Nomadic-Ness: The Art of Moving

Moving is awful and everyone knows it.  But I have done it FIVE times in the last THREE years.  Yes, you read that right.  I have learned several things about the many facets of moving.  Whenever someone mentions to me that they are getting ready to move, I volunteer my expertise (and I DON’T use that term loosely) about how to pack, how to move, where to move, and how to memorize a postal code.  And like most internet-savvy people in this age of social media, I now feel the need to impose my knowledge on the masses instead of hoarding it. You’re welcome.

1. U-Haul

This is how most of us 20-somethings move from apartment to apartment.  It’s the cheapest, quickest, hassle-free-est way to move.  Or so they’ll have you think!  U-Haul is actually THE WORST, but every time I have moved, plus twice when I had to move large pieces of furniture, I have used U-Haul…because apparently I like to test the limits of my sanity.  They have awful, slow customer service, it costs way more than you think it will because gas, kilometres and insurance are all extra, and they are never ready on time.  And those who know me, know that I am not a crying-in-front-of-people kind of gal, but once they made me cry.

LESSON:  Know that if your rental isn’t ready on time or you have any issues with them, that they will credit you $50.  Also, within a month of any vehicle rental, you can use your receipt and get one month of free storage with them.

2. Room-Mates

The very best person to live with is YOURSELF!  You’ll bother yourself the least out of anyone. Plus, having neighbours in an apartment building is practically like having room-mates because the walls are paper-thin.

LESSON:  If you want to cut down your costs since living alone is more expensive, ask those neighbours if you can share internet with them — half price!  Or you can do what I did; try it for a couple months, then tell them that the connection is really slow and not worth $30 a month so you’ll get your own.  But really it’s fine and you still use it (for free!).

3. Craigslist

There are many websites that you can use to find a rental, but the best resource (in Vancouver anyway) is Craigslist.  There are TONS of places on there and it’s updated minutely.  But if you see a place on there, jump on it quick because it will not last.  And there’s a sort of secret language that experienced Craigslist users use in their ads, so watch for these:

  • No pictures = no go.  Taking and uploading a few pictures takes hardly any effort.  If they are too lazy to add pictures, imagine how lazy they are with the actual suite.  Gross.

  • A “garden suite” is a fancy way of saying “basement”.

  • A suite in a “character house” means it’s a dilapidated garbage house with a mouse problem that seven to nine hippies live in.

  • “Newly renovated” means that the walls were painted and MAYBE it’s got new faucets in the kitchen and bathroom.

  • Renting a condo or house from the owner means you’ll have an excitable landlady who will always be dropping by trying to be your friend.  And no one wants to be friends with their landlord, NINA.

LESSON:  Always ask about mice and bed bugs and make sure you take a friend or tell someone where you are going for safety reasons.  I never did this, but I’m told that I should have, so……noted!

4. Postal Codes

I’ve had SO MANY postal codes!!  They are the hardest part of moving, I swear.  But now I have a trick to learn them!  This last time around I made up a sort of acronym:

V anessa’s
5 th
L ocation?
1 (one)
N otices
5 (five)

And now everyone knows where I live.  But it’s quite relevant, I think, especially if you say it with an air of condescension.  I think of this every time I write out my postal code and sometimes mumble it out loud to a bank employee……be careful with that.

LESSON:  Make an acronym, I just said that.


Ta-dah!  Now you too can reap the benefits of my last five moves.  Just remember to be patient and find a place that you will be happy in for, hopefully, years to come.  Hopefully.  Please God.

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