Apartment Move Tips & Tricks
September 16, 2008 5:24 AM   Subscribe

I'm moving to a new apartment in the same neighborhood I live in now, and want the move to go as smoothly as possible. What are your tips and tricks for a successful apartment move? What are things you wish you had thought of before you moved into a new place?
posted by NotMyselfRightNow to Home & Garden (6 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Well, since you have the opportunity to spread it out a little (very little opportunity cost for leaving something and getting it later), don't try to cram everything in one shot- that's a good way to misplace which box in which box in which room your electric bill is in.

Pack more loosely, and get more boxes. If you can, head to a supermarket and get a bunch of their leftover boxes. Then, each shelf in your bedroom or kitchen or whatever, can get its own box.
posted by notsnot at 5:30 AM on September 16, 2008

Get rid of as much stuff as possible! Especially those boxes of unopened junk you have been giving a world tour for the past umpteen years.

If its in the same neighborhood, don't worry too much about packing paper and stuff for kitchen junk, just pack it loosely and take it in a separate trip. Otherwise you will be awash in packing paper for like 34287 months.

Pizza and beer (or variants) for any helpers is an absolute must.

Also, for good karma, always leave a roll of TP or two for the people moving in. There is nothing worse than having to frantically dig through boxes looking for tp on moving day!
posted by ian1977 at 5:30 AM on September 16, 2008

Make sure that you do all the grimy tasks (vacuuming, dusting, waxing the floor, etc) before you start moving boxes and furniture. It'll be a lot easier with less stuff getting in the way.

You should try to get your bedroom and bathroom set up first, so that if you get tired and disgusting at the end of the day you can just shower and pass out rather than have to go back to the old apartment.

I wish that I had thought about organization and storage a bit more before I moved. Otherwise, you just end up with a lot of stuff in boxes that doesn't really fit anywhere and that you hate to look at after three days.
posted by amicamentis at 5:49 AM on September 16, 2008

Pack an emergency bag - all the necessaries like TP, paper towels, bathroom stuff - anything you don't want to be digging for that first night.

Seconding getting rid of anything you no longer need or want before you move. Cull books, broken stuff, etc. Anything you haven't used in a year, and are not sure you'll use again, chuck it.

Since you're not going far, use your towels and any old newspapers for packing.

Label your boxes for what room they go in, and keep a loose list, so you know that #2 kitchen box has the pans and such.

Also seconding doing all the cleaning of the new place before you move in.

Feed and water your helpers.
posted by canine epigram at 5:59 AM on September 16, 2008

nthing clean the new place, also have a basic idea of where you want stuff to go and don't pile boxes where you plan on putting things esp large items like your bed and a desk. Nothing more annoying than needing to move some boxes to put your mattress and or shuffling boxes from 1 side of the room to another all day long.
posted by Sgt.Grumbless at 6:31 AM on September 16, 2008

Many hands make light work, if you can't scrape-up enough friends, post an ad on kijiji or craigslist job sections offering something like $10-20/hr, with one or two guys who need the money it's not that expensive to pay them for a couple of hours work to help load and unload. I've done too many moves on my own. On a similar note, I've found moving everything in one day to get it over with is better than stretching it out over several days.

Seconding leaving behind a roll of TP, and some soap, either for yourself at the last minute, or as a courtesy for the people moving in.

Keep some drinking water handy, and something to ease the muscle pain afterward.

A cheap hand-truck/dolly makes getting boxes from the truck to the apartment much easier, especially if it's a high-rise with corridors and elevators.

You're probably not going to want to cook, let alone unbox all the food and implements, have the number for restaurant delivery handy if you're too tired to go out to eat.

Don't leave the old place a mess, leaving a cloth/broom/mop,etc as the last items to go.

Keep your shower curtain handy (unless you prefer baths). Keep any lamps handy if there's no overhead lighting.

Think about window coverings, if you have blinds, might as well leave them as they're very unlikely to fit any windows in the new place. The new place might not have any, once it gets dark you might want some privacy.

If you have money, consider staying at a motel/hotel for a night or two (or at a friends/relatives) until you get settled and the basics unpacked.

Remember mail forwarding and all the utilities. Make a list of everyone you can think of that has your current address (and phone if it's changing), bills/bank statements/wallet/files/friends & family/DMV/insurance/etc, and check them off as you get around to updating them.

Some of these may be obvious, but moving can be overwhelming, and things get forgotten about. Those are from my personal experiences. Canada Post has a list, some of which may or may not apply, I'm sure there's other checklists out there.
posted by hungrysquirrels at 7:24 AM on September 16, 2008 [1 favorite]

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