Posts

You’ve done it! You have finished all the hard work of scouting for a new apartment and found the place that has everything you’re looking for. You’ve signed your lease and there is only one last step to complete. Unfortunately, it is one of the toughest, because moving is never easy.

Moving is never much fun. While you weren’t looking it seems as if all of your possessions have multiplied. It also probably won’t fit in your car in just a couple of trips. Many people look into renting a moving truck for this, but sometimes you can get by without renting a truck. Here are some things to consider if you want to try going without a moving truck.

Can it be Done?

If your new apartment is your first home and you only have a few possessions you might be able to pull off moving without a truck. It also depends on how far you’re going, too. Moving across town can be done fairly easily if you can get friends and family to help. They can also be bought off with the promise of food and beer when the job is done. Moving across the state without a truck is trickier.

The amount of time you have to move is also important. If you have a few weeks you can make several small trips over time with maybe a day or two for some of the bigger items. If your time is limited, however, a truck will save on time since you can carry more in one trip as opposed to several smaller trips.

Do You Have the Equipment?

This also ties in to what you’re moving. Packing blankets, dollies, and other such things are often included in the truck, but if you don’t have access to these yourself it can be harder to move large, bulky items.

Most people also prefer moving trucks for large items such as mattresses and furniture. These are really hard to move in a standard car, but if you have friends or family with a pickup this is the best way around the bulky item question.

Can You Even Drive a Moving Truck?

Driving a large, bulky moving truck is vastly different from a regular car. It takes some getting used to and you’ll have to watch turns, overpasses, and much more. If you do choose to rent a truck you might have to pay separately for insurance, too. Your regular car insurance often will not provide coverage for moving trucks.

If these are questions you have satisfactory answers to, then have at it. A move can be done without a large moving truck and you can probably save money in the long run if you choose this option. The downside is that it can be a lot of hard work that you may not be ready to tackle. If you do choose to rent a truck after all make sure to read if the mileage is covered in the rental and how much fuel you have to leave in it as well.

How to Avoid 3 Common Moving ScamsThe three most common moving scams all involve money. Before you continue to read about the common scams of moving companies, just know that all can be avoided, quite simply, if you sign a contract before you officially decide to hire or use moving services.

  1. Inflating Prices after Packing All Your Belongings

One thing you want to watch out for is hiring a moving company without having a contract with an established, agreed upon price for the move. If you don’t have a contract, some rogue moving companies will pack all your belongings and then require that you pay a fee two or three times larger than estimate or refuse to unpack your stuff. This is a terrible situation: avoid it at all costs!

  1. Inflating Prices after Giving an Estimate

Some dubious movers will just glance at all your belongings and give a “rough” estimate of how much moving fees and services will cost. Do not trust this, and do not base your final decision on the estimate being true. Rather, if you receive an estimate or not, do not agree to use the services of a moving company without signing a contract with an agreed upon price.

  1. Deposit Required before Moving

Lastly, unscrupulous moving companies might require a deposit before showing up to move your stuff. Never do this. This is the sure sign of a scam. Scammers will just take your deposit money and never show up. Then you’ll be out of both movers and out of money.

Signing a contract is the best way to avoid the scams listed above. But there is also more you can do to protect yourself. First of all, never give a deposit. The only time this might be necessary is if you move on a holiday, but otherwise virtually no reputable moving company will require one of you. Another thing you can do is ensure the moving company is licensed by the Department of Transportation. Simply visit their website and do some research on your movers. Additionally, the Department provides a checklist brochure so you’ll never be in the dark about whether your movers are legitimate or not. Lastly, you can always check online reviews. Chances are, if they’re scammers, other people have already reported them.

tips when searching for apartmentsThink about What You Can’t Change

The most important thing to remember before signing a lease is you can’t change some things. This just means that some things you should be certain that you’ll be okay with before you sign the lease. If not, you may end up upset, with eight months left on your lease. Put yourself in the best situation by remembering the following things when exploring your rental options.

Property Manager

You cannot change your property manager. Of course, your property manager might change while you’re a resident, especially if you are a long-term resident. But you need be sure that your personality will mesh with your property manager’s personality and communication style. That’s not to say you’ll have to be the same person or you’ll need to be friends, but just that you can understand where they’re coming from.

Neighbors

Your neighbors will change. But some neighbors may stay at the apartment property longer than you. Before you sign the lease, it’s a good idea to attend a community event the apartment community is involved in. Or, even, hold one yourself. Have a cookout, or set one up with the property management staff, for the community.

Seasons

Like most people, you’ll probably visit different apartment communities during the spring and summer seasons. But a good air conditioner in the summer doesn’t equal a good furnace in the winter. Ask neighbors about how the apartments change with the seasons.

Lease

You must read your lease. You can’t change it once you sign it. It’ll tell you the responsibilities of your property manager and your own obligations while you’re a resident. This will be your guide for certain policies as well. Most of all, if you find something unacceptable in your lease, talk with the property manager about it. You might get it changed.

Think as if Your Apartment is Permanent

The best thing to do when looking at apartments is to pretend you’ll be living at the apartments permanently. This may open up your eyes to things you may not focus on. For instance, you might think to ask about how old the water heater is. You might think about the water pressure, and how much utilities generally cost.

Pretending your apartment will be permanent is a good way to come up with questions to understand your move-in situation better. Then there’ll be no surprises. Remember, if you have any questions about the apartment you’re visiting, don’t leave it unanswered. Ask the property manager and do your own research.

moving tipsMoving is always an exciting experience. It can be stressful, however, if you don’t prepare. These three tips will help you put your best foot forward on move day.

Packing

Begin packing for your move a few weeks in advance. Pack clothes you won’t wear soon first, a few weeks ahead of the move. Then follow up with rare-use items. Those candles you haven’t lit since last year? Wrap them in your extra towels. Leave day-to-day stuff for the final week before the move. Preparing for your move early ensures a less stressful move-day experience.

Donate or Sell Unwanted Items

When you begin packing, you’ll notice some things you would rather leave behind. This is why it’s important to get a head start. Take all the unwanted stuff to Goodwill or make a few bucks hosting a yard sale. Whatever you do, it’s a good idea to lighten your load. Fewer boxes mean fewer things to move. And it also means more space for new stuff in your new home!

Label Boxes and Pair Items

As you look around at all the glassware you own, don’t worry about getting newspapers or bubble wrap to pack with. Use things you already have handy and need to store anyway. For instance, clean sheets, blankets, towels, and clothes work just as well to create layers of separation between glassware. There’s no need to get fancy.
And while you’re putting that all-purpose cleaner and dish detergent into boxes, be sure to label them appropriately. Then you won’t have your friends asking every few seconds, “Where does this go?” The less you need to explain when you get to your new home the less time it will take to setup your living room and watch Netflix.