Small House Big World


Everything is Terrible. (a.k.a. – Moving Day!)

Anna Edgren • March 25, 2015

There comes a time in every couple’s relationship when two people must come together to mutually attack a difficult task and …things get real. Stress creeps in through small hidden cracks to fracture even the sturdiest foundation. 


Moving day is no exception. So I am proud to announce: We survived! There was only minimal door slamming and angry stomping, and the day ended with hugs all around. 

So this was our plan:
– Get up
– Get Uhaul
– Load Uhaul
– Clean out Apartment (vacuum, etc)
– Drive back to Uhaul place to get the tow dolly and car hooked up
– Excitedly drive away to Ann Arbor towing all of our worldly possessions behind us. 

And here’s how it went down:
After about 2 weeks of beautiful and temperate Chicago weather, we woke up to 2 inches of fresh snow on the ground. Neat.

2015-03-23 06.55.29

Kelly’s happy face.

As you can see in the photo, it’s still kind of dark. That’s because it is approximately 6:45 in the morning. We got up pretty damn early to get to the Uhaul place by 7:00am when they opened.  We decided to get up at this ungodly hour because we needed as much time as possible to load up, clean out the apartment, and drive all the way to Ann Arbor. Driving from Chicago to Ann Arbor in a normal car takes about 4 hours. Driving in a Uhaul with your car towing behind you unfortunately takes substantially longer. 

We got to the Uhaul place where we were promptly informed that they had no truck for us. Apparently the people who used the truck before had not brought it back yet. Wonderful! The only truck available in the Chicago area was down in the South Loop area, which was about a 40 minute drive from where we were up north. ONLY truck available you say? Yes, yes indeed. Well, guess that means its time to start driving.  No big deal, it’s just driving through downtown Chicago during Monday rush hour in a snow storm. Yesssss.

We hit the road, and it sucked, but we made it. It took about an hour. Bad, but not toooo bad.

The Uhaul place had a very "Chicago-y" feel to it.

The Uhaul place had a very Chicago feel to it.

We got the truck and drove back, through continuing rush hour traffic, to arrive home around 9:30am where we could begin loading it up. As tends to happen, the truck took much longer to load than anticipated. The fact that we got an additional 4 inches of snow whilst loading the truck certainly didn’t help. Then, in a hilarious turn of events, we were interrupted from our moving when the garbage men came down our alley and asked us to back up a bit so that they could reach the trash. We had the pleasure of personally watching our belongings be crushed to bits by a trash compactor! It was a little sad, a little cathartic, and tragically funny all at once.

Bye bye armoire! (And yes that man is smoking a cigar, he was very nice and very cool.)

Bye bye wardrobe! (And yes that man is smoking a cigar, he was very nice and very cool.)

Also, Kelly and I have been getting rid of heaps of stuff over the past few months and we felt like we had made some progress. WRONG. We have SO MUCH STUFF.  

Quit judging us, Rajah.

Quit judging us, Rajah.

We finished up around 2:00pm, but had to vacuum, and scrub, and discover various additional possessions all around the house that we were SURE weren’t there yesterday and “I SWEAR we packed this, how did it escape from it’s box?” …etc.

We finally got out of the house at around 3:30pm.  I turned wistfully and said: “Goodbye apartment!” while Kelly chimed in: “SEE YOU IN HELL!” (it was a nice apartment in some ways, but it was kind of a shit-hole in others). 

At least Max seemed a little sad.

At least Max seemed appropriately sad.

We then headed to the Uhaul place and got a little tutorial from a very nice man who showed us the ropes on how to hook up a tow-car. At the time, this seemed like an inconvenient delay in getting out of town, but in hindsight, this was a fantastic idea. We essentially got a free lesson on how to hook up a tow dolly and tow our car safely. It is really invaluable to have this type of hands-on lesson. 

At about 4:30pm – we were off! Yes, that’s right, we pulled off the impressive feat of hitting Chicago rush hour traffic not once but TWICE during our move. And I will say, towing my car behind a giant truck in a snowstorm was a bit unnerving. The whole towing process put me on edge and I was white-knuckling it for a bit as we made our way through town and onto the highway. 

A note about moving with the pets: We managed to squeeze 5 beings into the front seat of this Uhaul, which was no easy feat. 2 cats in their carrier, Kelly and I as driver and passenger, and then poor Max squished in the middle next to the kitties. He was so exhausted, he fell asleep sitting up on my shoulder. 

2015-03-23 18.29.17

Sleepy puppy time. 

Our ride to Ann Arbor was luckily uneventful. I did stop once to inspect the trailer because I thought it was making a funny noise. It turns out I am just paranoid (better safe than sorry I suppose). Unfortunately, at that time I also discovered that despite our towing instructions, I still managed to mess things up by leaving my car in the higher of its two “accessory” modes… meaning that by this time my car’s battery was well and truly dead. Whoops. Nothing to do but worry about that at a later time! 

We kept driving and finally arrived to my parents house just after 11:00pm. 



Luckily the parents were kind and understanding about us keeping them up so late. Celebrations were short-lived, however, as we then had to unload our plants so they wouldn’t freeze over night (just what I want to be doing at midnight…), along with our overnight bags.  

One thing I like to tell myself when I have a big, long, difficult day ahead of me is “remember that tonight, at some point, sooner or later, you will get to lie down and go to sleep and be done.” I find this to be comforting. So, the important part here is – we did finally get to sleep. And it was a glorious and exhausted sleep. 

The next day we jumped and revived my very dead car and got it off the tow dolly, then unloaded and returned the truck and trailer without incident. 

Next up: Getting the RV out of storage! 

movingtow cartowing a car

Anna Edgren • March 25, 2015

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  1. Sarah March 25, 2015 - 8:12 am Reply

    Oh em gee!! What a day, hahah. It was at least very entertaining to read about 🙂

  2. Doug Chartrand March 25, 2015 - 9:08 pm Reply

    Best post ever! Our moving day is coming up in a month or so – so this gives me a goal to shoot for!

    • Kelly Reid March 25, 2015 - 10:21 pm Reply

      Good luck! We got moved into the RV today, which was such a pleasure. Beautiful day in Michigan after the rain cleared off.

      Just remember what Anna said; no matter how tough the day is, you still get to go to sleep at the end.

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