Struggles of moving into a new apartment

Ethan Epstein/File

As summer draws to an end, many of us are frantically rushing around our houses trying to track down that last sock or power strip before packing all of our essentials into various bags and heading back to school. Unless you stayed in Berkeley over the summer or haven’t switched apartments, there’s a pretty good chance that right now you’re preparing to move into your apartment for the upcoming school year. While many people had subletters, so they at least have their place furnished, it’s still a hassle trying to move every single one of your most prized possessions. As we at the Clog scramble to settle in for the start of the semester, we feel your pain and understand the hardest parts of moving into a new apartment.

Space problems

Three words for you: Berkeley housing crisis. Thanks to that lovely reality, people are leasing out their living room spaces or squeezing three people into a one-bedroom apartment, if only to keep the cost of living affordable. That means that you have to really put your brains to the test in attempting to manage your living space, whether that means putting drawers under your beds or getting bunk beds despite the fact you’re no longer in the residence halls and thought you were done with top bunks forever.

For those of you who are living in residence halls, you’ve got to figure out how to store all your stuff in a relatively tiny room with other people. Yikes.


For some reason, there are an awful lot of apartment buildings around here that don’t have elevators. If you’re in one of those and you’re not on the first floor, moving your stuff into your apartment is going to take a lot of heavy lifting. Maybe you planned for this when you packed, but if you didn’t, your arms are probably going to be killing you the next day.

Furniture building

The first test of your aptitude for human adulthood is the ever-feared Ikea furniture building experience. Look, in theory it’s a great idea, but in practice? Those little diagrams just do not make sense sometimes. Plus, now you realize that in all your preparation, you failed to buy a hammer, wrench or even a screwdriver. Why is this so difficult? And, of course, right when you think you’ve got everything together, you realize that you forgot to buy a bookshelf and have to run right back to Ikea.

Pots and pans and silverware, oh my!

You’re suddenly faced with the realization that much of the kitchenware you so relied on was either from home or your last housemate or roommate’s. Regardless of your culinary skills, a single fork and frying pan can only get you so far in life. Now you need to reevaluate basically every cupboard and drawer in your apartment, as well as every recipe you know, in an attempt to figure out what you actually need to buy versus what you can do without.

Coordinating with your housemates

Whether you’re all moving in on the same day or you’re all moving in at completely different times, you’re probably going to hit some issues with coordination. If you’re sharing a room with someone, how are you supposed to set it up without their furniture in there? If you’re sharing the kitchen appliances along with the living space, what if you don’t talk about it beforehand and end up with three crockpots but no pasta strainer? You’re in college — you need a pasta strainer. Or worse, what if all your housemates are trying to move in at the same time on the same day and you can’t even get through your door with your stuff? Good luck.

Readjusting your walking, parking, alone time

You had it all figured out. It took you 10 minutes to walk from your residence hall to Hearst Memorial Mining Building and less to walk back. If you drive, you knew the best parking places in the area, including the free ones. If you bike, you knew where you could lock your bike up without it getting stolen. But now? You’re suddenly somewhere else entirely and your whole game is thrown off. You’re looking for parking for 20 minutes and you’re consistently late to things because you keep forgetting that it’s not the same distance as your old apartment. Sure, you’ll figure it out eventually, but how many times will you be late before you do?

Good luck moving in, Bears!

Contact Taylor Follett at [email protected].