Before my roommate and I began the process of moving in together, we discussed many important details about living together. We talked about how often we need to do the dishes, how much alone time we’ll need, and how we’ll split bills and share food. One thing that did not come up, though, was how we would actually make the move in together.
We didn’t discuss how long we planned to spend moving, or during what hours, or with who’s help. We didn’t discuss how we would actually get our belongings from point A to point B.
Turns out, my roommate and I have very different moving philosophies. As a result of this, here is a list of questions that we should have asked before we got halfway through our move:
What is your moving timeline?
My roommate and I both have the luxury of moving from our parent’s homes to an apartment that’s less than an hour’s drive away. It makes the most sense to me to move slowly, one carload at a time, over a couple weeks. If we have the luxury of time and no lease date to be out by, then why rush?
My roommate had the opposite plan. She wants to move all of her things in to the apartment in one go, to dedicate one weekend to carting as many things as possible in to the new place.
This difference becomes even more important when considering the next question:
How will you transport your belongings?
I have a tiny car with a deceptively large trunk. My brother has a pickup truck. Between the two of us, I can move all of my belongings with no issue. However, my roommate has more large pieces of furniture that require the pickup, or an even larger truck, to transport.
When my roommate started talking about renting a moving van I was extremely confused. Why rent a van when we have my brother’s truck? Most of my belongings will fit in my car, over time. When coupled with her moving philosophy of “just get it done”, renting a truck makes perfect sense. Using my brother’s truck would be cheaper than renting a truck, because I only need to bribe him with pizza, but it will take a lot more time to move everything.
How many people will you need to help?
So far my moving strategy has been this: go to my mom’s house after work, pack up a handful of boxes, drive to the new apartment, take 3-4 trips to the car to unload. Unpack. My roommate’s strategy has been this: load up car to capacity, drive to apartment, make 8 trips with friends to help. Her strategy saves a lot more time, but is dependent on people being available to help.
As a sub-question off of that,
What kind of box packer are you?
I like to pack my boxes so that I can easily carry them myself. My roommate is a master jenga-packer. The things in her boxes are all perfectly squeezed together. This makes her boxes incredibly heavy, and require at least 2 people to move. This is something important to consider when thinking about how many people you’ll need to help you and how long you’re planning to work for.
During which hours are you moving?
This week I’ve been working from 8am-6pm. When I get home from work we’ve been eating dinner and then carting boxes up the stairs together. We have to be extra careful not to drop things or make too much noise in the hallways when moving things after 8pm.
Additionally, we had some IKEA furniture that needed to be assembled. Hammering pieces together in a thin-walled apartment building at night is not the best way to ingratiate ourselves with the new neighbors, I’m sure.
Furniture or boxes?
In my opinion, this is the most important point to cover, and one where my roommate and I have differed the most. I’m a neat freak. I need to have things put away in order to feel relaxed. Since we do have the luxury of time, it makes the most sense to me to move first the furniture in, to set it up, and then to move in the rest of our things. That way we can open boxes and put things directly away.
With my roommate’s strategy of move everything at once, we have stacks of boxes and plenty of unassembled furniture. It’s difficult to unpack boxes when there’s nowhere to put things away. However, there are things that we need to unpack in order to live while we continue to move.
If we had discussed any of these questions before we began the move we might be much more organized now.