

Last photo in the condo before movers arrived 🥺

Next: the move!

The next day, our team of movers arrived at the agreed upon time (we chose a 9:30 am start time to give us time to drop June at daycare for the day–which I HIGHLY recommend arranging childcare during your move) and five guys got to work loading everything we owned onto two trucks. 🥺

The first half of the day was done in about 5 hours (including loading everything in the condo, our garage, basement storage unit, and our external storage unit down the street!)

Then, it was off to the new house, where the unloading promptly began. We ordered pizza for the guys for lunch (which I would recommend doing–they work so hard!) and I walked through the house with the foreman and we talked about where to put all the big pieces of furniture.

Then ALL furniture was unwrapped and re-assembled with care in addition to all boxes put in designated rooms–all completely done AHEAD of schedule. *Not one item we owned was scuffed or damaged in the move–not even a BOX was dented!* 🤯

Total pinch-me moment seeing the moving truck in our new driveway 🥺

Moving day learnings/what I wish I would’ve done:

This is not remotely a knock on New City, actually, a testament to their amazing work, really–but noting again that their efficiency can also catch you by surprise! If they were animals, they’d be cheetahs. These guys are QUICK, I’m telling you!

Therefore, like I mentioned above, anything you want to KEEP on hand that day/not load onto the truck, have something to OBVIOUSLY LABEL it. Or just pre-load it into your car ahead of the movers arriving.

To minimize confusion or stress, I would not plan to parallel path moving stuff into your own cars while the movers are loading stuff onto the truck.

For example, I should’ve put our vacuum in the car before they arrived, because I needed to go over the floors after the movers left, but it ended up accidentally getting loaded on the truck since it was sitting out (because duh, the guys were doing their job).

Additionally, when it came time to unload the truck in the new house, I wish we had been more organized having one designated person standing at the front door, being a traffic coordinator directing where to put each and every box. (Me, it should’ve been me, but I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off doing god knows what).

While the obvious boxes and items made it into the right places, but there were some larger boxes in storage we had packed previously that were NOT labeled obviously. (Which was our bad). I had told the crew to “just put the stuff from storage in the basement” without thinking through it and we ended up with a lot of stuff in the basement that belonged upstairs–which wouldn’t have happened if I had been standing there directing every box.

Just love everything about the beautiful chaos of this picture. The afternoon light, the boxes, the pizza, the old chandelier and how small our table looks in the new dining room. 😂 Also, they re-assembled all our furniture so quickly and carefully!

Overall experience with New City Moving:

SO OVERWHELMINGLY positive. Everything was handled with care, they were SO fast, yet detail oriented, and every person I interacted with from the company was warm, friendly, and genuinely cared about what they were doing. I can’t recommend them enough!

What I imagined being an incredibly long, stressful experience was not actually long at all, and WAY less stressful than I ever thought possible. And I cannot iterate this enough–having packers was absolutely life changing.

More FAQ’s about New City:

Do you have a promo code? I don’t have a promo code, BUT, they told me a great way to get a reduced rate and save on your moving expenses is to move mid-month and/or mid-week!

Can they move me from Chicago to a different state? Can I hire them if I live in a different state? They handle mainly Chicagoland but can move from Chicagoland as far west as Colorado. They do not handle fully out of state moves.

How much can I expect to pay for packers and/or movers? This varies WIDELY, but they provide free estimates! You can reach out to them here to set up a free estimate video call!

Do they have other services? Yes! They also offer storage. So, for example, if you want help packing but you need them to hold on to your stuff in between moves–they can do that!

What’s the best way to get in touch for an estimate? You can contact them through their website right here or call 866-352-2702!

If you’re planning an upcoming move and looking for a great moving and packing company, or you’re just looking for tips–I hope this post was helpful! HIRE NEW CITY ♥️ and happy moving! 🙌🏼