4 Practical Moving Tips for Students
Written by Hazel Pankratz

Friday, August 10th, 2018

Every school year, students come and students go, and this means lots of moving in and out. Here are a few things to consider if you're moving in or out of residence or switching apartments for the upcoming school year.

Moving Out

When you decide not to renew your current lease, find out when you need to be out of your place—and as soon as you can, find out when you can move into your new one.

If you can negotiate an overlap between occupancy dates, you'll be able to avoid paying for storage. Ask your landlord if the incoming tenants would allow you to stay an extra day or two, or see if the current tenants at your new place wouldn't mind you moving some of your things in before you officially take over the lease.

Storing Your Stuff

If you can't align your occupancy dates, the next big hurdle is finding somewhere to store your stuff until you can move into your new place. Self-storage units tend to rent by the month and can be a bit pricey, but might be useful if you've got a large gap between apartment leases and you're living far from home.

For shorter periods of time, ask people you know. If you've got friends that renewed their leases but are home over the summer, see if you can keep a few things at their place until you can move into your new apartment, whether it's larger pieces of furniture or just a few boxes.

If you live closer to home, you can always bring things back from school and keep them there until you're ready to move into your new place. When I moved off residence and into my first apartment, I had a five-day gap between occupancy dates, so for the weeks leading up to my move, I brought a few extra things with me on the weekends I went home. It added up: without the smaller, loose items, moving out of residence was a little bit easier.

However, remember that most of what you bring home you're going to have to bring back up to school, so think about how you plan on transporting your things ahead of time. If you're not prepared to move things back gradually or incrementally, you might be looking at another expense: truck rental.

Moving In

Even if you're moving in tandem with your current roommates, chances are you're not going to need a full-sized moving truck—especially if your new place is nearby. You may not even need to rent a smaller truck or a cargo van.

If you want to try to avoid van rental costs, family and friends are your best bet. You'd be surprised how much furniture can fit into a larger SUV or a minivan, and a few runs between your old place and your new one can be just as effective as renting a larger truck and making one trip.

If you're going to school far from home and can't get family to come and help you out, reach out to some local friends who have cars and would be willing to lend a hand.

Saving on a Rental Van

If you end up choosing to rent a van, do so in the city where you're going to school rather than in your hometown. In-town rentals tend to be far less expensive than rentals with greater distances included in the price. If you've got roommates, consider splitting the bill.

Doing it together can make moving into your new place a little more exciting, and this way, you and your roommates can make a day of it while cutting individual costs at the same time.


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