This week we have a guy who’s moving into his own place and taking the stuff he bought with him. The trouble is, his old roommates use some of those things and aren’t being given much time to adapt. Is there a nice way to deal with a situation such as this?
Photo: Kevin Hale
Some people have problems that require delicate advice from a qualified professional. Others just need a random guy on the internet to kick ’em in the teeth (with honesty, that is). I’m the latter. Welcome back to Tough Love.
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Note: I’m not a therapist or health professional of any kind. People ask for my advice and I give it to them. End of transaction. If you have a problem with it, feel free to file a formal complaint here. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get on with it:
I live with several other people on a month-to-month lease. I will be moving into a new place within a week and am giving my roommates a 30-day move out notice.
The problem I have is that half the furniture in the old place is mine (including the washer, dryer and couches), and I want to move it all to the new place at the start of the month. I feel like it’s rude to take it with me without advance notice to my old roommates. However, these are all items I brought with me into the apartment and I don’t feel obligated to give them a 30-day notice when I move my stuff.
What’s the best way to go about this situation?
Hey Moving Roommate,
Look, you were on a month-to-month lease, so all parties should have been aware on some level that this was a possibility at any time. You gave them your 30-day notice, so on paper you’ve technically done everything you’re supposed to.
That said, you’re not staying the full 30 days, and neither is your stuff that everyone uses. You’re right, it’s your stuff and you aren’t obligated to leave any of it behind. But you’re also right that it would be rude to pull the rug out from under them (literally).
So what you should do depends on who these people are and how you want these people to think of you. Are they your friends? Friends that you’d like to keep as friends? Or are they just roommates – people you can’t wait to be rid of?
If they’re your friends, you should probably throw them a bone here, MR. At least leave behind the necessary, functional stuff for the full 30 days, you know? Take your couch and other furniture, but don’t make all of your buddies use the laundromat because you’re oh-so-excited to move into your new place.
The nice thing to do would be using the laundromat yourself for the time being, or taking your laundry to the old place until they can find some replacements. Give them a little time to shop around for a good deal on a washer and dryer.
If they aren’t your friends, however, and you don’t plan on them being a part of your life, things get a little greyer. You can simply take your stuff and go, as long as you don’t mind if they think you’re an arsehole. But I’d still lean toward being nice if I were you. Consider leaving your stuff behind for the rest of the month, or at least meet them halfway so they have longer than a week to figure things out.
Or, if you really want your stuff out of there fast, offer to help them search for comparable replacements. Make it so you’re the one putting in the extra effort here. After all, you’re the one who’s taking off, and a month isn’t that long. Be kind.
Or be an arsehole. I don’t care. You’re the one who has to live with yourself.
That’s it for this week. I probably didn’t make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, but sometimes what you need is some tough love. ‘Til next time, figure things out for yourself.