9 Essential Tips for Moving Day
The big day is finally here. You’ve spent months planning, purging, packing and progressing towards this day of all days: moving day. You followed all the packing tips and are now confident in your packing ninja skills, but today is the true test. I should know.
Before my recent move down to Washington, DC, I put in all the time and effort I could to make our move as smooth and stress-free as possible. I planned ahead, purged what we didn’t need, packed in an organized and efficient manner, and proceeded full steam ahead with the utmost confidence. Everything was going according to plan until Mother Nature decided to dump 3 feet of snow across all of New England. That’s right: 2 days before our big move, a blizzard came into town, bringing freezing temps, travel restrictions and parking bans with it.
I’ll spare you the details about how we came out the other side (relatively) unscathed, but trust me when I say that these 9 essential tips for moving day were an absolute life saver in the midst of all the chaos!
Even with impeccable planning, you can’t account always for traffic, delays, and the timeliness of your moving company. Keeping a list handy with the contact info for anyone you may need to reach that day is essential for a smooth move. In the midst of a long day, you don’t want to depend on your cellphone’s battery to access those numbers. Some numbers to include: your moving company, moving truck driver, old landlord, new landlord, pet sitters, babysitters, and any brave souls that might be lending a helping hand.
It’s always exciting when you secure a good deal with a moving company, just be sure you’ve done your due diligence. In addition to searching for some reviews about the company you’re planning to use, make sure you actually read through the contract. Check for details like who is responsible for lost, stolen or damaged items and what the cancellation and rescheduling policies are.
Moving day is hectic. Hire some help or cash in a favor to make sure your kids and/or pets are well cared for. Your attention will be consumed with moving details and logistics so don’t place unnecessary burden on the process.
Do your future-self a favor and pack a box of all the things you’ll need for the first night in your new apartment. The last thing you want to do after a long day of moving is break into a stack of boxes to find what you need. Keep this box in the car with you and be sure to include items like paper plates, medications, garbage bags, pajamas and, of course, all the fixins for your favorite cocktail!
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If you haven’t done so already, invest in a simple tool kit with all of the basics. From hanging pictures and shelves to replacing light fixtures and putting together new furniture, you’re going to need it more than you might realize. Plus, it feels so good to say you did it all yourself.
As soon as we signed our lease, I immediately started Google Earth stalking our new neighborhood. I’m a big foodie and no stranger to frequent window-shopping, so I was super excited to learn about everything within walking distance of our new place. If you’re anything like me, make your stalking work for you by keeping a list of any take-out or delivery places that catch your eye. When you sit down for the first time at the end of moving day, you’re going to want dinner to be a no-brainer.
Doing a final walkthrough with your landlord is pretty standard these days. If you have a landlord who accepted a security deposit but will not make themselves available for a walkthrough, then be sure to take photos of every room after the final clean. Getting your security deposit back shouldn’t be difficult if you took good care of your place, but we’ve all heard (or experienced) the horror stories. When I moved out of my first apartment, they tried to keep my security deposit and charge me an extra $500! There was nothing about the way I left that place that would warrant that kind of cost. Honestly.
The same goes for your new place. If your new landlord does not walk through or give you a checklist to complete for your new apartment, make sure to snap pictures of every room before you start moving boxes and furniture in. If there are any issues that need to be addressed, don’t wait to mention them; bring them to the landlord’s attention immediately and give them the opportunity to make it right.
If you get a chance to access your new apartment a few days or even a few minutes before the moving truck arrives, pick a room or corner as the designated storage spot. There will be some items and boxes that you’ll want to unpack right away, and those can go straight to their designated room. There will also be lots of items that you need some time to decide about. There’s no need to be tripping over boxes everywhere you turn; put as much of you can out of sight and out of mind until the essentials are all in place.
Just like apartment hunting, moving doesn’t have to suck. Do your research and plan as much as possible to set yourself up for success. When you do this, you won’t be overwhelmed by the unexpected twist and turns along the way.