Can you believe that I’ve been living in my current place now for over two months?! Just in case you’re wondering, the above photo is not my home. My home isn’t quite Pinterest ready just yet, but we’ll get there in maybe six months or so. Recently, Manan expressed that he’d like to find a new place in the city and since I did the whole apartment hunting thing just a couple of months ago, I volunteered to accompany him on some visits. We have a different set of criteria, but my role is basically just throwing the questions out that we both may have never thought of before going into this and preparing for the actual move. When I look back on my recent experience, Kevin and I – who was with me for BOTH moves by the way, decided that moving from Seattle to the Bay Area was MUCH easier than moving from South Bay to San Francisco. You would think it would be the other way around, but honestly, after living here for a few years now, I’ve acquired way too many things that made the move more challenging.
Looking back on it, here’s a) what I wish I would’ve done differently or b) what I wish I had known:
Plan where everything goes
When I looked at my current apartment, it didn’t cross my mind whether or not I would have enough cabinet space for all of my dishes. I may not be using all of them on a regular basis, but I also didn’t want to part ways with them so we definitely got a little bit more creative, It’s important to consider when moving where everything is going to go and not just your furniture. Additionally, equip yourself with some measuring tape for those tricky questions of whether or not your bed will fit exactly in the bedroom and how much space you’ll have afterwards or where everything is places in the living room so that you’re not figuring it out as the move is in process.
Start packing early
Even a couple of weeks leading up to my move, I was in denial. There was a part of me that thought I wouldn’t do it and because of that I prolonged packing. I convinced myself in my last week that I didn’t need to pack all of my winter coats and sweaters right away because somehow there was going to be a use for them. I made plans for almost every day that week and when I came home, the thought of packing was so daunting that I just wouldn’t. Finally, I had to suck it up and that meant staying up very late the night before my move to get most of it done and waking up early to do more packing before the movers got there. If you know you’re not going to use it in your last week, just pack it. There’s also no reason to leave decorations and wall hangings up in the last week. You’ll be glad you did it all sooner instead of waiting until the last minute.
More boxes are better
There are plenty of places where you can purchase boxes for your move, but with moving already being so expensive, this is one of those costs that you don’t need. The first place I looked was at work. We were always receiving packages so anytime I saw boxes going straight to the recycling, I would just transport them to my car instead. Secondly, ask your co-workers if they have any spare boxes. The week that I was packing, two people in my office had just moved and still had their boxes that they could pass to me. Another popular box that people like to purchase is that fancy one with the bars inside that acts like a clothing rack. Save yourself the trip and ask if your moving company provides these as part of the move and use their instead!
Donate Donate Donate
The more you can get rid of, the less you’ll need to bring with you. Also it’s such a relief to let go of your belongings. If you need another reason, the third is that when you donate the old, you can upgrade to something newer and better! On that note, make sure that when you’re getting ready to move that you give your movers clear instructions because they will wrap anything and everything in sight. They ended up packing a frame I had in a corner that I had been meaning to throw out and now it’s still on the side of my couch and I haven’t done anything with it.
Care For Your Fragile Items
You can write “Fragile” on all of your boxes, but it won’t actually mean that much if you aren’t taking extra care of the items inside. When I first started packing my dishware, I had no idea what I was doing. Elisa came over and saw the job I had done and basically re-did it for me because she said all of my plates were going to break. Buy the extra wrapping paper, the bubble wrap, and anything else you think you’ll need. Strategically put them into your boxes – you can’t just put those things anywhere.
When considering movers…
Not only is moving a crazy time suck and a hassle in general, but it’s incredibly expensive. In California, we have something called Double Drive Time, which means that they charge you per hour in the transporting and then double it just because! On top of that, there’s always gratuity. It’s tough to find the best moving company because there are so many so don’t make the same mistake I did which is continue researching and then make a decision too late that they already booked up for the time and date that you need it. When this happened to me, I was completely stressed and scrambling for an alternative moving company. Luckily, I was able to snag one, but was now paying more than what I had intended. Make sure you ask your movers what everything entails in the price and then do your part to see where you can cut on costs and time. ie) the easiest part is DOING that packing yourself and letting them box it up.
Is your home move-in ready?
When I moved in, I was disappointed to find that my place wasn’t what I considered “move-in” ready. The counter tops and the drawers were not the cleanest and my shower wasn’t working and needed to be seen by someone. I didn’t even think to ask about these things when I was first moving, but if I could go back, I would’ve asked my landlord or property manager to make sure that the place was fully cleaned out professionally before I moved in and would have tested every thing in the home.
A lot of these things may or may not be within your control, but it never hurts to ask! If I’m missing any other things that you thought might be key – let me know!