Yay, you found the apartment of your dreams! Chances are, using Apartments.com. Now you just need to get all your stuff out of the old place and into the new one. Easier said than done. Here, several experienced urbanites spill their worst moving day experiences, along with tips for avoiding the fates that befell them. Of course, this list is far from comprehensive — so be a good citizen and drop into the comments with your own cautionary tales of moving days past? The world will thank you. (Well, first it will LOL at you. But then it will thank you!)
Mind Your Kitty
Aw, cats are so cute! It’s especially adorable when they decide to play pranks on you when you’re in the midst of relocating. Says one still-traumatized pet owner:
“Sometime during my move, my cat disappeared. I completely panicked, thinking she had snuck out the door while we were trying to get stuff into the building. I spent my first two hours in my new neighborhood wandering the streets sobbing and shaking what I thought was a bag of cat food, hoping that she’d be attracted to the sound of the food and come scurrying home. She didn’t, but I met several new neighbors! Anyway, it turned out the cat had been hiding in my box spring the whole time. (Also, in my hysteria, I’d overlooked the fact that what I thought was a bag of cat food was actually kitty litter.”
Do Not Leave Items Unattended
Is someone really going to bother with the effort it takes to steal your gross old old couch? It turns out maybe yes!
“We thought we were doing everything right — we hired movers and got a truck, and everything seemed to be going fine. At some point everyone was inside my apartment while the van was parked out front, with all the doors open. Then one of the movers went outside and found some dude sitting in the front of the van, about to drive away with everything. (He claimed he thought it was “free.”)
The mover ended up punching the guy. Our hero! Too bad he dislocated his arm and spent the rest of the day with his arm in a sling so he could only carry things one-handed.”
Check the Calendar
It’s totally normal to be moving on the second of the month ... right?
“My brilliant roommate accidentally scheduled for the movers to come for the wrong day. She had also saved all her packing for the last minute. So when they showed up the day before she thought we were supposed to be moving, she didn’t have a single thing ready to go.”
Listen to Your Body
Dehydration is not a laughing matter, especially when you’re trying to haul a sofa up three flights of stairs in sweltering heat.
“Our move-in day was August 1st, during the middle of a heatwave. All of my friends were out of town (or claimed to be), and we were too broke to hire movers, so it was just me and my roommate moving all our furniture into a fourth-floor walkup on our own. At one point, my roommate had I guess gone to the bodega to get some trash bags or something, and I finally had a chance to sit down and crack open a bottle of water. I never managed to drink it though — when he came back, my roommate found me face down in a puddle of Poland Spring, passed out from the heat.”
Don’t Assume Anything
Of course the apartment comes with all the normal fixings, right? Uh, maybe you should double-check that one in advance...
“My roommates and were moving into a place that was supposed to have a fridge and a stove (obviously) but had turned out to have neither when we arrived to move in. We called the broker, and the super, and the landlord — basically everyone involved with getting us the apartment — and they were all like, “Oh, you have to buy those things yourself.”
How about you, dear readers? What’s the worst thing that happened to you during a move? Or, if you’re the braggy type, what was the great moving day decision that averted certain disaster? Share in the comments. And if you’re still in the process of finding a new place, remember: Apartments.com might not be able to do much about your nasty, manipulative cat’s evil little mind games, but at least it can make sure your new digs have a refrigerator. Not to mention a doorman, an elevator, a washer-dryer, and whatever other essentials your househunting heart might desire.
Bennett Madison is the author of several novels for young people, including September Girls (HarperCollins 2013) and The Blonde of the Joke. He has lived in more apartments than he cares to think about.