Moving: My Tips for Arranging a New Place

Moving! This is one of those things in life that I see as simultaneously horrible (boxes, packing paper, living out of suitcases in our own home, etc.), and a fun new challenge. I get to arrange and decorate a whole new space! It’s sort of a large scale version of Tetris. How can I make the things we already own fit in a whole new space?

My best advice to anyone who is moving is to keep a tape measure in your purse! I asked the new building if they had a floor plan for the apartment. Very luckily, they did! I copied it, and then the first thing I did after we signed the lease, was to go into the new apartment, and measure the heck out of every single wall, window, wall skirt, cabinet, etc. and made a note of it. Here are my actual notes:


The second thing I did was to go home and measure every single piece of furniture we have. Here’s my actual notes:


Now, I am sure that a lot of people out there will see this as a ludicrous amount of work. Really, it toook about 45 minutes to do each set of the measurements (the new apartment = 45 mins, the furniture we own = 45 mins). And I honestly think it saved us untold hours worth of problems and a few hundred dollars in the long run. Here’s why:

3 6

I was able to doodle around with where everything would go in the new place, and know with certainty what would fit and what would not, before we moved it across town!

I saved packing time by only packing up the furniture we were actually moving.It also allowed me to save money and time (which, when you are talking movers, is also money), by not moving unnecessary pieces of furniture to the new place. The furniture that would not fit, or we could not use at the new place, I donated to goodwill or sold them on Craigslist ahead of time.

Best of all, on moving day, I was able to confidently tell the movers exactly where each piece of furniture was supposed to go as they unloaded it into the new apartment.  Again, saving time (which, when you are talking movers, is also money), and confusion.

It also allowed me to realize that we had enough room to upgrade a few key items. We have room for a King-sized bed in the new place, and to finally get the larger couch we have been talking about for a while. Score! And when we went couch shopping, I was armed with my handy notes, and tape measure to confirm that it would all work out.


Bottom line: There is really nothing more deceptive than an empty space. Empty rooms look small. After seeing the new apartment in its naked form, Bruce was convinced that we would have to get rid of at least half our possessions. But I was able to reassure him (repeatedly) that – yes, it would all fit.

Best of all – it did!


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