With the transition from winter to spring comes the blooming of sakura trees, the big spring clean, and – a lesser-known fact – the peak season for moving house in Japan. If you are preparing for a move in the near future, ask yourself: Are you sure you’re really ready for it? Keep reading for some useful tips on how to get on the right relocation track! The most valuable piece of advice? Time. As in, make sure you allow for plenty of it before doing the following…
Let’s start with your things. First, find and contact different moving companies to compare their services and prices. Most will need to know the exact amount of furniture and boxes you have, including their size and weight, in order to provide you with a quote. Some may even send their staff out to your place to view or measure your belongings before moving day. All of this will mean you need time to gather info, to consult, plan and choose, as well as to pack and tally up the final numbers of your inventory…whew!
Now, on to getting rid of furniture and appliances. You have probably noticed that, in Japan, it is our responsibility to take all of our garbage with us wherever we go, hence the conspicuous lack of public garbage bins. This is especially true when moving out of an apartment as, in this case, our trash will likely not be another person’s treasure. If none of your friends or laboratory members want to take items off your hands, try any one or a combination of the following:
1. Contact your ward office about the collection of oversized garbage, or sodai gomi in Japanese . Simply book the pick-up date and pay. The earlier you book, the more dates you have to choose from.
2. Find nearby recycling shops to see what they accept.
3. Ask the moving companies if they offer sodai gomi services.
Doing this in advance means possibly camping out on the floor with your computer, but it also will prevent the stress of getting stuck with unwanted items that will cost much more to have transported away last minute! Next, remember to give sufficient notice to discontinue your lease at your current place. Generally, the etiquette is one month prior to your desired move-out date. Just in case though, check your contract or ask your landlord or real estate agent ahead of time to confirm this. Finally, to conclude this list of tips:
– prepare a list of questions for all of the companies above to help complete your preparations
– expect additional charges as well as delays in traffic on weekends and national holidays in March as they are popular moving times
– register at your new ward office after your move if necessary and notify your bank, credit card company, etc. of your change of address.