A Guide To Elevator Moves

If you listed that your move involves one or more elevators, you may have gotten an estimate that seemed a bit high. Your first thought may be, “shouldn’t my move go faster because of my elevator?” That could be true! The tricky thing about quoting elevator moves is that we take into consideration our various experiences with elevator moves. These range from really easy elevator experiences, to some challenging ones. Before sharing some of our stories, we’ll get right to the point in this blog post.


In Chicago, elevators range in all shapes and sizes. Some elevators allow us to pack half of someone’s apartment in them (typically freight elevators) while other elevators require us to take a trip for every large item. For example, an elevator might only fit a bed in one trip or can fit a bed plus smaller boxes or items.

In the case of smaller elevators, we typically calculate .5-1.5 elevator trips for your larger items.

Some freight elevators are so small that they only fit boxes, while the rest of the larger items have to be brought up via stairs (which then qualifies as a move with a “walk-up”).

Elevator Availability Varies By Client

Additionally, we know that the possibility of reserving the elevator also varies by client.

By this, we mean that we know some elevators can not be reserved – and our team has to catch the elevator whenever it is empty. This causes significant delays for our crew and is one of the reasons why we prefer to have a third mover on elevator moves.

Of course, moves where elevators can be reserved means a smoother move for our clients.

Even if it doesn’t seem usual for your building, it’s always a good idea to talk to your property manager about the potential of reserving your elevator.


If you are able to guarantee an elevator reservation time, please let our team know immediately.

We typically offer moving slots that begin at 8 am-9 am or 2 pm-3 pm. However, if your elevator reservation falls outside of this time, our team should be informed ASAP.

If your ending location is the only location with an elevator reservation time, please do not book your moving time slot at the same time as the ending elevator reservation time. It takes time to properly wrap your items, load the truck, and transport your items to the final location.

Our team is always more than happy you create a plan around your elevator reservation.

The “Walk/Carry” on Elevator Moves

In our estimates for elevator moves, we provide a wide gap for the Potential Additional Time that a move could take. This is to take into account our experience regarding the average distance and time it takes to get from truck to elevator to apartment door (per trip).

As an example, some elevator moves require us to park on the street/alley and move items through an underground garage before getting to an elevator.

Other moves require us to walk down a whole hallway to the elevator, then another full hallway to get to the loading dock.

For these reasons, we ask clients to confirm their walk/carry in their estimate form.

Building Rules & Regulations

Typically, buildings with elevators have leases that require a set of rules to be followed during your move-in and move-out process.

If your property management requires a Certificate of Insurance (COI) for your move by your moving company, please let our team know ahead of time. A COI request must uniquely list your building’s information (address, contact information, the insurance limitations). For reference, our COIs covers up to $1mil in general liability.

We are more than happy to input specific rules about elevator usage, point of contact duirng the move (i.e. security), and loading dock informationcan in your form. You can also let your team lead know the day of your move.

To Recap

To Recap

Because elevator moves vary so drastically from client to client, here are the steps you can take to ensure the team at A Move To Remember is fully informed for your elevator move:

  • The reservation time(s) of your move

  • If your elevator is public vs. private during your move

  • The proper walk/carry from truck to elevator to apartment door

  • Any difficulties you may have had in your move-in (including items that did not fit in your elevator)

  • Any items that may require disassembly in order to be able to move it out of your space

  • Any property management rules around your move (including COI requests)

Above anything, we would love if you could do a self-completed walkthrough for us to make sure we are estimating your elevator move correctly, and have a game plan for your move.


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