Getting a Move On

Apartment hunting can be a thrill, but packing up and moving out rarely is. While moving provides an opportunity to start anew, it also makes it painfully obvious just how much stuff you own–and how much it weighs. Rather than schlep your mattress up to a fourth-floor walk-up with your mother like I did, you might want to call in the experts.

There are lots of independent movers on the South Side. Degrees of experience, types of equipment, and price ranges vary. Many movers post listings on Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace, and some still put up flyers around town. Before picking a moving company, assess how many boxes you have, how far you’re going, how much work you’re willing to do yourself, and approximately how fragile or precious your possessions are.

If lack of manpower is your biggest problem, you can hire a couple of members of the University of Chicago crew team. As part of the UofC Crew Rent-a-Rower fundraising program, rowers provide muscle to those of us who don’t practice erging on a regular basis. For $20 an hour plus the cost of transportation, you will get two rowers to pack, lift, and move your things (all proceeds go to the general operating budget for the team). However, the rowers do not routinely have a vehicle at their disposal, so if you’re moving across town, you might have to rent a U-Haul. Currently, the Rent-a-Rower program is not fully operational during UofC’s summer break. Check out their website at or e-mail your request to

For larger moves, there are several professional movers with vehicles of their own. Joshua Ray Jones is one such mover. Jones graduated from the UofC with a degree in mathematics in 2007, and has been working as a mover since he was a broke college student. He has a ’96 Ford F150 pick-up, which, though in need of repairs at the time this issue went to print, should be able to get your things from point A to point B sometime soon. Jones has many major moving tools, including blankets, a dolly, and tools, though his truck bed is uncovered. Working almost exclusively within Hyde Park, Jones caters to students and others affiliated with the University. His rates are adjusted according to driving distance, flights of stairs, and quantity of boxes, but generally, the cost is $50 per hour to move one person from one apartment to the next, or $85 per hour for two people. Exceeding the time limit agreed upon prior to the move will mean paying overtime: $80 per hour for one person or $120 per hour for two. Get in touch with Josh at (773)603-3833 or

Chris Hudson offers an economical alternative for those with less to transport. A Hyde Park native, Hudson has operated his own moving service for the past year. He drives a station wagon and charges less than most major moving companies–a good choice for students with just a few boxes or a mattress to move. Rates vary according to distance and difficulty of the move, but if only one mover is required, the rate is $35 per hour. For bigger jobs that require two workers, the rate will increase to roughly $60 per hour. Contact Chris at (773)668-7381 or

Moving can be a drag. But hiring someone to do the heavy lifting will help you conserve your energy so you can prepare for the imminent task of unpacking your book collection and trying to decipher the IKEA directions for your futon.