So you have to move on September 1st in Boston. Perhaps you’re a student at one of the many local colleges, new to the city, or one of the 79% of Bostonians whose leases turn over on this dreaded date. Olympia Moving & Storage has survived almost 25 September 1st moving days. In fact, we complete over 5,000 Boston moves every year. We’re here with 10 Boston moving tips from the experts to make a Merry Allston Christmas (as the locals say!).

01. If possible, move any day except August 31st or September 1st

We know, you’re reading these tips because you have to move on those dates. However, we cannot overstate how much cheaper and easier your move will be if you are able to move on literally any other day. Both rental truck and moving companies charge a premium for those dates. Traffic will be at a peak. If you have flexibility to move out of your apartment a bit early or push your move in to Sunday or Labor Day, do it.

02. Plan ahead

The further in advance you’re able to book your mover or truck and start packing, the smoother your move day will be. All trucks and reputable moving companies are completely booked weeks in advance. Download Olympia’s September 1st Move In infographic checklist for a detailed “to do” timeline.

03. Get a parking permit

If you are moving in Boston, Cambridge, Brookline, or Somerville, you need to acquire a parking permit for your moving truck at BOTH origin and destination. This prevents expensive parking tickets. The permit also reserves your parking space on move day, so you don’t have to waste time circling the block looking for parking. Even worse, without a permit you might end up parking way down the street and lugging your sofa a long distance to your apartment.

Resources for obtaining parking permits:

When you see parking permits, please respect them! Otherwise you risk your vehicle being towed.

04. Arrange the move with your building or landlord

If you are moving in or out of an apartment building, many property managers require residents to reserve a moving time slot. This is to ensure there is enough space in the freight elevator and loading dock for moving trucks each day. Your building might also require a certificate of insurance from your moving company. Most movers can provide this for you, but need five business days to arrange with their insurance company. Contact your property manager or landlord to confirm the moving regulations in your building.

Even if you’re moving into a home or smaller building, be sure to confirm your move in and out time with your landlord to avoid unpleasant surprises.

05. Plan for overnight storage

It’s a very common conundrum. You’re required to move out by the 31st but not allowed to move in until the 1st. So what the heck are you supposed to do with your stuff in between? If you’re renting a moving truck, you’ll need to rent for both days and find a place to park the truck overnight. If you’re working with a moving company, many offer an “overnight hold” which means for a small fee they will keep all your belongings locked inside the truck overnight at their yard or warehouse and deliver the next day.

06. Pack correctly into boxes to prevent damage

It might be tempting to throw everything into trash bags the night before, but that will surely result in a moving day mess. Here are resources for purchasing moving boxes:

  • Your moving company will likely sell boxes and packing materials, and may even deliver them directly to your home
  • The local hardware or home improvement storage
  • You might be able to find use moving boxes online (NextDoor, Craig’s List, Facebook Marketplace, or Boxcycle)

Once you have boxes, pack them right. Watch Olympia’s “How to Pack to Move” video series for step-by-step instructions.

07. The sidewalk is not a garbage can

Do your part to keep Boston clean. Allston Christmas gets its name for all the free “gifts” abandoned by residents on the sidewalk. Sell or donate unwanted items instead, and properly dispose of garbage on trash day ahead of your move. Use the City of Boston’s trash & recycling guide for more information, and Olympia’s list of local organizations that accept furniture donations.

08. Start early

You snooze, you lose. Olympia Moving starts our first September 1st moving jobs extra early to beat the traffic. Set your alarm early and avoid wasting time in the gridlock. You can reward yourself with a nap when you finish early.

09. Stay hydrated & bring snacks

September 1st is often a hot and muggy day. Keep your energy up by stocking up a cooler of cold water bottles and sports drinks. The Olympia crew’s favorite moving snacks include sports bars, nuts, and bananas. Moving is hard enough, and it’s even more frustrating when you’re hangry. We also recommend packing a lunch. That way you don’t lose moving momentum in search of a bad submarine sandwich and can eat the moment your stomach starts to rumble.

10. Most Importantly: NEVER take a truck on Storrow Drive

Or Memorial Drive. Or any of these roads. Boston is infamous for low bridges. If you’re driving a truck, keep an eye out for “cars only” and clearance signs, and obey them. Otherwise, you will get “storrowed.” Also take care driving your truck over or near MBTA tracks, especially the Green line, you could get stuck.

Celebrate surviving Allston Christmas

When your move is over, head to the local bar in your new neighborhood and celebrate with a cold drink. Or hit your mattress for a nap. After all, you still have to unpack.

Moving to or from Boston? Need a quote?

Olympia Moving & Storage is all booked up for September 1st, 2018. If you need to move any other time of year, call 617-926-5555 for a free, no obligation moving estimate, or request a quote online.

Need more Boston moving tips?

Check out Olympia’s Move Planning Center for hundreds of moving guides from the experts, free downloads, and “how to pack” videos.