Thursday, May 23, 2013

Moving in Korea

If you have been in Korea for more than a year you might find yourself having to move house.  Sometimes within a city and often times to a new city.  Moving is always a stressful time no matter what country you are in but Korea we have the added hurdle of language.  If you speak Korean then obviously you have a step up and can deal with this pretty easily but if you are like me with limited Korean it can be a challenge.

I recently had to move from Suwon to Ilsan, I was pretty worried about it all as my company were little to no help in the matter. I ended up only getting about two days notice from when I had to move, I was told on the Wednesday that my new apartment would be ready on Friday afternoon and I was expected to start work on the Tuesday but I had to go into the school on Monday to meet everyone and get my schedule.  So that did not give me much time to work with.

I did some research online and found a few companies that did moving. Many of them offer two services one is where they come in and pack your whole house for you and then transport it to the new house for you and the other is where you do the packing yourself and just hire a driver to transport it to the new house. The first option I think would be better suited to if you have a whole household, perhaps a couple or family type situation and if you have a lot of things or a lot of nice things.

The video below is a segment from Arirang TV on their 'Korea Today' series and it takes a look at the moving companies in Korea and the services that they offer. It's a real all encompassing service where they pack everything, transport it and then unpack it into your new apartment for you - they even take care of the cleaning. Great if you have a lot of stuff to move as it's quick and efficient.

I have a fair amount of stuff but it's still only one room really and none of it is really expensive, I don't plan on being here forever so while I do like to shop I try to limit myself by keeping that in mind. I also needed someone who was able to do the moving on two days notice and I did not what to pay too much as I was off work for a month and my company pays at the end of the month so I had to wait a month and a half for my next full pay. A lot of the advice I read said about getting an estimate, this is where someone comes and assesses you things and will quote you how much but I did not really end up having time for that either.

I had a look on the internet and came across a few companies that would do moving in Korea and catered to foreigners. The one I ended up choosing was the first one I rang, I had contacted another one but this one got back to me faster so that was it. It was recommended on a local facebook message page for my area and I had seen the advertisements there also. I rang first to check they were available on the coming Saturday and that they could do from Suwon to Ilsan - from there I had to fill in the online form and then they rang me back with the price which was 200, 000 won. 

On moving day I was a bit behind, I had all the big stuff done but I underestimated how long it would take to pack up all the little stuff.  The driver did not speak English and this hampered things a bit but he was very nice and capable so we manged to get it all done. I had expected him to speak English as the guy that I spoke to on the phone had, the one time that we had some major communication issue he phoned his boss to translate and we worked it out.

Elevator Service Fee
It turned out that I had to pay the security man in my building for using the elevator, I had no idea of this and did not understand what he was asking.  We got it sorted out once the guy from the moving company talked with the security man for me  - it cost 20,000 won in my building in Suwon and then when I go to my new building in Ilsan it was another 30,000 won.  At least the second time I knew what they were going on about and could pay quickly to get it sorted out.  Something to be aware of if you are using this kind of moving company - the smaller less commercial ones.

The driver did all the heavy lifting, I just packed the things and gave them to him.  He took them down and packed them on the truck and on the other end I stayed in the apartment and he brought everything up.  It took a about 4 or 5 trips but he didn't want any help. I think I was just getting in his way.  I accompanied the driver in his truck to the new place, we had a little trouble finding it but the driver finally figured it out, he had to ring someone again but he found it so that's what matters.

The truck was just a middle sized open one, as it was raining I was a bit worried.  He covered everything with a tarpaulin but a few things did get a bit wet.  Like I said I don't have anything really expensive so it was not an issue for me. A few things got scratched, like my bookcase, it must have been rubbing against something else on the truck.  It would have been best to have put some sheets or packing materials between things.  I was not too worried but if you have some nicer furniture you could just make sure you cover it with something before it is packed in the truck.

All in all I would recommend the service, all the initial organizing is in English, they were reasonably priced and the driver although he did not speak English was really nice and helpful.

The company I used is called Move in Korea (MIK). They have a number of different services so if you are moving in Korea I would recommend you checking them out.


  1. What a good blog you have here. Please update it more often. This topics is my interest. Thank you. . . state to state moving companies

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.