By Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group
There are few experiences more common to the human existence than moving to a new home
. Everyone moves eventually. Many of us moved with our parents as children, and almost everyone moves out of their parent's house eventually. The classic life arch includes moving to college, your first apartment, a series of rental houses, and eventually your first owned home. And for something so common, moving is surprisingly disruptive.
Whether you're moving into a house or an apartment, the way you move can significantly impact your neighbors. Where you park the truck, stack your boxes, and how much noise you make can really matter. Fortunately, you can also avoid any awkwardness simply by knowing a little moving etiquette. As professional movers, we've handled hundreds of moves and have a few pointers for starting on the right foot with your neighbors.
Don't Block the ...
Blocking the path is the biggest risk on the first day. And there are a lot of ways to do it. Your truck, boxes, and furniture can all serve as a blockade versus normal residential movements. This is a major concern if you are moving into an apartment where you may be sharing stairs and hallways with other residents, as well as the road itself.
Where you park the truck matters. On one hand, you want to park close to your door or the elevator that leads to your door. On the other, you need to make sure the truck doesn't block anyone from driving, parking, or using a sidewalk. Talk to your moving service to find the ideal parking place for the truck while you unload.
If you live on a narrow road, park as close to the curb as possible to give locals a chance to drive around. Some locations require permits for trucks to even park on the street, so be sure to look into such regulations ahead of moving day or discuss options with your moving company.
- Hallway, Stairs, Elevator
If you are moving into (or out of) an apartment, you also want to be careful about shared walking areas. For elevators, try not to 'use up' the only one available and be prepared to wait for neighbors to get where they're going. Don't block any hallways or walkways with boxes and furniture. There's often little you can do for stairs, but don't stop in the middle for too long. Your neighbors will appreciate it.
Move During Daylight Hours
Opening and closing the truck, moving furniture, and calling out between movers can make a lot of noise. Therefore, it's best to keep your most active moving activities to daylight hours. Even if you drive in late at night and want to get started, and even if your movers are gung-ho to work after dark, be considerate about the noise you make.
This is especially true for apartment-dwelling where moving around and dragging furniture can be disruptive for neighbors.
Stacking Empty Boxes
Here's a pro tip: Instead of throwing out your boxes and making a big pile by the recycle bin, flatten your boxes in a big stack and consider storing them for a bit. They can be stored in the attic, garage, or utility area so long as they are dry and tidily stacked. Chances are you or someone you know will be moving in the future. You can offer your boxes to a friend or relative or someone in the neighborhood who is moving or keep the boxes to make your next move much easier.
Late Night Unpacking
And, there's the question of how to politely unpack late into the night. Moving is an exciting experience and most of us find ourselves up late opening and unpacking boxes. The key to a courteous moving process is to know what to unpack when. For late night unpacking, turn your music or TV down and think carefully about how much noise unpacking can make.
If you live in an apartment or condo, keep your late-night unpacking to lightweight objects. Put books or decorations on shelves or stock your dresser with clothes. Refrain from moving furniture, unpacking your pots and pans, or hanging artwork on the walls.
For those of you with a private house, just keep your unpacking activities indoors and try not to be hammering furniture together after 10 PM.
Meet and Greet
Once you're settled in your new home, don't forget to make the rounds. There's no need to bring a Jell-O mold or cookies to all your new neighbors but take the time to say hello in passing and perhaps throw yourself a housewarming party with nearby neighbors invited to come find out who you are. This is a great way to start off on the right foot with neighbors and get to know the people who live in the homes near yours.
Saying hello also makes you less of a mystery in the neighborhood. It will cut down on any irritation others may feel about your move and increases the chance that you will make conveniently nearby friends.
Moving courteously is a skill you learn over time and can teach yourself with a little forethought. Just think about what you would and wouldn't mind hearing nearby if someone else was moving in next-door. And if a neighbor swings by to say hello, they just might be willing to help you unpack. For more pro moving tips or to get a free estimate on your upcoming move, contact A-1 Freeman Moving Group today!
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