Moving Without Your Roommate
When you’re moving out but your roommate is not, the entire process can become a lot more challenging, especially if the reason behind leaving is that you and the person you are currently sharing a home with are no longer getting along. At Moving Ahead Services, we have witnessed several such instances and the confusion and chaos that often accompanies them. Since our livelihood revolves around reducing stress for customers who are relocating, we would like to share some tips for how to prepare your belongings when one person is staying behind.
You might have been best friends upon moving in with each other. You might have been total strangers. Regardless, there is some reason that you are moving out and your roommate is staying put, whether your relationship has reached a tenuous point of conflict or you are leaving for logistical reasons such as getting a new job or entering a new stage in your romantic relationship. Even if you are parting ways on pleasant terms, the process of sorting out your possessions and getting them packed is still likely to be difficult, as you don’t want to accidentally take any of your roommate’s items or get in their way while they continue their regular activities.
One way to prevent problems is to sit down with your roommate with a pen and paper and go over the items in your home. Even if you are in conflict with one another, this is still an important step, and not taking it can lead to more dramatic conflict when you actually attempt to pack and move. If you are in conflict, explain to them that you don’t want to take anything of theirs by mistake and that you just want to make sure that you’re both on the same page in terms of what belongs to whom. If there are items that you purchased together, these are going to be the objects that you need to come to an agreement upon. If neither of you is willing to give something up, then suggest flipping a coin or another objective way to leave the decision to chance. Go over all other items in the home and write down what you agree is yours to take as you discuss it. Afterward, have both of you sign the piece of paper as a physical form of proof that you both agreed to this. Should they change their mind later and give you trouble, show them that they agreed to the decision and the reminder will likely get them to back off.
The Packing Process
After compiling a written list of what is yours, you need to pack. If any of the items are things that you both used regularly, save those for last so that your roommate can still use them while they can and use the time to find a replacement item if necessary. Try to plan out your packing process for days or times where your roommate will not be home so that you aren’t constantly getting in their way while they continue to use the living space. When they do get home, set your items aside and either save the work for their next departure or continue working off to the side. You may also want to ask them to try to keep their own belongings out of the way where possible, at least with furniture or larger objects. Consider bringing all of your items to one room and using that one room as the place where you do all of your packing and organizing. The evening before the move, clear a pathway from your prepared possessions to the door so that our movers can simply walk back and forth through the same space for minimal disruption of your roommate’s activities.
Whether you shed tears over parting ways or you can’t wait to get away from the other person, approach them and try to extend at least a basic goodbye. Tell them that if you find anything of theirs with your belongings that you will call them, and ask them to return the favor if they find anything that you’ve forgotten. This will hopefully make both of you feel better, but more importantly, it shows that you aren’t trying to pull a fast one on them, which will make them more likely to contact you rather than blowing you off should you happen to leave anything behind.
Moving is difficult enough without experiencing conflict with a roommate who is not coming with you. Make the process easier on both of yourselves by following these basic guidelines.