Hell's Bitchen

Hell's Bitchen: I vow never to move again

By Kelly Kreth  |
April 12, 2012 - 10:40AM

Kelly Kreth, recently returned to Hell’s Kitchen, begins chronicling her misadventures in her tenement-style walk-up in this new bi-weekly BrickUnderground column, Hell’s Bitchen.

Moving is said to be one of the most stressful things anyone can do in life. But for me I believe it is compounded because I also have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and am prone to panic whenever there is any state of transition or happenings beyond my control.

Having OCD can be a real pain in the ass for people around me too, but during a move or any other big, complicated project, there is one part of my OCD personality that actually helps: Nothing makes me happier than having a list, except having another list.

Except here's the thing about lists:  While they're great for planning how things ought to go down, there is no guarantee that things will actually go according to plan.

Let's start with the movers I hired to pack up the contents of my junior 4 apartment the day before for a flat rate that basically doubled the price of my crosstown move (which, if you're interested, cost about $2,800 plus $400 in assorted tips).

Initially the movers wanted to throw everything in a dresser in one box. I forced them to put things in neatly by drawer and then add paper to divide drawers within a box.

Then I labeled the box myself: Dresser 1, Drawers 1, 3, 2 so I’d know exactly where the items would be placed up on arriving at the new place.

However, as much of a micromanager as I am, with a man in each room packing, I somehow lost control over the old, crotchety mover (evil Mover #4) handling the kitchen/bathroom area.

As a result, I ended up with seven boxes that remained unpacked for a month because they had things from the fridge thrown in with tools, toiletries and other random shit; they shoved items from different rooms and cabinets into boxes and label them with bizarre names like “Glass, Rabbit, Hair.” 

WTF? Jerky Mover #4 also didn’t seal bottles containing liquid firmly enough so there was oil, nail polish remover and bleach all over everything in them. He also broke a vintage 1950s picture frame, dishes, and light bulbs.

I also fucked up by not packing away private items on my own and labeling that box PRIVATE so friends--enlisted later on to help me unpac --would not be tempted to open it and unpack my vibrators, porn, etc.

So not only do the movers know I am trapped in the 90s still owning DVD porn, friends also now know my preference for the interracial variety.

I also lacked the foresight to pack a box of essential items I’d need for the first night in my new home like contact solution, toothbrush and makeup.

I did not do this and went three days without deodorant and looking like I spent a month in the outback because I did not have access to my hairdryer or brush.

The movers also tore off two cabinets in my old apartment, taking off part of my actual wall (goodbye security deposit) instead of calmly unscrewing them. Never again!

But I suppose, in a way, I got my revenge by acting like a nutcase during the actual move. I took pictures of the setup of the apartment I was moving from and created a floor plan on Photoshop which I thrust upon movers and friends helping so all could understand exactly where everything would go.

I’m sure both were eager to shove the aforementioned diagram up my ass when I waved it in their faces, but it did seem to make things go far faster than I had anticipated. I also coded each piece of furniture and put that code on the box that corresponded to the stuff that would be housed in it.

At one point I caught evil Mover #4 cursing about me in Spanish. “Que carajo!”

But probably the most upsetting thing happened on moving day itself.

Even though I told the movers repeatedly to not drag any furniture across the new wood floors, they did and not only did the floors at my old place end up getting scratched, but my brand new ones did too.

Every time I look at the deep indent in my bedroom floor I want to leave an indent in someone.

The last trial came when no one could figure out how to install my a/c and wanted to just leave it uninstalled for another day. With very limited room space and no storage areas, the last thing I wanted was a huge, dirty a/c unit sitting around leaking water on my (near) perfect floors. 

A friend had been steadfast that one could not prop a book under an a/c and would have to get a professional a/c installer to do it. But I finally forced him to prop a brick/book combo under it and drill it into the window frame LIKE EVERY OTHER PERSON IN NYC HAD DONE and how I have had my a/cs installed for the 15 years I've been in the city. He was just a perfectionist, but it turned out perfectly,  is secure and won't be falling on anyone's head. 

At last, the ordeal was over.  

After weeks of looking for an apartment, organizing the transfer of mail, bills, etc., paying for a year’s rent upfront (to compensate for my freelance salary and help bring down the monthly cost) as well as brokerage fees and security deposit, and having movers at my house for two days packing and then finally moving, I vowed never to move again.

Of course, I had only just met my new super, Aquavelva.

Kelly Kreth has recently returned to Hell’s Kitchen and is chronicling her misadventures in her tenement-style walk-up building in this bi-weekly BrickUnderground column, Hell’s Bitchen

 Also by Kelly Kreth:

15 things I've learned from 'Million Dollar Listing NY' so far

The 20 deadly sins NYC rental agents should never commit (but do)

Escape from the UES: Goodbye douchebaggery, hello Hell's Kitchen

Dear Neighbor: I am your worst nightmare

Living next to a bridge & tunnel club: KY Jelly wrestling, all-night noise, no regrets



Kelly Kreth

Contributing writer

Contributing writer Kelly Kreth has been a freelance journalist, essayist, and columnist for more than two decades. Her real estate articles have appeared in The Real Deal, Luxury Listings, Our Town, and amNewYork. A long-time New York City renter who loves a good deal, Kreth currently lives in a coveted rent-stabilized apartment in a luxury building on the Upper East Side.

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