The Renter’s Guide to Moving

You just signed the lease on a new space (congrats!) but here comes the hard part: moving in. Fear not! While we covered the basics with our original Moving Guide, we wanted to elaborate on the nuances of renting.
The Renter’s Guide to Moving
Our director of product and development and resident renter Sumner Canfield could probably move in her sleep at this point (don’t tempt her with a good time) so she shared her tried-and-true tips for an organized and painless move into a new rental.

Sumner On the Move

You got questions, she’s got answers that will move you.

Sumner’s Must-Have Products for Renters

The Small Space Edit
Command Hooks
Car Garment Rod
Dry- Wall Repair Kit
Sumner’s Guide to Getting Your Security Deposit Back (Yes, You!)

1. Document Everything

It’s super important to apply your true crime obsession (ok, my true crime obsession) to documenting everything before you move in so you can have it at the ready when you move out. Check every nook and cranny and don’t be afraid to take photos and videos. This ensures you are starting on a clean slate and only paying for damage (at worst) that happened while you were on the lease.

2. Edit Early

As soon as you know you are moving, clear out as much as possible. The more space you make, the more you can see and move around and clean ahead of moving out.

3. Misses Clean Misses Clean

Roll up your sleeves and get ready to clean. Everything. Leaving the space clean does a lot to show care was taken.

4. Damage Control

In the best-case scenario, you’ve addressed any damage as it occurred. If not, congrats: You’re human! I recommend command hooks for renters (they can also support heavy items like mirrors and artwork) so if you have nail holes, you’ll want to address those.

5. It Pays to Hire a Professional

We love confidence, and can confidently say some jobs are best for professionals. Budgeting for a cleaning service, painters, or repairman often pays off in the long run.

Sumner's Finds for Once You're Settled:

Sherpa Barstools
Entryway Rug
Boucle Swivel Chair
Woven Throw Blanket
Faux Olive Tree

Catching Up with Sumner: Moving Edition

How far in advance do you plan your move?

I tend to plan my moves too far in advance, which leaves me with a couple months like racked with deep anxiety about where I'm going to live next, when there's nothing I can do about it. Starting six months in advance is deeply premature, and I would encourage you for your mental health to think about it a little later. This is coming from the perspective of a renter here. I should caveat.

When do you start packing?

I think that you can start thinking about your move to prematurely, but there's, it's never too early to pack. Maybe you should always be packed and just keep a suitcase by the door, because you never know. I think once I know my next location, and that's been decided, I really start the process pretty much as soon as I know that.

What’s your least favorite part of moving?

My least favorite part about moving is the night that you've moved into the new place. I think you're supposed to be really excited and be happy you're in a new space. And "living for the hope of it all" to quote Taylor Swift. There's so many possibilities in front of you, but what actually is happening is that you can't find your phone charger and you're sleeping in the wrong room because the bed didn't get delivered for your room. And so I really like to get through that first night as quickly as I can.

What’s something you refuse to keep when moving?

There are a lot of things I refuse to keep when I'm moving, though some in this office may beg to differ. The first thing to go every time is flower vases that you've been sent. It's the easiest cut to make because you're gonna have too many, you're gonna have duplicates that aren't duplicative in a chic way. And if you're looking for just a low mental threshold, immediate cut, go through that cabinet and you'll be really happy.

What’s something you must have when moving?

The actual answer is movers. I've done the DIY move again. I'm a renter, so I move more frequently than I would like to. I've done the DIY thing. I've done the buy the friends the case of beer thing. Listen, you can go on Groupon and find some movers on the cheap and make your life so much easier.

Which room do you tackle packing first?

This is a little controversial. I do not go room by room. When I pack, I sort of go layer by layer. I pack rooms together. That would be insane to pack like a bathroom in a box with your kitchen. That's unhinged behavior. But I keep a box out in each room and sort of the further out I am from the move. You're kind of taking off the jewelry of the house and you're packing away the stuff you really are not gonna use anytime soon. And then as it gets closer and closer, then we start getting down to the essentials.

Biggest learnings from past moves?

I think I've moved at least seven times in adulthood, but that's actually probably low. I have to think about it. I've moved a lot. I was joking about the Go-bag earlier, but I'm actually kind of serious. A wonderful moving concierge that we've worked with on lots of client jobs in Nashville taught me the art and beauty of keeping an overnight bag with you for your move. So it does have your phone charger, your first night pajamas, a face towel, like stuff that you need to get into bed and feel good about yourself and not despair at your current situation, and all the boxes everywhere. And so keep your essentials close is a big one.

What room / feature / space do you prioritize when unpacking?

I would say I'm a bit of an impractical unpacker in the sense that your girl doesn't really cook. And so I'm not out here like making sure the pots and pans are out so I can like warm the hearth of my home, like don't care. And so I have, for example, built-ins in my current residence, and I went nuts with some help on styling the built-ins, which is so deeply impractical because I don't need any of that stuff. But it made me so much happier to have it out and to be looking at all the things I love to see and enjoy looking at so much. And so while it might not be an essential or the most practical choice, it made me much, much happier and motivated to do the rest of my unpacking because I wanted the rest of the house to feel as lived in as my wonderful bookshelves.

Need help getting organized? Click below to book!


Thoughts welcome!

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.