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Seven tips for moving off campus

In this file photo, Michael O'Brien and Tim Duchenseau move in to off-campus housing on Gainsborough Street on Sept. 1, 2016. Photo by Adam Glanzman/Northeastern University

Every year on Sept. 1, Boston streets devolve into pandemonium as tens of thousands of college students move in and out of apartments before the school year starts. But Northeastern is prepared to help students battle the chaos. We asked Rebecca Regan, director of Off Campus Student Services, to share some tips for a seamless move.

Get a parking pass

Parking will be tough in Mission Hill and the Fenway, but Northeastern volunteers and Boston Police will be there to direct traffic. Northeastern volunteers can be spotted in red T-shirts.

“They’re there to help, so ask them questions. We hope they can make the experience less stressful for people,” Regan said.

Northeastern volunteers will also be handing out the one-hour parking passes required for street parking. Use your hour wisely, though, because cars will be towed or ticketed for overstaying their welcome.

“You don’t need to be moved in and unpacked in an hour, but you do need to move your car in an hour. Just get everything from your car to your apartment,” Regan said.

Check out these maps of Mission Hill and the Fenway for overflow parking lots where you can get organized and wait for traffic to clear up.

Hire some muscle, rent some wheels  

If you need a mover, a van, or a storage unit, refer to this list of companies Northeastern recommends. And if you plan on showing up in a 26-foot truck, perhaps reconsider. Don’t be that person. You will cause a traffic jam. And, please, do not attempt to drive a storage truck on Storrow Drive!

“Don’t forget to read the fine print when you’re renting a car, and make sure you get it back on time. You’ll be charged extra if you return the car late,” Regan said.

Don’t be trashy

Moving out means purging your apartment of all the random stuff you’ve accumulated during college. But this is not an excuse to dump everything on the sidewalk. Avoid a $25 fine for illegal disposal by putting your trash out at the right time. Consult Boston’s trash and recycling schedule, or download the app, to determine pick-up times in your neighborhood.

“Friday is pick-up day in Mission Hill and Fenway, so try to put your trash out Thursday night,” Regan said.

Also remember to review your lease for any moving-related clauses about cleanliness, trash removal, and repairs, as these could affect your security deposit. Still confused? Check out Northeastern’s tips for understanding your lease.

One man’s trash…

That being said, you should take advantage of all the furniture that’s abandoned on the sidewalks this weekend. Seriously, you could furnish an entire apartment for free. Just be scrupulous with what you pick up. Upholstered furniture can be a breeding ground for bed bugs.

Know your rights

Brush up on your tenant rights. Your apartment should be clean and safe when you arrive. Properties should be inspected 45 days before new tenants move in, but you should do your own examination too. If things look awry when you move in, take pictures immediately to provide evidence that any pre-existing damages were not your fault. You can also check your apartment’s inspection records on the City of Boston website.

If something is broken or seems unsafe, you have 15 days to report it to your landlord or property manager. Use Northeastern’s apartment condition checklist if your landlord doesn’t provide you with one, and submit it as soon as possible if anything is wrong.  

You can also report any non-emergency issues in your apartment using the 311 app. “The app is a really easy way for students to get in touch with the city quickly and directly,” Regan said.

Say hello

Mission Hill and Fenway apartments are full of college students, but they aren’t residence halls. Families and longtime residents also inhabit these neighborhoods. Respect these people. Some of them have probably lived there since before you were born. Keep the noise down, be clean, and introduce yourself. Don’t wait until the housewarming party to meet your neighbor because of a noise complaint.

“It’s so easy to just ring your neighbor’s doorbell and introduce yourself. It might seem unimportant, but the gesture goes a long way,” Regan said.

Stay Connected

Connect with Off Campus Student Services on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to get live updates on Sept. 1. Send your questions to @NUoffcampus using #NUmoveinSept1 to get quick answers.

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