Moving out of my 22nd floor condo building apartment in downtown (Streeterville) Chicago to the far north suburbs of Illinois (Winthrop Harbor), with the estimated distance of just under 60 miles, thanks to a little basic research using Google Maps.
Details of the Moving (items, boxes, etc.):
-8 fully-loaded boxes containing clothes, linens, important books/documents, securely-wrapped kitchen ware (eg, glasses, plates) and small household appliances. The average size of the box was either 20x20x20 or 22x22x22.
-3 different sized tables including. I didn't get a chance to disassemble one of them thinking i'd just leave it behind. As for the other two, I took the time to disassemble the legs which I then tucked away underneath the table tops and taped securely in place, thinking I could try to make things easier for the movers by making the process as efficient as possible.
-4 pairs of neatly stacked chairs (total of 8 chairs, altogether).
-1 antique two-person sofa with a heavy-set wood frame that you simply can't take apart.
-1 queen-sized bed including mattress, box spring and frame (which I thought I'd also leave behind).
-2 blue storage bins loaded with cook ware and smaller electronics/portables
-some accessory items including a tall, long-standing light fixture and a vacuum which I thought about leaving behind as well.
-2 overly-filled open-top boxes with trash and garbage
-a wine rack and dresser which I actually donated to one of the building maintenance people instead of trashing it
Why I chose Apex over four top-rated professional moving companies that I researched about on yelp, google and from word of mouth:
Because I was a little pressed with time, I used Thumbtack for the first time and saw a few moving companies reach out to me with pretty reasoable offers.
For someone who has moved around quite often, I've learned to do whatever you can to make it easier for the movers from the time of pick-up to the actual drop-off. With that said, I don't always believe in hourly-paid services regardless of industry. There are those who milk the system, providing little service but know how to turn a profit. As a customer, I just wanted to keep it straightforward and honest.
I called around, asked for quotes and questioned exactly where each of my hard-earned dollar goes towards. I noticed most places charging hourly rates, sometimes sending over 2 or 3 people to do the job. I also noticed most places charging for 2 or 3-hour minimums. Expecting to pay at the very least, $250-375, I certainly couldn't see myself forking up anything over $650. That's just how it goes.
So, I tried my best to make the process very efficient, for my sake as a customer. I kept everything straightforward. I explained exactly in detail what I was moving, how many people I felt could get the job done effectively and what my price point was set at.
With that said, I also knew that it takes about 1 hour and 20 minutes in driving distance from downtown Chicago to Winthrop Harbor on a good day. To get the most value, I looked at ways to save time on the loading. I had the building manager assist by reserving the elevator to facilitate moving efforts. From the way I looked at it, I couldn't see this taking any longer than 4 hours at most including the driving itself.
So I reached out to Adam from Apex, explained my situation and asked about the $100 flat-fee for travel, which included the truck and the distance. I wanted to take advantage of that especially after other places were trying to mark up their prices by playing into the "well, there could be traffic..." and suggesting that it could take up to 5-7 hours, which I thought was a bit ridiculous.
When I called Apex, Adam realized that I wasn't messing around. I told him that I really didn't want to spend more than $500 or so. I also told him I didn't think 3 people would be necessary for the job. Realistically, I knew this would take probably 3.5-4 hours altogether so I wanted to be fair and said I'd be willing to pay $450 to get the job done. He was more than receptive to the idea especially even after I reminded him that I'd be fine with paying a little more if needed.
So I just finished up with the move-out today, which went better than I even expected. The two gentlemen had arrived at the loading dock, at least 15 minutes ahead, called me to inform me and even communicated with the building manager directly to coordinate the use of the elevator. These guys were very professional and even down-to-earth. We probably could've chatted for hours but we both realized how important it was not to waste each other's valuable time.
I felt awful for jam-packing boxes to full-capacity and asking if they could be kind enough to help with the last minute request in throwing the trash out. Even when I hesitated about taking the bed, the sofa and table, they were so encouraging and helpful, making it all work out. They even disassembled the bed frame and treated each and every item with care, which I appreciated.
The move itself took just about 4 hours. For the service they provided, it was definitely worth the $450. Everyone has been accommodating with any of my needs and requests. They're very professional and respectful. Most importantly, they were very open and honest, not worrying about getting the run-around that others would easily take advantage of.
Thank you again to everyone at Apex for all your help, making it such a painless move.
I would certainly recommend them to anyone looking for a trustworthy, hardworking moving company.
And if anyone truly wants to know that I am not fabricating my story, you can certainly reach out to me by email.