Apologies for the brief hiatus. I decided to take a little break from posting to get our new home together. Nothing quite like living out of boxes. I felt the need to get settled as quickly as possible. Yet, here we are! In our new apartment. I know the summer and early fall in Boston is prime time for moving apartments. It is my hope to provide you with some insight into our experience and tips to save you time and money. These moving tips will help make your move much easier!
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- Moving Tips: Know Your Why and Create a Must-Have List
- Need more moving tips?
- How to Find a New Apartment in Boston
- Agent Recommendation
- Packing Tips and Tricks
- Choosing a Moving Company in Boston
- Moving Tips and Tricks
Moving Tips: Know Your Why and Create a Must-Have List
Before you start apartment hunting, you need to know your why and what you are looking for. If you don’t understand your desire to move, you will waste a lot of time seeing apartments that don’t meet your needs.
When my roommate and I decided it was time to move apartments, we sat down and created a list of what we wanted in our new home. We knew exactly why we wanted to move, including being in a larger apartment in a quieter neighborhood.
Our must-haves were an apartment with an actual living room, eat-in kitchen, off-street parking, close to the red line (subway), equal-sized bedrooms, in-building laundry, and ideally, an outdoor space of some kind.
Previously, we were living in an apartment building on Commonwealth Ave in Brighton. My roommate had lived there seven years, and I had been there for three. While our place was cute, it was, tiny being a 2-bedroom split. If you aren’t familiar with what a split apartment is, essentially, it is where there is no living room.
Another major part of our desire to move is that there is a lot of ongoing construction in our old building due to a water pipe break a couple of months ago. From 7 am to 4:00 pm, there is nonstop hammering. While they have to fix the building, it can be tough working from home throughout the daily ruckus.
Overall, we felt it was the right time to move on. Brighton is located directly between Boston University and Boston College, so the area is great for college-aged students. However, we are both in our 30s now so we wanted something a bit different.
Need more moving tips?
How to Find a New Apartment in Boston
So how do you find an apartment in Boston? Well, you can go the typical way of browsing Zillow and Facebook marketplace, but you may find yourself in a situation where you are plagued by spam or scam posts.
We decided to nix this approach and invest in a broker for our search. You can learn more about brokers in my other post, all about Moving Within the Greater Boston Area. This approach may not be for everyone, such as a college student looking to save money. I would recommend seeking resources through your university and word-of-mouth referrals through friends for students looking to save money. While less common, you can, at times from apartments without a broker fee.
There are agents out that may not exactly treat you like a valued client. Always check the reviews on an agent before you work with them. We found an exceptional agent that treated us well was present, always within reach, and understood what we were looking for. For these reasons, I highly recommend Adam Parady from Boston City Properties. He seriously made the process so much easier. Worth every penny!
Packing Tips and Tricks
It is amazing what you can accumulate over time. We were completely shocked by the shear amount of stuff we had to pack from our tiny apartment. There are quite a few packing tips that made our packing process much less stressful.
1. Use What You Have
Use what you already have in your home. Suitcases are ideal because they are easily transportable and you can pack quite a lot inside of them. Towels and linens also make excellent cushioning for fragile items such as kitchenware.
Ask your friends and family if they have any boxes they are looking to get rid of. However, if you are really in a bind, you could get free boxes from USPS. You can order them through their website without paying a dime. You can order boxes in sets of 1, 10, or 25. Then, once you are done with them, you can recycle them, use them for mailing, or give them to a friend who is also looking to move.
3. Sometimes It’s Worth Paying
For our bulkier items, I chose to get these awesome moving bags that are spacious and sturdy. It made moving our pantry much easier. Plus, you can easily reuse them in the future, so there is no waste involved.
4. Pack Smart
You don’t have to pack all of your clothes in boxes. To save time and space, leave your clothes on the hangers and place them in a large garbage bag. When you get to your destination you can hang the clothes up and slide the garbage bag off.
5. Be Ready the Day Before
Make sure you are finished packing at least the day before your move. You do not want to be scrambling to pack. This will only cause you stress and potentially more money if you movers have to wait.
Choosing a Moving Company in Boston
This move was my first time using a moving company. I was astounded by how quickly and efficiently Boston Best Rate Movers relocated us even though it was pouring rain outside. The crew was efficient, friendly, and responsible with our belongings.
There are many moving companies to choose from. I highly recommend researching your options and choose a company that fits your budget. Moving costs can add up quickly so it’s best to keep a detailed spreadsheet of your expenses.
Understanding Peak Times & Moving Quotes
If you want to save some money, try to plan your move during a non-peak time and in advance if you can. This can save you hundreds. Some peak dates in Boston at June 29-31 and anytime around September 1. Thankfully you can easily identify peak dates when you request a quote online. Most moving companies have a color-coded calendar you can check out when you fill out their quote form.
Don’t make the mistake of only getting a quote from one company. Depending on their availability, this can make the difference between paying $800.00 vs. $300.00. Visit the websites of several moving companies in your area to request quotes. This will give you options and help you find the most budget friendly option.
If you live on a busy street (North End, for example), you should ideally get a parking permit for the moving company. Some companies take care of this themselves, but you can easily request a permit via Boston.gov if they don’t.
Before your moving day be sure to inquire the best way to tip your movers. Best Rate Movers had the convenient option for us to tip via credit card, but some moving companies may require cash. Not a bad idea to check first so you can have cash on hand.
Moving Tips and Tricks
1. Triple Check Everything
Before your moving day, be sure to triple check the date on your reservation and call the company to confirm! We almost had the misfortune to lose our moving slot and a mix-up with our moving date. Thankfully the company recognized the error and was able to move us on the correct day.
2. Label Your Boxes Well for Your Own Sanity
To avoid living in a sea of boxes for weeks, be specific on each box by labeling the following:
- Specific Location (top dresser drawer, closet, etc.)
- A general list of what the box contains.
- Color coding stickers
- Snap pictures of box contents and labels
This may seem tedious but you will be very happy you took the time after you move.
3. Get Up Early the Day Of
Be sure to allow time for yourself by getting up early and eating a proper breakfast before your move.
4. Use Zip Lock Bags for Assembly Items
When disassembling furniture, place the screws in labeled zip lock bags. Keep all of the labeled bags in one spot. Personally, I kept them with me on the day of the move so there was no chance of them getting lost during our move.
5. Pack a Go-To Bag of Essentials
Keep your must-haves with you during your move. This will likely include your wallet, important documents, tools, chargers, toiletries, medications, a change of clothes, etc.
6. Fragile Items
If you have any fragile items that you are particularly concerned about, then pack them into your own car on the day of the move. For example, my roommate and I decided to move our own TVs and some boxes of our most fragile belongings.
I hope these tips will help see you through your upcoming move. Now that we are settled into our new home, I will have some fun upcoming post covering how we are decorating, organizing, and more. Sign up for our newsletter to stay updated!
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Hello everyone! I am a Boston based blogger that loves all things travel and lifestyle. You can usually find me working away at my university job, snapping pictures, thrifting, or trying out some new recipes.