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Students Tips for Moving in Boston

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As what’s likely to be the hottest August ever recorded in Boston comes to a close and September rears its hopefully cooler head, throngs of students are once again descending on the city.

Students Tips for Moving in Boston

With upwards of a quarter-million college students studying in the Greater Boston area, Sept. 1 has become the go-to move-in day for tens of thousands. Some are seasoned veterans of moving in Boston, but even more are new to the city, navigating our winding streets and low bridges for the first time. Mistakes, like the act of “Storrowing” your rental truck, are bound to happen. Here are some tips to help you get into the city and settled so you can hit the books.

Reserve Parking for your Moving Truck Early

Secure parking space for your van or truck by obtaining a street occupancy permit. The permit saves you from unwanted parking tickets, guarantees you convenient space to load/unload your vehicle, and is a valued courtesy to your neighbors.

Permits are available at City Hall, and are available during business hours (9:00 AM – 5:00PM). Start at the Transportation Department in room 721 of City Hall, and make sure to bring any parking meter-head numbers at the location and payment (check; money order; or a Visa, Mastercard, Discover debit or credit card).

Wait times are typically 15 minutes, but can push an hour or more during the summer months when everyone’s moving. Get your permit up to 2 weeks before your moving date to avoid the rush.

Moving companies

The city of Boston recommends you do your research before hiring a moving company. Moving scams are not unheard of. The city suggests keeping a list of everything you pack, and making sure you understand your contract, including payment, before signing anything.

Renting a moving truck

If you haven’t booked your truck yet, you very well may be out of luck. Truck rentals for September 1 go quickly, oftentimes months in advance. If you’re ready to spend hours on the phone looking for one, you may find one, but only if you start right away. If you have other transportation available, it may be possible to find a vehicle outside of Greater Boston. Cast a wide geographic net while making your calls.

Beware of getting ‘Storrowed’

Despite how many times we say it or plaster it on warning signs, inevitably some poor sap will peel open the top of their rental truck on one of Storrow Drive’s low bridges, scattering its contents across the roadway.

While Storrow may be the most notorious offender, Memorial Drive in Cambridge can be just as hazardous. But the Charles River roads aren’t the only places rental trucks should fear to tread. Your Google Maps or Waze apps may not know you’re in a taller vehicle. Luckily, there are specific navigation apps for trucks that will allow you to set your vehicle’s height and get a customized route that should be safe for travel. TeleType’s SmartTruckRoute app is one of them, and being based on School Street in Boston means they should have a pretty good idea how to navigate the city.

Parking

If you’re looking to reserve a parking spot for your moving truck, it must be done in advance. Monday was the deadline to obtain a permit in time for Sept. 1 so if you haven’t reserved a spot yet, you may be out of luck. The good news is that permits like these aren’t required, but be prepared to jostle for position and deal with parking tickets if you must park illegally.

If you do have a permit, it is good for two spaces between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. You must post signs on the street at least two days before moving day, and obviously you must be reserving only legal parking spaces. The whole thing will cost you just over $100.

Remember, you won’t be the only truck heading into the city this year. 907 permits were pulled for Sept. 1 this year, with another 550 for August 31.

To help facilitate a smoother move-in process, many neighborhoods have temporary parking and traffic restrictions during the week of September 1. A complete list can be found on the City of Boston’s website.

If you’re moving into a dormitory, check with your school about the move-in process. Many dorms have an organized system to get vehicles in and unloaded, and some will even provide helpful staffers and upperclassmen to help out.

Building rules

Speak to your landlord or realtor before moving to find out what moving restrictions apply to your new apartment. There is nothing worse than camping out in your moving van for five hours because you can’t begin the process of carrying that couch up the stairs until noon.

Trash and ‘Allston Christmas’

The city of Boston’s Trash Day app will let you know what day the garbage collection is in your neighborhood. It also provides customized notifications and information on recyclable materials.

One thing to watch for: bedbugs. The hitchhiking insects would love nothing more than come home with you and feast on you and your loved ones. That discarded couch or end table may look like a nice addition to your apartment, but it could easily be infested, so officials advise against taking part in the “Allston Christmas” tradition. City workers often affix bright stickers to discarded items and distribute flyers and other informational packets to students and new residents.

There isn’t anywhere in Boston that is immune to infestations, so bringing home that Beacon Hill arm chair may be just as dangerous as taking that Brighton barstool. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Other tenant issues

Both tenants and landlords in the state of Massachusetts must abide by the law. Most rental properties in Boston are required to be inspected once every five years to make sure they comply with state housing codes. The city of Boston and its Office of Housing Stability offer a litany of resources for the Boston renter. Know your rights, and your landlord’s obligations.

Boston 311 is the city’s platform to report non-emergency issues and request city services and information. Residents can ask for an apartment inspection, report improperly stored trash, or call with any questions they may have. The line open 24 hours a day, and also available via e-mail at 311@boston.gov, on Twitter @bos311, and as a smartphone app on iOS and Android.

Save money with Pony Express Moving Services. Lower prices than traditional moving companies and you don’t have to drive! Request a Free Quote Online.

Moving Summer Tips

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Moving Summer Tips - Pony Express

Moving Summer Tips

Ask any expert and they will tell you that summer is the most popular time of year to move. Moving is strenuous at the best of times, but doing so during the summer, especially if you are moving to or from a hot climate adds it’s own set of challenges. When moving in summer you’ll need to give a little bit of extra thought to logistics and how to keep cool. Here are some tips to make your move in the summer a breeze.

Plan Ahead

Summer is the prime time for moving. It’s the busiest time of the year for movers, so you’ll need to plan well in advance. The best moving companies fill up their schedule quickly and don’t have to provide competitive pricing because the demand is high. If you can, start looking for moving companies at least six to eight weeks before the date on which you wish to move. To avoid rushing around in the blazing heat, pack up your belongings several days before your move and be as organized as possible.

Do thorough research

Don’t make the mistake of researching only one or two movers and trusting them to give you the best price. They are there to make money and you might get ripped off. Talk to several different companies, get quotes from all of them, compare their rates and make a short list of the ones offering the lowest prices. Or visit Pony Express Moving to compare the available movers in your area and get a guaranteed price instead of an estimate.

Beat the Heat

When possible, it’s a good idea to book your moving company to arrive early in the morning while it is still relatively cool. Remember to stay hydrated, especially if you’re doing strenuous activity, and wear light clothing, so you don’t overheat. Heat stroke is a real danger when moving in the summer.

Move on the least busy days

The beginning and end of the month and weekends are always packed because that’s when most people move. Memorial Day weekend and the last weekend of July are especially busy. Moving companies are not willing to lower their rates on these days. But business is usually slow on weekdays since most people have to work. If you move on these days, you will usually get a better price.
If you have to move on a particular day like Friday or Saturday or the first or last day of the month, chances are, if you book last minute it won’t be easy process to find a moving company. This means that latecomers are forced to pay steeply hiked-up prices.

Take Care of Your Belongings

Certain items won’t fare very well in a hot moving truck and should be taken with you in the car, or packed extremely carefully. These items include candles which can melt in the heat and get wax all over your other items and music items, such as instruments, CDs, cassettes, and vinyl records, which could warp or get damaged under high temperatures.

Don’t let the challenges of moving summer scare you; as long as you keep on top of things and plan ahead, it won’t be a nightmare.

Moving Summer Tip: Save money with Pony Express Moving Services. Lower prices than traditional moving companies and you don’t have to drive! Request a free quote online.