Dwellsy is for renters, but we also are renters. Over the past month or so, a lot of the Dwellsy team has been moving, as we’re sure plenty of you have. In our virtual office spaces, we spent a while talking about all of our experiences moving, and some of our stories were pretty whacky. We thought we’d share what we learned with you, so that if you’re moving this summer, you might have less trouble than we did. So here’s our collective, very anecdotal advice. Hope it helps––and maybe you’ll get a laugh out of it, too!

Plan Ahead…But Be Prepared

You know what they say when you’re moving: plan ahead! But the truth is, no matter how much you plan, something’s bound to go wrong. Even with his best-laid plans in place, our staffer Garrett had to navigate dozens of problems as he and his family moved from Capitola to Santa Cruz. Garrett planned a move-out checklist, hired movers, and picked a move-out date. 

Despite all of this, he soon learned that the tenants of the rental he was moving into couldn’t move out when they had originally planned. The move-out date was pushed back, and Garrett took a spontaneous vacation to bridge the gap. He also had to get storage units for his family’s belongings, which took far more time, energy, and money than he had originally planned. But hey, at least he got a vacation out of the whole thing! 

Be Realistic About What You Can Take

Minimalism is trendy now, right? Moving is a great time to get really, really, really into it. Our staffers Lena and Jenny both realized the importance of cutting down. Lena is fresh out of college, and she was moving from New York City all the way to Hawaii. She thought a lot about what she would need in a real house instead of a dorm room. “Are you sure you want neon fairy lights in your living room?” she says. “If not, feel free to hand those off to another college student who might appreciate them.” As Marie Kondo would say, does it spark joy? If not, thank it and donate it or toss it.

Our head of marketing, Jenny, was shocked that she had so many clothes. When she was subletting her house to go on a road trip for the summer, she was surprised to find her closet crammed. “I definitely own too many clothes,” she said. I have to agree with her––I do, too. When my own family moved from a house on Long Island to an apartment in New York City, the best thing I did was to cut my clothes in half. My much-tinier apartment closet thanked me (although honestly, there are still clothes spilling out of it).

Car Troubles and Insurance

Whether it’s your own car, a U-Haul, or some other kind of rental, you’ve got to move in something. One of our software engineers, Jiaqi, found herself with plenty of car trouble. During her move from San Francisco to Seattle, she got into a car accident. She ended up having to stay in Sacramento for a week until she was able to rent a car and continue moving. The worst part was that all of their baggage was in the towed car, and things were missing by the time she was able to retrieve her belongings.

In the perfect ironic twist, she also received a parking ticket outside of her new apartment. Her advice to movers is to make sure that you have insurance for the vehicle you’re driving and to research parking policies ahead of time. She also suggests making sure that tickets, hotels, and cars can all be cancelled in case your plans go wrong. And as we’re learning, things miiiiiight just take a nosedive.

moving

I moved from Northampton to Boston with my then-partner, and then from Boston to New York with the same person. During the first move, I underestimated the amount of things we had. My dad was kindly driving us across Massachusetts. However, I hadn’t told him to rent a larger car, so he was just bringing his SUV. I stayed up all night, freaking out, wondering if we would have enough space. With the help of the luggage racks on top, we made it work. During the second move, my mom rented a minivan, and I knew we’d have enough room. My advice is to look closely at how much stuff you have. Be realistic about how much space you’ll need. It’s probably more than you think! Unless you followed my advice above and got really into minimalism.

Garrett also had his fair share of car trouble. He needed his U-Haul for several more days than he had originally planned. By the time Garrett was done with it, the folks at U-Haul were calling him over and over again. “[U-Haul] was literally trying to track me down at 11 PM,” Garrett told us. Unless you also want the U-Haul guy after you in the dead of night, learn from Garrett’s experiences! Leave some extra time if you can.

Extra Trash

“Plan for extra trash! Moving creates so much trash!” Jenny exclaimed. It really does, especially because you want to leave your rental clean to get your security deposit back. Both times that I was moving, I was astounded––and really embarrassed!––at the amount of waste we created. I had to make half a dozen trips up and down our apartment stairs to get everything to the curb. By the time we were done, I was ready to lie down on the floor and never get up. 

Jenny’s solution to get rid of all of the extra waste is simple: call your trash provider and see if they’ll do a bulk pick-up. You have to do it ahead of time. Jenny wishes she had known that it was an option. This should save you some extra hassle.

So there you have it: Dwellsy’s collective advice, all from renters just like yourselves. We hope that learning from, and laughing about, our mistakes helps you out. Best of luck on your rental search and with your move!

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