As a follow-up to our previous post on a recently divorced client, we wanted to share some more stories from the moving industry. These stories are from different movers, all with diverse backgrounds and experiences. But they all have one thing they can relate to a passion for helping people move.
Anything Can Happen
As someone who has worked in the moving industry for many years, I’ve seen a lot of things. I’ve seen people move all across the country, and I’ve seen people move just down the street. I’ve seen people who were prepared, and I’ve seen utterly unprepared people. I’ve seen people who were excited about their move, and I’ve seen people who were dreading it.
One thing that I’ve learned is that there is no such thing as a perfect move. There will always be even a 1% chance that something might go wrong, whether it’s a broken dish or a lost box. The key is not to let the little things ruin your move and to focus on the positive.
A Few Stories From The Moving Industry
Here are some stories from my years in the moving industry:
Ashes To Ashes
The time a family hired us to move their entire house locally from one part of Denver to another, only to realize at the last minute that they had forgotten to pack an urn containing the clients’ grandfathers ashes. We had to drive several miles back to their old house to get the urn and then head back to their new home. The family was so grateful that we went above and beyond to make sure their family “heirloom” was safe and sound.
Playing Furniture Tetris
When a customer’s furniture didn’t fit in their new home, we had to rearrange everything on the truck until it all fit. It was a bit of a puzzle, but we got it done, and the customer was delighted.
Doorway To Disaster
The time a customer’s armchair bumped into the doorway as we were moving it, causing a scratch in the wood. The armchair was fine since we had blanketed and padded it like an Egyptian mummy. We took care of the cost of repairing the doorway, and the customer was pleased.
Making Music With Movers
One time, we had to move an enormous piano from one house to another. The problem was, the new house didn’t have a piano room. So, we had to move it through the front door and into the living room. It was quite a sight! We had to unpack the piano in the middle of the living room and place it next to the TV. It was a lot of work, but it didn’t look out of place! We had to measure the space to ensure it would fit, and then we started assembling it. It was a bit challenging, but we succeeded in doing it. Now the piano is right in the middle of the living room.
Lifting Office Morale (And Printers)
Another time, we had to move an entire office from one building in Denver to another in Parker. The office was packed up and ready to go, but the new building didn’t have an elevator. So, we had to carry all the furniture and boxes down a flight of stairs. It was quite a workout! I learned that day that moving a giant office printer up a stairwell can be very hard.
It took four people to carry it up the stairs, which was very difficult to navigate. The printer was what you would expect from any office, so you can already imagine it was cumbersome, and it was hard to keep it from slipping. We were all exhausted when we reached the top of the stairs. I slept well that night!
Carrying Heavy Items Can Be Far From Safe
We’ve also had to move some weighty and awkward items, like safes and gun cabinets. We first tried to move the gun safe down the stairs using a dolly, but it was too heavy for us to lift. We then tried to use ropes to pull it down, but that didn’t work either. Finally, we could get it down the stairs by using a lot of manpower (it took three of us) and by taking our time.
We advised the client to keep his safe at ground level in the future. Even though it was a lot of work, it was worth it in the end because we could keep the client’s gun safe!
Let The Elevator Do The Lifting
It was a hot day, and the crew was moving one of the larger pieces of furniture. The guys were sweating and struggling to get the heavy piece up the stairs. Halfway up, the client informed us that there was a service elevator that we could have used. We didn’t know about that because none of us had been made aware of the elevator until that point! It was one of those situations where you’d cry if you didn’t laugh.
Moving Is Hard Work, Not Just For The Client
I remember the first time I started working in the moving industry. I was fresh out of college and excited to begin my new career. Little was I to know it would prove to be one of the most challenging jobs I’ve ever had. Moving is hard work, and it’s not for everyone. It’s a daily physical challenge, and you can’t afford to be out of shape, which is why it’s really a younger man’s job.
What’s In The Box?
One time, we were moving a family into their new home. Once we arrived at their destination city, we had to move the client’s belongings from our long-distance semi-trailer to a smaller rented box truck because they lived in a part of town where semi-trailers cant navigate.
We arrived at their home and had just finished unloading their belongings when we realized that we had left one of their boxes in the semi-trailer. We drove back to retrieve it, only to realize that it was empty! Needless to say, we were panicking.
Then we received a call from the client who told us that their son had made up one of the boxes himself back at the pickup location and didn’t put anything in it – he just wanted to have some fun and assemble a box to feel like he helped out. I almost died from relief!
A Spider In The Truck
I’ve seen a lot of surreal things during my years in the moving industry. But one of the most unknown was when we had to move a family’s deceased pet spider. We do not transport any living creatures even on local moves, and we were weary about moving expired creatures too. But this giant tropical spider has been preserved and sealed in a glass container, like a mausoleum.
We had to be cautious so as not to damage the container, and it was a bit scary knowing there was a spider inside, even if it was long dead!
Word of advice from this guy: if you want a pet, buy a dog or a cat. And when it passes away, bury it.
Toys 4 U
One time, we were moving a family from one home to another. We had already loaded all of their belongings into the truck and were just about to leave when the husband came running out of the house with a slinky in his hand. An actual slinky toy like the kind you push down the stairs. He told us that his son had left it behind and he wanted us to take it with us. We hadn’t a clue what to say to that, so we just loaded it into the truck and delivered it to the new house.
I (Don’t) Got The Power!
Another time, we were moving with a family who had just bought a brand new house. We arrived at the new home and started unloading their belongings when we realized that there was no electricity or water active in the place yet. The previous owners had turned it off, but the new owners hadn’t turned it on yet. We had to stop work for a while and wait for the utility companies to turn on the power and water.
It was a long day, but we finally got everything moved in and set up for the family. They were very grateful, and we were just happy that we could help them out.
Grand Piano, Petite Door
One of my funniest stories happened when I worked for a company specializing in moving pianos. We were moving a grand piano from one home to another, and when we got there, we realized that there was no way to get it inside. The front door was too small! We ended up having to take the entire front porch off of the house in order to get the piano inside. The homeowners were not happy, but we got the job done.
A Strange Request
One time, we were moving a family, and they had a lot of strange requests. They wanted us to move their furniture in a particular order, and they wanted us to put plastic sheeting down everywhere before we started moving anything. We thought it was odd, but we did as they asked.
They had just bought a new puppy and feared that he would mess up the house if we didn’t put the sheeting down. We thought it was a bit over-the-top, but we appreciate their thinking ahead!
Did I Need To Tell You Everything?
One day we arrived at a pickup job to help move a client out of state. We had been hired to move their belongings and expected a standard job. But when we got there, we realized they had a lot more than just furniture and a dozen boxes. They had an entire basement filled with boxes and junk!
Most of the stuff we saw was not listed in the quote our moving coordinator had created with the client. So we called the coordinator first to see if he knew anything about all these extra boxes and stuff. He swore on his Pink Floyd collection that he took down everything that the client told him was moving. I believed him because why would he screw himself out of a larger commission?
In the end, our foremen had to confront the client and tell him that it looked like he had not given us the whole story regarding what was moving, which was why the quote suddenly doubled. I’ll never forget what he told us: “Well, I didn’t think I had to tell you everything!!”
One time, we were moving a family who had a Pomeranian dog. The dog was really anxious and kept barking at everyone. Then, when we were carrying the oversized couch out to the truck, the dog ran after us, leaped onto the sofa, and got wedged under the moving blankets. We had to take the blanketing off the sofa to get the dog out!
The family was apologetic, but we assured them it was no problem. We’ve had to deal with much worse!
A Tricky Situation
We were moving a family who had a lot of very valuable antiques. One of the pieces was an antique vase that was worth a lot of money. The family was very worried about it and asked us to be extra careful with it. We put it in a special box and wrapped it carefully so it wouldn’t get damaged.
Then, when we moved it, we realized that the box was too big to fit through the door. We had to take the vase out of the box and carry it separately. It was a bit of a tricky situation, but we managed to get everything moved without any problems.
Never A Dull Moving Moment
Working in the moving industry can be challenging, but it can also be rewarding. It’s a job that requires strength, stamina, and sometimes even a sense of humor. I’ve seen a lot of curious things during my years in the business, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. These stories are just a few of the many that I could share.
Continue to Stories From Our Long Distance Movers: Part Two