Tips for Moving by Yourself

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Moving during a pandemic was never on my to do list. We are supposed to be social distancing and staying home, not moving somewhere brand new. This was a sudden move and buying a house was not something I could do at the time, thus I had to find a new apartment.

I quickly found out that touring apartment complexes was not something I was going to be able to do. Almost every complex wasn’t doing them because of the pandemic. Some had pre-recorded videos of potential apartments and some you had to contact to get more information. I was definitely not feeling good about this. How can someone possibly know if an apartment is a good fit for them without ever seeing it in person? It is very difficult to judge even with videos. But when you’re forced to move, you find ways to make it work.

I’m happy to say that where I moved to is turning out to be a great place to live, despite a few compromises I had to make. However, there are a couple of things I learned moving by myself.

Sign A Lease 1 Month Early

I signed my new lease 1 month before I had to be out of the old apartment. Of course this means double the rent for 2 months, but I have found it to be 100% worth it. Having this extra time to have access to both apartments meant I could take my time with moving. I didn’t have to move everything in one day which is downright exhausting if you’ve ever done it. On weekends I would try to do as much moving as possible so I didn’t feel obligated to do much after work. And lessening as much stress as possible is important when you’ve got so many other stressors during a pandemic.

Buy Yourself a Convertible Hand Truck

Social distancing and keeping to yourself away from others has been top priority during this time. In order to keep exposure to a minimum, I moved by myself. Hiring a moving company was not an option. That’s why this tool became invaluable!! A convertible hand truck.

Photo of moving product convertible hand truck
Convertible hand truck

I would never have been able to move myself without this. You can singlehandedly cart up (or down) a huge load of boxes, tubs, and other things in one go! It’s definitely slow going myself, but that brings me to the next learning point. Expect to pay around $100 for one of these, but I promise you it’s worth it’s weight in gold! And you’ll be surprised by what you might use it for later.

Buy Furniture Carpet Dollies

Whereas the hand truck is good for moving your boxes and tubs, the furniture dollies are great for moving just that: furniture! My one tip to help keep your furniture on the dollies while you’re pushing is to lay down a strip of that anti-slip matting used to line shelves. It really kept things in place!

Photo of moving product furniture dolly
Furniture carpet dolly

You can find these here. You really only need 2 and that’s only for something longer like a couch.

Take 1 Week to Clean

This is important when choosing to do everything yourself. You can take it piece by piece so you’re not doing the entire apartment in one day. Doing this kept my stress level down and allowed me to do things a little more thoroughly in each area because I wasn’t as restricted by time. I’m all for trying to get as much of that security deposit back as possible!

I live in a 1 bedroom and this was my attack plan.

Day 1: Bedroom + Living room

My bedroom had a walk in closet so there was a little more involved in there, but essentially treated like the larger room.

Day 2: Laundry + Bathroom except shower

Why didn’t you just do the entire bathroom? Because living in an apartment means you likely have hard water. This and calcium build up is the WORST and I just was exhausted after half the bathroom.

Day 3: Hallways + Shower

I chose to do a smaller, quicker area in the same day as something more difficult. It keeps me motivated when I get a little change of scenery when cleaning. There’s nothing I hate more than cleaning a shower!

Day 4: Kitchen

I took an entire day to the kitchen because it has the most to clean. Between the oven, refrigerator, and all the cabinets, it made for an eventful day!

Day 5: Final Touches

This was probably my shortest day, but I still felt it was necessary. I walked through the entire apartment making sure I didn’t miss any marks on doors or walls and such.

If you need help: Ask

Unfortunately, there were a couple of things I couldn’t move by myself. This included the couch and a couple bigger pieces of furniture. Yes, this article is about moving by yourself, but sometimes you need help. Asking for help should never be a hard thing to do because we all need help at some point. You win any awards by struggling and risking injury because you did it 100% by yourself. But I would keep to asking 1-2 people max to help for a couple of hours. I ended up asking my parents who were gracious enough to help!

Hopefully this has helped and given you some encouragement that you CAN move without the help of a group of people. It’ll save you money on beer and pizza because you don’t have to feed them when it’s all over.

Let me know how your move goes in the comments!


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