5-day gap between apartment leases
May 22, 2013 1:38 PM   Subscribe

My current lease ends on June 30, but my new lease does not begin until July 5. We've talked with both current and new landlords, but neither are able to help us out by allowing us to stay late/move in early. What are some creative solutions to this problem?

I'm sure this is a common problem, but I will have a 5 day gap between my current lease and my new lease. If I go the traditional route, I have to pay for movers twice, and for storage. These seems like I will be spending a lot of money for only 5 days, so I'm hoping to figure out another solution. I've looked into Pods and ABF Relocubes because I've used them in the past, but they are not allowed in the city of Chicago, where I live. I'm not too concerned about where I will stay because I can stay with family or friends, but I do have a decent amount of furniture and will have many boxes, so my stuff cannot come with me to crash with friends/family.

Any thoughts?

I know that this question addressed a similar situation, but it was only an overnight gap, and in NYC, whereas it will be 5 days for me, and in Chicago. I figure there might be different responses given these differences.

Thanks for your help!!
posted by RUPure to Travel & Transportation (25 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: In a similar scenario, I've used a rental van to store all my things, stayed at a hotel for the gap, and just parked the rental van (with a very large lock) in a corner of the hotel parking lot.
posted by saeculorum at 1:45 PM on May 22, 2013 [7 favorites]

Best answer: 1. Pack up and move out of the old place.
2. Stay in a hotel until you can move in to the new place. Keep stuff packed up in moving van/truck at the hotel. Incur extra charges on the rental, but oh wells.
posted by ish__ at 1:45 PM on May 22, 2013

The first thing that came to mind was also mentioned in that last thread (and upon preview, above):

Or leave stuff in a U-Haul overnight for 5 days, if you find somewhere safe enough to park it.

I'm sorry, I can't comment on the safety or cost of this solution.
posted by kitcat at 1:46 PM on May 22, 2013

Ask the movers when you get your quotes. They've doubtless dealt with people in your situation before and will be able to accommodate you. Caveat: That may include "We can let it sit in the truck for five days," so make sure they take the appropriate precautions to keep your stuff from melting.
posted by Etrigan at 1:46 PM on May 22, 2013

The PODs website has a page for Chicago, are you sure it's not allowed there?
posted by showbiz_liz at 1:46 PM on May 22, 2013 [3 favorites]

Best answer: I would just rent a truck for the 5 day duration, load it up, and then park it in a secure location. It looks like a 10 foot truck from Uhaul is priced at $19.99 a day or $99 for the five days, plus .99 cents a mile. That way you are only packing and unloading once.
posted by kimdog at 1:47 PM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

Well, you can rent a truck for the 5 days and keep your stuff in it.

Or, hire a professional mover like Bekins, tell them they'll need to store it for 5 days. They'll pick it up, keep it packed and then deliver it on the day you need it.

I had them store my stuff for 30 days after my moving was messed up by Hurricane Andrew. They just took the load, put it in a crate and they delivered it when my new apartment was ready to be moved into. It was pretty sweet.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 1:47 PM on May 22, 2013 [2 favorites]

In a similar situation, I took up a public storage place on one of those "Your first month's rent: $1!" deals and arranged to couch surf for a few days at a friend's house. It cost me something like $16 with fees and insurance.

The key to making this arrangement work (besides having a helpful friend) is to have your stuff packed and organized extremely well. Transferring a bunch of neatly packed boxes into an orderly pile in a storage unit, then back out again days later is not so bad. Passing a bunch of oddly shaped and indifferently packed small items in and out twice inside of a week is seriously annoying.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 1:50 PM on May 22, 2013 [5 favorites]

Best answer: Some moving companies will let you hire movers just for the carrying part, and you can rent your own truck and park it with the friends/family where you're staying. This might potentially be cheaper/safer than having the moving company store it in their own truck...though either way you'll want to max out the insurance options.

Will either landlord let you speak with the current/prospective tenants? I mean, if the tenants have any flexibility they might be more sympathetic to your plight. I know that if I had any kind of lease overlap, I'd definitely want to help someone avoid your situation.
posted by like_a_friend at 1:55 PM on May 22, 2013

Others have hinted at this, but make sure that, if you pack everything into a vehicle that's going to be sitting for awhile, it's REALLY secure. Also, if you're keeping the van and mileage isn't an issue, maybe drive it somewhere cheaper to stay in a hotel than in Chicago proper. (And somewhere safer where you can keep an eye on it.)
posted by resurrexit at 1:55 PM on May 22, 2013

Extended stay hotels. They rent out a week at a time, frequently for under $200.

As far as storing your stuff, many U-Haul places with on-site storage will let you park a truck in their secured facility for a fee, particularly if said truck is rented from them.
posted by valkyryn at 1:57 PM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

1) You can hire moving help with renting a Uhaul. They will load/unload your stuff, they just won't drive the Uhaul.

Buy a big lock and park the Uhaul at your hotel or near your hotel (call ahead). Try to get a long-stay hotel so you have ability to cook with the kitchenette. Five days would be a long time to eat out all the time.

That was going to be our plan when I moved across 2 states. Instead though I was able to move into my apartment same-day so I only had a 1 night hotel stay between states. The guy at the hotel told us just to park near the back of the lot.

2) Have movers/moving company store for 5 days. This will be more expensive than the Uhaul route probably.
posted by Crystalinne at 1:58 PM on May 22, 2013

Well, to be fair, you're not really paying movers twice the cost of a usual move in your scenario. If you're talking full-service moving (packing, loading, moving, unloading, unpacking), you're doing 4/5 on the front end, and 4/5 on the back end, so coming out at around 160% of the cost of moving just once. Remember, once things are loaded into a storage unit, the movers don't have any more packing to do, they're just taking your already-packed and already-wrapped things, putting them in the truck, and taking them to your new place.

It is a sucky situation, no doubt about it. But I wouldn't personally leave a van full of my worldly possessions for five days anywhere in Chicago that didn't have security, especially in the sweltering summer. It's part of the cost of moving, though, and you're lucky you haven't had to do it before. I know lots of people in the city who are on a summer moving cycle and have had to do this between every single move for years.

We are in a similar situation to you, except our gap is more than a month. We have all our things in storage right now. If it helps you ballpark an amount, we used movers to pack and move everything into storage, which ended up being about $1400 for our 3BR apartment. (They packed everything and moved it into storage.) The storage is costing us about $240. The moving estimate for our move-out in early June is only $800 for them to move the contents of the storage unit to our new apartment, taking into account that they've already packed everything themselves and organized it smartly in the storage unit.

Feel free to memail me if you'd like a recommendation on reliable movers and storage in Chicago.
posted by juniperesque at 2:02 PM on May 22, 2013

Most moving companies will store your things for you to cover the gap, including my favorite, USA Moving & Storage.
posted by payoto at 2:24 PM on May 22, 2013

Response by poster: Hi all,

Thanks for these comments so far (and such quick responses). Some reactions:

Showbiz_liz: Yes, although PODS has a Chicago page, they are not permitted to park PODS on Chicago streets or Alley's. My apartment building does not have a private parking lot, so I'm out of luck there.

For those of you suggesting I park the Uhaul somewhere for five days, I'm really not sure that I can find somewhere secure enough to do this, but I'll ask friends who have homes in the suburbs, where it is safer.

I will also look into the option that valkyryn mentioned, of talking to the truck rental company to see if I can store a packed truck at their facility for a fee.

Ruthless Bunny, can you tell me approximately how much it cost you to have the movers store your items?

Thanks all for your suggestions, and keep them coming, they're great :)
posted by RUPure at 2:26 PM on May 22, 2013

As far as parking the truck, the storage company I use also rents out parking spaces for trailers, boats and the like. Perhaps something like that is available in your location?
posted by PorcineWithMe at 2:47 PM on May 22, 2013 [2 favorites]

ABF also has the option to let you rent part of a trailer and they will store it at their facility in Chicago for you, cheaply and securely. You will need, in Chicago, to get the trailer unloaded fairly quickly, but you'd have to do that with regular movers and a truck anyway....
posted by eleanna at 3:50 PM on May 22, 2013

As someone who worked for UHaul's corporate office for two years, just an FYI, you will very likely NOT be able to rent a local truck and keep it for 5 days in Chicago for the first 5 days of July. Trucks, particularly local trucks, book up insanely fast for the end/very beginning of a month, doubly so for a month in the summer when everyone moves, triply so when there is a holiday in there where some people have the day off work. On busy days, sales and centers are pressed to keep their customers' local rentals under a 24 hour period, often even less.

Which is a long way of saying if you have even an inkling of attempting that route, you would need to be calling around different UHaul centers like yesterday, and would probably not be guaranteed the truck. I recommend going the temporary storage route. It's a pain in the arse, but it will actually work, and you won't be screwed and stuck.
posted by celtalitha at 5:38 PM on May 22, 2013 [2 favorites]

can you tell me approximately how much it cost you to have the movers store your items?

Potentially nothing. Or at least not much. Relocation companies actually have staging camps all over the place, and as long as you're okay with your stuff staying on the truck, they don't necessarily mind holding off a few days. Five days could be problematic, but it's certainly worth asking.
posted by valkyryn at 6:13 PM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

Don't the PODS type places have storage facilities? I think you can pack up your stuff, have them drive it to their lot or whatever and then have them drop it at your new place (for an hour or so, basically like a moving truck) on move in day.
posted by radioamy at 8:21 PM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

Ruthless Bunny, can you tell me approximately how much it cost you to have the movers store your items?

Well, it was 20 years ago, but it was a couple hundred dollars over and above the cost for the move. Call a regular moving company and have them price your move for you. An estimate doesn't cost anything.

What I've discovered is that hiring real movers is about the same as a Uhaul, and I'm not asking my friends to do one of life's most heinous activities. By the time you factor in gas, mileage, hassle, pizza, beer and the cost of losing something because a friend dropped it, it's just better to get a mover.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:39 AM on May 23, 2013

I'd also recommend looking at another company for renting a truck other then Uhaul, especially if it's an in town move. I moved away from the area on a Labor Day weekend, and they had run out of trucks. That sort of thing happens a lot.

And since the move will be complicated by the time gap, Ruthless Bunny's advice to use movers makes even more sense. Also since they have practice and pads, they're more likely to not scratch up anything, and may be able to move dressers and such without removing clothes and drawers (definitely ask ahead of time on this though).
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:16 AM on May 23, 2013

What about one of those curbside storage unit deals? Like you pack up this crazy cube and then they move it for you and put it in a parking place and then you unpack it later -- I have no idea on prices, but I have seen one parked for a week or two on a street near me (with some permit, maybe, but no signs to that effect), so it must be possible to have it done for a few days.
posted by acm at 8:30 AM on May 23, 2013

I'd also recommend looking at another company for renting a truck other then Uhaul, especially if it's an in town move. I moved away from the area on a Labor Day weekend, and they had run out of trucks. That sort of thing happens a lot.

It happens with every major moving company, for simple reasons of demand which I listed above. I'm not a particular fan of UHaul myself, but Penske and Budget are also both regularly sold out on big moving weekends or on the first of the month. Reserve ahead (WAY ahead), whatever you're doing.
posted by celtalitha at 1:57 PM on May 23, 2013

Response by poster: Hi All,

Thanks so much for your suggestions. I wanted to write with an update. We were able to convince our new landlord to let us move our stuff in on July 1, and they will just clean the apartment around our stuff. We rented a truck from June 30-July 1, hired labor through hireahelper.com, and will park the truck overnight at my dad's house.

Hireahelper.com is pretty cool, so if anyone needs moving labor, I'd recommend that you check it out. The rates are very reasonable, there are reviews, many of the movers bring dollies and other supplies, and the service (the website) provides you with an insurance policy. I figure that having reviews, an insurance plan, and people who have the right equipment and know what they're doing beats making friends help out. Also, since we are using our own truck because of the gap-time between our leases, it didn't make too much sense to hire a full-service moving company.

Again, thanks for all the helpful suggestions.
posted by RUPure at 7:28 AM on June 13, 2013

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