Washington DC


  Helpful Moving Tips

Planning for a successful move to your new apartment involves many things, one of which is arranging for help. Most people hate moving their own belongings let alone helping other people move. However, if you've helped someone else with their move recently, they owe you. If you haven't, you'll owe them! Once you find your next Washington apartment or house for rent in on a rental site such as www.renthello.com, you can begin to plan your move.


  • Don't leave asking people until the last minute. It's much easier for people to give excuses if you ask them less than one week prior to the move. Give people at least 2 -3 weeks notice so they can keep that day open for you.
  • Call in favours! Did you help someone build a fence, finish a basement or some other major task recently? Ask these people first since they are likely expecting your call.
  • Offer to help someone with another project in the future if they help you with your move.
  • Try to get at least one person with a pick up truck. Even though you may have a moving truck, pick ups are great for those last few items that just won't quite fit in the moving truck, saving you an extra trip (plus gas costs and mileage).

To keep everyone happy on move day, keep the following in mind:

  • Have coffee and donuts ready for when everyone arrives in the morning.
  • Be prepared to serve lunch to everyone. Pizza and wings are always a good choice. It is however, a good idea to ask people what they like if you don't mind giving people a choice.
  • Have bottled water available at all times. Moving is hard work and people get thirsty.
  • Have cold beer on hand for the when the job is done. It's an easy way to say, "thank you!"

The biggest concern most people have on moving day is damage. Since most often its friends and family helping out, when items get damaged, the situation can be a bit awkward. Go into your move knowing accidents can happen and be prepared to let it go. Unless you're paying professional movers, it's not fair to hold people responsible. With a little planning however, you can decrease your risk of damage significantly.

Here are some tips:

  • Be super organized. Use good quality moving boxes that stack properly. Plastic bins are also great for moving items. Also, don't make your boxes too heavy.
  • Have a game plan in place before your helpers arrive.
  • Have all your big items wrapped or covered with protective material.
  • Use space in the truck wisely. Make sure there is sufficient padding between items where necessary.
  • Don't rush the people doing the heavy lifting. A few extra minutes will help decrease accidents.
  • Have people inside ready to take over for people taking stuff off the moving truck. This allows for your movers to carry heavy items for a shorter period of time which keeps people from becoming tired too quickly.

Remember, no one likes to move. It's going to be a stressful day and things may go wrong. But if you do everything you can to keep your help happy, it'll be over before you know it.

  Hidden Moving Costs

So you've found a new apartment and your getting ready for the big move. No problem, right. Wrong!

Moving is often described as one of the most stressful things we do in life. Part of the reason is because our lives are being turned upside down. The other part is all the little costs that tend to add up during the move process.

Let take a look at some common expenses people often over-look when moving to a new apartment.

  • Moving Supplies - boxes, tape, bubble wrap, markers, etc. it all adds up - fast! A typical 2 bedroom apartment can easily use more than $150 worth of supplies. Good moving boxes however are worth it. They save room in the truck (because they stack nicely) and are often sturdier which helps protect your valuables.
  • Moving Truck - you may want to get insurance on the truck if your home or auto insurance policy doesn't cover rentals. This can easily cost $40 or more per day on top of the $75 - $200 rental fee.
  • Gas Costs - moving trucks are not exactly fuel efficient. Prepare to spend about $30 - $40 per 100kms traveled.
  • Food - If you have friends helping you, it's customary to have pizza and beer on hand. Remember, hungry helpers break things! For you and 6 friends you should budget $50 - $75. Save money by buying the cheap beer!
  • Special Items - if you need to have professionals move a piano or certain valuables, be prepared to pay some big bucks.
  • Tips - If you decide to use a moving company, you should consider giving the movers a tip. $20 - $25 per person should do it. If you're serving food during the move, you should also feed the movers!

All told, the little extras can easily cost you $300 or more so be prepared. Knowing these expenses ahead of time will reduce your stress and lead to a smooth move.

  Moving boxes and supplies

Good moving boxes are an absolute must. While getting boxes from the grocery store will save you money, they may add to your aggravation and make for a more difficult move. Here's why.

When you use boxes of all different shapes and sizes, it's difficult to maximize the space in the moving truck. They simply don't stack nicely and gaps and spaces are common. They are also prone to tipping over and can collapse under the weight of other boxes...

Boxes made specifically for moving are sturdy and meant to be stacked. You want to have a variety of sizes on hand and stack all boxes of the same size in truck. Keep in mind the weight of the boxes as well. The heavy boxes make for a strong foundation while the lighter boxes won't crush the boxes below them.

As mentioned, you will need a variety of box sizes. Dishes for example go in smaller boxes as they tend to get heavy quickly. Tupperware however can go in a larger box. Regardless of the contents, it's always a good idea to double tape the bottom of the box for maximum strength.

To help keep your move organized, mark all boxes on the front, back and top with a black marker. If a box is heavy, make a note of it on the box. Keep all boxes for each room in the same area of the truck (where possible) and make sure the markings are face forward. This will help speed things up when uploading as people will know quickly where to take each box.

As for packing supplies, it is a good idea to save newsprint to wrap items such as dishes. You may also want to use cardboard inserts for certain dishes such as wine glasses. Bubble wrap and/or foam chips are also good packing material used to help protect your items. You can purchase most of these items, including newspaper that has not been printed on from most moving supply stores.

When you are finished with your boxes and packing material, you can either recycle them or pass them on to someone else you know is moving. You can also try placing an ad on classified websites offering them for a small fee or even free.

  Where to Rent Moving Trucks

Each company tends to set their rates a little differently. One may give you a low base rate of say $19.95 but then tell you that you also have to pay $0.69 per km! This can be a good deal if you can get from the rental depot, to your current apartment, over to your new apartment and back to the rental depot in about 40kms or less. Other companies will quote you a straight rate with a cap on mileage while others yet will offer unlimited mileage...

Then there's the different size trucks to factor in. Typical moving trucks are 16 cubic feet or 24 cubic feet. Here's something to consider that may save you money: if you can't do your move in one trip with the big truck, it may be cheaper to use the small truck and do 2 trips. Keep extra mileage and gas costs in mind though when figuring out your costs.

So how do you find a rental truck? Try the yellow pages or canada411.ca. I would strongly suggest calling at least 3 different companies to ensure you get the best deal. Also, don't be afraid to play off one company against the other. It's a competitive world out there and companies will often drop their price to get your business.

Good luck with your move!