It takes a village to pack a house into a truck

Columnist Jen Koski says that village is the reason they'll make the trip back to Rochester time and time and time again.

Jen's World - Jennifer Koski column sig
We are part of The Trust Project.

When my husband Jay and I decided to move to Bemidji, there were two things we decided early on.

One was that we would come back to visit Rochester frequently. It was the only contingency upon which we made the house offer: We’d keep our Rochester family as close at hand as they are at heart.

The second thing was that we would hire professional movers this time. Gone, we decided, were the days of lifting boxes and heaving cabinets and filling trucks by the labor of our own calloused hands.

“We’re not 25 anymore,” we said. “We’ve earned this.”

“We can’t ask our 50-year-old friends to move furniture for pizza and beer anymore,” we said.


“I don’t care what it costs,” we said. “It will be worth it to have someone else load up the truck and haul our stuff away.”

And then we got a quote from a professional moving company. And found out that maybe we did care what it costs. Because what it costs is more or less the price of our first house.

OK, so I exaggerate. But that’s what it felt like when we got the quote. Because – as it turns out — renting a 26-foot truck and moving ourselves to Bemidji, instead, would save us $6,500. As in Six. Thousand. Five. Hundred. Dollars.

Which is why we found ourselves asking our 50-year-old friends to help us move furniture and lift boxes for pizza and beer.

We did try to make it as painless as possible by spreading out the effort. We rented the truck for a full week, asking different friends for help over the course of several evenings.

I mean, we wanted to make sure we still had people who WANTED to see us when we returned to visit.

Most of our helper-friends knew what they were in for. Like Luke who offered to lend a hand before we even asked. And Ken, who stopped by after work to disassemble our office chairs and load them — and a bunch of other stuff — strategically onto the truck.

There were Juan and Erin and two of their kids who innocently asked when we could get together before the move … and still responded enthusiastically when I proposed a pizza-and-truck-loading night.


And then there were the unsuspecting friends — those who dropped in to see us off and unwittingly got roped into loading the truck.

Like Jodie and Brian who said they couldn’t stay because they had ice cream in the car. And then helped haul things into that truck anyway.

And Jenny and Mike, who ducked in to see us after their daughter’s cross-country meet … and ended up packing up our kitchen and moving our dining table up and over the stair railing and through a narrow door to get it out of the house.

They say it takes a village. And emptying our home into that 26-foot truck absolutely did. But I’ll tell you what. That village is the reason we'll make the trip back to Rochester time and time and time again.

Jennifer Koski is associate editor at Rochester Magazine. Her column appears Tuesdays. Send comments to .

What to read next
"We pull in, and we're the small-town library. So, we know what's happening in the community. They value us," said Rochester Bookmobile librarian Margie Brumm.
Highlights of events in 1997, 1972, 1947 and 1922.
For the fifth year, Agweek reporter Mikkel Pates reprises his Flags On Farms feature for Independence Day, featuring flags of the United States on farms and agribusinesses in the region. This year, our featured vignette is from a former grain elevator at Andover, South Dakota, with a 30-by-60 foot U.S. flag painted on it.
Highlights of events in 1997, 1972, 1947 and 1922.