Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Moving in Cambridge

This past weekend, I moved in time to bunker down for Hurricane Irene (which proved to be little more than a windy storm for Cambridge, MA). As most of my previous moves have involved primarily storage/shipping, I'm a little late to the game when it comes to knowing how moving works. During my move I learned the following:
  • Do not move on September 1 if you can help it. I haven't ever done this myself, but our move was initially scheduled for September 1 and it was difficult even to reserve a UHaul--and this was at the beginning of August. If you have to move September 1, plan early.
  • If you can't get a UHaul, try the suburbs. We initially had non-overlapping apartment leases (Aug. 31/Sept. 1) and needed to reserve a truck overnight to store our things. We ended up finding one about an hour outside Cambridge.
  • Cambridge issues moving van permits. You can apply for one here but they will cost you money and it may not be honored. I paid $45 for two spots and even though the city put up signs, cars occupied the spots for the duration of my move.
  • Wardrobe boxes are brilliant. Wardrobe boxes (available at the UHaul store and other places) allow you to hang your clothing intact onto a built-in bar. They take up a lot of space, though.
  • Becoming a minimalist is a good idea. I don't think of myself as someone who likes having a lot of stuff, but apparently I have too many things to move comfortably. I have been making good use of the MIT reuse list, the Planet Aid clothes/shoes donation box at MIT, and the book/item exchanges in my building for giving things away.
From my roommate I also learned some cool things about the car-sharing company Zipcar:
  • MIT has a great Zipcar deal where students pay $25 a year.
  • If your Zipcard does not work, Zipcar can remotely open the trunk of a Zipcar, where backup cards are waiting. They will be able to remotely activate a new card for you.
I am currently looking forward to the September 1 looting, which occurs when everybody moving out realizes they have too much stuff and begins selling/giving away things. Being a minimalist may limit my options somewhat.

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