Every 2 years we have to make a "stay or move" decision. For some it's every year, which is even more excruciating. However easier it gets over time, it never gets easier on the bank account. Usually if you decide to stay, the landlord will ask for a bigger rent(Wolse or jeonse) - and whether you accept or not decides whether you move or not. It's not a fun game to play (no, it's not a game).
This experience is a year old - when we finally decided to move out of the apt that gave us so much agony (location, neighbors, noise, etc). We also lended the skills of professional movers to move us a few blocks down the road.
It costs us roughly $1400 to move a whole apartment with 5 or so movers (don't remember the exact head count now). To require that many people to move a less than 900 sq ft apartment shamed me. I couldn't believe I had so much stuff!
It is costly to move. Time consuming to say the least. How unnecessary things can pile up and take so much effort to move. I was housing things instead of the two of us! Oh the lessons.
My own petty lessons aside, I was pleasantly surprised at the job well done with the movers.
To describe the movers is like having a military of professional stunt actors do an action movie in 10 minutes. Nope, not literally though, but at the end of the day, I just felt like I was thrown in a hurricane and left at peace - moved to a new location.
They came in at 8am - emptied the house - loaded the huge truck by noon. Drove to our new apt down the road. We paid them for their lunch in cash which was not discussed - and some 30-40 minutes lunch break. By 3-4pm everything was unloaded and in place. My dishes were placed nicely by the nice ajumma. My 30some pots of plants all survived and were handled well. No damages. The only iffyness was having to pay for their lunch (50,000won or so) which I didn't know we had to do - but as told by our Korean friend that it's customary to either pay for their lunch or tip them at the end.
The apt was emptied. Stuff piled into the truck.
Good bye old apt.
We handled our kitties. They hid in the closet while the movers came in the new apt for the final placements.
As you can see, my plants were handled well. The details they took to lessen any damages surpassed our expectation. Every furniture piece was wrapped up in cloth and handled carefully.
Again, I couldn't believe I had so many things...
How did I end up piling all these things.
Never again I said to myself.
They installed our bamboo blinds and curtains. Pretty much anything to put the apt back together to what it was before was done.
I decided to shelve the shelf myself since I had so many knick knacks I wanted to get rid of.
After they left - we were so relieved to be done with the big move. It was our very first time hiring professional movers. The experience was overwhelming to say the least. They work so fast and hard. I understand how Korea built their country from nothing from war time to what they are now - by hardwork and sweat. I really appreciated the many lessons that day.
Had some early dinner after the move.
I reminisced how I started from a suitcase in Korea to having to hire movers to move a whole apt. I don't want to do that again.
Thankfully, after that ordeal, I haven't bought one single piece of furniture or any big home goods. We minimized our overall purchase (no bulk buys, emptying the fridge and pantry before buying more food, no new clothes..). We are still downsizing. Still ongoing.
I don't know why it had to take that much effort and man power to put me back to my place, but better now than never.
As for the prof movers in Korea - I would recommend them if you want to save effort and time - consider what's important to you. However, perhaps consider just getting rid of half of your things before moving. Maybe you'll only need a small truck or two for the job.
I certainly wouldn't want to do it again. It's not just the cost I want to spare, but the effort and time spent on moving stuff just doesn't seem all that of importance.