As any good marketer knows, planning is important. And any normal human being knows that no matter how well you plan, the universe can and will throw you a curve ball (or 4) that catapults all of your planning out the window. Well, the universe decided to aggressive pelt me with balls this week (figuratively speak, you guuuuuys).
A little background on the move: it is my dream apartment; two bath with a balcony, crawling distance from Don’s Mixed Drinks and across the hall from one of my best gals. We hit the jackpot. We thought. While the apartment has beautiful bones and is in a prime location, the previous owners did not love our new apartment the way we do. We took over their lease, and by default, we found ourselves stuck with this gross, peed-soaked apartment. (Yes, I KNOW this IS gross and the leasing company TOTALLY should have taken care of this, but they didn’t. So, tolerate my whining or find another blog [jk, please stay. That’s the bleach speaking].)
On moving day, the day we had been counting down to for several weeks, we found ourselves with a charming but SMELLY apartment. The “carpet cleaner” kindly let us know that it was dog pee and it would require an intense cleaning. The previous owners kindly left us FIVE bottles of Febreeze, which should have been a sign of the foul doom we had stumbled into. Side Note: Boys and girls, if you need five bottles of Febreeze, something is not right and your mother is deeply disappointed in you.
Flash forward 72 hours and we have cleaned the carpets 4 times, cleaned the walls, vacuumed the curtains, lost 1 couch, made 2 trips to Home Depot and only had 3 beers. So, without further ado, I bring to you my pre-move blog post with my post-move commentary.
Change is good. Especially when that change includes a balcony pointed (north)west. Change is…complicated when it all happens at once (and idiots don’t know how to take their dog out). Conveniently, the universe decided that it would be a fun adventure for me to move into a new apartment AND start a new job and buy a new car (lol, really, Holly? You didn’t have enough change to fit your needs) in the same week. So here are my top 10 moving tips to keep you sane (more sane, because let’s get real, moving is the worst).
1. Don’t wait: I’m a planner. I was packed for college 2 weeks before I left and I would have to wait for my sister to frantically fight through tears and throw her life into the car. Don’t do that. The week before the move, start packing up non-essentials. Spreading the process over several days will make the entire process so much easier. Right, Meg? (But also plan for the unexpected. Acknowledge the fact that something may and likely will go wrong and accept that there is nothing you can do to change that but to find a solution and keep moving.)
2. Cut the clutter as your pack: While you are packing up your life, consider the level of importance of the item in question before you throw it into a box. This is the perfect opportunity to cut the clutter before it ends up on a forgotten shelf in the new place. (Yup, thought I did a great job of this. I was wrong. So wrong. It’s crazy how much stuff you accumulate over the years. But seriously, get rid of those fraternity t-shirts and the Halloween costumefrom 2012. I promise you wont even miss it.)
3. Hit up your liquor store: Ugh, guys. Gimme some credit, this is a serious tip. Liquor stores typically have a ton of boxes laying around and they will likely share the wealth. (Still a great tip. Grab some booze while you are there, you’ll need it.)
4. Do a good deed: Give to Goodwill or post on the Craigslist Free section any items that you no longer need. The good karma will be more valuable than that end table from college. (GOOD KARMA IS LIFE. Do good even when you feel like making voodoo dolls and kicking rocks. You will feel better and the universe will thank you. Right? RIGHT????!)
5. Keep hanging clothes on hangers: This is one of my favorite all-time moving hacks. While still hanging, wrap in a trash bag and tie at the top. This will allow for easy and clean moving, without having to unhang and rehang your clothes. (My new roommate, Jensen, used zip ties to keep her hanging clothes together. SO much easier, cost-efficient and earth-friendly. I am still heart-broken over all of the trash bags I have wasted over the years. Thanks, JS.)
6.Get moving help: I opted for professionals — less begging and guilt than asking friends. There are great deals on Groupon for a few hours of moving help. (STRONGLY recommend. We only had our lovely movers for 2ish hours and I wanted them to stay forever. Also, ask your friends, damnit.)
7. Unpack the bedroom first: Sleep is key and your bed is your sanctuary (or maybe that’s just me…). Set up your bed first and the rest can come after. (yeah…unless you have to clean your carpets 4 times and you lose/bend the screws that hold your bed together AND THEN buy the wrong ones. This approach to moving will make you REALLY love your bed.)
8. Pack a weekend bag: No matter how well you plan, things are going to get a little hectic. Pack a bag with all of your essentials to avoid searching through every box for your hair dryer. (lol, hair dryer. I would have enjoyed clean socks and a brush. I spent the first 36 hours in a DRESS I wore to work on Friday and the next 24 hours in whatever was on top of my dirty laundry pile. Not pretty.)
9. Unpack with wine: This feels self-explanatory. Pro tip: WHITE wine. (and ice cream and laughs)
10. Remember the chaos is temporary: Embrace the crazy and remember that it is all temporary. Within a few days you will be settled in a brand new place and on your way to a new mini-adventure. (STILL TRUE! And this is my extra favorite, because we survived the pee-pocalypse and built each other up the entire way. When you are going through odor (or any other variety) hell, you need your people to build you up and repeatedly remind you that this is going to be okay (and bring you clean clothes and feed you and let you crash on their floor and bring you an army of candles…wish I was being dramatic, all these things happened). The disaster of the move is behind us and our dream apartment is full of good vibes, lots of love and Cashmere Woods.
11. Don’t doubt the power of good old fashioned hard work: We spent
HOURS DAYS cleaning. Everything from the windows, to the walls (hehe) to the inside of drawers to the cracks between the floorboards. Everything. And it was worth it. We hired a few professional cleaners using Groupon coupons and ended up re-doing it ourselves. If you want something right, do it yourself. And do it now, when there is nothing in your apartment, otherwise, your curtains will never get vacuumed, and you can’t have that!
11a. Special shout out to The Rug Doctor, Clorox, Magic Erasers, White Vinegar and again, Cashmere Woods. The obsession is so real there is a Facebook page dedicated to it. I have had a full-fledged cleaning awakening and I am proud of it.
12. Sub-lease with caution: We were SO excited about our dream apartment that we didn’t do our due diligence when we were looking at the apartment or signing the lease. We did not know to smell the carpets and inspect the corners and why would we? What normal human lets their dog use their apartment as litter box??? But, do it. You will thank yourself. And make sure you read your lease and ask lots of questions, so that you fully understand what you are getting yourself into.
13. Shopping carts are your best friend: If there is a shopping cart available, use it!!!!! I was moving from a place that was 2 blocks away and instead of loading the cart, unloading it into my car and carrying it up to the new place, I pushed that baby those two blocks and saved a lot of energy (debatable) and made a lot of friends along the way. If nothing else, use the cart to transport things to/from your vehicle!
14. Don’t forget the basics: Like wear good shoes and drink water and lift with your knees.
15. Embrace your tribe: I like to do things by myself, if for no other reason that to say that I did. But
if when your tribe is willing to help you scrub the pee carpet and bring you coffee at 8 am and bring you presents because presents make everything better, LET THEM. And cherish them.
In summary, do as I say, not as I do. And for goodness sakes, take out your dog!!