Moving day is a nightmare

Posted: November 16th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Moving | 1 Comment »

Not your average moving truckAfter you’ve found a new apartment and signed the lease, you think the hard part is over.  You’re excited about your new living space, and you think everything will be great when you move in.  I made this mistake for years, but after many difficult experiences I have learned that moving day is usually the worst part.  See this nightmare about moving day taken from the Boston Globe:

Often, new tenants are moving in as the previous ones are moving out. Or worse, students are awakened on Sept. 1 by new residents holding boxes, a situation that has occurred more than once, according to Ross.

The crunch causes frustration as parents and students carrying mattresses and boxes squeeze past one another on narrow staircases. Many old tenants are forced to make quick decisions based on the room in their moving vans, leaving piles of furniture on the curb. Or, says Ross, they simply toss couches and bags of trash out of windows.

Here are my suggestions:

  • Get a moving truck early, if you need one.  Seriously.
    • Find out when moving trucks (u-haul, etc) typically sell out.  In Boston, the trucks sell out by mid July if you’re renting a truck for September 1st.  They typically have a great cancellation policy – so you could easily book it early and then cancel if necessary.
  • Move in early!
    • Moving day in Boston is horrible – and I’m sure it’s not fun in other cities around the country.  Typically, there are hundreds of moving trucks around the city and parked along your street.  If you’re one of the only people moving, it makes it a lot easier.
    • Sometimes the previous tenant will leave early or have empty space in their apartment.  Inquire with your broker, landlord, or the tenant to see if you can move some of your stuff in early.
    • Be understanding of the previous tenant.  The previous tenant is probably moving into another apartment the same day as yourself, and wants to get out of the apartment as soon as possible.  This isn’t always possible, so try to communicate with them as early as possible to know when they’re moving out and if there is some arrangement you can work out.
  • Hire movers to help you.
    • If you can afford it, it’s worth it.  Trust me.
    • For my last move, I was able to get 3 strong, capable, nice guys to help me move my stuff.  I paid a total of 300 dollars and they made the process a pleasure.  There’s a great web site to find accredited movers at an affordable price:
  • Get a parking permit for your moving truck.
    • It depends on where you live, but in Boston you’ll typically want to reserve a parking spot in front of your building on your move date.  It doesn’t take long, but you’ll want to do it well in advance so that you have it reserved for youself.  Don’t make the process more challenging for yourself by having to walk to a moving fan a block from your house.
  • Ask the landlord when he/she plans on having the apartment cleaned.
    • Due to the chaos of moving in / out, the previous tenant might not be able to leave the apartment in the state you expect upon moving in.  Coordinate early with the landlord so that there’s ample time for the previous tenant to move out, bring a cleaning crew in, and to move your stuff in.

Thanks to NeitherFanboy for the photo.