Moving from an on-campus dorm to living off-campus can be scary. I am an international student who transferred from the State University of New York at Binghamton to Boston University last year. Instead of moving into the dorms, I moved all my stuff from Binghamton to an off-campus apartment in Boston. It was a big project, from packing all the things to searching for a place that would be close enough to campus. Luckily, I was able to handle all of this within a month. In this blog post I’ll make sure that no one has trouble moving off campus.
1. The move-in date
Generally, the university only allows new residents to move in on Sept. 1. That is only a few days before classes start, which means that there is limited time to settle everything down.
Because the rules of move-in are rigid, we were not able to make an advance arrangement of the furniture. The thing we worried about most was whether we would have a bed to sleep on that first night. Instead of going to the mattress shop, we used Amazon, which guaranteed that the delivery date of my mattress would be exactly Sept. 1. I was so delighted that the mattress arrived at our new home on time, and I appreciated the efficient delivery services of Amazon as well.
I initially searched IKEA for furniture and delivery services. We wanted to have our furniture a month before we moved in. However, IKEA gave us an estimated delivery date that was after Sept. 20 and the delivery fee was nearly $100. Still, we found it difficult to live without desks, chairs and lamps. So we decided to go to IKEA and purchase the furniture we needed in person, which was cheaper and faster. The problem was none of us had a car or even an American driving license. We found a moving company that charged by hour. The company gave us a big van, and we reserved it for two hours, which also meant that we didn’t have much time to be selective at IKEA. Since there were seven of us paying together, turns out each one only paid $15 for the service, it wasn’t expensive at all.
Due to the limited time, we did research what we needed in advance. Within an hour, my roommates and I rushed and grabbed what we needed in IKEA with no stops: three beds, five desks, five chairs, two bookshelves and all the bowls and dishes we needed. All the furniture we bought was in boxes and we needed to assemble them one by one. As a tip, the desks we bought were separated by desktop and desk legs. We ended up buying two extra legs because of it. Luckily, it took us only one day to assemble all the furniture.
Besides buying furniture from IKEA, I know that there are also people selling their second-hand furniture, which is far cheaper than buying them new. The only concern might be how to pick up this furniture and get it home.
Apparently no one can live without the internet now. When we stepped into our new home, there was no Wi-Fi. But during move-in season, we easily found a Wi-Fi service company to install it. All it took was us telling them our home address in the morning. They arranged everything immediately, and we got our Wi-Fi in the afternoon.