Yes, it’s true. I am now aware I’ve moved NINE TIMES since leaving for college. You may be thinking – How does that even happen? How can you move more times than years? Welp, thanks to apartment condition, timing, roommates, location, landlords, leases, jobs – I’ve been able to make it work. Would I recommend it? Nope. 🙂 But that’s life – you roll with the punches (before the punches roll you)! So I did. And I have to say it’s been pretty fun getting to decorate and DIY all of these apartments. Sometimes an energy switch-up is just what you need and moving gives you a chance to Feng Shui your life. Or at least that’s what I tell myself as I type, blankly staring at the moving boxes stacked in my closet.
Below are the top FIVE lessons/tips I’ve learned from the last 9 moves, with some fun, detailed, learning examples. 😉
1. VISIT YOUR NEW PLACE MULTIPLE TIMES BEFORE YOU SIGN THE LEASE.
Signing a lease is a big deal because often times you are stuck there for 1+ years. One of the worst things that can happen is to realize a detail that you can’t live with AFTER you sign the lease and are locked in. It’s important to see the place at different times of the day because there are different variables in play such as two of my biggest, light and sound. Is the person living above you a part time tap dancer by day, and choir member by night? Does the family below you have a newborn baby, with thin walls? While these are all livable life situations, it’s important that you are happy in your living space and aware of as many of these annoyances as possible before moving in. There will always be things you don’t notice and have to get used to, but at least you’ll have a heads up and be more aware. I will say this is a variable that is often difficult to control, especially since landlords (in LA at least) are so busy and don’t want to waste their time. There are ways to get around this, like asking to look at the size of the closets “one more time”, or even asking to take some measurements to make sure your furniture will fit. This is a good example of where second-guessing the situation can be very helpful.
2. HIRE MOVERS FOR THE BIG STUFF.
At least hire movers to lift the crazy heavy furniture, if you have any. Don’t ever try to lift anything that is too heavy for you – especially not an armoire twice your weight. 😉 Two years ago I was moving into my Westwood apartment with Nut and one of my best friends, Julia. We actually did hire movers for everything, but they said they couldn’t get my armoire into the bedroom with how heavy it was and the shape of the wall. We all insisted it could be done, but they said we better not. After they left, we found a way to remove a couple more of the drawers, making it a little lighter. All three of us used all of our might, and succeeded in doing so – I also succeeded in tearing/pulling my intercostal muscle, which is basically located by your rib – or right under my left boob. WORST PAIN/INJURY OF MY LIFE – lesson learned, don’t think you are stronger than you are physically, save that for the mentality. 😉 Seriously though – you can find movers for $100 bucks an hour after tip if you book it ahead of time. If you don’t have crazy heavy furniture, just ask a friend to help in advance. And then make sure to buy them some beer, or lemonade, or give them a big hug and pray they love you enough! JUST DON’T PULL YOUR MUSCLES – some don’t recover fully and it’s just not worth saving the money.
3. ORGANIZE LIKE THE MOVERS ARE COMING THE DAY BEFORE.
It’s no secret, moving is the way to really find out how much freaking stuff you have! Things that you’ve forgotten about for the last year – maybe it got jammed in between the couch and the wall, maybe it fell behind the bed, or maybe you had everything so tightly stored in a closet just so it would fit! Regardless, you’re going to find a couple of surprises. If you’re anything like me, you mayyyy underestimate the amount of things you have to pack. Normally, we would have everything boxed up (or in the final processes of boxing up) and would be packing our car at the same time that the movers were packing our furniture in theirs. This made things slightly chaotic! Instead, on this last move, we had a “moving day” the day before the movers actually came. We took all of our clothes, accessories, towels – basically anything that we could carry, over to the new place. Not only did this enable us to be more calm and present on the actual “moving day”, it actually ended up saving us a good amount of money too since the move was a lot quicker.
4. START YOUR NEW LEASE A WEEK BEFORE THE OLD ONE ENDS, IF POSSIBLE.
Alright, let’s face it, this piece of advice is only is you can afford to do so. But if you can, I’m going to tell you it makes ALL the difference. We started this new lease two weeks before our old one was up. We did so for many reasons, but mainly because Nut already had a trip planned right smack in the middle of all this, and also because we decided we would rather move all of our stuff (minus the furniture) over ourselves, at our own pace, than pay the movers to help us with the boxes. Best moving decision we made because nothing felt rushed! To be 100% honest, I didn’t think it would be worth the financial means but I was definitely proven wrong.
5. ALWAYS MAKE SURE EVERY SINGLE IMPORTANT DETAIL IS COVERED IN THE LEASE.
I need to re-read this one myself a few times because I have to admit that we pretty much failed at this in our last apartment. It’s a tricky situation in cities that are desirable (i.e. Santa Monica), because you have to be so quick in every decision to ensure you can even get the unit. For example, my roommate was the first person to reach out to our SM landlord, we were the first ones to get over there and see the place, and we signed the papers right then and there. We had to, as there were countless other groups desperate to lock down the lease agreement. We did what we had to do to get the apartment, but during the rush, we missed a couple important details. The landlord had toured us around the property showing us our 3 parking spots that came with the place – the lease ended up only having 2 spots included. We spent the rest of the year at the top of our price range, battling for parking everyday. He also told us he was looking for long term tenants and would not raise our lease for a minimum of 2 years. Here we are, a year later, having to do this move all over again because our rent was raised a crazy amount. Don’t let anyone rush you. I know it’s easier said than done, but take your time!
I imagine that some of this advice really resonates with my big city friends, since that’s where apartments seem more difficult to come by. Trust me, I have many friends in New York, and San Francisco…..enough said. Hopefully you enjoyed this post and let me know anything that you think is super important. In the meantime, enjoy my GOLDIVLOGS of Nutty and I nailing this move….seriously smoothest one yet! Shoutout to Nutty for being such a trooper on his first vlog – being in front of the camera isn’t necessarily his thing, but he let’s me film whatever I want because he knows it makes me happy! 🙂
Noella Van de Voorde
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