Well Ladies and Gents I want to apologize for being MIA. The hubs and I recently moved. After about 3 months, we are finally settled. The things I have learned from moving! Since my site is called Tips and Advice, I feel that I need to share my experience and what I have learned. If you have never picked up and moved before this could be helpful. If you have, please feel free to share your tips of what has helped you. I know we will move again …..one day.. hopefully later then sooner because this latest move nearly wiped me. They say moving is on the list of most stressful things in your life. I think divorce ranks #1 and taxes #2. I have never felt so stressed out in my entire life, and I am generally a stressed out person.
We were originally in a rent controlled place in sunny Santa Monica, CA. You would think that we would want to stay. Well lets just say, our place was so nice that the management knew they could get more and decided to make our lives a living hell for almost a year. Finally we had enough of them and realized that this great apartment was not so great for the price we were paying and that we could find much better if we took the time to look.
Here are the things I learned:
- Look around and see the different areas-
Decided the area you want to live first before even looking for a physical place. Is the commute worth it? Is the money you spend on gas and wear & tear on your car, the same money that you will be saving by moving somewhere cheaper? If it is the same, then you may as well move closer then farther. You will not be saving in the end, and potentially spending more in repairs on your vehicle, not to mention time in traffic. I live in LA and there is ALWAYS traffic.
Go to the area at night. Would you feel safe at night walking your dog or taking a stroll? How about having to wait for public transportation? We live in a beautiful city, but every city has a bad area. There are streets you would not catch me on in Santa Monica at night. I do not care how pretty it looks during the day. The hubs and I had a funny laugh when I told him that Santa Monica has not so great areas. He was like “No way dear, you have no idea what a bad area is, since you have never left here” Well I took him down that street at night, and let me tell you, he retracted his statement. Get a feel for what is around the area. Is there as grocery store near or places to eat? Check out what is around since you will most likely be there for at least a year.
- There’s an app for that!
Once you have narrowed down the areas to move too, there are a ton of different apps you can down load (if you have a tablet or smart phone). If you are familiar with WestSide Rentals, I would suggest signing up for them and downloading their app. I would try to stay away from Craigslist. There are a lot of false ads listed.
We had to downsize. It was not fun but worth it in the end. Go through all your stuff. If you have not used it in the last 6 months (unless its seasonal decorations), then get rid of it. I am serious. I went through all my clothes, closet, linens, and kitchen. Go from room to room and open the drawers and cabinets. You will be surprised at how much you do not use. You will feel much better after.
- Pack one room at a time
Just like going through stuff from room to room, you want to pack one room at a time. If not, your house will be in shambles! Start with the things you do not use as much. Depending on how much time you have to pack up, that will determine where to start. Label boxes by room.
- Meltdowns are normal
Do not be alarmed if you have a meltdown or panic attack. Anxiety comes with moving. I had too many meltdowns to count. It will pass.
- MOST IMPORTANT – Hire movers!
I wish we hired movers. We had friends help us but it was a pain. To me, it is worth it to pay for someone. Make sure to do your research on companies. We also made the mistake of hiring 2 guys from outside U-Haul. They broke a ton of our stuff and then came back and stole our bikes. Professional movers usually come with a big moving truck too. That will save you the cost of renting a truck. I thought it would save us money but we had to rent the truck and they also charged per mile. So like I said, HIRE MOVERS.
- Take photos
After you move out of old place, take photos to make sure you do not get swindled by your landlord. Before you move your stuff into new place, take photos as well.
- Ask for receipts
When your old landlord gives you back your deposit, make sure to ask for itemized receipts to make sure you were properly charged. Each state has different tenant rights so make sure you know yours.
- Unpacking takes time
It does not happen over night. The hard part is over, you already moved. Take your time unpacking and organizing to your liking.
It is nice to love where you live. Enjoy it! I live for staycations!