We Asked Local Moving Companies for Their Best Moving Stories
What do the Incredible Hulk, Boston Celtics, and Picasso have in common? They all play a part in some of these Boston-based moving companies' most memorable moving stories.
The best way to prepare for the physically and emotionally taxing feat of a move is to start packing ahead of time. The second best way, though, is to prep yourself for the best and worst case scenarios by reading about other people’s moving experiences.
In answer to the latter, we reached out to several local moving companies and asked for the inside scoop. What are their most memorable moves, and why? For those of us who have graduated to hiring a moving company, here’s a glimpse into what they experience every day. And if you’re not moving, well, just read these stories and thank your lucky stars.
The Printer Fit for a Horror Film
Charles (Conigliaro, owner of Small Haul) and I recently moved a 330-pound industrial printer up two flights of internal stairs. The weight was really not the issue, it was the fact that when we had to put it on its side to get it up the stairs, there were pockets of ink that had settled in the tubes and started to seep out. I cupped my hands to catch it, and we cleaned up the purple ink pretty quickly and checked all the cartridge holders—all clear.
Then we went to lift it again and all the purple ink came gushing out, covering me from head to toe. It was like the scene from Carrie—in purple. The customer was called up and she just shrugged and said, “Okay, can you still bring it up stairs?”
We laid down 12 pads, stuffed paper towels in each of the cartridge holes, stretch-wrapped the whole printer, and maneuvered it up the stairs. The printer was just bleeding ink from all the pockets—green, purple, pink—our socks were soaked, hands, legs, clothes a sopping mess. But we managed to get it up the stairs without getting ink on the carpet. We set it up, wiped it down, plugged it in, and it was up and running.
It has been two weeks and I still have purple under my fingernails.
—Azuraye Wycoff, Small Haul
The Boston Celtics Surprise
Late one night in mid-August 2017, we missed a call from a potential customer and the caller ID came up with the name of a Celtics player who had recently been traded—Avery Bradley. It was way past business hours, but Julius (co-owner of TOGM) shot back a text message and the potential customer responded that he was looking to move to the Midwest within the week. He was refreshingly down-to-earth, booking his own move rather than having a representative handle it, and chatting and running boxes with the guys on the Boston end.
He let us know that his agent would let the guys into the home in Michigan—a mansion he was renting, that was owned by another professional player—and that they were welcome to stick around after unloading and have a swim in the pool or play a game on the indoor basketball court. Our crew of movers are all basketball fans, including a few guys that are talented players themselves, and at that time we had a J1 Visa employee from Lithuania who played professionally in his home country. Well, he was one of the guys assigned to this move and we were psyched to be able to give him the experience of a lifetime: Meeting the Celtics player in person and playing a pick-up game at the home in Michigan.
—Jane Reilley-Hobert, The Other Guys Moving Company
The Casual Picasso Collector
We were once finishing up a “labor only” move, which is when folks move from one unit to another in the same building. We did a walkthrough with the client who found a small pile of picture frames in the bottom of a closet that still needed to go. As we were walking to the new apartment that client says, “Careful now, mind the Picasso,” and we chuckled, thinking it was a joke. It wasn’t. This guy just had a Picasso hanging out in his closet, no big deal. Thankfully the walk over concluded without incident.
—Chris Amaral, Safe Responsible Movers
The Moving Dolly Joy Ride
When I first started moving and before I started my company, I was sent out alone to help someone unload their van into a storage unit. I made short work of loading items into dollies, taking the elevator up to the fourth floor and packing the unit. The customer was very nice but also sad. She’d been having a tough time because her father, who normally would have helped her with this, had recently passed away. She’d also been in a car accident that hurt her back so she couldn’t even pick up a shoe box.
It was late in the day and there was nobody there but the customer, myself, and the person working at the dock. She turned to me and said, “I know this is an odd request, and I understand it’s on the clock, but I feel like I could really use some fun right now. Would you push me around on one of these carts? I’d just like to have a good laugh and forget about my troubles for five minutes.” Nobody was around and that place had big, long, wooden-planked hallways. It was an old building with old industrial carts. I asked how fast she wanted to go and she said, “As fast as you can.” We tore up and down, did laps, and made a real racket. It must have sounded crazy on the floor below. She had a great time, and so did I.
—Ezekiel Wheeler, Intelligent Labor and Moving
The Portable Grandma
There was a family we‘d moved a number of times, but on this particular occasion, they asked us to please move their grandmother’s room last because they wanted her to be able to rest in bed for the maximum amount of time. It was a big job, so we had three trucks to load up. We packed two and a half, and then we said, alright we have everything loaded now, we’re ready to get your grandmother’s room. And they said go ahead then—but she was still in bed. We moved everything out of her room, and she was just sitting in bed looking at us.
Then I went to the granddaughter and said, “Okay, everything’s out of room, but would you like us to move her bed? Because she’s still in bed.”
She said “yeah,” but there were no moves to get the grandmother out of the bed. Then they asked, “Is there any way you could move the bed with her in it? Just in the back of the truck is perfect, just put her in there, we’re only going a short distance.”
I told them, “Well no, because we’re going to have to turn the bed on its side to move it out of the room.”
“But you have all those straps, can’t you just strap her in the bed?” they said.
I said, “It’s actually against the law to move a live animal in a truck, let alone a human.” They were a little annoyed.
—Larry O’Toole, Gentle Giant Moving Company
The Avenger Cross-Country Transfer
Olympia Moving packs Waterford Crystal and moves Steinway pianos on a daily basis, but when our crew comes across something totally unique, they need to adapt and innovate. One of Olympia Moving’s clients is a collector of life-size fantasy, sci-fi, and horror memorabilia. The collection includes a mummy coffin, Yoda, and a Pumpkinhead statue. However, the most imposing piece is a nine-foot tall statue of The Incredible Hulk! Our team had to get creative to ensure the mythical strong man wouldn’t “Hulk smash” during the move.
The crew wrapped every inch of the statue in multiple layers of bubble wrap and moving pads and then built a little “room” for him in the back of the trailer using metal bars to ensure he wouldn’t shift while in transit to his new home almost 1,500 miles away. Hulk made it to the destination unscathed, and soon he will be joined by more superhero friends. The client said a primary reason for the move was to have more space to expand and exhibit his collection.
—Rachael Fischer Lyons, Olympia Moving and Storage