Some Advice When Graduating and Moving Out of Columbus

Since some of my first blog posts were about moving to Columbus, I thought I’d come full circle and make my final posts about moving out of Columbus. Here’s how my move-out is going so far, and my tips on how to have a stress-free move.

Pick a move-out date

My move-out is fast approaching, and the first thing I did was call my landlord and let him know when I was planning to move out. My roommate and I will both be moving out before the lease is up, and we decided not to take on the risk of subleasing the apartment for the summer to someone else. For those who aren’t from the U.S.- all landlords will do a “walkout inspection,” and I prefer to still be in town when the inspection is done. The landlord will go from room to room, inspecting the apartment for damage or dirtiness (which they will charge you for, in the form of a subtraction from your security deposit). So the next week I will be busy cleaning, patching holes in the wall, and washing every surface in the apartment. I’ve always gotten back my full security deposit when I moved out of an apartment, but I know plenty of people who have been charged obscene fees for not cleaning, or leaving items in the kitchen cabinets, or forgetting to replace burnt-out light bulbs.

Once you have a move-out date in mind, go ahead and reserve the moving truck or van that will transport your belongings. Nearly all moving truck companies will let you reserve equipment online, and then pay the rental fee on the day that you pick up the equipment. I highly recommend reserving a truck two weeks in advance– your moving date may be a popular choice among other students and you don’t want all the trucks to be rented to other people by the time you decide to reserve one.

Start sorting

Because I knew that I would not be staying in Columbus after graduation, I began sorting my belongings about two months ago. I went through all the clothes in my closet, taking out anything that I hadn’t worn in the past 2 years. With armloads of clothes, shoes, and purses that I didn’t want to pack up and move with me, I hauled everything to local resale shops and Goodwill. There are quite a few clothing resale shops in the area that will buy your gently used clothing, and Goodwill accepts virtually anything that you don’t want. So instead of throwing your old clothes into the garbage (and then the landfill), please take them to a resale shop (you can treat yourself to dinner with the profits) or dump them at Goodwill (you can get a tax deduction).

Any furniture that you don’t want to bring with you is also pretty easy to get rid of. As with the old clothes that you won’t be packing and moving, there are a few different ways that you can offload your college-student-y furniture. I’ve been selling things left and right on Craigslist and have been enjoying the extra cash in my pocket. Selling anything on Craigslist is an art- you must be particularly skilled at taking quality pictures of the items you want to sell, writing up accurate yet enticing descriptions of these items, and then sorting though the email responses that you get in order to find the serious buyers. I have had great luck with finding people who want to buy my stuff, including lamps, a desk, book shelves, a futon, bedside tables, and stereo equipment.

*If you decide to sell anything on Craigslist, always be a smart seller– do not let a prospective buyer come into your home to see your furniture if you are alone. Bring small items outside and do not let the person in your house. If you have larger items, invite a friend over so that the prospective buyer is not alone with you. And ALWAYS ask for the money before you let the buyer load the item into their car.*

Next week I’ll tell you more about the packing and moving process, along with all the miscellaneous moving details that most people overlook when their minds are focused on graduation 🙂