We all have skills that we've learned to master throughout the years. For me, moving apartments is one of them.
This girl has moved apartments seven times in the past eight years. Let's just say, I have grown accustom to staying in one place for a short period of time. Now, let me also preface this by saying I've physically lived in only two cities. So it's not like I'm making cross-country treks or anything. But moving, is moving. It's still a lot of time, effort and money spent.
While I'd like to think I'm a moving novice, there is still plenty yet to learn. With that said, I have learned a few tricks along the way that I wish I knew in the beginning. These tips can help you save time, money and your sanity. I'm also sharing the before pics of my place. Empty, brand new and a blank canvas waiting to be decorated.
I'll be updating y'all along the way over the next few months or so. I'll share photos when I can, provide y'all with some of my inspiration finds from Pinterest and share an apartment wish list. But first, let's start from the beginning shall we?
My awesome kitchen! I will be baking up a storm in here for sure!
Start Saving Now // Sometimes you have several months notice that you'll be moving and can start saving right then. Other times, you have less than a month and far less paydays ahead. So, save now. Whether you're comfortably living with no move in sight or see a lease ending in your foreseeable future, it doesn't hurt to add to your savings now. Even $20 a month can go a long way to saving you from going into debt during a move.
Budget and Prepare // There are so many unforeseen expenses throughout a move. This past move we decided to leave mid-lease. So we got slapped with several fines and fees. None of which I wanted to pay for, but thankfully had budgeted for. We also had several fines for apartment damages (like not painting the living room wall back). The biggest excess in expenses was for utilities. We had to basically pay bills for two places at the same time. On top of all of this, some places require a full month's rent up front + the full rent for that month. Talk about adding up!
If you set a healthy budget and prepare for the worst, you'll be surprised when you come out better in the end.
View inside my bedroom. It looks small, but all of my furniture fit well. You'll see soon enough. Oh, and if you're wondering about that blue window thing. It's a sky window. DC has a law that in order to characterize an apartment as a true one bedroom, you have to have natural sunlight. So this cutout provides just that.
Do It Yourself // While we can't always avoid hiring a moving company, many times we can. This move I thankfully was only moving floors within the same apartment building. It took many, many, many cart loads and trips to get it all down into my new place, but I did it myself. I then had some awesome friends come over for a "moving party" to help me move the BIG stuff like my couch, bed and dresser. In return, I bought dinner and beer for everyone. Cost me around $100, but way less than a moving company would.
Hire it Done // Sometimes we just don't have the time or situation to move ourselves or with friends. That's why my previous move I hired it done. I found the best moving company in DC, for a really great price. They packed up my apartment, loaded and unloaded, put my furniture back together all in TWO hours. They were insanely efficient. Cost me around $500 (including tip for three guys), but worth it in the end when I didn't have the time or capability to move myself.
New closet! Not nearly as big as my last apartment's, but still a pretty good size for sure. My favorite feature is the shoe rack!
Utilities // Once you have signed your new lease or purchased your house, schedule utilities. If you already have accounts with places like Comcast or Pepco, then you can easily switch your services online. Be careful, as some places charge transfer fees. I have found that if you call though, most places will wave those. Taking care of your utilities before you move ensures everything will be ready upon your arrival to your new place. And one less headache to worry with mid-move.
Order the Basics // Before you move, order the basic moving essentials from Amazon. They have a great moving package for really cheap. I also ordered a few cleaning supplies to have on hand.
Mail // Most people forget this one. But when you move, your mail just doesn't miraculously go with you. USPS allows you to easily transfer your address online for less than $2 and there's a really easy website for changing all of your magazine addresses. Just simply search the publication and you're taken straight to the change of address page. Super easy!
Self explanatory, but new bathroom!
Throw Away // In the past I've packed everything up and moved it. Only to throw a ton of stuff away post move. What a waste of time and energy. Instead of throwing away post pack, throw away before. Go through drawers, baskets and boxes while you pack. Throw items away you no longer wish to keep, or donate to your local Goodwill.
Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither was your apartment // Patience my friends, patience. So many times I have moved and wanted everything just so, that day. Well, it doesn't happen. Unless you're Lisa Vanderpump and can afford to have people move you and unpack in the same day, it doesn't work that way.
Spread out expenses // Like I mentioned in my first point, moving is expensive. It really takes a toll on your savings. So, spread out expenses. Don't buy every piece of furniture or decor item the same month you're paying all those moving fines and fees. Take your time, and purchase over a few pay periods.
Hallway from kitchen/living area to the bathroom (on the left) and bedroom (on the right)!
Oh, and another huge closet for storage!
Colored furniture = bad idea // From the girl who purchased a bright red couch, don't do it! If you're going to invest in furniture, leave the color to your accent pieces, pillows, artwork or rugs. Basically, don't purchase large furniture items in a color that can't easily be changed. Trust me, I know.
Those are some of the basic tips I've learned from my seven moves, ha! What are some tips that you've learned? Share in the comments below!
I'll be back Thursday with another brand new outfit post! Two in one week?! I'm seriously spoiling y'all! Stay tuned, xo!