A New Apartment!

If this doesn’t belong in this forum, I don’t know what does.

I just got accepted into a new apartment. This is terribly exciting, because Burlington (VT) has a .04% vacancy rate, so at any given time, 4% of ONE apartment is available. And I found a one bedroom for $450! Holy Great Apartment, Batman!

So here’s the question: I have to move in by April 1st, and I have always lived with roommates who handle all the bills, have funiture, that kind of thing. Do I call the electric and gas companies now and tell them that I want them to turn on the stuff now? I need to do a change of address, and get the phone company to give me a number. What else? A coworker is giving me pots and pans and flatware, and I have dishes, so that’s not too big a deal. I was planning on buying a big girl bed and banishing my lumpy futon to the livingroom.

Any suggestions from people who have moved a lot? I basically have to pack this weekend, because I am in a show next weekend. Luckily the 1st falls on a Saturday (THANK YOU, (insert deity of your choice here). ARGH! Too much to do! Help me, Dopers!

Wooohoooo!!! Congratulations SR!!!

You can call them now to schedule them to turn the electricity, etc. to be turned on on your move in day. My only other suggestion is, if you need a rental truck to move your things reserve that now too. When I moved there was a run on people needing trucks and I had to drive all over town in search of one. Who would have thought people would be moving on July 4th weekend?

I really try to be good but it just isn’t in my nature!

My experience has been that the electric people can handle the switch over with 2 days’ notice or so, but the phone company needs at least a week.

Call as far in advance as possible to get the truck and you absolutely MUST get a dolly. It will save your life. Also, have a cooler stocked with cold water, soda, fruit juices, sport drinks, and what have you.

If pals are helping you move, spring for pizza and beer for the meals and supply munchies through out. They deserve at least that much.

Also, psychologically speaking, I’ve found that what makes me feel “at home” as soon as I’ve moved in is to get the bed put together and made as soon as possible, as well as a few pictures up on the wall. Don’t dawdle on putting the boxes away, or you’ll feel like an impermanent guest in your own home.

If you don’t have furniture, that’s okay. Hit the garage sales, ask friends (or better yet, the parents of friends), and see if there are any inexpensive sales, long term loans, or outright charitable donations you can get. Whatever you do get your hands on, see if you can do all the moving the same day/weekend. It’s hellish while you do it, but you’ll be so glad you’ve got it out of the way.

And speaking from experience, if you have a bud who’s good with spacial relations (like my bro is), let them do all the arranging/packing. In fact, do a minimum of bossing and a maximum of helping. It’ll make the move go easier for everyone.

And congratulations.

PCW - guess what weekend I last moved on? Yep. 4th of July.

My move in date is…April Fool’s Day. Yuck.
Excellent advice on the cooler full of stuff, when I moved into my current apartment, we had nothing, and I had to drink the tap water (not a good idea in my town.) Any other thoughts?

DON PEDRO: Your silence most offends me, and to be merry best becomes you; for, out of question, you were born in a merry hour.

BEATRICE: No, sure, my lord, my mother cried; but then there was a star danced, and under that was I born. -Much Ado About Nothing, Act II, Sc: i

My move in date is…April Fool’s Day. Yuck.
Excellent advice on the cooler full of stuff, when I moved into my current apartment, we had nothing, and I had to drink the tap water (not a good idea in my town.) Any other thoughts?

DON PEDRO: Your silence most offends me, and to be merry best becomes you; for, out of question, you were born in a merry hour.

BEATRICE: No, sure, my lord, my mother cried; but then there was a star danced, and under that was I born. -Much Ado About Nothing, Act II, Sc: i

Stupid double posting. Sorry.

DON PEDRO: Your silence most offends me, and to be merry best becomes you; for, out of question, you were born in a merry hour.

BEATRICE: No, sure, my lord, my mother cried; but then there was a star danced, and under that was I born. -Much Ado About Nothing, Act II, Sc: i

Congratulations, SwimmingRiddles! Good luck with your new apartment.

The comment I have, from having moved and having helped several people move:
If when your helpers show up, everything is already in boxes and readty to go (the impossible dream), there will be smiles all around and things will go mucho faster. Then you might be able to convince them to hang around and clean up the old apartment/re-arrange furniture in the new apartment.

And label each box!

As far as the new address: like anything else, do it ahead of time if you can. At the new house, whenever you get a piece of mail with the old address on it, immediately write back to the sender telling them your new address. Sometimes mail doesn’t get forwarded, and the people at your old apartment are likely to open it and read it or toss it in the trash.

For utilities, I usually have electric/water turned off in the old apartment the week-end after I move, even if it has to stay on after I leave. The new renters that are moving into your old place can’t do too much damage with those utilities. I would turn off the phone though, a day before if necessary. So many people have cell phones nowadays that you should be able to have a cell phone available on the day of the move for emergencies.

Trucks are a pain to drive and park, so if you can fit all your furniture into cars, you might want to consider multiple cars and perhaps more than one trip, depending on the distance between old and new dwelling. On the other hand, with a truck you might be able to do it all in one trip.

Second post to make the first one show up.

Depending on the age of your stove, etc., the gas people might have to actually send someone out there to turn it on and light pilots, etc., so you might want to schedule farther in advance. Or just eat a lot of pizza.


Others have already mentioned most of what I was going to say. However, let me add this:
Not only should you label every box, but do not unpack anything that you do not plan on using. I know that sounds stupid, but for instance, we have some china and silver. We’re not going to be holding any state dinners or anything, so we just put the whole box in a safe place. Also, don’t unpack any old books that you will probably not be needing right away. Get the major stuff settled in first, and if you really need something later, just unpack it then.

NOTE: I was not specific enough in labeling. I got lazy and just started writing, “Jeannie’s Stuff” on my boxes. You have no idea of the headaches I caused myself.

BTW…Congratulations!!! :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

$450? Drooling/turning green with jealousy/moving elsewhere.

A one-bedroom apartment in this area starts at about $1,200. You’d be lucky to find a room in a house for $450. I pay $350 for a room that I can’t stand up in (slanted roof).

Congrats and good luck, Swimming.


“Don’t Do It.”

In our areas utilities can only be turned on/off Monday through Friday. Our last moving day was a Wednesday, so we scheduled to turn on the new on Tuesday and off the old on Thursday. When moving on a weekend we always turned on new on Friday and old off on Monday. If you have a cell phone you could indeed turn off the regular phone the day before, but since I don’t, I left ours on till after we turned in the keys. (I was sure we wouldn’t need it but decided to err on the side of caution.) As it turns out, if I had turned it off, we would have been in deep trouble on moving day, as many phone calls were needed to handle last-minute problems and to coordinate moving activies. Regardless, phone all utilities as soon as possible, as you cannot possibly give them too much notice, and you don’t want them to tell you that you’ll be moved in for a week before they can get someone out to turn on your electric.

A specific phone tip - if your phone company offers optional line maintenance service (called “Linebacker” in our area), sign up for it until you are settled in and then cancel it. It is only a few dollars a month and covers and wiring/outlet/etc problems, basically everything except your phone. Sure enough, right after we moved in last time we found that one of the phone jacks wasn’t working. Since we had signed up for this optional service, it was repaired at no cost (and I don’t need to tell you that anytime they send someone out and bill you for it, it ain’t cheap). Once we knew for sure that all was well with our jacks and lines, we just cancelled the service (since the odds of something “breaking” after we had it all in good working order were satisfyingly small). The $3.25 or whatever we paid for the first month was more than worth it.

Definitely reserve your truck in advance (we saw many people being turned away when we went to pick ours up, can’t imagine what they did with all the stuff sitting on their lawn at home waiting to be moved), and consider the timing. We picked ours up at the end of one day right before closing (6PM), took it home and started loading that night, finished loading and moved on the big day, and returned the truck prior to their opening time the following day. That way we actually had two unlimited evenings in which to move in/out, in addition to real “moving day” time, and that extra time was invaluable; it really took a lot of pressure off. And all this was at the price of a single day’s rental. I have done this more than once and the rental companies were always easily agreeable to this schedule manipulation. Also, how far you’re going and how much you’ve moving should affect your decision. If you have only a few personal belongings and can do it in one or two car trips of short distance, go ahead and save the money. If you have furniture or enough things to make more than two car trips, go with a truck; the savings in time & mileage and not having to struggle to try to cram stuff into the trunk/backseat and tie it down is more than worth the price of truck rental (small size rents here for $20 per day + mileage, the big ones for only $40). And by the way, there is significant difference in truck prices, so call around.

The day before moving, make sure you have one box in a prominent place into which you can put the stuff you pack last and will need first - the telephone, the phone book (you’ll need to look up the number for a pizza place in the new neighborhood), at least one clock (with alarm if needed), personal effects like medication and contact lens stuff, a flashlight, ashtray if you’re a smoker, pet’s food, the bottle of champagne you’re going to toast your new home with, etc. Make this the very last thing you take out of the house (you can also toss in those last minute things that show up after the other boxes are packed, like the cat toys that appear from under the furniture and the hook from the back of the bathroom door), and take it with you in the cab of the truck. That way, as soon as you arrive, you can set up the essentials of your camp without having to check boxes as you unload to say, “Did I put the phone in this one? Damn…”

And if you’re like us, you’re liable to find yourself running out of packing time as the final hours approach. If so, you will have to settle for throwing things in boxes in a less than perfectly ordered fashion (far more important to have it boxed and ready to go than to have it thoroughly organized). That is okay, since you have an indefinite time to unpack in the new spot, but help yourself out by at least trying to put general identifiers on the box (“kitchen” is helpful even if you can’t list “two casseroles, gravy boat, green vases, salad bowls, wine glasses”). And as long as you have that “critical” box out by itself (see above), you won’t have any panic to find things even if your labeling is limited.

As mentioned previously, definitely have a small cooler full of drinks, and I recommend at least one picnic jug sort of container full of water with a sleeve of styrofoam/paper cups. Also a couple of grab-in-passing-type snacks for energy during the day - no one is going to want to sit down to eat lunch, but it’s hard to go from dawn to dusk, espcially doing this kind of work, just on a typical light breakfast. Think fruit, granola-type bars, peanut butter crackers or sandwiches, graham crackers, etc. Enough to revive flagging energy and keep everyone going till you can order pizza at the new place that evening!

Congrats on the new home; that is always exhilerating. Moving is a major pain, but it’s a great feeling when that rental truck is returned and you walk into the new place knowing you and your stuff are there to stay (at least for now!).

But I don’t want to pay the penalty.
I just want to go home.

cygnus: wow, thanks for spending the time to give me all that great advice. Any suggestions on rental companies (Ryder is better than U-Haul, etc.)

Kyla: Don’t get too jealous, cost of living is lower here. But that also means that salaries are less. Burlington is a college town, and UVM is an expensive school, so logic follows that if Daddy can front a $25K tuition (that’s ONE year), they he can pay $800 for your one bedroom aparment. I was expecting to pay $575-$600, and since that was impossible was just about to move into a co-op. But I lucked out.

Anyone have suggestions on boxing stuff up? The best suggestion I ever got was to make sure that the big boxes had the lightest stuff, and to continuously pick the boxes up as you pack to make sure you can lift them. Any other suggestions as to where to get boxes? (liquor store boxes are good for books, appliance boxes are good for bedding, etc.)

I’ll take pictures once I settle in and post them somewhere!

DON PEDRO: Your silence most offends me, and to be merry best becomes you; for, out of question, you were born in a merry hour.

BEATRICE: No, sure, my lord, my mother cried; but then there was a star danced, and under that was I born. -Much Ado About Nothing, Act II, Sc: i

The move was a sucess. Thanks to all who gave advice, most of it was taken. I am now the proud resident of a one bedroom with three closets (yah!) and a deck. Best of all, my food gets to spread out in the refridgerator, without fear of being eaten by a roommate. YAH!

I know it’s too late for SR, but I must vent about U-Haul. We reserved a truck (put a credit card down) two weeks before our move last Auguest.
Three days before the move, they refused to promise they’d have any truck at all for us on the moving day. I don’t really understand how they stay in business that way. Some of our friends (moving 2 weeks after us) had the same problem with U-Haul. How do they get away with that?

“Well, I guess this means the fun’s over.” -Gus Mc Crae
“It may be over, but it sure wasn’t fun.” - Woodrow Call

Supply and demand, my friend. I lucked out, my dad’s friend has a pick-up. No U-Haul for moi.


Things not to forget:

  • get renter’s insurance
  • check appliances, sinks, etc. and
    note any problems that could cost
    you your security deposit later
  • take pictures of your apartment
    while you’re moving in. It’s great
    to be able to look back and laugh
    about how you had no furniture and ate
    pizza off china on top of a TV box, or
    whatever. :slight_smile:

Take pictures? Yes, excellent idea…Kinda late but really its not too late to do that.