I’ve gotten an influx of messages about moving recently and since I’m not checking my DMs regularly, I figured I’d spell everything out here in case you’ve got a move coming up! I’ve only moved twice in the five years I’ve lived in Chicago, but I’ve got two companies that I loved using, and one that was an absolute disaster that I can share from personal experience. I also did a poll on Instagram earlier this year and have all of the recommendations for great moving companies, so hopefully this helps!
Reusable Moving Bins
RediBox is the GOAT when it comes to moving “boxes.” I used their bins when I moved from the Gold Coast to Bucktown and made a vow to only ever move with reusable bins from here on out! Not only is it an eco-friendly moving solution, but it really forces you to pack and unpack quickly, which I love. I’m not one of those long drawn out moving kind of people where you pack a couple of boxes a week for a month. I hate to live in a state of chaos, so I take more of a wam bam thank you ma’am approach.
RediBox gives you a standard two-week window, so I chose to have them delivered ~a week before my move date, and scheduled the pickup for ~a week after. Of course, you can add on more weeks if you need more time, but as I mentioned, I prefer to just get it over with! Both delivery and pick-up were exactly on time, too.
The bins are also DURABLE! Gone are the days of overpacking, boxes breaking, etc. You can load these suckers up without the fear of them giving out and everything getting ruined! The lids interlock on the top so no tape to worry about, and they give you labels to sick on the boxes to know what’s inside and where everything goes. And they stack easily on the rollers, too!
I did the 45 boxes option, and it was perfect. I also packed all of my clothes in them (on the hangers) so I didn’t have to mess with wardrobe boxes! I just did a little foldover method that was totally fine… My clothes were the last thing I packed and the first thing I unpacked so wrinkles weren’t really an issue!
I truly cannot say enough good things about my experience with RediBox! I’ve raved about them to everyone I know, and I know a lot of you remember when I moved with them because I still get a ton of questions on IG about them. Same answer every time… You will not be disappointed! I don’t have a discount code or anything, but they’re honestly cheaper than regular boxes.
Moving + Storage
Since majority of my belongings were going into storage for two months this summer, it took me a while to figure out what the heck I was going to do. Do I get a regular storage unit and schedule a moving company twice? I had seen horror stories about storage units getting broken into and, as we all know, movers are expensive (especially in the summer!), so I started looking into other options.
I looked into Clutter, and actually booked a reservation with them, before I found MakeSpace. I think my Clutter quote was around $900 for pick-up, drop-off, and two months of storage, which was cheaper than a storage unit and two sets of movers. Perfect!
I then checked the MakeSpace rates just to see and OMFG it was SO CHEAP. Literally a fraction of that… Basically the equivalent of one set of movers for pick-up, storage for three months (they have a three month minimum), and drop off. Your first pickup is free, so they literally picked up my entire apartment FOR F-R-E-E and I’m paying $200/month for storage. Honestly, even the day of the move, I was waiting for “a catch,” but there wasn’t one. I’m still shook by it, tbh! 😂
You schedule pickup and drop off appointments right from the app, and you can see all of your inventory and schedule to have anything dropped off within a few days. Even if you aren’t moving, it’s such a nice city storage solution, especially if you don’t have a car. Skis and ski clothes, golf clubs, holiday decor, suitcases, off season clothing, things that are taking up valuable space in your apartment, but you don’t want to get rid of, etc. I think I’m going to keep a smaller unit even after they drop everything off at my new place just to get it out of my hair!
They also drop off green bins or these reusable totes (pictured above) that go in the bins, so again, packing was a breeze. They disassembled my bed and wrapped all of my furniture, too!
The only thing is that MakeSpace doesn’t REASSEMBLE any furniture! So I’ll have to get a Task Rabbit on the day of my move to put my bed together, but that’s easy. They also don’t store any liquids or food items. So I had to bring all of my extra cleaning supplies, beauty products, and pantry things with me to my friends place. Not a big deal at all, but worth noting.
(PS: You can save $10 on your first Task Rabbit with my link!)
2022 UPDATE: MakeSpace has now merged with Clutter! I continued to use MakeSpace for my storage needs even after I moved into my new apartment and now all of my storage items are with Clutter. We’re planning on keeping our storage once we move into our new condo, too! It’s just so nice to keep ski gear and Christmas decorations and sentimental items that will one day be stored in a basement out of our places in the city. And my storage bill is only $47/month. Highly recommend!
You can use my code X7WKM7 to save up to $100 for storage and/or moving!
The Worst Moving Company
Does it surprise you that a company called “Johnny on the Move” was the worst ever?! A few of their emails said “Too Extreme Movers” so beware of that, too. I quickly learned that end of June / beginning of July is the busiest move date in Chicago. (Yet another huge plus of my little Summer Sabbatical… I will finally be on a more favorable lease cycle! 🙏🏻) Back when I was moving from the Gold Coast to Bucktown, I tried to book my move a month out (which I thought was normal?!) but NO. All of the recommended companies were booked! I was even trying to move during the week, not on the weekend, and still had to go with a small company. “How bad could they be,” I thought… BAD.
I was supposed to move on a Thursday afternoon, and they kept pushing back on me until they cancelled and told me they’d have to come back on Friday morning. That would have been fine if I wasn’t a bridesmaid in my best friend’s wedding the next day… I didn’t have a choice though, so they assured me that they would be there first thing in the morning because I was the first move and they couldn’t be late. Naturally, they were over an hour late. The guys were really nice, but they took their sweet ass time at both apartments and it ended up costing a few hundred dollars more than I was quoted. Not to mention, I was basically having a panic attack the entire day (this was pre-meds) and had to go to the rehearsal dinner with wet hair and no makeup on. Complete shit show!
Oh, and Jacqueline in their office never returned any of my calls or emails to get any discounted price for all of their f*ck ups. 🙃 So beware of Jonatan Arroyo, no matter what moving company name he’s using.
Recommended Moving Companies
Here’s a list of the most recommended moving companies (in order) from my Instagram followers…
Hope this helps! Happy to answer any questions in the comments or via email. xx