Moving is incredibly exciting. It represents a new chapter in our lives where anything is possible! It can also be a huge pain in the butt. Hopefully the four lessons I learned can make your moving experience a little more enjoyable.
1. Ask the questions that seem to have an obvious answer. For example: Will the damage caused from the previous tenant be fixed? Will the condo association tow guests’ cars? Will the apartment be clean when we get there? Etc.
When my boyfriend and I signed a lease for a condo in Columbus, Ohio, the previous tenant had recently moved out. The place was dirty, and we assumed that the landlord would pay to have it professionally cleaned before we moved in. When we arrived with our truck a month later, the place was disgusting. There was food stuck to the kitchen floor, cat hair everywhere, and I’ll spare you the bathroom details. My landlord’s response was to email me a receipt for a 30 minute cleaning session with a local maid service. We spent the next three days cleaning the place from top to bottom instead of unpacking and settling in. Not fun!
2. Introduce yourself to the neighbors! When I first moved to Tucson, Arizona, I was single, living alone, and had a dog. My neighbors immediately introduced themselves, and I’m so glad they did! Not only were they incredible people to know, but we consistently helped each other out. One neighbor watched my dog while I was visiting home for Christmas, another let the utility guy in to hook up my Internet, and I ended up babysitting for another when she needed some time to run errands. We were such a community, and they made my life so much easier in a new city.
3. Moving yourself isn’t worth it the cash saved. Moving across the country is expensive. Since my boyfriend and I didn’t have a whole lot of stuff, we thought we’d move ourselves. While everything turned out okay, half way through the drive we regretted our decision. Gas usage rises greatly when you’re towing a car, we ended up buying replacement tarps to cover our things in the bed of a truck after they ripped halfway through the drive, and it was incredibly stressful trying to fill up our tank in crowded gas stations. Safe yourself the time and spend the extra cash to hire movers. What could have been a laid-back cross-country trip together turned out to be a giant headache.
4. Read and re-read your lease. I have only lived in a big apartment complex once. I signed a six-month lease while working a seasonal job and was hardly ever there. A week before my lease ran up, I went to the rental office to schedule a move out inspection — and they asked if I had already given a 30-day notice. To some of you, this may seem like a bonehead move, but I had no idea they needed written notice when I had signed a six-month lease! I ended up paying an extra month of rent because the lease automatically rolled into a month-to-month contract upon expiration. Whoops!