Monday, October 5, 2009

How to facilitate your move to your new home

Seems like everyone's leases end at around the same time.  Just this past weekend I got the keys to my new apartment.  Around the same time, one of my other friend also decided to move in with his now wife. 

There are a couple things I have learned with my numerous moves (and helping other people move) that I would like to share.  If you are not wealthy enough or too cheap to hire a moving company, these are some pointers that should help both your move as well as the people who were kind enough to volunteer to help out.
  1. Let people know as early as possible.  Give people a heads up at least several weeks in advance.  Don't be surprised if you pop the question a day or two before your move and people do not have the time to help.  You should value and be respectable of their time and help them, help you.
  2. Be packed before your help arrives.  This sounds very simple and Dr. Phil-ish but I am always amazed how many people fail at this simple point.  People who were kind enough to give up part of their weekend to help you are only there to help you move your furniture or boxes to the truck/van and back to your new place.  Your friends should not be the ones helping you pack and/or unpack.
  3. Move the little things yourself.  This goes back to respecting your friend's time.  You should do your best to move all of the smaller items yourself so when the big day comes the move is quick and painless for your friends.  Your friends should only be there to help move the items that are too big.  This theory varies greatly, of course, depending on the proximity of your old residence to new.  If your move is "down the street", I would suggest spending the previous week slowly moving items over.  What I found most useful is in the morning or the evening before I would load my trunk full, and after work I would drive over to the new place to drop things off.  If your move is more extended, I would suggest either taking 2 separate trips (one on your own for small items) or having your friends arrive later (so most of the small items you have already loaded on to the truck yourself in the morning).
  4. Get the timing right.  Many people try to time it so their leases overlap as little as possible.  My suggestion would be to leave at least a week of overlap with 2 weekends available for you.  This will give you plenty of time to both move the items on your own as well as allowance of additional time in case that one weekend was not enough.
  5. Reward your friends for helping.  Your friends decided to spend part of their weekend helping you move for free, you should return the favor after the move.  Take your friends out for lunch, beer, etc.  This can also double as your celebration for moving into a new place!
By following the simple pointers above, your move to your new home should be very quick and painless.

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