September 1st Moving Tips and Survival Guide

Posted on July 9, 2010

Moving can be one of the most traumatic experiences in life, but it doesn’t have to be! Here in Boston, with all the great colleges and universities, we have a huge turnover of renters on September 1st. It’s a date that many fear, and some avoid, others panic. But if you’re cool, calm, collected and organized, your 9/1 move can be relatively painless.

  • You’ve found your dream apartment, and now all you have to do is plan to get your things moved in. Communicate with your real estate agent to be sure of what time you can pick up your keys on the date of your move. Many offices have a general policy that keys are released at noon on 9/1, while others may give them to you a day before.  Be sure to get the specifics from your agent.
  • Some buildings will require that you book a moving time. Please be sure to ask your agent if your new building does and plan your move around that time.
  • How much stuff do you have to move? Take a look around your current home, and estimate how much space your items will take up in a truck or van.  Be sure to remember that drawers and cabinets will be emptied too, and those contents take up space as well (something I TOTALLY forgot to do during my recent move- oops!). Furniture items to be moved should be measured as well.
  • Reserve your truck or movers as early as possible. Many moving truck rental companies run out of trucks on September 1st, so be sure that you have a reservation and keep all paperwork from the rental company.  If you have hired movers, be sure to go over the scope of the move with them and get a firm price quote in writing. You don’t want to be charged extra on the day of the move unexpectedly. Read over all contracts thoroughly.
  • Confirm your truck reservation or moving company prior to the move date. Be sure that all of your things are ready to go at the agreed upon time.
  • Packing smartly is easier said than done. Be sure to get appropriate packing materials to ensure that your valuables are not damaged in transport. Bubble wrap, foam padding, peanuts, and newspaper are great insulators as well as those old blankets you have stored in a forgotten corner of your linen closet.
  • Boxes can be purchased or procured from various places like grocery or liquor stores as well as at most moving truck rental locations. Be sure that the boxes are in good condition and get plenty of tape to seal them up well with.
  • Pack an “essentials” box for yourself. This box should include toiletries and clothing that you may need for the last few nights in your current apartment as well as the first few at your new place. You can also use one of your rolling suitcases for this purpose (that’s what I did!)
  • Give yourself plenty of time to pack your belongings, usually a few days for a 1 bedroom apartment. This is a great time to go through all of your unused clothing and home items as well and do some good. Take your gently used clothing and home goods to a local shelter ( , or Goodwill for donation. You’ll be helping your move get a bit lighter and helping those in need on a day other than the most popular holidays. (We have a blog on were you can donate your unwanted things called Another Man’s Treasure. Check it out).
  • Once you’re ready to move, be sure that your items are smartly packed into the moving truck or van. Heavier items should go toward the rear of the van and lighter ones toward the front.
  • This is the fun part-traffic! Double parking of cars in Boston is common, we all know this. But on September 1st, there’s a whole new level-triple parking! Vans and trucks will line the streets two and three deep at times. You can get permits for moving zones from the city if you wish and they can be posted. Just be aware that others may try to scoop your prime moving zone!
  • Before you unload your truck-check your new keys!!! I have heard countless stories of tenants bringing up the first boxes to their front door and the keys stick or aren’t working properly. Take a second to check your keys first.
  • Once you’re in, take a look around the apartment. Your apartment should be free of furniture (unless you rented furnished, in which case you have a way easier move you smart cookie!) and free of all the previous tenants’ belongings. If there are items left over, call your management company to discuss their removal. This should not be your responsibility, but that of the previous tenant.
  • Your keys work and the apartment is empty-lets get moving! Stairways, passenger and freight elevators will be very busy. Be mindful of others when moving your things in. Remember, you are all in the same boat! Everyone wants to move in a timely manner so stay cool and take it easy on your neighbors.
  • You’re all in-now get that truck or van back to the rental company! Remember other people may have later reservations and getting those vehicles back to the rental companies is the only way others can move too.
  • If you hired movers, grab a cup out of that essentials box and give the guys a glass of water-they worked hard so you didn’t have to!
  • All that’s left to do is unpack and recycle all those boxes! Some moving van companies have a buy back policy for unused boxes. If you have room to store your used boxes in your home, do so -no running around searching for boxes the next time you move. Or if not, they can be recycled in your building’s recycle bin. Check with your management company to be sure that they recycle!

September 1st is the day your lease starts, but not the day you have to move in. If you’re moving from home or an apartment with a flexible end date – take your time and move in on the 2nd or 3rd.  You can avoid all the people that didn’t read this blog and have no clue what they’re getting into! Don’t forget to check out our helpful concierge site. It helps you with movers, cable, etc….

And, once again, we have some entertaining photos of what NOT to do:

If you’re still looking for your Boston Apartment, check out our Boston Apartment Search page. Send us out a shout out if you have any helpful advice for moving September 1st in Boston. Or if you have an interesting September 1st story share!! We love a good story!

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9 Responses to “September 1st Moving Tips and Survival Guide”

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