Thousands of people move into rented apartments in Boston area every year.  Once you have determined where you will live, it’s important to carefully plan the logistics of physically transporting your items.  The Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation reminds consumers to think critically when choosing a moving company or renting a vehicle.

No matter when you move, you will want to start your planning early.  September 1st and June 1st are typically considered the busiest moving days for renters, coinciding with the start and end of college semesters. 

Be aware that moving services, such as private companies and truck/van rentals, will be in high demand. Consider your own situation carefully.  You may not need a large moving vehicle if you have few enough items. Create a detailed list of your large furniture – such as beds, couches, tables, and bookshelves – and estimate the number of boxes you will need for your other items. Make sure the vehicle can fit all your items so you can avoid multiple trips. Your choices here may depend on your budget, the time limit that you have access to your previous home or apartment , and the time within which you are able to move into your new home or apartment.

Moving companies and truck/van rentals can sell out months in advance of these popular moving days.  If renting a moving truck or van yourself, you may have to pick up or return the vehicle at an undesirable location some distance away. Make sure to factor in transportation to and from the vehicle rental place as part of your overall moving costs. In addition, make sure you plan your route ahead of time.  Some routes (e.g. Storrow Drive) have height limitations.  You don’t want your moving truck to get stuck under an overpass!

When choosing a moving company, ask friends or family for recommendations. Ask the company for references, check licenses, and look at online review sites for possible complaints. Always get estimates of the cost and amount of time the move will take. Ask about moving insurance and what coverage your items have in case anything gets damaged.

If you are moving household goods from one point in Massachusetts to another, the agency that oversees your mover is the Transportation Division of the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (“DPU”).  Your mover must be licensed by the DPU, and must file its rates with the agency annually.  If you are moving into or out of Massachusetts, the agency that oversees your mover is the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Be wary of hiring unlicensed or uninsured movers from classified ads, as you may have fewer legal protections if an issue develops.  

If moving into an apartment, make sure you fully understand the parking situation of your new location, including the surrounding area.  Even if your apartment comes with a parking spot, you should inquire of the landlord or property manager about any specific restrictions.  For example, some apartments will have a moving vehicle towed from their parking lot, even if the spot is assigned to the new renter, because the vehicle doesn’t have a permit sticker corresponding to that spot. Make arrangements with the landlord or property manager ahead of time to avoid any surprise tickets or towing.

It is also important to be aware of parking policies for streets, including alternate side parking and streets that are designated “Resident Parking Only.”  Consumers can apply for a Resident Parking Permit through the City of Boston’s Office of the Parking Clerk.  Depending upon the town or municipality in which your apartment or home is located, you may have to inquire as to any special restriction or by-law pertaining to parking on the street or overnight.  You may also be able to reserve a spot on the street based on availability. For the City of Boston, Street occupancy permits must be obtained in person at Boston City Hall at least three (3) days in advance for residential locations and up to two weeks in advance of your move.

Whatever your situation is, planning the details and logistics of your move well in advance will benefit you and make moving day less stressful. For more information and tips on a successful move, visit www.protectyourmove.gov.