‘What Renters Want’ with Jessica Fiur: Tips for a [Relatively] Painless Move

Moving to a new apartment is one of the most stressful things you’ll ever have to do. Besides, you know, raising a teenager. Or getting fired. Or meeting your in-laws for the first time. Or figuring out what color you want for your manicure (seriously, there are at least 50 shades of pink that look…

Moving to a new apartment is one of the most stressful things you’ll ever have to do. Besides, you know, raising a teenager. Or getting fired. Or meeting your in-laws for the first time. Or figuring out what color you want for your manicure (seriously, there are at least 50 shades of pink that look exactly alike, but will Ballet Slipper look as good on as Petal Pink? How do you know you’re making the right decision?) Or…OK, well, maybe it’s not the most stressful thing you’ll ever have to do. But it ain’t a picnic, either. Here are some tips to make your move a little less painful.

Before You Move

Change your address. If you don’t, do you know how the people who move in to your current apartment will forward you your mail? If they’re really nice, they’ll give it to their doorman (if there is one) to give back to the mailman or maybe they’ll give it to the mailman directly. If they’re normal, they’ll leave it on the ledge in the mailroom. If they’re lazy, they’ll throw it out. So you’re pretty much guaranteed to not have it forwarded to you. Oh, and just a heads up that if you do change your address, it won’t completely solve your problem. I moved three years ago, and my former roommate still receives some of my mail. Which is fine if it’s an audit (you’re going to have to catch me first, suckers!), but I want my Anthropologie catalogues!

Make plans in advance for Fluffy. Moving with pets is ruff (and so are horrible, horrible puns). How are you going to move your pet? Figure out if you want to take your dog in the car with you day of (if you know there’ll be room) or figure out who’s going to dog sit until you can pick him up later.

You discovered my weakness! Would you also like a ride to the airport?

Hire professional movers. Sure, the temptation is there to buy a case of beer and a pizza, and invite your friends over for a moving “party.” And if you’re in college, you could probably get away with that. (Hell, if you made some jello shots and sprung for an extra topping you could probably convince them to move you into your six-story walk up.) But if the thought of a warm beer and stale pizza makes you feel a little sick, then you’re too old for that. Plus, no one really wants to help you move, anyway. Hire professional movers. Then there will be less of a chance of your things breaking, they’ll be able to lift your couch, and grandma probably won’t need to be strapped to the roof of your car to make room for the rest of your stuff.

Take measurements of everything before you try to move it. That entertainment center might fit in your current apartment, but are you positive it’ll fit in your new place? Save yourself from heartache, and your movers from back pain, and figure it out in advance.

Find out in advance if you need to reserve a freight elevator/move in time. Some apartment buildings have strict rules when it comes to this stuff. You don’t want to show up to your new home metaphorically dragging all your worldly possessions in a bag tied to a stick only to be told you’re going to have to wait until later, and, please, sir, don’t block the lobby entrance. You’re causing a scene.


Take the opportunity to get rid of things. You know what you’ll find when you start packing? Tons of books. Clothes that are out of style and do not fit. Shot glasses from every state you’ve ever visited. Do you still need or even want this stuff? Take the time to get rid of or donate the stuff you don’t want to bring to your next apartment. (Although maybe I was too hasty with that shot glass example. After all, if the Queen ever stops by, how else would she drink her tequila?)

Make a killer mix tape. OK, playlist. Whatever. Anyway, packing is more boring than being forced to sit through the Oscar-nominated The Tree of Life (Seriously, there was a freaking dinosaur! And at no point did Brad Pitt take his shirt off. What was even going on? But I digress…). Great music will at least make it more tolerable, if every movie montage in existence that doesn’t involve Katherine Heigl modeling different bridesmaids dresses is telling the truth. I’d suggest something upbeat, and not too slow or sentimental, so you don’t start romanticizing your current place and how sad you are to be moving. It should also include Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer” and Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’,” because all playlists are required—by law—to have these songs.

Go to a liquor store for boxes. No matter how tiny your place is, you’ll have racked up a ton things (it’s so crazy how that happens). The liquor store is a great place to get some free boxes. You know what you can also get while you’re at the liquor store to help you move? Twine. (Ha! You thought I’d say vodka, didn’t you? Well, now that you mention it…)

Drink. Seriously. You’ll thank me.

Moving Day

Make sure your electricity/cable is canceled and turned off in your current apartment. You don’t want to pay for Law and Order marathon the person who moved in to your current apartment decided to watch.

Have extra money on hand. Something always comes up where you’ll need cash on moving day. You might need change to feed a meter. You’ll have to tip the movers and maybe your new super if he’s being particularly accommodating. You might also decide to give a certain blogger a cash reward for being so helpful.

Does anyone have any moving day horror stories? What are some of your tips for your new residents?

-Jessica Fiur, News Editor

Photo credit: Jason Stitt

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