Residents of Boston know that Allston Christmas is anything but a holiday. Rather, it marks a time of madness throughout the city. Allston Christmas occurs during the first week of September and is a moving-frenzy for the roughly 250,000 college students preparing for the new school year. Moving in Boston during the fall can be a challenge.
The streets of Boston are littered with students and their parents, moving items in and out of homes, double-parked U-Hauls as far as the eye can see, and unwanted furniture scattered across the sidewalks.
If you are one of the 79% of Bostonians whose leases turn over during Allston Christmas or are newcomers to Boston, don’t fret. Provided below are helpful tips to guide you through Allston Christmas while keeping your sanity intact.
If At All Possible, Avoid Moving During Allston Christmas
Although you may not have much control over your moving date, it cannot be overstated how much cheaper and easier moving will be during any other time of year. Many moving companies charge premium rates for dates falling on Allston Christmas, and traffic will be much more congested and chaotic than normal. If you have the option to move out early or push your move back until after the first week of September, then do so.
Your move will be much smoother if you can book your slot with a moving company well in advance. The further in advance, the better off you will be, as many reputable local moving services will be completely booked up weeks before Allston Christmas.
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Get a Parking Permit
If you are already living in the Boston area, you will need to obtain a parking permit for your moving truck for both the place you are moving from and the place you are moving to. This preventative measure helps protect you from costly parking tickets and also ensures that you will have a parking space on the day of your move. Without a parking permit, carrying your belongings half a block or more down the street will make your move much more painful– quite literally.
You can ask the moving company you’ve hired about handling the permits for you, or you can apply for the permit yourself online. It’s recommended that you apply for a permit about two to four weeks before your move.
Arrange the Move with Your Landlord
Some landlords require residents to reserve a moving slot and/or provide a certificate of insurance from the moving company that has been hired, which may take a week or so to obtain.
Contact your landlord to confirm any mandatory moving regulations that they may require. Even if they do not have any regulations to adhere to, it is in your best interest to consult your landlord to ensure that you do not face any displeasing surprises.
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Pack Items into Boxes to Prevent Damage– and Label Them!
Some may be tempted just to toss their items into a garbage bag and call it a day; this is a surefire way not only to mix up and potentially lose your stuff but a way to damage your items too. When it’s time to unpack, you will be thankful that you took the time to pack and organize your belongings in boxes.
Do Not Litter
The sidewalk is not a trash receptacle. As a resident of Boston, it’s your duty to do your part in keeping it clean. Although Allston Christmas got its name from residents leaving “free gifts” out on the street, you should sell, donate or recycle your unwanted property instead of abandoning it on the sidewalk.
Do you know the saying: “the early bird gets the worm?” Well, during Allston Christmas, the early movers don’t have to waste time in the congested traffic gridlock. The earlier you can schedule your move, the better off you will be.
Stay Hydrated and Bring Snacks
Allston Christmas takes place during late summer, which means that the weather is often hot and humid. Be sure to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and/or sports drinks.
Also, make sure to pack energy-boosting snacks, such as energy bars and nuts, and a filling lunch for yourself. Don’t make your move more frustrating than it needs to be by allowing yourself to become “hangry.”
Do NOT Drive a Truck on Storrow Drive
Boston has numerous low bridges throughout the city. If you obey the “cars only” and clearance signs, you should be fine. But ignoring these signs while driving a truck will get you stuck– or, as the locals call it, “Storrowed.” During your move, Memorial Drive, Soldier’s Field Road, and Storrow Drive are few streets that should be avoided at all costs.
If you hire a local moving company, this shouldn’t be a problem. They should know the area well and won’t get you “Storrowed.”
Celebrate Surviving Allston Christmas
After your move has been completed, visit one of the many bars and celebrate with a drink. Or you could reward yourself with a well-deserved nap. Just try not to think about the unpacking that awaits you.