Horrible Moving Stories That Will Make You Cringe

September 1 is right around the corner, which means we’ve got cardboard boxes on the brain. And while we may have spent much of the summer divided over the pronunciation of La Croix, there is still one thing we all can agree on: moving sucks.

Regardless of how excited you are to decorate a new place, the process of moving is terrible. It doesn’t matter how organized you are or how much planning you do, something will break, someone will cry, and it will always take longer (and cost more) than anticipated.

And hating moving is almost universal; it seems like everyone has experience with a move-gone-wrong, whether they relocated across the street or across the country. From bug-infested apartments to plans ruined by the Pope, these stories made us feel like our single box of broken dishes is NBD. Take a look through our round-up of moving horror stories — if you’re moving this fall, take notes. And if you’re one of the lucky ones staying put, take pity.

Moving is the worst. And the best. It can signal a fresh start or a devastating end. Whatever your style, wherever you settle, at the end of day, the most important thing is you find a place to call home. Check out more from our Get The F Out moving package here.


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1 of 10
Illustrated by Mallory Heyer.
"My boyfriend and I hired a really cheap moving company off of Craigslist that charged hourly with the promise they could move our apartment in two hours. When they pulled up, instead of a U-Haul, it was just two guys and a cargo van. They proceeded to fit 90% of our apartment into the van like a game of Tetris. Impressive, but it took forever! The next day we had to go back to the apartment and move the last 10% of our belongings, which included an extremely heavy air conditioner. My boyfriend then proceeded to move everything outside onto the sidewalk, with me on guard frantically trying to find an Uber, but the drivers wouldn’t take us because they were afraid the air conditioner would leak. So I downloaded an app called Gett that allows you to select the size of the car you want. I frantically booked the largest one, and luckily, the driver helped us load everything. We gave him a really hefty tip. My advice? Pay for a legit moving company."
2 of 10
Illustrated by Mallory Heyer.
"On move-in day, I got to the apartment with everything I own to find that the previous tenants had left a ton of stuff and hadn't even bothered to clean. There were two keyboards in my bedroom and the creepiest devil/ram clay sculpture in the closet. The apartment itself was filthy, and when we moved the fridge, we found an empty rat trap box with a ton of rat poop around it. Our landlord called his cleaning lady, who came into the apartment and looked at the place, looked at me, and screamed at the top of her lungs, 'GET OUT!' The landlord escorted her quickly away from us, telling us she could be a little crazy, and he had another plan. He ran out, then came back five minutes later with this a woman he said he found on the street to help clean the apartment. Five hours later, we were finally able to start moving in."
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3 of 10
Illustrated by Mallory Heyer.
"I had a paper due at midnight, a 6 a.m. flight the next day, and had only begun packing around 9 p.m. All of my clothes had to fit into one checked bag and two carry-ons. My boyfriend offered to help, which meant throwing out about 75% of my possessions as I frantically finished my assignment. Let's just say that the guys living in the alley behind our apartment scored a new bed, clothes, and a few Coach bags to give to their girlfriends."
4 of 10
Illustrated by Mallory Heyer.
"I was moving into a sublet in a seriously baller Soho loft. While our new apartment was the biggest I've ever seen in Manhattan (an actual quarter of a city block), the stairwells were winding and narrow, the kind that can really only accommodate a one-way flow of traffic. My mom and I were hauling some of the final boxes upstairs, when I heard some people coming down. I sighed deeply, anticipating the awkward squeeze that was to follow. I tried to adjust my box to the side — to stay in my hallway lane, so to speak — but it started to slip when the group came into view. Immediately, the actor Adrien Brody reached out his hand to spot the tilting box. 'You got it?' he asked. I hefted the box, grunt-garbled an answer, and squeezed my body past him. 'Yeah, you got it.' He moved down the stairs and past my mom, who practically shouted, 'Yeah, she does! Thanks, Adrien Brody!' He can definitely help me move any time!"
5 of 10
Illustrated by Mallory Heyer.
"Two years ago, I hired a moving company to relocate apartments. I noticed one of the movers was staring at me longer than was comfortable, but tried to shake off the feeling. Fast forward to a few weeks later, when I got a drunk-sounding text: 'Hello, it's _____ from _____ Movers. Might be odd times, but would you like drink with me sometime?' The guy had copied down my number from the invoice and texted me to ask me on a date! I promptly blocked the number, alerted the company, and never used that moving service again. My biggest regret is tipping that sleezebag."
6 of 10
Illustrated by Mallory Heyer.
"I was so excited to move to an apartment in a brand new building in downtown Brooklyn with my boyfriend. A few days before moving in, I got a call that the building had failed inspection, delaying the move. Luckily, management would pay for us to stay at a hotel nearby, since I needed to be out of my current apartment on that date. Then, on the new move-in date, the Pope was in town, so all the streets around the new building were closed to traffic, and it would be impossible for my boyfriend and I to access the apartment. Finally, the building was ready (and the streets were clear!), but we had planned to travel to Maine for a wedding! My boyfriend and I have a cat, and the last thing I wanted to do was move everything, then leave the cat for a few days in a new, unfamiliar environment. Management was amazingly sympathetic: They paid for just our cat to stay at the hotel before we (finally!) got back and were (finally!) able to move."
7 of 10
Illustrated by Mallory Heyer.
"When I was moving into my current apartment, I decided to use Uber instead of an official moving company. It ended up taking three trips in an Uber SUV to do it. On our last round trip, my Uber driver came upstairs to help me move my bookshelf. Service at its finest!"
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8 of 10
Illustrated by Mallory Heyer.
"When I was moving between apartments, I called a company with good Yelp reviews. I had booked two guys and one van, but only one guy showed up, which meant I had to assist bringing all my furniture down two flights of stairs. When we were finally done with the move, my mover asked what I was doing with the rest of the day. I told him I wasn't planning on anything and he asked me if I could help him on his next three jobs! FYI: I am only 5-foot-3 and have never counted strength as one of my attributes. But I agreed! I helped move a couch out of a Park Slope apartment, cleared out a storage unit for a couple, and ended the day moving a woman to Cobble Hill from the Upper West Side. I earned $125 and I actually used the company again on my next move! When I called to book, they were like, 'That was you? We heard about you!' Just call me a moving legend."
9 of 10
Illustrated by Mallory Heyer.
"As I was taking down all the cabinets in the kitchen on moving day, I found a hole in the wall...with a MILLION BUGS NESTING INSIDE. It was horrifying, and I'm still having nightmares."
10 of 10
Illustrated by Mallory Heyer.
"After a never-ending apartment search, I was thrilled to find a one-bedroom I loved. I was also thrilled that my boyfriend and mom agreed to help me move, so I didn't have to pay for movers. While the move was low-key (luckily, we weren't the people who backed the UHaul out of the storage facility and directly into a parked car) it was definitely hilarious to watch my boyfriend navigate the complicated Brooklyn streets while my mom watched from the back of the truck. When we finally got all moved in, the only place in the apartment to sit was my bed. As the three of us climbed underneath the covers, cracked open a six-pack, and vegged out in front of a Bob Dylan documentary I realized my boyfriend was definitely going to become my husband. Anyone who's comfortable hanging in bed with me and my mom is definitely a keeper!"
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