The Big Move (Part 1)

I want to take some time this week to tell the story of my move to Boston and hopefully offer some advice to anyone who is thinking about attending Simmons College but is a little worried about arranging to come here from somewhere outside of the New England area.  There are definitely special difficulties associated with a situation like this and many questions come up for people who want to move here but don’t know a lot about Boston.  Hopefully this post will address some of your concerns!

I grew up in St. Louis, Missouri and went to undergrad in the same state, and up until this year, I had never had any “big move” kind of experience.  After I decided to attend Simmons, I was faced with a great deal of uncertainty.  When should I move?  How should I move?  Where should I live?  How will I find housing?  How should I get around when I get there?  I’m going to structure the rest of this post by quickly explaining how I addressed these questions with my own move and providing advice/resources for so that you can consider them in regards to your own situation. 

When Should I Move?

My classes and lease started on September 1, 2011.  From my Internet research on the city, I learned that September 1st is a crazy day in Boston.  Boston is a college town on steroids, and this is the day that leases end and begin for students; the rent turnover is huge, the streets are packed, and everything about being in Boston is a little more stressful than usual.  Because of this and the fact that my first class was at 9am on September 1st, I wanted to avoid moving on that day.  I communicated with my roommate and landlord and was lucky enough to be able to move into my place on August 31st even though my lease started on the 1st.  I definitely felt rushed--moving one day and starting grad school the next was quite a whirwind!--but it was manageable and I’m grateful I was able to do it.

I would suggest trying to avoid moving on September 1st.  If your lease starts then (as many in Boston do), try talking to your landlord to see if there’d be any way to sneak in a little early, or move a day or two later if your classes don’t start that day.  If you don’t have anything stopping you from moving earlier in the summer, it would be nice to get here then and have some time to get to know the city before classes start.  If September 1st is unavoidable, not to fear!  Many have survived it and you can too!  Charlesgate Realty has written an article offering tips specifically geared toward September 1st movers.  It’s completely manageable, and the better idea you have of what to expect, the better off you’ll be!

How Should I Move?

One thing that actually ended up simplifying my move a great deal was that I decided to fly to Boston instead of pack a moving truck to trek on land.  There was a long, drawn-out decision-making process behind this--suffice it to say, it ended up being easier on my pocketbook and schedule for me to simplify my material life and go to Boston with what I could fit into two checked bags and a carry-on.  My new roommate was awesome enough to meet me at the airport--I didn’t know anyone in Boston aside from her and it was really nice to have someone to greet me.  She helped me drag my belongings from the airport to the bus to the train (more on that later) and got me to my new home that contained many of the furnishings I need that I couldn’t fit in my bags.

I guess I don’t really have any all-encompassing advice on the mode of transportation question.  If you can arrange for the traditional moving-truck route, I would obviously suggest doing that.  But I think my perspective is valuable because it’s proof that flying here is a viable option.  Upon arriving, I never felt as though there would be no way for me to find some of the kinds of things I had to leave behind.  There are a number of second-hand stores[1] in my area that tailor specifically to students, especially around September 1st.  I was able to find what I needed--a chair and nightstand--and if I had wanted to buy anything big many of these places offered free/cheap delivery options.  Also, quick plug, I just recently upgraded from an air mattress to a futon, and for delivery I called Joe at Boutique Moves.  He was super friendly, fast, and skilled and I would recommend him for any big delivery job you ever needing done while in Boston.

I’ve decided to split this topic into two posts.  Not only is it getting to be lengthy, but I’ve also just started The Hunger Games and can no longer ignore it calling me back…I’m sure anyone who’s read it understands!  Catch you next week for some information on the housing search and public transportation.


[1] I doubt this list is comprehensive, and I definitely suggest exploring your own area to find more!

Boston


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