Packing + Moving In Japan: Yes, Please

Packing + Moving In Japan: Yes, Please

Tess Wilson
Mar 5, 2013

How long do you think it takes for you to move from one home to another? Not including a long drive, the organizing, wrapping, packing, cleaning, touching up paint, renting/returning a truck, loading/unloading the truck, unpacking, and rearranging can add up to many hours of heavy labor. How much would you pay for a service that did it all in one day, including cleaning each item before packing it?

Design Taxi recently featured a video put together by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs entitled "Moving In Japan". It shows teams of highly-trained movers carefully wiping down each object, packing everything in specially-designed boxes (for shoes, dishes, suits, etc.), cleaning the old apartment, moving everything into the new apartment, and arranging it to your exact specifications. That alone blew my mind, but there are so many little touches, too, such as putting up wall protectors during the moving process and wearing clean socks into the new apartment. Amazing! The cost of a move is between $535-$1,600, which seems like an utter bargain. As I live in a studio, I'm guessing my price would be in the lower end. If I, hypothetically, make $15/hour, that would put the price of the move at about 35 hours of my time, and I think it would take me quite a bit longer to do it all myself. And I hate moving.

If the service is as good as it's promoted to be, it's not just thoroughness and speed that you're paying for, but also peace of mind. Whenever I pack to move, I start out with bubble wrap and good intentions, but by the end of the seemingly endless process I'm wrapping precious ceramics in t-shirts and hoping the boxes I've scavenged hold together. Having specially-designed protective pouches designed for each item would make me breathe easier, as would the attitude of one of the movers interviewed: "We understand that your posessions are your life, and our goal is to handle them with the same care and respect that we show to you."

The only part of the process that didn't appeal to me was this: "Smaller items will be put away on exactly the same shelf as they were in your old apartment." For me, part of the appeal of a move is a fresh start, a chance to arrange things beautifully with clear eyes. Some of my things are where they are because I want them there, but many have just hung out in a certain spot so long I never notice them anymore. Or I actively dislike where they are, but I'm not sure what to do about it. A move would let me break bad habits, and keep things packed away that I want a break from. This is a tiny quibble, and it sounds like the Japanese moving services would have no problem with not putting everything back the way it was.

So, my fellow frequent-movers, would you sign up for a service like this? Would you go for it if it was half the price, or even if it was double the price? Those of you who have moved homes in Japan, is it really this good?

See the Video: Design Taxi

(Image: Screenshot from "Moving In Japan", via Design Taxi)

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