How To: Move Successfully

Boston

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Moving is never far from most Bostonian minds – semesters end, jobs change or you just get fed up with your commute on the T and need a change of neighborhood. Boston is full of transient occupants (ourselves included) so we thought we’d kick off our AT Boston coverage by sharing our best moving tips...

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Consider breaking the September 1 lease cycle.
Every Labor Day weekend over 250,000 students descend on Boston, Cambridge and the surrounding suburbs, looking for a place to live. Don’t forget about May, June and July when graduations and job offers relocate thousands and fantastic (often more grown-up) apartments become available. We sacrificed a security deposit to break the cycle and make our move from Cambridge to Brookline on May 1. The weather was cooler, there were plenty of moving trucks for rent (without the extra September 1 fees attached) and there was absolutely no moving traffic. If you can afford it, it’s worth every penny.

Purge before you pack.
Never move anything you don’t plan to keep. Donate old clothes and recycle what you can.

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Never pay for boxes!
There are too many cardboard boxes in the world already. Beer boxes are free and abundant at any liquor store and great for heavy items like books and dishes because they are smaller and practically impossible to over-pack. For larger boxes, try hitting up copy shops like Kinko’s. Stay away from grocery stores as these boxes tend to be soiled from food items. Know someone who’s moving before you? Ask them to save and collapse their boxes so you can reuse them!

Pack an “immediate use” box.
Small, random but important items like cell phone chargers, a couple glasses, plates, forks, alarm clock and anything you’ll need within 24 hours of moving. Throw a small lamp in, too, as many old buildings are without overhead lighting and you might be left in the dark.

Use your suitcases wisely.
Pack pots, pans and other large, awkward objects inside your suitcases instead of wasting boxes.

Keep your clothes on the hangers.
When you’re only moving across town, we’ve found that simply cutting a hole in the bottom of garbage bags and feeding the hanger hooks through creates great makeshift dry cleaning bags to protect clothes. Wrap the exposed hooks with a rubber band to keep them together and when you get to the new place, just hang the bags up.

Label, be specific and move only once.
Instead of “Kitchen” try “Kitchen: plates and bowls” - it’ll save you a headache later. When you get to the new place, try to unload the boxes into their final destination rooms to avoid moving them multiple times.

Enlist the help of friends and family.
But be advised, if they help you, you’ll owe them when it comes time for them to move...

Don’t think you can handle it?
Hire a moving company. Moving from one apartment to another is only half the battle - you’ll have your work cut out for you with unpacking and settling in. If you can afford it, pay the pros to do the heavy lifting.

Good luck and happy moving!

- Wes and Kayla for AT Boston

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