My 6th apartment in 6 years

Moving apartments is a painful process. You put so much effort into finding a place that feels right, move in, settle down, get comfortable and then a sense of inertia sets in. And then for some reason or the other, you have to move. Again! I moved apartments recently and it dawned on me that this was my 6th apartment in as many years. No, it does not mean that I moved apartments every year. In fact, I am proud to say that my longest stay at an apartment has been two and a half years! Incidentally, it was also my first and only apartment in the city that I fell in love with and took the most amount of effort to move out of – Mumbai!

But this latest move was a move within Bangalore. I had to move because my office moved. It was a pretty easy decision after spending 2 hours daily commuting, stuck inside a cab in the hellish traffic of this city for a month! I was lucky enough to find a beautiful apartment close to my office and convinced my husband to do the commute instead of me (I know! Selfish! But he doesn’t mind. Don’t judge me.)

Moving has gotten easier in the recent years because of all the movers and packers companies that have popped up everywhere. When I was a kid, we moved around lot more than my peers. It used to be this month long process of packing your belongings carefully yourself, hiring a truck and people to help load them, then drive with the truck to the new place and spend another month unpacking and rearranging stuff. Well, it still takes that last month of rearranging things in the new place, but the first month of packing has been cut out. Now you can get all of it done in a matter of hours.

We started on a Friday morning at 6 am and were at our new house with the luggage by 1 pm. Sounds amazing, doesn’t it! Well, to be fair, we did make some mistakes. You would think after having moved 6 times, I would have the process nailed down to a tee, but it doesn’t really work that way! It’s always a learning experience and here I am, sharing some of the mistakes and some good decisions I made along the way. Kind of like a checklist for hassle free moving, if you will.

Hire a good mover

I know, it seems obvious. But its really not that easy. It is very hard to judge a mover until after you have used them – at which point you are either ecstatic at how lucky you were or really furious as to what were you thinking! I have had both types of experiences and it has never been in between. I have lived in three cities since I started working, and all of my inter city moves have been handled by only one company, which has never disappointed me – Transworld International. Granted, they are a little expensive but they are the best! I have heard stories of my friends using all kinds of different companies, including all the different avatars of Agrawal movers, and I am glad I never experimented with anyone else. My intra city moves have been handled by all kinds of local companies which have pretty much always disappointed me and caused more anguish that they were worth!

Pack an overnighter

Even if you are moving within the city, make sure to pack some clothes for about 2-3 days by yourself in a bag. That way, you don’t have to rummage around all the “unlabelled” boxes looking for your clothes the very next day. You are going to be so tired after everything, that all you would want to do is take a shower and go to sleep before unpacking.

Get cleaning, pest control and repairs done before moving

As soon as you get the keys to your new apartment, don’t move in the same day, if you can avoid it. Spend a little money and get it professionally cleaned and pest controlled. It will be totally worth it!

Schedule a working day for servicemen after moving

TV, internet, washing machine, water purifier, AC, etc. all these things require to be installed in the immediate days after you move. Make sure to schedule the technicians for these well in advance.

Moving can be fun - Handle with care!
Moving can be fun – Handle with care!
Don’t try to unpack it all in one day

Pace it out. Take rest and do only important stuff at first. It’s okay if you have to order in the first week since kitchen is not up and running. Take your time. Don’t make moving more stressful than it already is.

The one where he fits into a box - I labeled it 'Husband'
The one where he fits into a box – I labeled it ‘Husband’!
Make sure your boxes are labeled and numbered

Also, mention which room it was packed from, so you can get boxes put in the right room and don’t have to move them around much. Make sure to count and number the boxes before they leave the old apartment so you will know if something goes missing.

Don’t rush to buy new furniture

Every time I move, I promise myself that I wont accumulate any more stuff. It makes it more expensive and time consuming to move. I don’t succeed always, obviously. But I resist the temptation to just go out and buy something that I think I need right away. Maybe the new apartment has less storage space or lack of living room furniture. Maybe it has bigger windows and your curtains are too small. Give yourself time to adjust and realise what all you actually need vs what you want. Moving into my current home, I realised it had virtually no storage space apartment from bedroom cupboards. Our friends told us about Furlenco, where you can rent furniture that you need. Its economical and smart when you don’t really know if its worth buying those things. We even rented curtains from them because ours were too small and new ones were too expensive.

Declutter while packing as well as while unpacking

It will make you feel better! If you haven’t used it in over a year, let it go! Donate!

I guess that enough preaching for one day. Hope this helps someone. Happy Moving everybody! 🙂