Moving sucks. Let me say it again for emphasis: MOVING SUCKS!!! It’s annoying, stressful, difficult, lame and ridiculously expensive UNLESS you know how to do it right. Having moved in the past two weeks and lived to tell the tale, here are my top five suggestions of how to relocate like a pro and avoid getting sucked dry by the dreaded moving monster.
1. Do NOT pay for cardboard
There are tons of places that sell new or slightly used moving boxes for what seems like cheap, but after you buy 20 of them to hold your precious crap, it adds up to money you don’t have. Ask around and chances are you have a friend who has a shit ton of boxes sitting around for whatever reason (aka box fort!). You can also dumpster dive at liquor stores and supermarkets if you’re friends box-fail on you.
2. Pack small. Pack light.
This next tip I learned the hard way, which is don’t think packing all or most of your shit into a few giant boxes is a good idea. It’s not. Have you ever had to carry a giant box filled with your roommate’s ridiculously large book collection down from your old third floor apartment to your new third floor apartment? Yeah, it sucks. So take my advice and pack lots of small, light boxes. It might seem less efficient but you’ll be wishing you’d listened when your arms fall off mid-stairwell.
3. Fuck movers
This tidbit of advice is not what it hints at. I am not suggesting that you actually have sex with a fleet of movers to reduce the fee (but now that I think about it…well, use your judgment) but that you don’t need to pay big burly men $70 an hour to move your life a few miles. The offer of free pizza and beer goes a long way in bribing a few of your strongest friends to help haul on the big day. It is also relatively inexpensive to rent a truck. I recommend you not use Uhaul because, while it’s cheaper, they have a bad habit of running out of trucks on popular moving days (i.e. the end/beginning of the month). I went with Ryder, which was having a deal if you booked online, and it did not ending up costing much at all split between two people. They did however force me to drive a truck two sizes bigger than the one I had requested, but in the words of the less-than-helpful Ryder employee: “Yeah it sucks, but now you can tell all your friends you drove a 24-foot truck.” Just call me Large Marge.
4. Think outside the truck
My roommate scored an awesome, but rather large armoire off of craigslist, and unfortunately by then I had returned the big rig. Not wanting to drop cash on a zip car, she enlisted a couple friends and a dolly to help her wheel it the half mile from the seller’s house to our place. Point being, if it’s close enough and can be wheeled, consider this before paying money for anything else. As long as you can enjoy how hilarious/awesome you look while walking a giant closet down the street, you’re golden.
5. Watch your shit
If you’re like me and have to unload all your stuff out of the truck and onto the sidewalk as quickly as possible because you need to get your mammoth of a moving truck out of the street it’s blocking before you get a ticket, or it explodes or some shit, I highly recommend you leave someone with your pile at all times. Aside from the obvious threat of things getting jacked, when passers by see mounds of random housewares on the sidewalk they assume that it is either for sale or up for grabs. Not that I blame them, but I turned my back for a second and saw my vacuum walking away with someone who thought they’d just scored big. Sorry that person.
Ugh. I’m exhausted just re-living that, but I hope you have learned from my mistakes and victories. Happy moving, you poor shmucks!