The sun rose on Tuesday morning and my surroundings were strange. I know what you’re thinking, and no, I was not kidnapped. I simply moved to a new apartment. These strange surroundings were anticipated, and not unexpected or frightening.
The move, I have to say, went pretty smoothly. But moving day started off incredibly rocky. Moving can be stressful as it is, but I think in my case it was merely awful luck. Here are some things I’ve learned upon getting an apartment of my own.
1. Assume Murphy’s Law to be in full effect.
My parents’ house is situated in a neighborhood that isn’t the greatest. It’s certainly nowhere near the worst in the city of Buffalo, however, and that said, I never felt unsafe. I lived in that neighborhood for twenty-three years. For two of those years, I had a car, and I always parked on the same block without a problem. Until moving day (referred to hereinafter as ‘Monday’).
I won’t bore you with details, but somebody broke into my car the night before Monday. Not only did they break into it, they attempted to hot-wire it. But they failed, and stole the ignition instead, leaving me with a useless piece of junk. Murphy’s first of five laws states that anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. That’s exactly what happened. If there’s a silver lining, it is that all my crap was still there and untouched. No CDs* were stolen.
*My car is (was?) a 2003; it was manufactured before the invention of auxiliary jacks.
A perfect day to move would include:
- Not having to work.
- Clear and/or sunny skies.
- Careful movers (if applicable).
- A fully functional and non-broken-into vehicle.
Given that list, if you’re moving, it is safe to assume the following:
- Your boss will attempt to call you into work (and maybe even penalize you if you refuse).
- If the forecast says there’s any percent chance of rain, it will downpour for the entire duration of your move.
- If you hired movers, they will be careless and break your shit. OR, they will accidentally break/dent something else of yours while transferring your shit, and show little to no remorse.
- Your car will be broken into and rendered useless, or at the very least, will break down.
If you’re expecting it, you’ll prepare for it, and you won’t be surprised. Then when things go over more smoothly than anticipated, it’ll make the entire day that much easier on you.
2. Do not make any plans the day you’re moving.
Even if you progressively make trips to your new place, and take a little bit with you each day, the dreaded furniture transportation day will soon be upon you. On that day, you should stray from making any definite plans with friends. If they know you’re moving, they should understand. Similarly, you should understand that this usually ends up being an all-day project. On Monday, we began transferring furniture and things at around 1:30 PM. We didn’t get settled until almost 11 that night. It was constant back-and-forth, rearranging furniture, building furniture, deciding where things in boxes would go, taking breathers, eating in between, and anything else I may have forgotten (but I think that about covers it). Workers from DirecTV and Verizon also came out to the apartment that day to set up our television and internet. The DirecTV worker was here for almost the entire day and didn’t leave until 10:30 PM.
You just never know when you’ll be done. And even if you finish moving things at a reasonable hour, chances are you’re going to be tired and not feel like doing anything. Also, if all the furniture is at your new place, don’t forget the best part: unpacking.
That girl is doing it right.
3. It’s hard to know what you don’t have until you need it.
You didn’t think I was going to make it through this post without including a Spongebob meme, did you?
Plastic wrap. A pizza slicer. Silverware. A pantry to hold your groceries. A toilet brush. Command strips. Linens. A toaster. The list is endless. It is always good to keep a list of things you’re going to need for your new apartment or house. If you’re moving from a place at which you lived on your own already, you’re ahead of the game. This means you more than likely can just take everything with you. However, if you’re moving out after a breakup and you lived with your now ex, then you’ll probably have to divvy up the goods. If the breakup was messy, feel free to assume the role of Spurned Ex-Lover and steal their expensive Vitamix or favorite pair of acid-wash jeans. (If you steal the latter, you’re doing them a favor, anyway. They are welcome.) I like to call this game ‘Failimony.’
Or, if you’re moving out for the first time from your parents’ house, you probably won’t be able to take a majority of their things. I’m sure they’ll gladly help you and donate whatever they don’t need or use, but keep your hands off their vacuum and imported China- this is nonnegotiable.
My parents helped me a great deal when my brother and I moved; my mom even helped to pay for our first round of groceries. But even after weeks of preparing and constantly thinking about things we might need, we still fell short in some areas. Realistically, you won’t know exactly what you’re missing until you’re unpacking and it’s not in front of you. This is my fourth day here and I only just realized earlier this morning that we don’t have a toaster.
4. Moving is a good reason to get rid of a lot of stuff.
I was shocked to discover that I didn’t have as much to move as I thought I was going to. Even still, upon stashing my things in boxes I was often up against the question of whether or not I should keep this or that. I had the fortune of being able to keep things at my parents’ house that I wasn’t sure what to do with. Things that would’ve just taken up space in my apartment that could’ve been utilized for other things. Things I wanted to keep for at least a little longer but that weren’t worth transferring.
Think about it. Who has the energy or the will to clean house without being forced to? I know I don’t. On very rare occasions at my parents’ house, I would clean a mere section of my room, which eventually would proceed back to its entropic state, anyway. Moving was the excuse and the kick in the ass I needed to rifle through my somewhat hoarded possessions and throw out or give away what I could bear to part with. Strangely enough, while I was wasn’t necessary a ‘hoarder’ as defined by those asshats you see on that reality television show, I had a problem getting rid of mail. It wasn’t that I found it necessary to keep every piece that was delivered, but that I was more concerned for my privacy should I have disposed of something with my address on it. Luckily, my dad bought one of those security stamps that renders personal information illegible by way of a crowded text block. Like this:
I got rid of a lot of mail. Upon moving, I bought a paper shredder to alleviate the stress altogether.
If you have some expensive belongings you’re trying to get rid of, instead of discarding or donating them to a thrift shop (cue Macklemore), try to sell them to family or friends, or on eBay. I’m a bit scorned by eBay, though, because the Nintendo DS that I’ve been trying to sell for TWELVE DOLLARS hasn’t gotten a single bid, and has been relisted twice. What’s wrong with you people? Less than twenty dollars including shipping. Get on that.
5. It is easier to build a room around a bed.
This is something I learned from my brother. Your bed is probably the biggest piece of furniture you have, unless you own a life-size ceramic elephant or something. Assuming you’re not one of those people, you should be concerned most with where you’ll place your bed in your room. Being a large piece of furniture, it’s important to find it a snug spot first and foremost, and then place your other furniture around it. I brought the following to my apartment:
- Computer desk
- Swivel chair
You can go right ahead and take an educated guess at which of those is the biggest. Before moving anything, I neglected to take the dimensions of any of my furniture, and tried to mentally place each piece around my room. In my head, my futon was smaller than in actuality, and so my estimated placements were illegitimate. It all worked out in the end, thankfully. If I had placed, say, my computer desk, dresser, and bookshelf first, I may not have had sufficient space for my futon. Then I would have had to move everything around, and that would have been tedious. For that reason, it is smart to build any room in your residence around the largest piece of furniture that will go in that room. Living rooms can be built around couches; dining rooms can be built around dining tables; kitchens can be tricky because ovens, dishwashers, and refrigerators are all relatively similar. But ovens and dishwashers can both be integrated into counter space.
Please don’t mistake my seeming expertise in interior decorating for credentials. I am merely homosexual.
I hope this half-assed guide to the annoyances of moving was even only a little bit informative. As always, if you have any tips to add, feel free to leave them in the comments. I do read, respond to, and enjoy every comment I receive. 🙂