Moving is a hassle, yes, but if you’re organized and plan ahead, you’ll save yourself plenty of headaches. Here are 10 tips for a successful, less stressful move.
Measure twice, move once. Not only should you know the dimensions of the rooms in your new place, you should know the size of the doorways and hallways that you’ll have to maneuver furniture through. Plus, you’ll need to know the dimensions of your furniture.
Make check lists and use them. Go through your old place room by room and list all the items you need to pack up and move. Check off items as you move them onto the moving van, and check them off again as you unload them at your new place. This way, nothing will get lost or left behind.
Label your boxes. This might strike you as a no-brainer, but it’s such a quick, simple step that it might easily slip your mind. Unpacking in your new place really will be much easier if you know what each box contains without having to look inside.
If it comes apart, take it apart. It might seem easier to move with intact furniture, but it’s actually much simpler to break down everything into manageable pieces. Pull the drawers out of dressers (you could leave items in removed drawers in lieu of boxes) to lighten the load. Take apart your sectional and reassemble it in its new home. Unscrew the legs from you dining room table for flatter transport and an easier time fitting it, piece by piece, into the allotted space.
Wrap it up. This might sound goofy, but cellophane is your friend when it comes time for moving. If you already have all your silverware inside a drawer organizer, all you have to do is wrap that in cellophane and it’s ready to move. Remember those drawers you pulled out of your dresser? Wrap them in cellophane to secure the items inside, no boxes needed! Buy the cheap stuff and wrap up your whole mattress and box-spring to protect them during the move and make it easy to slide them across carpeted floors.
Clean your trash cans and use them for storage. You can even nest a small bathroom can inside your bigger kitchen can and then store stuff inside. Suddenly, you have a box or two fewer to lug from place to place.
Use your Tetris skills and leave no space unused inside boxes or inside the moving van.
Know where you can park. If you have a large moving truck, make sure you know the neighborhood’s rules and the borough’s ordinances about where you’re allowed to park it and for how long. The last thing you want is your truck full of all your possessions getting towed. Your present and future landlords are likely in the know about this stuff, so ask them where you can pull up as you vacate and later as you move in.
Take pictures. After you’ve vacated your old place, take pictures of everything as evidence that you cleaned up and took everything with you. It’s a good way to go through one last time and make sure you didn’t forget anything. Before you start moving into your new place, take pictures of everything exactly how you find it. The pictures of your old and new places will be important when it comes time to get your security deposit back. Once you’re done moving in, take pictures of everything in its place to keep on record in case you need it for insurance purposes. If you decide to feng shui later, take more pictures. While you’re at it, take some pictures for your scrapbook to preserve the memories.
Remember how you handled the move. There’s a fair chance that you’ll be moving again in the future, so after the move is complete, sit down and think about what went well and what could have gone better. It’s probably a good idea to write this reflection down for future reference. At the very least, you should recall the size moving van you rented, how you got everything into the apartment, and how you got it all to fit in said moving van. You’ve already solved the puzzle once, so save your future self the headache of having to do it all over again.
Do you have your own moving tips? Share them in the comments below.
Looking for an affordable home for yourself, and maybe for a small pet? Not only is Alvern Gardens mere blocks from the St. Anne’s T stop, it also welcomes cats and dogs under 40 lbs. There’s even a dog park on site as well as a pool. If you’re interesting in Alvern Gardens, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 412-561-4663.
The Brett Apartments in Shadyside are close to several bus stops that will take you to Oakland, South Side Works, and beyond. Plus, if you have a car, you could park it in the garage. Call 412-722-8546 for the current availability at the Brett Apartments.
For an apartment in a beautiful building complete with stained glass windows close to shopping and dining in Mt. Lebanon, Cornell Place is just what you’re looking for. Located about 10 minutes walk from several bus and T stops, you have plenty of options for getting where you need to go. Call 412-401-9848 for the current availability at Cornell Place.
If you’d like to live at the heart of Castle Shannon, Place Seville is the place for you. Located steps from the Overbrook Junction T stop, Place Seville offers 1 and 2 bedroom apartments as well as covered parking for those who have cars. Call 412-563-7256 for the current availability at Place Seville.
From 1 bedroom apartments to 3 bedroom townhouses, Sleepy Hollow has the right size home for you. Plus, the Memorial Hall T stop is right down the road. Call 412-401-9848 for the current availability at Sleepy Hollow.
It’s been a pretty mild winter in the Pittsburgh area so far, but it’s finally gotten cold and snowy this week. If you live in a rental, you probably have the luxury of not needing to shovel or salt your sidewalks, but there are some other things you can—and should—do when snow hits.
Optimize your heat for efficiency. For example,if you have radiator heat, move furniture away from the radiators so
the heat can, well, radiate into the room. Keep your windows closed tight, and if you feel a draft, invest in a window insulating kit. They’re cheap and easy to use. Energy efficient curtains are also a good investment (yes, they exist).
Set your heat at a comfortable temperature, but don’t overdo it. It’s much more energy efficient to put on a sweater than to crank up the heat so you can stay in a t-shirt and shorts. If your heat is included in rent, don’t think of it as free. Instead, keep in mind that your rent pays for it, and if the heating costs are too high, your landlord will raise the rent to cover them.
Don’t hesitate to speak up if you have issues with insulation around your windows and doors, or if your heat is malfunctioning. Rather than opening a window when the heat won’t respond to you turning the thermostat down, contact maintenance to get the heat fixed. On the flip side, don’t endure a cold apartment, let maintenance know if you’re freezing, too.
For extreme cold
It’s not due to get extremely cold yet, but temperatures might still drop at the end of winter. If they do, take precautions to protect your pipes from freezing: keep cabinet doors under sinks open to let warm air in, and let the water drip. This is especially important for kitchens and bathrooms where the plumbing is in an outside wall that doesn’t get much sunlight.
Considerations for your car
Is your car parked outside? If yes, now might be the time to invest in a garage. Several Prudential Realty communities rent garages as well as apartments, so residents can keep themselves and their cars warm and dry this winter.
Have emergency supplies in your car like a bag of rock salt or kitty litter in case you get stuck on ice and a tow rope for more serious emergencies.
If you don’t have a AAA membership already, it’s well worth it, especially since most local police departments, including Castle Shannon and Indiana, PA police, no longer offer assistance when you accidentally lock your keys in your car. Besides getting road-side assistance for a flat tire and towing services if your car breaks down, lots of places also offer AAA discounts if you show your membership card.
Perhaps the most important tip: if it looks nasty out, don’t drive anywhere unless you absolutely have to, and wait for the plow to come through your neighborhood before you do. Unless you have a medical emergency or are completely out of food, most things aren’t worth risking life and limb in poor driving conditions.
Adopt a pet
Yes, this seems like weird advice, but have you ever heard the phrase, “it’s a three dog night”? That means it’s so cold, that you need at least 3 pups in your bed to keep you toasty. While most apartments won’t let you have that many pets, places like Alvern Gardens do allow up to 2 pets per apartment: dogs under 40 lbs as well as cats are welcome. Having a fluffy companion to snuggle with warms body and soul.
Finding parking in the city can be challenging and expensive, and if you’re new in town, the old Pittsburgh trick of reserving your spot with a chair looks downright outlandish. So what’s an apartment hunter to do?
First things first, when you schedule an appointment to tour an apartment or house, ask where you should park when you get there. While large complexes with private parking lots might have “Future Resident” parking, plenty of places don’t have the space to offer that convenience. So unless you’re visiting a gated community, you’ll probably have to park on the street.
So this is why you ask where to park when you schedule your tour, to let the local experts steer you in the right direction.
If you arrive at your destination and feel confused about how the parking works, read any signs carefully and follow your gut. If a curb is yellow or you see a hydrant, don’t park there. If you read a sign that says “Permit Parking Only,” don’t park there. Don’t be afraid to ask when you meet up with your appointment, “I parked over there, is that OK?” That’s always a good question to ask.
Questions about parking are among the most important to ask when looking for a new home. You might be dazzled by low rent, but don’t forget to consider any additional costs for a parking permit or covered parking. Survey the area and ask how hard it is to find a spot on the street. Ask where your guests are allowed to park. You might find that comparing parking situations can help you choose between prospective apartments. It’s also a good idea at this time to ask where you’d be allowed to park a moving van and for how long. In Castle Shannon, for example, street parking of trailers is prohibited.
Once you’re officially a resident in your new home, your landlord will most likely give you instructions for where to park. If not, be sure to ask for clarification. Always remember to follow the parking guidelines set out by your landlord and municipality. Breaking the rules could lead to tickets, tow trucks, and angry neighbors. Here are a few no-no’s to keep in mind:
Never block a dumpster
Don’t let your guests park in permit only spots
Never take a neighbor’s assigned spot
Don’t block in another car
Don’t block a driveway or garage
Additionally, if your landlord issued you a parking permit—even if it was free—keep it up-to-date. If you replace your car, make sure your landlord updates their records and gives you a new permit if necessary. If you get an additional vehicle, get that on file and permitted as well. If your landlord only issues one permit per apartment, find alternate parking for your second vehicle to avoid inconveniencing your neighbors and getting ticketed, or worse, towed.
We managed to sample only two of the options, but at the other end of the bar, we saw a trio of young men passing around various sandwiches. One of them had mac & cheese oozing out of it. That’s right, mac & cheese on a grilled cheese sandwich. That particular concoction is called the “Mac Attack.”
The “Young Cheezy ” features caramelized onions, chorizo, and potato hash glued together with cheddar between two sliced of Texas toast. It’s a messy sandwich, and not as cheesy as you might expect, but it’s a tasty combination of flavors and it’s grilled to perfection.
The “Breakfast Club” wasn’t so much a sandwich as a stack of breakfast foods slathered in cheese and syrup. Our version was served between two pancakes rather than the Belgium waffles advertised on the menu. This one demanded a knife and fork, and while it did feature two cheeses, its relationship to the original sandwich is tenuous at best. It was delicious all the same.
While the two we sampled would make it at around number two of our old list, this menu is so vast that there’s a sandwich for everyone. One of them might, quite possibly, become our new number one someday.
For movie buffs, there’s “Fried Green Tomatoes,” “The Big Che-bowski,” and “The Jerk.”
For seafood lovers: “Shrimp on the Barbie” and “Crabby Patty 13.”
For people who normally prefer burgers: “The Wac Arnold.”
For those overwhelmed by all the options: “Simple Jack.”
Then there are a couple classic Pittsburgh grilled cheeses to delight all Yinzers. “Pierogies N’ At” features, you guessed it, piergoies, as well as sauteed onions, Sauerkraut, and keilbasa. “Yinz Guys Hungry?” is a true Pittsburgh style grilled cheese: fries and slaw stuffed inside.
Finally, if you don’t want grilled cheese at all, “It’s Peanut Butter Jellytime” is a fried PB & J sprinkled with powdered sugar.