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Moving Day Advice

Moving day.

Don't be afraid. It's a tedious and crazy couple of days, but the city of Boston has a pretty thorough system, considering that about 90% of leases go up August 31 and September 1st. There's a LOT of moving in the city. This is my first time moving in Boston, and it's a little overwhelming, so I'm going to talk about the major obstacles and how to avoid/tackle them as I've come to understand it.

(Get ready for another "listicle". I could totally write for Buzzfeed.)

1. Parking. This is a big one. Boston's got a fun, delightful mix of narrow and one-way streets, so parking can be incredibly difficult on a 'low-traffic' day. If you're employing the use of a moving truck, you need to apply for a moving permit through the City of Boston website. You can only apply online if your moving date is at least two weeks away, and no more than a month away. You can apply in-person and online - if you choose in-person, go as soon as possible within the allotted time frame. Lines get crazy.

It does cost - $110 for two metered spaces - but it is incredibly worth it to have peace of mind that a parking spot is guaranteed. You'll receive a set of parking signs for both locations if you're moving from one place to another within the city as well as a notice flyer to put on cars parked in the intended space. The signs need to go up, and the flyers put out on cars (each day) at least 48 hours before your move date.

If someone is parked in your space on move day during the stated times on your sign (usually 7 AM to 5 PM), you can call the non-emergency line for the police and they'll arrange for a tow if the owner can't be reached.

2. Movers. If you want/need movers, get on that fast. Their schedules get filled up with lightning speed, especially as the end of August approaches. I scheduled movers in June for an August 31 move, and there was already limited availability. Some companies were already completely blocked out. I would also recommend getting an experienced mover to drive the truck. I worked in maintenance for two years and drove an enormous moving truck daily but I'm definitely not comfortable driving on Boston streets with Boston drivers on the two busiest days on the year. You don't need an accident on top of the general craziness. Plus, there's a million road closures and parking restrictions, and the mover will know way more about that than you. (No offense. I'm sure you are very smart.)

Get ready to spend a pretty penny if you're hiring movers. There's no such thing as cheap movers in Boston this time of year. The cheapest 'base' cost I could get was 600 and that doesn't include time, labor, gas, or number of stairs (yes, that's a real fee). I know it's not ideal, but it really is worth it, especially since most Boston apartments are three floors or more. I've spent a lot of this post talking about spending a lot of money, so let's talk about free stuff for a moment.

3. Trash Day. "Wait a minute," you say, "you said free stuff then called it trash?" Well, yeah. I did. But one man's trash is another man's treasure! People get rid of all sorts of stuff during moving - couches, tables, beds, TVs, dressers and shelves, kitchen appliances, even clothes. There's SO MUCH free stuff that moving day is also affectionately called 'Allston Christmas'. My first apartment was like 50% furnished with streetside stuff. Items are placed outside for trash pickup if someone doesn't snag it first. It's not all junk. Heck, check Craigslist and Simmons News and Announcements (available through your Simmons Connection account) and your neighborhood's facebook page - there's a veritable trove of stuff that works just fine, but the owner can't keep it or is upgrading. My roommate got us a 50-inch TV that way, and it works perfectly, and only for $45! Not quite free, but I'd call a $185 savings a heck of a deal.

Speaking of trash pickup, Boston has a schedule specific to certain kinds of trash and their pickup. The City website has a 'Household Waste Lookup' so you can see when someone will be around to pick up old boxes, couches, TVs, and anything else you need to toss that isn't plain food waste garbage. There's a list of any kind of trash you can think of and there's a specific way to dispose of it. There's a Trash Day app if you want the schedule for the entire year at your fingertips. Please - use this system. Don't just jumble all your trash together. I know I might sound like a hippie, but we have to be good to the earth and city we live in and do these minimum-effort things to keep our lives, city, and homes clean. And it's so easy!! SO EASY!!!

4. DO NOT DRIVE A TRUCK ON STORROW DRIVE. For the love of all that is holy, don't. Don't. Don't drive a truck on Storrow Drive.


It.


Does NOT.

Go well.


EVER.

I know there's a lot of information to process up there and you might be nervous about accidentally breaking a rule or forgetting something, but it's incredibly doable. I goofed on my parking permit signs and the employees at City Hall were super nice and fast about remedying the issue. Also, ask your friends and coworkers if they have any tips and tricks! We're all in this together and literally everyone wants moving to be over with as soon as possible.