(if you prefer to simply see the list of tips I have scroll to the bottom!)
This week I moved from my apartment in the Valley to a new apartment in Hollywood! I wanted to vlog the experience with you guys which ended up turning into an 11 minute monologue of me going from excited and optimistic to frustrated and stressed out as things just started to go very very wrong. Now that I’m actually settled in a bit and made it out alive with only a few scratches and bruises along the way, I wanted to share with you guys some of my tips to make moving easier and also how to handle it when things go wrong!
1. Hire Movers
In the pre-moving stages I tried to be as prepared and thorough as possible. I researched extensively on movers to find the best options and didn’t just trust good yelp reviews because many moving companies give discounts to customers for leaving good reviews. So if you are checking yelp, organize the reviews from worst to best so you can hear the bad stories first. In general, HIRE MOVERS! I know moving can be expensive enough as it is but if you do it right and can be quick about it, it is beyond worth the money. Having professionals who do this every day will alleviate some of the stress and burden you’ll inevitably deal with. My movers were $99/hr when paying in cash and had a three hour minimum. I worked the moving day down to a science to ensure I would stay within the three hours so I wouldn’t end up overpaying.
2. Start Early
Five days before my big move…well actually it ended up being a week before but we will get to that later…I started cleaning and purging all my belongings. You don’t want to pack or move anything you don’t want anymore. The less stuff you have, the better! I went through all of my clothing and donated the items I no longer needed. Cleared out my kitchen and bathroom and made sure everything was actually clean and tidy as well! You can of course do this as you pack if you don’t have time to set a day aside for it, but I find it much easier and less overwhelming to do it separately. This also helped me plan out how many boxes I would need to get. Once each room was clean and organized I guesstimated how many boxes and what type would be need for that room. You can then run to a local home store or check craigslist for pretty inexpensive boxes. This worked out pretty well for me and I ended up only being off by one box!
3. Create a spreadsheet
On to the actual packing. This might sound a bit extreme but trust me, the little extra time it takes will be immensely useful in the end (especially if things go wrong like they did for me). I created a spreadsheet of the boxes, numbered each, stated what room they were for and listed the content inside of them. This way when you are unpacking and looking for something specific, you simply type the name of the item or room your looking for and it pops up with which numbered box it is in. I also had a column to state if the box was heavy or contained fragile items so I could organize the boxes for the movers in groups of weight and which ones need to be handled with extra care. This ended up being especially useful for me because unfortunately the day before I was meant to move I was informed that I could not move in for another two days. This ended up causing several occasions where I now needed items out of the packed up boxes and if I did not make the spreadsheet I would’ve had to search through all the boxes simply to find a few items.
4. Pack an Overnight (or two) Bag
The last thing you want to deal with the night before your big move is realizing you packed all your PJ’s already and have to open a box to find them. I packed a bag containing two sets of sleepwear, one for my last night in the old apartment and another for the first night in the new place in case I didn’t get around to unpacking my clothes on day one. I also included an outfit for the moving day and basic toiletries for the two days along with my phone charger and basic daily necessities.
5. Use Wardrobe Boxes
Taking all of the clothes out of your closet, off the hangers, folded and in to a box is time consuming and unnecessary. Not to mention you then have to take them out and hang them back up at the new home. Many moving companies provide wardrobe boxes for you which are truly one of the greatest inventions to exist IMO. On the day of the move they simply brought up four boxes for me that were already built and have a hanging bar at the top so all I needed to do was transfer my hanging clothes from my closet to the hanging box and back again at the new apartment! Easy peasy!
6. Organize Your Boxes
To make the moving day go smoothly I moved all of my boxes and items I could lift into my living room so that the movers wouldn’t need to go all the way back into my bedroom. Now I know this is just adding more work to yourself but if you are trying to stay within a specific time frame during the move it can be extremely beneficial. If you aren’t worried about time, let the movers do the work! Whether you are focused on time or not however, organize the boxes in each room by weight or specifications such as containing fragile items. If you made the spreadsheet, you can refer back to that to do this! If you’re helping your movers this will make it easier for you to know which boxes are easy for you to carry or if you want to handle the fragile items to be safe.
7. Get Your Keys Before Moving
This might not apply to many but for me I was unable to pick up my keys until the day of the move. My movers were scheduled to arrive at 1pm so I went to the new apartment earlier in the day to pick up my keys. Thank goodness I did because when I arrived I had to go fill out another paper first and all in all it ended up taking at least 15-20 minutes. This would have been wasted time for my movers and in the end just cost me more money.
8. Make Your Bed First
This sounds silly but moving is EXHAUSTING! The last thing you will want to do at the end of the night is have to make your bed. I was anxious to start unpacking and organizing my new apartment but as soon as my movers left I made my bed and then proceeded to take care of everything else. It was somewhat of a random idea I had and I cannot stress enough how much future me appreciated past me for making this decision!
9. Do Light Food Shopping
This may seem like the opposite of what you instinctually would do. Typically when moving you clear out all your food items and grocery shop after moving in. I don’t know about you guys but when I’m really busy/stressed/or my mind is preoccupied (aka everything involved with moving) I tend to forget to eat. Also, moving always ends up having random extra issues pop up that eat up your time leaving less time for yourself to eat! This tip is something I did NOT do during my move and something I hope you guys can use to learn from my mistakes. I bought a salad for lunch before my movers arrived but ended up taking too long to run errands and only got about two bites in before they showed up. Once they left and I unpacked a bit, it was already after 6pm and I realized I hadn’t had anything to eat but those two bites. I finished my salad and continued to unpack and time simply got away from me. Before I knew it, it was time for me to leave to meet up with some friends to go out! This involved having a couple drinks which on an empty stomach is a big no-no! Long story short, the next day was a rough one for me and I still didn’t have any food at my apartment. You live and you learn I guess!
10. Roll With The Punches
And finally to the most important tip I can leave with you is this. It is great to plan and prepare but at the end of the day, shit happens. For me this involved having my moving date pushed back two days at the last minute, not having electricity for said two days and dropping a wooden pallet against the back of my legs leaving a huge gash. If you properly plan, it’s easier to handle these problems but still things can and will go wrong and mess up your plan and schedule. As stressful as moving is, when even little things go wrong they can feel like a catastrophe. No sense in stressing over what you can’t control, so just roll with it!
Do you have any moving tips, questions or stories? Share them in the comments below!
Top 10 Moving Tips:
- Hire professional movers
- Start early
- Create a spreadsheet
- Pack an overnight (or two) bag.
- Use Wardrobe Boxes
- Organize Your Boxes
- Get Your Keys Before Moving
- Make Your Bed First
- Do Light Food Shopping
- Roll With The Punches