Well, we had been through it all. We had scoped out the Raleigh area, signed a lease for a new apartment, decided on movers, said our “I’ll see you later”s (AKA our goodbyes) to everyone except Jason’s family, and (mostly) packed up our whole home.
And now, the big day – moving day – had finally arrived. But let me tell you, it started out stressful.
The place we lived in had a few strict rules about moving in and out of the building. These included that moving could only take place Monday to Friday between the hours of 8:30am to 4:30pm. When items were moved, they had to be taken out down the elevator and through the basement, not through the building’s front door. Anyone moving in or out must contact the building superintendent (or as people usually shorten it to, the “super”) to confirm the date so that he can put up the necessary padding in the elevator to protect the walls.
We were moving out on a Friday, so I spoke with the building super on Tuesday over the phone to notify him about our move. I again spoke with the super on Thursday, this time in person, confirming our Friday move and that he would put up the necessary padding in the elevator. He told me to call him when the movers got there Friday morning so he could pick up our $500.00 check, a security required by the building when you are moving in or out in case you cause any damage or the move ends up going past 4:30pm. It appeared we were all good to go.
That was until Friday morning came and there was no padding in the elevator. I tried calling the super multiple times on the phone and, you guessed it, no answer. And while our movers were not there yet (it was looking like they were going to arrive closer to the end of the 9:00am to 10:00am arrival window we received, which was also stressing me out), they would be arriving soon. Sadly, this was par for the course with our building’s super.
In the three years we lived in our apartment building in NYC, the only thing I have any complaints about is the shady building super. (Trust me, I do count us blessed that this was it.) While I could share a few stories about why I was not his #1 fan, there is one story that I think sums it up nicely. Close to when we were moving, all tenants received a notice that the super would be stopping by each apartment on Saturday to check the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, so we should make plans to be home that day. We were home all day and he never came. The next week we had our apartment walk-through with the owner to see if anything would need repairs after we moved out, and when the owner asked him if the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors worked, he told her that we hadn’t been home that past Saturday for him to check. It took everything I had to both keep my jaw from falling to the floor and not call him out on this lie. I did it, though, because it would have been stupid to challenge him on something that, while immensely frustrating to me, was so trivial in the grand scheme of things. If he was willing to lie about not coming and checking people’s smoke detectors – items crucial to make sure the building doesn’t burn down – I’m sure he would have no problem making something up so that we would not get our security deposit back.
So, as you can see, when I saw that morning that the elevator had no padding and I couldn’t get a hold of the super, I was not exactly surprised and my mind even went to the worst-case scenario that he was trying to delay our movers’ starting time so that the move would go past 4:30pm and we would lose our $500.00 deposit. That was probably the work of an overactive imagination, but I seriously wouldn’t put it past the guy.
When our movers arrived and I still had not heard back from the super, I ended up emailing the owner about the situation, CCed the super, and thankfully received a phone call soon thereafter. By this time, though, we had already wasted time twiddling our thumbs because nothing could be moved in (the supplies the movers needed to pack our stuff) or out without those freaking elevator pads. I would say we were finally able to get everything under way at about 11:00am.
With the movers not arriving until 10:00am, the moving process not getting started until approximately 11:00am, and having no frame of reference for how long packing up our stuff would take, I was very nervous that our guys would not meet the 4:30pm deadline. Thankfully, though, my stress began to melt away when I saw our three moving guys in action. They were nothing short of amazing. I instantly thought to myself, this is why you hire professionals.
They put wardrobe boxes together and had our clothes packed up in a flash. All pieces of our furniture had blankets put around them and were shrink wrapped. Even our plastic moving tubs were shrink wrapped. Our couch looked like a monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey, and while we had had a tough time moving that beast into the apartment ourselves, our movers masterfully removed it from the apartment without any problems. I did not watch them pack up our dishes and breakables in the kitchen – for some reason, the thought of it made me nervous – but Jason did and he said it looked like they did a good job.
The guys themselves were also very friendly. We ended up buying them lunch and getting to chat a bit, which was great. While I can’t weigh in yet on our total experience with the moving company because we have not yet received our items down in North Carolina, I can definitely say we have had a great experience so far. Here are a few pictures from the day:
Toward the beginning of the day.
There were no light fixtures in our living room, so it got really dark after the lamps were packed.
Out in the hall waiting to go down the elevator.
Now you might be wondering, what did we do with our cat Salem when the movers were there? Glad you asked. We initially put him in the bathtub, which has a clear sliding door, so that he could see everything that was going on:
He supervised the move from his command center for a little while, but I felt like he probably needed a bit more room to run around, so I set him up with food, water, and his litter box, closed the door, and gave him the run of the whole bathroom. When the movers were doing their thing, there was not much for me to do and nowhere for me to really sit, so I ended up spending quite a bit of time with him in the bathroom. He enjoyed the mommy snuggle time:
Overall, I would say that the movers finished up and were on their way by 3:00pm. After we bid them adieu, it was time for us to pack up our car and clean the apartment before giving the keys back to the super. This proved to be quite another challenge.
With all my posts about moving so far, I don’t think I’ve mentioned the unexpected stress of trying to decide what we should set aside to bring down to the new place so that life could continue in a semi-normal fashion until the movers delivered the entirety of our belongings. Sure, there were a few no-brainers like clothes, towels, blankets, and pillows. But when I was packing, over and over again I would come across something where I thought, maybe we should bring this with us, too. Eventually we ended up with a whole pile of things I had put to the side, and quite frankly, just looking at that pile was overwhelming knowing we would have to fit it all, plus ourselves, our cat in his travel carrier, and our cat’s litter box into our Honda Civic.
At the end of the day, some of the items got deemed non-essential and were tossed into the final moving boxes, but overall, we still had a LOT of stuff. Fitting it into the car was not easy. We crammed things into every crevice of the trunk so that it could barely close. In the back seat, we went with the strategy of only loading items in from one side so that we could pushing things together and pile them up on the side where the door was closed. We used every inch of space, even putting our fire-proof lock box with all our personal documents on the passenger-side floor. We did at least try least keep a line of sight out the back window, though. It was definitely a tight fit, but we did it, even though Salem was less than pleased:
After the car was mostly packed, we went back into the apartment to do a bit of cleaning. Unfortunately, we did not have a lot of time to clean up because we were scheduled to meet friends for dinner at 7:30pm that night, but we did our best. There were a few things we ended up leaving in the apartment on purpose, i.e. the garbage can, toilet plunger, light-bulbs, and cleaning supplies that the next tenants could surely use. There were also a few things we left because we just had no clue what to do with them. Back when we were shown the apartment, the prior tenant who was still living there at the time told us that she had painted the living room and also showed us where she had painted the bedroom and left a space to paint a mural, but had never gotten around to it. We had no problem with that, but when we moved in, we found that she had left a ton of paint and painting-related supplies in one of the hall closets. I’m talking multiple regular-sized cans of paint and one 10-gallon bucket. We didn’t know what to do with them then and still didn’t know what to do with them now, so we ended up leaving them, hoping that if the owner wanted to do any more painting, they could be of use.
And just as this post started with the shady super, it is going to end with the shady super. I would say at approximately 4:00 or 4:30pm, we started getting calls and even a visit from the super wondering when we would be finished and turning over the keys. It was so weird that he seemed to be doing everything he could to rush us out of the apartment on a Friday afternoon when we didn’t even have to turn over the apartment that day. We had paid rent for the entire month, so we could have sat on it for 5 more days, but were turning it over to the owner a few days early so she could have her contractors make some improvements to the unit before she put in a new tenant. Finally, when we were ready to leave at 6:30pm, the super was no where to be found. He mentioned earlier that we could give the keys to the building porter or doorman, so that’s what we did. With Salem packed, Jason driving, and things piled on top of me in the passenger seat, we waved goodbye to our now-former home and made our way to see our friends and Jason’s family on Long Island.