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9 Life Hacks for Moving Into Your Apartment


Moving definitely isn’t the most fun thing in the world.  Packing our piles of clothes and belongings into boxes and fitting them wherever we may need them to go can be extremely stressful.  And, after all that, you have to unpack everything and find a place for it in your new home!

For anyone moving into a new apartment, you’re probably wondering how to make all of this less sucky.  Luckily, we’ve put together a list of tips to help make moving easier for you.  Read away and get packing, collegiettes!

1. Pack only what you need

You’re moving into an apartment, not a different country (most of us are, anyway).  Packing too much will take up your time as well as space in your new apartment.  Emily Fontanella, a sophomore at Rutgers University, puts it simply: “If you don’t wear it, don’t pack it.”  If you don’t use something you own at home, it is unlikely that you’ll want it collecting dust in your apartment.

Sara Premtaj, a sophomore at the College of Charleston, says “it's super important to go through all the stuff that you have and weed out everything you don't wear/use anymore.  It's so annoying to pack and unpack things you really don't need.”  The Salvation Army is always willing to take donations, so ask yourself: “Do I ever wear this?”  If not, you can most likely donate it to someone who truly needs it.

2. Keep your clothes on hangers

Packing clothes from your closet into boxes just to take them out again is a hassle—and it’s unnecessary!  Aja Frost, a sophomore at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, shares a tip to help make packing your closet a breeze. “I take big garbage bags and slide my clothes, still on their hangers, into the mouths of the bags,” she says. “Then, I poke a hole in the top of the garbage bags and pull the hanger necks through.”

To make sure nothing falls out, tie the bags at the bottom and use the “hanger handles” to hold your clothes.  There’s little to no time involved in doing this!

3. Package breakables properly

There’s nothing worse than unpacking your stuff only to find that it broke in transit.  When packing breakables, bubble wrap will be your best friend.  Plates are best wrapped in bubble wrap with paper in between each, and glasses should be stuffed with crumpled paper in addition to wrapped in bubble wrap to reduce empty space in your boxes (empty space can cause damages).

Be sure to line your boxes with packing paper and place heavier items on the bottom so your smaller items don’t get crushed.  Don’t forget to label your breakables with “FRAGILE” so anyone who’s helping you knows to use extra care when handling these boxes!

4. Take bulky furniture apart

Fitting big pieces of furniture into a moving truck is a lot easier than fitting them through the tiny door of an apartment.  Megan Flink, a senior at the University of Southern Mississippi, says, “I had to take apart some of my furniture in order to fit it in the itty-bitty doors of my first apartment. Invest in tools!”

Taking furniture (dressers, desks and chairs) apart will also create space in your moving van for other items, like the boxes and boxes of clothes you probably have… which leads us to our next point!

5. Get a floor plan

Not only may all your furniture not fit through your apartment door, it may not fit in your apartment in general!  Allison Chen, a sophomore at the University of California, Santa Barbara, says, “Get a floor plan. The worst thing is probably buying all-matching assembled furniture from IKEA … just to lug it up to the third floor and bring it in to your apartment before finding out that it doesn’t fit.”

With a floor plan, you’ll be able to figure out what you can fit in your apartment before you get there.  Much easier!

Zoë Renauer, a senior at the University of California, Berkeley, shares similar advice. “It's important to remember that rooms always look bigger without anything in them, so never assume things will fit,” she says. This means you should have measurements for your room before you buy your furniture.

6. Label your boxes

It may seem frustrating in the moment, but color-coding and/or labeling everything while you pack will be to your advantage later.  Kaitlyn Russell, a senior at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, says, “I just recently moved from one apartment to another this summer, and I made sure to label every box. I had family helping me move, and this helped them to put stuff in the correct room without me having to look through it all first. It definitely made the process faster!”

Color-coding or labeling will not only help you, but it will help whomever is helping you as well.  You can download packing labels for free here.

7. Know your moving truck rental policy

Sure, you briefly skimmed your moving truck rental policy before signing it—who has time to read all that tiny print?  But in reality, the policy is more important than you think, and reading it could end up saving you time and money later.

The rental truck policy will sort out driving requirements, finances and any other uncertainties there may be.  You never know if there are restrictions on who can drive the truck, restrictions on how long you can keep the truck, deposit information or where the truck must be returned.  Knowing this information will be beneficial to you when moving day comes around!

8. Put larger items in the front of the moving truck

Now that your belongings are packed and you know your moving truck’s rental policy, let’s get down to the actual moving.  It’s important to pack your smaller boxes and bags in the back of the moving truck, because you’re going to need your bulky items first when you’re actually moving into the apartment.  Dressers, desks, beds and chairs need ample space to be moved, so if these are the first items you take out of your truck, your apartment will be empty enough that you can move them around and see which arrangement works the best.  Once you have this settled, you can start moving in your clothes and other smaller items.

9. Know who’s helping you move

You’re definitely going to need help moving into your new apartment, but that doesn’t mean you need the whole neighborhood! Predetermine who will be there to help you on move-in day so you won’t have too few or too many hands.  Make sure you bring a few strong family members or friends to help move the heavy items.  You may also want to have someone organized on hand so he or she can help keep everything in line.

If you have a roommate or roommates, talk to them about how many people they’re bringing to help and when they’ll be moving.  If you have too many people, everyone will be in one another’s way!

These tips will help you avoid a headache when you move into your new apartment.  Pack smart and think things through, and your move will be easier than you could have imagined!

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