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Living in Bogotá: a guide to move from one place to another

Living in Bogotá
Isabela Gómez

Isabela Gómez

A creative designer who loves to write, travel and is ready to explore everything that is around!

Looking for boxes, tapes, and moving trucks? No more! Follow this guide that will make your move comfortable and easy so you can continue living in Bogotá

Moving to a new place gives you a combination of feelings. You will start feeling the excitement of looking for a great place in a beautiful neighborhood, then you’ll have some confusing thoughts about how you get into weird places when looking for your dream apartment (but isn’t your fault,  not all what you see on the internet is the same in person), and before moving, the paperwork hits you, giving you some anxiety. But don’t worry, you can make it and get to the next stage: being stressed out and desperate to be in your new home in the blink of an eye. I feel you and let me tell you that it will all be over soon!

Recently, my husband and I moved to another apartment. it is my second time moving since we arrived in Bogotá. The first time, my family helped us a lot, but this time, I just counted on the help of my brother-in-law, my husband, and myself. So I gathered all the advice that my family gave me beforehand, the advice I found on the internet, and also, the things that I figured out at the moment. To make it short, because I know what you are going through, especially in another country, I am very glad to say that all of it went better than the first time, was stress-free (which I thought wouldn’t be possible), and yes, I am going to share a quick guide about how I did it!

GIVE NOTICE IN ADVANCE

The first thing you should do when planning to move is to give notice in advance to the landlord. Normally, that’s about 3 months before the end of the contract, but if you are in an Airbnb, you don’t have to worry about it. When the contract is over and you already found your new home, you can continue your moving-out process by calling and setting up all the utilities. They will schedule a visit at the new place to move your services, but keep them running at your current place until you move (they will charge you a commission for this service, but it comes in your next bill). Also, it will help to give notice at your job too, to see if it’s possible to take a few days off for this new stage in your life; it will help you a lot!

DO A DECLUTTER

You might think I am crazy for doing this during such a stressful time, but when you start looking for a new apartment, you should start decluttering because it will help you, not just for cleaning, but you’ll have less stuff to pack and carry.

How did I do it?

Three boxes: things to give or donate, things to throw away, and things to keep. What you should keep in mind is that you have to be 100% objective. Things come and go and it’s not good to get too attached to them and if you are like me, then you will love getting to declutter again when you arrive at your new place!

Quick Tip: If you don’t know where to donate or you are too busy, just ask the security of the building or a local church.

THE COST OF MOVING

At this point, you should consider the expenses you are going to have by moving to another place, like the moving company service, the deposit you have to leave in the surveillance, the food delivery, and any other potential expenses. These costs will vary depending on the amount of stuff that the company will move, the strata in which you will be located, and any circumstances that might present. For example, I am located in strata 4, and both of the buildings (the old and the new one) asked me to leave a $200.000 COP (approx. $67 USD) deposit at the walk-through They do this to cover all accidents that could happen during the move if nothing happens, they will return this deposit as soon as everything is moved. About the cost of a moving company, mine was $150.000 COP (approx. $50 USD) and I believe it was below the average because it was just a few heavy furniture items and the new apartment was really close to the old one (the guy who has helped me the past 2 moves is Jairo Mudanza: 310 6775890).

Also, if you are not into cooking during the moving days, you should consider the extra food costs of ordering/eating out, but if you are on a budget, cook the meals before or unpack all the kitchen supplies first.

TELL EVERYONE YOU ARE MOVING!

It sounds kind of desperate, but telling your closest friends and family that you are moving will take a heavyweight from you if they offer to help. They can help you through the whole process or even just on a moving day; both are helpful. In my case, this year, my brother-in-law helped us move by carrying some stuff and also, being in the old apartment giving directions to the moving company while my husband and I received the furniture at the new apartment.

Delegating some responsibilities between your friends or family will help you move faster to your new home while having fun together.

IT’S TIME TO START PACKING

For my first move, I tried what most people use: boxes and tapes. Let me tell you, I didn’t like it. It was difficult to move and no one cared about what was inside, even if it said “fragile.” This time, I got creative and practical, I took out my baggage and I forgot that inside of it I had another one, a carry-on, and two duffle bags; enough space to be filled with a part of the stuff I had in the apartment. Of course, as I noticed that it was more comfortable to use them for moving and also cleaner to put my personal stuff inside, I wanted to continue with this method, so I took a few pieces of luggage from my brother-in-law to fill with the rest of the stuff. The only time I used boxes instead of a bag was for the cleaning products and some books. You can find free boxes in D1 and Justo y Bueno stores, and tape in any supermarket.

Remember to mark every bag or box with what is inside. This way you will save time later.

Quick Tip: Fill one of the pieces of baggage with three complete outfits (don’t forget about your underwear), pj’s, medications, and personal hygiene products. This will help you to go at your own pace when unpacking.

CLEANING AND PAINTING

Some people believe that cleaning and painting should be the final thing you do, but my point of view is that it has to be done simultaneously with the packing process, because that way, you will go faster.

What I did is that when I finished packing a room or space, I filled the holes in the wall from the art pieces or stands (a very important thing to do) and then painted the walls. After that, I swept and mopped the space. Keep in mind that when it comes to moving day, the floor will get dirty again, but don’t worry, you already cleaned, so you will only need to vacuum and it’s done. You can find all the supplies in Homecenter or any hardware store around the neighborhood.

Before moving to your new home, try to clean it first. It’s better to do it that way, not just because it’s empty, but because it will be easier for you to just arrive at your new apartment and settle down.

Quick Tip: Start with the space that will take you the most time to clean. For example, in my case, it was the kitchen, because of all the pantry items it had and the oven that tends to be a nightmare to clean.

Now my favorite part has finally arrived: that moment when you are in the new place and you can go at your own pace. If you followed my guide, the only thing left is to unpack and redecorate! Here you can be creative putting everything the way you like it, and if something is needed, just buy it, but don’t forget to make your new place your own.

Hope you can enjoy your moving, be stress-free and of course, find new tips to share in the comments below or on your social media (tag us!)

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