A One-Box Moving Trick

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Ok, maybe the title is a little on the misleading side. I would never claim to be able to fit all my belongings in one box. But there is something you can do with one solitary box which will make your life a little bit easier. To begin, I recently moved (for what feels like the millionth time) and realized that it’s important to do some planning ahead. I normally like to take things as they come and just go with the flow. However, some things require some forward thinking from time to time.

The one box thing is this: Create your ideal box of items you will need the day you arrive at your new apartment. These are the items which normally you may pack up with the other items in the room they are normally found in. But really what should happen here is to collect items from each room which you will need your first night / morning in your new place. The reason being, if you pack them up with everything else then you have to struggle to find these items in a mountain of boxes at a point which you’re already exhausted.

I had this realization when I woke up on my first morning in my new spot and there was no coffee pot (timed and set the night before) brewing. Tragedy struck. So it’s helpful to make a list of the things you might need in order to avoid such catastrophes, like going to school or work uncaffeinated.

Here are some items you may want to consider throwing in your One Box:

  • Sheets
  • Pillow
  • Phone Charger
  • Toiletries
  • Toilet paper
  • Shower curtain and rings
  • Towel
  • Coffee maker and coffee
  • Non perishable food and snacks
  • A small set of tools
  • Several cooking utensils and dishes (enough for one meal)
  • A book to read (if you’re like me)

To tip or not to tip the moving help

First of all, if someone is helping you move, hired or not, they are helping you in a big way so the answer is generally yes, you should tip. If, however, the service was terrible, you’ve had things break, or the movers did not listen to your requests, do not feel like you have to tip, tipping should depend on how good the service was, just like in a restaurant.

  • If there is only one or two movers, about $50-$70 (to split between them) is a good tip. Keep in mind, it you had a lot of heavy stuff, an extra $10 or more might be added.
  • If there was more than one or two movers, $30 for each of them is good. Give the total to the supervisor to make sure that it gets split evenly.
  • Besides money, provide drinks and even lunch if the move takes a long time. It does not have to be a 5-course meal, but ordering a box of pizza or two will be greatly appreciated.

More moving tips here.

10 tips for a successful move

Whether you are moving out of your dorm, moving from one apartment to another, moving into your first apartment/house, or even moving back home, the process of packing is never a fun one. Being someone who has gone through a lot of moves, I know the struggle of organizing, packing, and cleaning my apartment/home when it comes time to move out. Here are some tips to make your next move the most successful one yet.

  • Have all of your moving supplies ready before you start packing, as in making sure you have plenty of boxes, tape, and markers right by your side. You don’t want to run out of something as important as boxes in the middle of packing.
  • Make sure you have assembled your boxes properly… you wouldn’t want it falling apart in the middle of the move.
  • Always pack the heavier items at the bottom of a box.
  • If you have a bunch of small boxes filled already, put them all in one big box so you can carry more things at once.
  • Keep your most important items in a specific bag or box that only you will carry. You don’t want to lose them or have something damage it in any of the other boxes.
  • Once your boxes seem full, fill any free spaces with linen or sheets. That gives your sheets a place to stay and it keeps the rest of the items in the box from moving around as much.
  • Don’t use garbage bags as boxes… they will just rip and tear, making more of a mess than actually being useful.
  • If it is absolutely essential that you have to carry liquids, make sure to label the box “this side up” to keep the liquids from spilling.
  • If you’ll need tools to assemble furniture, make sure to keep them near you so they won’t be lost among the rest of the boxes.
  • Mark all of your boxes so you know what’s in each box.

Happy moving!

More moving tips here.

Saving Money While Apartment Hunting

Searching for and finding just the right apartment can be a hassle. Comparing prices, making sure you’ll be close to your job and/or school, and worrying about who you will be living with is enough on your plate, but making sure you are being responsible with your money is important too. Here are some ways to watch your wallet while you are on the look out for a new apartment.

Don’t use a broker.  Unless you are moving to a completely different new city and you don’t know anything about the area, you can save a ton of money by searching on your own by using a free apartment guide of the area. Research the area you are considering moving to yourself and visit the area to get a feel for it. The money you will save by not having to pay some middleman their commission will astonish you.

Ask about move-in discounts.  Apartments are almost always offering move-in deals and discounts to compete with other apartments in the area, and you can save a bundle by using that to your advantage. Some apartments offer a percentage off your first month when you sign a year lease, while some will even offer the first month or two free. Don’t be afraid to ask.

Move yourself.  Instead of paying big bucks to hire moving men, consolidate and pack efficiently and move yourself. If you have to, rent your own small moving trailer or have a few friends help you, but at the end of the day, this route will be a lot cheaper than paying strangers to do it for you.

All the money you save can be used to buy new things for your awesome new apartment. Happy apartment hunting!