Moving. It’s an experience we all hate, but are forced to deal with at some point in life. It involves strenuous hours of cleaning, packing, lifting, sweating, unpacking, crying, stressing, and every other negative -ing word you can think of. It causes you to think several times a day, “why do I have so much stuff?!”
When my fiance and I recently found ourselves in the position of having to move 130 miles North of our first home together, we wanted to cry. Happy tears, at first, because this move is the result of Mike landing his dream job as a firefighter for Redondo Beach. Then stress tears, because this dream job started really soon and we had very limited time to find a new place to call home.
We decided on living in Pasadena for several reasons: we really liked to visit the city prior to our move, so we were fairly familiar with it; it’s aesthetically pleasing with the trees and historic buildings; we have family both in the city and close by, so we wouldn’t be isolated; and it has more up-to-date apartment options than the Redondo Beach area.
Now that we are settled, we’ve been wondering if moving from San Diego to Pasadena wasn’t as bad as we thought it was at the time. The truth is there are things about moving that are not fun to deal with and can’t be helped. But there are ways to make it an easier process altogether. So I’d like to share what I’ve learned with you.
1.Research the area you are moving to
I prefer to use the Trulia app when apartment hunting, because you can see how the crime and schools are rated in the area surrounding the residence of interest. It’s also important to google the proximity to your frequented shops, like the grocery store, Costco, IKEA, shopping mall, and gas station.
2.Toss, toss, toss!
We all accumulate stuff, mountains of it, so what better time to rid yourself of things you haven’t touched in months? I filled ten trash bags and two cars with donations for Good Will during our recent move. Toss what you don’t use as you pack up your old place, and then go through one more sweep as you unpack at your new place. Not only are you freeing up space, but you’re giving someone else the opportunity to use what you haven’t.
3.Label your boxes
There’s nothing more frustrating than combing through boxes, trying to find an item you need. Been there, done that. After you’ve packed a box, attach a sticky note with a label of what is inside. When you’re wondering where your towel is or where you packed the soap for the much-needed first shower, you won’t have to stress for long because you’ll know exactly which box it’s in.
4.Research transportation options that suit your travel needs
Exactly one year ago, Mike and I moved to San Diego. At the time, we couldn’t afford to rent a U-Haul so we relied on borrowing a truck from a friend, and then made several trips between the Inland Empire and San Diego to get our stuff. Instant regret. It was an absolute headache! If you are traveling a great distance and have stuff that can’t be easily moved in a couple of trips, it’s worth it to invest in a moving truck. Research deals online before you commit, but don’t take on more than you should by trying to forgo paid transportation.
5.Accept help that is offered to you
It’s easy to fall into the pattern of turning down help from family and friends when it’s offered; we do it all the time, because we’d rather not trouble others with our problems. This is one instance when you shouldn’t do that. Take the help. You will be forever thankful for it.
6.Keep essentials accessible
Paper towels, soap, toilet paper, plastic utensils and paper plates, snacks, water. You come to realize there are certain items you won’t have even seconds to track down in a time of need. Put these in a grocery bag or backpack, and keep it on hand during moving day.
7.Get your parking situation squared away before you move
We had no idea that the City of Pasadena has strict laws regarding street parking. Since our apartment comes with one spot, we’ve spent unnecessary time struggling to figure out how to park our second car. Research parking in your new area and have it figured out before you get that first ticket or have to park miles away from your home.
8.Foster friendly terms with the landlord
Our previous landlord was odd. We didn’t communicate often with him, and when we did we struggled to develop good terms. Thankfully, our new landlord could not be more opposite. First impressions are crucial, so bring your smile and gratitude to that very first meeting. When you need repairs or when it’s time to give 30 days notice, you will be thankful to have established a good relationship with the head hauncho.
9.Conduct a thorough walk-through
Your landlord should request to do a walk-through of your new residence with you. If this is not the case, make sure to do that ASAP before you’ve moved in a single box. Snap pictures of anything that looks broken or out of place, and let your landlord know. The last thing you want is to lose your security deposit over something you didn’t do.
You did it! It’s done! You packed up, moved, and have successfully settled into your new home. In the middle of all the unpacking chaos, make time to celebrate this new chapter in your life. Pop open some champagne or crack open a beer. Eat a slice of cake, get a burger from In N Out, or start that new show on Netflix you haven’t had time for in the last week. Hashtag treat yo self.