How to improve moving in a city

Hi All,
I am grad student at Philadelphia University looking for help from the interwebs. Next year I am working on my Masters Project. I am focusing on improving moving. Trying to make a move from apartment to apartment in a city easier. Right now I have been doing research by conducting interviews and observations of friends while they move, trying to find areas of opportunities. However, I hope to get more information.
I am wondering if people have any interesting insights from their moving experiences. Pictures, video, ideas or comments about what it was like moving and would want to improve.

John Pickard

If I understand you correctly, you are only focusing on moving within the city?
So, only short distance relocation?

Wish I had seen this a month ago, there’s always a mountain of tossed furniture outside our apartment at the end of April as all the students move out for the summer, I could have gotten you a picture.

Check out frogbox. Just used them. Great. Previously paid over $600 for boxes and packing alone and rented frogboxes (reuseable) plastic boxes and were awesome. Flat rate, delivery and pickup and easily can extend for more time if you aren’t ready for pickup (haven’t unpacked yet). I delayed pickup by 4 weeks and still cheaper than a previous move even while selling (hassle) used boxes on Craigslist.


Ya pretty much. I have talked to some people that have moved within Philadelphpa a couple of times , up to five in some cases, or came from another major city. They might only go 10 miles to a new home but it can be a real pain in the older American cities. Lots of narrow spaces and houses that where split into apartments at some point, making layouts really hard to navigate with a couch. Even the small roads that where made for horse and carriages can pose interesting problems.
Trying to find more nimble solutions.

Can you narrow down your focus? Are you looking at stuff like moving boxes and dollies or moving trucks or furniture? Open ended is good but too open can be difficult.


you are very right. I am looking at furniture. I am thinking it should either brake down or go tougher in a different configuration so it is easy to carry or can be used to as moving box. A desk is a desk till moving day then it becomes a storage container for kitchen supplies. Those are my two early ideas of where I want to go.

I dunno. How often do people move that they would compromise on design or function just to pack it up? Maybe if it was for students perhaps.


Well the idea is not to compromise, and thats my goal. Design an object that has a high quality of form/function and can be broken down for moving. I have also found that people, early 20s to mid 30s, move often enough that they wish their couch or bookcase was “not so annoying” to own. Those people want more flexibility in their life without it looking like a college dorm, which I think can be achieved.

I dont think people move as often as you think in general and think it is more a student or maybe recent grad thing. Once you get beyond that you can hire a mover or someone else is paying for it and want good furniture, easy move be dammed. There will always be something you own that isn’t easy to move. I’ve moved 5 times in 10 years since graduating. Someone else paid for 2 of those, internationally.

I’ve got things that are almost impossible to move, but I’ve never though once about it when buying something.


So I think you are both right and wrong. You are right that are people that can afford movers and don’t think about their furniture purchases in terms of the next move. They are a small group and not the demographic I am looking at.
However, there are many people who will never hire a moving service till later in life. Moving men are very expensive and why hire them if you are physically capable of doing it yourself . These same people , college grads or not, do not have “professional” jobs and need to move often, either for personal reasons, a new job, or raising rent prices. In major cities, lots of them do not have cars, making a choice of where they live very important. They need be close to work or public transportation and if that chances so does where they live.
This demographic also no longer cares about , or does not see it as a goal, to own a house and don’t expect to have the same job for more then 5 years. Flexibility is going to be an important choice for people.
Easy to move objects can be a value add for any smart brander or marketing person to sale. Especially if the design does not look and feel like a dorm room. Finding new market opportunities and solveing problems is the fun part of being a designer .

I’d have to see some more research/data on your position to believe it. I think perhaps you are looking at thing from a student perspective which is a lot different than the normal population. You may move 5x in 5 years while at school, but most people after they graduate and settle down (1-2 moves) they don’t move that often.

If your target is students or recent grads, OK, but the general population isn’t as nomadic as you think and moving isn’t that big an issue, or something people think about when buying furniture. If it was, there would for sure be at least some solutions on the market to address it.

If you move that often, chances are you don’t own much stuff.


For the last 14 years I’ve averaged a move every 2.5.

The biggest thing I’ve learned, hire professional movers and even packers if you can. they get it done in a day and are worth every penny in stress reduction and saved hours.

+1…My wife and I just bought a new house. We are moving out of a condo which we have lived in for 7 years. We rented a POD thinking “hey it gives us time to pack it and they will store it an deliver it when we need them to.” Man was it a pain in the ass. I never knew the amount of crap one accumulates in a 7 year period. Also I packed that POD the best I could, just hope nothing comes out broken. :open_mouth:


Nevermind furniture. I’ve moved about +3500lbs of books/magazines from Canada to Denmark and back and then in and out of my loft 3 times in the past 6 years! That’s way worse than any big awkward furniture (which I also have a lot of).


Ya books seem to be a major hassle,no matter how much I want a huge library. I have been thinking of a way that bookcases themselves can help to manage book moving. I always think about what books I really want to take with me.

PODs. Thats a really interesting point. Halfway between a mover and doing it yourself. Something I will have to look into for sure.

overtime we move the movers look at our books and let a huge sigh… no way around all that weight.