Moving for the First Time? Three Moving Tips from a Beginner

Hey all! Paige here. Do you remember the first time you ever moved? Or, are you moving for the first time yourself? ‘Tis the season of new grads, new jobs. new beginnings and…moving! In fact,  XONEX Relocation, a third party relocation services company, recently hired new graduate Rebecca McKinney. Becky graduated from the University of Delaware, so she’s no stranger to these parts, but she did have to officially move all of her belongings (beyond the dorm room) from New York to Wilmington. Since there are lots of people out there moving for the first time, I thought it would be fun to have Becky share some lessons learned based on her first-time experience. Here is her story, in her own words.


I’m new to relocation. Not just the industry, but to the actual act of moving. Yes, I “moved” away from home during my four years of undergrad, but I don’t really count that. College is not really relocating. I didn’t have to pack up my entire life and get it from point A to point B. I only had to bring the necessities which, for me, were my clothes (a lot of them) and my shoes (even more of them).

Moving Tips for First Time MoversBut after graduating this May, I made my first official move. Actually, I experienced a lot of firsts this May: my first college graduation, my first time moving in with a boyfriend,my first puppy on my own, AND I got my first post graduate job. I felt on top of the world –that is, until the actual moving process began.

My boyfriend Matt and I thought moving would be a relatively simple process. We signed our lease in early May with the intention of slowly moving furniture in over the course of the month while we coasted through the end of the semester. We weren’t planning on moving into the new apartment until the first week of June after all. But we were naïve in our planning our move.

Moving OUT of a home proved to be just as stressful as moving into one. With end of the semester celebrations, finals, family visits, and commencement ceremonies, I left my packing to the last minute. The very last minute. I literally found myself throwing things in a bag while wearing my cap and gown just so I could recruit my parents to help me move before they drove home to New York.

So, I admit, I’m no expert (although I’m hoping to be, eventually). But based on my own less-than-perfect experience, I do think I can help some first-time movers. Here’s my advice for other amateurs:

Buy boxes: Believe me, I understand a 20 something’s budget. I didtry the whole throwing clothes in garbage bags and big purses deal and it’s a mess. Plastic bags rip, especially with two dogs chasing after them, and the little amount of money you’ll spend on boxes big enough to hold your stuff will be well worth it in the end. In hindsight, I should have asked Holman to spare some boxes for me. Those of you without immediate access to a moving company’s stash can find reasonably priced boxes at places like U-Haul and Home Depot.

Leave pets elsewhere: Just until the move is complete. If the above reason isn’t enough, get a load of this: Boomer, my parents’ nine-year-old Beagle, freaked out when we left him alone in the new apartment to run back and forth. He completely tore through our unpacked bags and scratched at the door so frequently that I’m pretty sure we’ve already lost a big chunk of our security deposit. And this is just one example. Whether you are moving yourself or with a professional moving company, having pets underfoot is dangerous for both the animal and the people doing the work.

Get all the information: Matt and I battled with the service elevator of our new apartment building with every trip we made to unload. But at least we knew we needed to use the service elevator. Often, people moving into apartments don’t realize this, which frustrates neighbors and could be a violation of the lease. As it turned out, on our last trip, our landlord told us he had a key to keep the doors open as long as we needed. Sigh. Moral of the story? Get all the facts about moving in before you start. It will save you a lot of frustration.

Unpacking was an entirely different process and, if I’m being honest, we’re still in the middle of it. Experiences and amateur advice on that, coming soon …

Do you have any moving tips to share? Please comment below.

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