10 Tips for Moving with Roommates in Los Angeles

The moving process can often be filled with a lot of emotions — excitement to make your new space yours, but perhaps even sadness to leave what you’re already familiar with. And when you’re moving with roommates, there’s an extra layer of planning needed to ensure you’re on the same page and set up for move-in success. Here are a few tips on how to avoid falling out with your roommates and ensure a smooth move.

1. Check in with each other regularly

It’s easy to forget essential to-do’s like cancelling bills in the chaos of moving, and some people in your shared house might be struggling to balance packing with other responsibilities like work. Make sure you check-in with each other regularly, whether that’s through house meetings or via text.

Keep each other up to date with what’s been done and what still needs to be sorted out, and offer support if anyone in the group is having a hard time.

2. Give yourself extra time

Instead of thinking of it as moving day, think of it as moving week. Packing, cleaning, and unpacking can be time-consuming. Think about how much time you’ll need, then double it. That extra time will give you a bit of breathing room in case something goes wrong and will hopefully make you feel more at ease.

If you can, try to organize an overlap in leases of at least a few days so you don’t have to move out and move into your new place all in one super-long day. Take time off from work and spread the packing over several weeks, doing a bit at a time.

3. Discuss bills early on

Talking about bills can be tricky, but putting it off until the last minute may end up costing you money if services aren’t canceled in time. Many utility providers require a month’s notice before you move out, so factor that in. And be aware that there might be a cancellation fee if you’re terminating services before the end of a contract.

Moving with roommates adds an extra layer of consideration as different bills might be in different people’s names, and only the account holder can cancel the service. Work out who’s in charge of each bill and assign responsibilities accordingly.

4. Create a list of moving tasks

Get the pens and paper out and think about what needs to be done. Who’s going to cancel the bills? Who’s going to get all the moving boxes? And if you need one, who’s going to make arrangements with the moving company?

As you talk about who’s going to do what and divvy up the work, you’ll relieve some stress and be able to put a plan and timeline together. You can also pin a list to the fridge so everyone can cross off tasks when they’ve finished them.

5. Divvy up your belongings

Living with roommates often means that you split the costs of certain big-ticket items. Because of this, there might be plenty of stuff in your home with no clear owner. You may have all pitched in to buy a couch or table, and if you’re moving to different homes, you’ll have to decide who’s taking what.

If you have to completely clear out the house, take a walk around each room and make a note of who’s going to take each item. Getting this done can potentially fend off any last-minute arguments about who gets to keep the TV.

6. Remember to eat

The process of moving — especially moving with roommates — can get hectic. And amid the chaos of the move, it’s easy to forget about food. But you need to replace the calories you burn lifting all those boxes! You probably won’t feel like unpacking your kitchen supplies and cooking, so have a few local takeout menus handy.

7. Determine whether you need a moving company

Getting someone else to do all the heavy lifting for you is a surefire way to reduce stress. If you decide to hire a moving company, make sure to book them around 30 days in advance for a long-distance move, or about two weeks ahead if you’re moving locally.

If money is tight and hiring a moving company isn’t an option, enlist the help of as many friends and family members as you can, and rent or borrow the biggest van you can afford. The more people who can help, the less tired — and hangry — you and your roommates will be.

8. Agree on a moving budget

Moving can get expensive, especially when you account for expenses such as gas, a moving truck, and food. To avoid disagreements about who’s going to pay for the pizza when you’re exhausted and surrounded by half-packed boxes, set up a communal fund that you and your roommates can dip into.

9. Consider hiring a cleaner

Giving the home a thorough cleaning when you leave can be helpful when it comes to getting your full security deposit.

But when it’s time for the big, final tidy up, everyone is likely to be tired after a day spent shifting boxes, and the last thing you’ll want to do is vacuum. Plus, cleaning in a shared house can be challenging at the best of times, especially when everyone has different ideas of what constitutes as “clean.” But if you all band together, it can be relatively inexpensive to hire a cleaner, or a team of cleaners, to come in and do a thorough job on the now-empty home.

10. Go on an adventure once you’re done

Moving from one home to another can be quite the undertaking. Once you’ve settled in, consider rewarding yourselves with an adventure — whether it’s a weekend away at the beach or a night on the town in the city. Having something fun to look forward to will help to motivate you through the trials and tribulations of moving. And if some roommates are heading off to different areas, having a shared night out will help you all to keep in touch.

As you continue in the move-in process, be sure to communicate with your roommates as much as possible to ensure that you’re all on the same page. And with the help of these tips, you’ll be better prepared to move-in with your roommates.

Contact Move Central

Here at Move Central, we offer packing services for all your items, not just artwork. We have particular experience with moves in and around Los Angeles, so call us for a free quote on any of our services now at 866-305-3919.

How You Can Get Involved in the Los Angeles Community

Los Angeles is booming! More than 3.8 million residents live in the city, and the population grew by more than 100,000 people between 2010 and 2020. 

But not everyone in the Los Angeles community is doing well. If you have spare time and money to give, you should consider participating in Los Angeles volunteer opportunities. There are quite a few you can choose from. 

What needs are most pressing for Los Angeles residents? How can you indulge in your love of art? What are some important institutions that need volunteers? 

Answer these questions and you can help thousands of Los Angeles residents in substantial ways. Here is your comprehensive guide. 

Sign Up for VolunteerLA

VolunteerLA is a service that the Los Angeles city government runs. You volunteer directly with the city and you participate in community service projects that the government sponsors.

In the past, the City of Los Angeles has asked for volunteers to run COVID-19 tests and administer vaccinations. Volunteers can work at homeless shelters, perform administrative tasks, and set up bedding for vulnerable people. 

Listings are posted on its website every day, so check back regularly for new opportunities. You can also find opportunities outside of Los Angeles in Long Beach and Pasadena. 

Volunteer at a Food Bank

34% of households in Los Angeles experienced food insecurity at one point between April and December 2020. Working in a food bank can help you feed thousands of needy people a day. 

You can volunteer at food banks in a few different ways. You can cook meals and serve food to people. You can sort through donated food items and repackage them so people can pick them up and prepare their own meals.

Most food banks are open on weekdays, and you can volunteer after you are done with work. You can also work at special events, including Thanksgiving dinners. 

You can find food banks all over the city. The Los Angeles Regional Food Bank helps run food pantries in many neighborhoods, including Little Tokyo and Westlake North. You can participate in programs that help specific people like veterans or children. 

Deliver Meals

Some people cannot access food at food banks due to mobility issues or tight schedules. If you have a car, you can sign up to deliver meals to hungry people. 

Meals on Wheels helps elderly and disabled people receive food. Students and young people can volunteer, as long as they have valid licenses and insurance. You can deliver meals between 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on weekdays, and you can go to Westwood and Bel-Air. 

If you prefer to walk around, you can volunteer with Food on Foot. You can bring bags of food and clothes to homeless people, including your neighbors. Food on Foot runs a Sunday delivery program, making a good choice if you can’t volunteer during weekdays. 

Drive People Around

You can also use your car to give people free rides to important locations. For most driving volunteer opportunities, you must have a good driving record and a safe vehicle. You are responsible for keeping your vehicle clean and maintaining it properly.

The Braille Institute is currently looking for drivers to give rides to people who use its services. You must pass a background check and fingerprint screening, but you can drive people anywhere in the city. You do not have to pay fees, and the institute will help you cover gas and other expenses. 

The American Cancer Society runs the Road to Recovery Program. People who are receiving cancer treatment and cannot drive themselves can get free rides to medical appointments. 

Work at a Museum

Most of Los Angeles’s museums are looking for volunteers. Each museum needs different people, but you can sign up to lead tours, work in gift shops, and clean facilities. 

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) has several programs that need volunteers. Its Museum Service Council provides support to the administrative staff and curators.

As a volunteer, you can work in the museum’s libraries and host special events. Volunteers can receive invitations to private tours and lectures with the museum’s curators. 

Members of LACMA’s Docent Council run guided tours and show works of art to guests. You do not need an art background to become a docent. 

The California Science Center has more unique opportunities. You can become a volunteer scuba diver and work in the museum’s aquarium. You can even try out aquatic husbandry, feeding animals and observing their behavior. 

Some volunteer opportunities require you to sign contracts. You may need to work a few hours a week every week for several months. Read over the terms of the volunteer position before you sign up for it.

Volunteer at a Library

The Los Angeles Public Library system has 73 locations, including the Central Library at 630 West 5th Street. Nearly all locations are looking for volunteers, though opportunities vary from location to location. Take a look at the branch near you to see what is available. 

The Central Library needs volunteers in several departments. You can work as a tutor in the Adult Literacy Program, helping adult students learn how to read and write. You can also work with new English learners, especially if you have fluency in another language. 

Docents lead art and architecture tours of the Central Library. You can point out interesting works of art and architectural features, and you can bring guests through the Maguire Gardens. You can conduct guided tours with adult learners and schoolchildren. 

Inventory aides help with shelving and picking up items left on tables. Working in the inventory department is labor-intensive, so you should only do it if you are prepared to walk around a lot. 

STAR volunteers read books to children two hours a week. If you prefer to work with teenagers, you can help them with their homework and guide them around the library. Teenagers can volunteer as homework helpers or guides as well.

Help at the Airport

Both LAX and Van Nuys Airport need volunteers. If you join the Volunteer Information Professionals program, you will work in information booths and direct guests to different parts of the airport. You can also help people load their bags and get to exits. 

Shifts are four hours long, so be prepared to work for a long period of time. Shifts are available on weekdays and weekends, and you can work multiple shifts a week. 

If you or a loved one is a high school student, you can sign up for the LAXceeders program. This is a volunteer program for students that is nearly identical to the Volunteer Information Professionals program. Students must volunteer for at least two hours a week, but they can participate at any time that works for them.

The LAX Pets Unstressing Passengers program lets you work with therapy dogs. You can handle the dogs and walk them around LAX terminals. You must have one year of experience working with a dog therapy group, and you must own your own dog. 

Participate in Animal Services

The City of Los Angeles Animal Services Department runs six separate animal shelters. The department saved more than 3,600 animals in May 2022 alone, and much of its work occurs thanks to volunteers.

You can walk and bathe dogs and take care of cats and rabbits. You can also help the Animal Services Department with its website and marketing, taking photographs of the animals and writing social media posts about them.

All volunteers must attend an orientation and receive training. Teenagers can volunteer, but people aged 12-15 must have an adult sponsor who they will volunteer with. You must volunteer at least six hours a month for six months. 

The Los Angeles Zoo needs volunteers to prepare meals and research its 1,200 animals and 7,500 plants. You can take notes on how animals play, move, and eat. You can work alongside animal care programs on strategies to support animals that need help. 

Smaller organizations also need volunteers. The International Bird Rescue helps injured and oiled birds recover and return to their natural habitats. 

Plant Some Trees

Trees in urban areas remove more than 710,000 metric tons of air pollution every year. They also cool down walking areas, making it easier for people to exercise and remain outside. 

TreePeople is an organization that plants and maintains trees throughout Southern California. The group hosts events every weekend and on most mornings during the week. You can go to events outside of Los Angeles, or you can volunteer in neighborhoods that have only a few trees. 

TreePeople will give you training so you can participate in multiple events. If you want to move your company to LA and get it involved in the community, you can sign up for the Teams for Trees program. 

City Plants drops off trees for private residents to plant in their backyards. You can volunteer to deliver and plant trees.

You can also become a Block Leader, taking charge of the trees on your residential block. You can work with your neighbors to purchase, plant, and maintain trees over the years.

The Department of Recreation and Parks is also looking for planters. You can plant trees or flowers in parks and gardens throughout the city. 

Register for Classes

Many local community organizations offer classes to Los Angeles residents. The YMCA has several locations around Los Angeles, and you can find free classes at each one. You can learn about making art, preparing nutritious meals, and exercising. 

You will need to become a YMCA member in order to take classes. But most classes are free for members, and you can take as many of them as you want. You can also use the YMCA’s other resources like swimming pools and exercise centers. 

You can join a book club, knitting circle, or running group as well. Feel free to create a group with your friends and family members. Ask your friends if there are any groups that you can join.

If you want to teach classes, you can do so at several locations. The Valley Jewish Community Center is looking for people to lead classes on any subject they have an interest in. You do not have to be Jewish to lead a class, and you can teach the class over Zoom.

Start Donating to Charities

Charities are always in need of money. If you have a favorite charity, you should continue to donate to it. You can become a member and give money every month or year. 

If you want something in return for your money, you can buy items at charity shops. The proceeds go to charity and you can get something you need for yourself. 

Charities that help Los Angeles residents include the Downtown Women’s Center. It is the only organization in the city that focuses exclusively on helping women, including women who have dealt with homelessness. You can give money or buy gift cards that people in the center can use. 

You can also help The People Concern. It is a social service agency that helps residents get housing and health care. You can help victims of domestic violence, veterans, and challenged youth through monetary donations.

Feel free to launch fundraisers to support your favorite charities. Fun runs, bake sales, and yard sales are always popular. If the weather is not good for a yard sale, you can use storage facilities to store your furniture and then wait until conditions improve. 

Help the Los Angeles Community

The Los Angeles community is waiting for you. Many residents need food and housing, so you can join VolunteerLA or work in a food bank to provide meals and homes. Other residents need rides to work and medical appointments, which you can give. 

Important institutions like the Los Angeles Public Library, LAX, and Animal Services Department need volunteers. You can join them at any point in the year. You can also give your money to charities or run special events. 

You can’t volunteer in LA until you move to LA. Move Central serves Southern California residents. Contact us today.