The Ultimate Guide To Moving Day In Boston

Each year, the city of Boston finds itself swept up in a maelstrom of madness, confusion, and frustration. The pandemonium brought in its wake leads to fits of despair from those caught up in its clutches. Is it a parade? One of those big street festivals that take up space everywhere? No, nothing so peaceful. My friends, we’re referring to the local horror show known as Moving Day in Boston.

How did such a thing come to be? Why does the city continue suffering through the effects of Moving Day every single year? Is there no one who can free the city from the grips of this insanity? If you’re one of the chosen, well, many destined to be impacted by the storm, you can mitigate some of the effects by following this handy guide to Moving Day in Boston.

What Is Moving Day In Boston?

Moving Day in Boston refers to a period, starting around September 1st when the leases on many apartments and other rentals expire. You also have an influx of students coming in after Labor Day and looking to move into a new place to live for the next semester or two around that same period. So you have thousands of people trying to navigate the narrow winding streets of Boston in huge moving trucks.

Can Something Be Done About Boston Moving Day?

Why not just shift the dates, maybe stagger them in a more year-round fashion? They managed to accomplish similar to this in Montreal, Canada. They had their version of Moving Day on May 1st for many years which caused many of the same headaches currently experienced in Boston. Shifting the date to July 1st, which falls on a national holiday in Canada, made things much more manageable.

There are a few reasons why no one’s tried something like this in Boston. The massive number of new and returning students is one of the biggest reasons why it’s not practical to shift the dates to a different period. The current dates align best for families to take time off to bring their kids and set them up for college life.

Apartment owners benefit by having spaces available during the influx of students. So there’s no incentive for them to shift lease dates to something that’s potentially less lucrative. It seems that the current version of Moving Day is here to stay, along with the myriad of problems it brings.

Why Local Residents Dread Boston Moving Day

Did we mention a large number of moving trucks driving around? Getting around Boston traffic on an average day can be challenging. Throwing in lots of large, bulky vehicles driven by unsure drivers looking in vain for parking slots makes getting around nearly impossible. Moving Day also brings people dumping their trash and unwanted furniture along the city streets making the dog-friendly city unattractive. Going to your local bakery can feel like being forced to navigate an unauthorized obstacle course.

How You Can Make It Better

We won’t pretend this guide will solve all your Moving Day-related issues. Accept that your life will be terrible to a certain extent for that period. What we can do is offer advice on making it less awful and possibly getting through it without turning on the friends who did end up showing up to help you throughout the day. Those who aren’t moving will also find ways to get through this period with less frustration.

Preparing For Boston Moving Day – Movers

Accomplishing specific tasks ahead of time can make Moving Day easier to manage. The worst thing you can do is wait until the last minute to prepare. Doing that guarantees being hit with the full force of the worst Moving Day has to offer. Spare yourself a little pain and try doing these things at least a few weeks before your move-in date.

Make Sure You Have Enough Cash

Make sure you have money available to pay any fees or moving costs. You’ll need to pay for the rental of your truck, or else risk losing out on your reservation. If you’re hiring a moving company, they’ll expect to be paid as well. Don’t forget to tip your movers as it is tough work and exhausting. Try budgeting out more than you think you’ll need to spend for that day. Doing so helps you avoid getting caught short at a critical moment during the move.

Hire a Truck (And Movers) Ahead of Time

The longer you wait, the harder it will be to get a truck to assist in your move. Getting a head start allows you to compare quotes from different companies and pick the best one, not just the best of what’s left. If you are booking early, check to see if the company’s contract guarantees your truck will be available on Moving Day.

Don’t count on showing up at a truck rental company the day of without a booking and getting the size van you need. Whatever’s left — IF there’s anything left — will likely not be large enough to handle all your things. That means extra trips you’ll have to make attempting to navigate Boston traffic on moving day. Your things could also end up being pretty banged up from being crammed into too small of a space.

If you do end up with no truck, your next best option is looking for a one-way rental from a different area. You can move your things, and then drop the truck off at the nearest rental location for that company.

Organize Your Things

One of the best things you can do is have your items packed, organized and ready before moving day. That means putting everything into properly labeled boxes with the right packing material inside. Remember, even the best movers can occasionally stumble as they’re taking your things up a flight of stairs.

If you’re going to rely on friends to help you move, it’s a good idea to put enough padding inside boxes to protect anything delicate. Make sure you put a label on indicating “Fragile” to prevent it from being handled roughly. Having your things ready to go allows your movers (or friends) to load items inside of moving trucks at a faster pace.

Apply For A Street Occupancy Permit

Finding a parking spot for a regular-sized car in Boston is difficult on a normal day. Imagine trying to find one on Moving Day for your truck along with everyone else. One way to avoid the madness is paying for a reserved parking spot near where you’re moving.

It’s going to cost you at least $100.00, but you’ll have a spot waiting for you and avoid accumulating parking tickets. Think of the gas you’ll save not having to drive around the block multiple times as you wait for a spot to open.

You can apply for a permit no sooner than one month before your moving date. Some areas of Boston require you to apply in person, so check to see what the requirements are for the part of town where you’ll be living.

Make Plans To Get Rid of Your Old Stuff

If you’re moving to a different apartment that you’re sprucing up with nicer things, you need to plan out what’s going to happen to your old items. You can schedule a pickup of items like an old couch through the city of Boston’s public works. That’s better than leaving your old things out on the curb, much to the disgust of current residents.

Pay For A Cleaning Company

The last thing you’re going to want to once you arrive at your new apartment is clean from top to bottom. Sure, you can HOPE that the apartment owner made an effort to tidy up, but it’s not going to be the deep clean you want for the place you’ll be residing in for the next year. Do you think you’ll feel like cleaning up a mop after dealing with the chaos of Moving Day?

Spare yourself and spring for a Boston cleaning company like Maid Sailors to come in and clean for you. It only takes 60 seconds to make a booking online. They bring cleaning supplies, are bonded and insured, and only hire certified professional cleaners. You can get some much-needed rest at the end of the day and leave the dirt and grime to the professionals.

The chaos of your move might not leave you in the frame of mind to clean the space you’re leaving behind. Hiring a cleaning service for that task leaves one less thing on your plate.

Preparing For Boston Moving Day – Non-Movers

The impact of Moving Day isn’t limited to the movers. Non-movers staying put still have to deal with the fallout. Here are a few ways you can make things a little more manageable during this period.

Get Your Car Out Of There

You’re going to have a lot of drivers navigating the streets of Boston or Cambridge in a large vehicle they may not fully know how to operate. Why leave your car there as the potential collateral damage of their “learning curve?” Find a place you can safely leave your vehicle until the madness ends.

Know What Areas To Avoid

Many popular Boston neighborhoods become an absolute nightmare to move around in during Moving Day. Renthop, an apartment hunting site, collects data centered around the most densely populated Boston areas during this period. You can use them to figure out how to navigate around the city and avoid the worst of the chaos.

Settling In

One good thing about Moving Day in Boston is that it eventually comes to an end. You’re moved in, and hopefully fully immersed in your Boston apartment and used to the normal flow of traffic when getting around the city. We hope our guide made managing the day a little easier.

If you decided to spring for a Boston cleaning company earlier, you might miss the feeling of having to do absolutely nothing to get such a clean apartment. Why not continue enjoying one of the few things about Boston Moving Day by scheduling regular cleanings? You can call Maid Sailors at (212) 299-5170 or visit their site online to find packages that fit your apartment and budget. Enjoy your space and the peace of knowing that Moving Day is officially over. Until next year.


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