Moving is disruptive for even the most organized people. Apartment hunting, applications, planning, purging, and packing cause anxiety and stress, not to mention the move itself. Here are 5 tips that may not make your experience zen-like, but they’ll definitely keep you from biting your nails to the quick.
- Timing is Everything. If you’ve been in New York a hot second, you know that weekend moves are most likely taboo. You may choose to move on a Friday to minimize disruption to your work week, however if anything should go wrong with your moving company, you may be in limbo ’til Monday. Take the extra day off to transition to your new place (which also leaves you more time to start unpacking.) Be sure to check with both the building you’re moving out of and the building you’re moving into about elevator hours. If there is another tenant moving in/out that day, it could delay your move and add to your costs.
- Label Your Boxes in Detail. Labeling boxes may sound like moving 101, but the more detailed you are, the easier it’s going to be to unpack, especially when you’re moving to an apartment with limited space (hello, New York!) In big bold marker, put the room your boxes are destined for so the movers know where to drop them. Then, under each one, put the contents. When you get to your new home, it will be very helpful to know where your hangers are before you’ve unpacked all your clothes. If there are things you’ll need immediately or things that you’d rather handle on your own (think medication, toiletries, jewelry), pack them in a suitcase and take it with you. Trick of the trade: tuck fabric softener sheets into linen and clothing boxes so they don’t come out with that musty box smell.
- Use Proper Packing Materials. All boxes are not created equal. Use durable boxes made for moving. And because they’re more durable, it means that they can be used again and again. Many a New Yorker has moved an entire apartment without purchasing a single box. Word to the wise: make friends with the supers in the blocks adjacent to you. That way you can get a hold of the boxes before they get to the curb and a dog, uh, “christens” them. Likewise, moving blankets, packing paper, and dish sleeves will help ensure your possessions get to their destination unscathed. And please, be mindful when you pack. Reaching into a box to find your loose food processor blade adds unnecessary drama to the occasion.
- Declutter Now, Not When You Get There. The best thing about moving is that you can get rid of all of the things you’re storing for no apparent reason. Local charities will come pick up what you don’t want and it’s a tax write off. Before you rent a storage unit, put some serious thought into why you’re keeping what you’re keeping.
- Check References. Yelp is a great tool for initially vetting a moving company. You can also call and ask them for references. But the number one tip is to get personal with them. Ask for their A-Team. Be friendly. Call in advance to make sure everything is on track. Then call again. Make sure the office knows you by name, and not the #$@&%*! sort of name. When the moving team arrives, be pleasant. Cold bottled water, a little something extra, and a smile go a long way in having people take extra care with your belongings.