Whether you are moving apartments, cities, or countries, moving can be stressful. If you can, start planning as far in advance as possible, shop around, ask questions to others who have been through it, enlist the help of friends and family wherever possible (or hire packers/movers where necessary) and take it one step at a time.
For local moves, students and scholars at Yale report that they manage by themselves by collecting boxes from local shops, packing up, renting a van, and enlisting a few friends to help load and unload. This do-it-yourself method will always be the most economical. If you do find that you need a professional mover, you will need to shop around carefully to make sure that you find a reputable, insured company. Go online for ratings and comparisons on moving companies. You can also begin searching in the Yellow Pages under “Movers” or look on the web.
Always do your homework carefully before you hire movers and especially so if you are leaving the U.S. Shipping overseas is particularly risky since the regulations governing shipping companies do not always protect the consumer, and allow for a lot of fine print in shipping contracts. Always read and understand everything you sign or agree to. Any changes or additions to your contract should be in writing and signed off on by an official representative of the shipping company. Do not be pressured into anything you do not feel comfortable with, and always check references before you sign. Be very careful when moving overseas. If anything goes wrong, it can be extremely difficult to obtain resolution to your problem – particularly when you are overseas and cannot easily hire an attorney or go to court. The laws of one country will not help you if you are trying to pursue legal avenues in another. It is a good idea to go with a company that has a branch office in the destination country as well. You need to be able to pick up the phone and talk to someone locally in case of difficulties.
There are a variety of storage facilities in the area that you may want to consider should you need to store your belongings. Some are entirely self-serve, meaning you need to pack and drop off your belongings yourself. Others provide customer service; they may come and pick up (or even pack) your boxes for you.
You can also rent a storage container that can be dropped off at your home. You then pack it and have the company pick it up on the date you request. They can redeliver to the same location or another location altogether. This is very useful if you have a lot of things and you are not sure where you are moving, or for the convenience of having pick up and drop off right outside your front door.
Donating & Selling Stuff
newhaven.craigslist.org is an excellent online community bulletin board for giving away or selling your things.
A tag sale is normally held outdoors in front of your home on a weekend day. You can advertise by putting up flyers around campus and around your neighborhood, and you may also want to send an email to the Yale International listserv as described above. It helps to put price tags on the bigger items. You could put smaller items in a box and offer one price for each piece. For example: “Everything in this box $.50 each” or “3 for $1.00”
Before you throw away that shirt, three-ring binder or bottle of shampoo, take a look at the following resources for donations. Most are within walking distance of the Yale campus, and the Salvation Army will pick up large pieces of furniture with advance notice.
New Haven Reads Book Bank 45 Bristol Street (corner of Ashmun and Bristol, across from the Yale Police Station), 203-752-1923. Open Monday to Friday 1 pm to 6 pm, Sat 11 am to 3 pm.
- Life Haven/New Reach Homeless Shelter for Families, 153 East Street, New Haven, CT; 203-776-6208
- Loaves & Fishes, St. Paul & St. James Church (corner of Chapel and Olive streets), 203-562-2691. Open Saturday, 9:15 am to 10:30 am.
- Freecycle - an e-list where folks offer stuff for free in order to keep it out of the landfills. To join, send a blank email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Charity Navigator: Your Guide to Intelligent Giving www.charitynavigator.org. Compare charitable organizations and even find a place to donate your car.
- Got Junk? www.1800gotjunk.com
School Supplies (3-ring binders, legal pads, notebooks, highlighters, pens, etc.)
- Life Haven/New Reach Homeless Shelter for Families,153 East Street, New Haven, CT; 203-776-6208
- That penny jar can be turned into big bucks at any Coin Star machine at your local supermarket (there is one in Shaw’s on Whalley Avenue). The machine will credit your donation to a charity of your choice or give you a voucher redeemable for cash at the store.