8 Tips to Ensure a Smooth Move Into Your New Apartment


Boxing day: You can, of course, buy spiffy new cardboard boxes for your move, but consider checking with your local Best Buy or Target for the free, gently used variety. (iStock)

One of the most stressful things about renting a new apartment is moving, particularly if you’ve collected a lot of stuff. You don’t have to be a hoarder to have myriad possessions, particularly if you’ve been at your place of residence for a while and never had to cull your cache. No matter where you live, be it Adams Morgan, Bethesda or tiny Dumfries, moving will feel surprisingly the same (other than maybe finding parking for the truck).

Here then are eight commonsense tips that will help make your move easier.

1.       Plan to spend about twice as much as you think you will on a moving truck or van – Don’t be lulled into a false sense of frugality by U-Haul’s ultra-cheap seeming $19.95 rental charge for the small vehicles. Yes, you know you’ll be charged mileage, but they can also slip some hidden fees in there, too – it’s happened to me. Plus, you need to fill the tank up, which in this era means quite a bit of money. And these miles add up, especially if you’re moving a moderately far distance, and especially if you need more than one trip.

2.       Rent the right size truck/van – Don’t be renting the jumbo 26-foot truck if you don’t need to … on the other hand, if you’re on your way to being on “Hoarders” one day, don’t be renting the small 10-foot one, either. Two trips mean twice the hassle, twice the miles and twice the chance for something to go wrong.

3.       Borrow a truck or van from friends or family – OK, this is a bit obvious. But by all means, do it. If you don’t have a lot of stuff, sometimes a trip or two (or three) is all it takes. And if you do have mountains of crap, err, stuff, a truck is always handy for the overflow: It means fewer trips with the rental.

4.       Boxes – Yes, I believe you can purchase boxes, along with bubble wrap and ropes at most U-Hauls (and I’m assuming at other truck rental places). But guess what? If you don’t have any boxes lying around your pad, or if friends are suffering through a box-free time in their lives, try department stores and/or grocery stores. This may seem a bit gauche or a pain in the rear for the shy among you, but you need boxes and if you can get away with not paying for them, all the better.

5.       Blankets – If you have some valuable furniture, art or electronics, blankets could be the difference between a nice Picasso rip-off and a … ruined Picasso rip-off with a huge tear in it. Of course, you could be a savvy opportunist and call that modern art, right? Most people will opt for blankets. I believe that with a U-Haul truck, you’ll have to rent these (I even called two U-Haul dealers and asked). But if you’re a closet Linus, you won’t have this problem.

6.       Get loads of tape, twine and rope – I don’t need to explain this one.

7.       Make sure you help your friends move – This may seem self-serving, but a little quid pro quo won’t hurt. If you have a lot of crap, err, stuff, or even heavy, cumbersome possessions, you’ll need at least another person to help you move, and if you help them, they’ll help you. Or they better.

8.       Be patient – If moving with a significant other, this could seriously hurt your relationship. Tensions are high, anxiety is through the roof. So remember to take your time, breathe, and know that soon, you’ll be in your new apartment and in a few weeks, this hectic chapter in your life will be a thing of the past. Until next time!

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Scott D

Scott D

Scott is a local writer and has been with the Apartment Showcase blog since its inception in 2010.

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