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Yoshio Sato - © 2003 Focus Features

15 Famous Movie Hotels You Can Visit in Real Life

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Yoshio Sato - © 2003 Focus Features

While there are a number of memorable fictional movie hotels (the Grand Budapest Hotel, the Bates Motel, and the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel are a few that come to mind) there are many more that are real, working businesses that offer guests a chance to experience some of their favorite movie locations, while also offering a great night’s sleep. Here are 15 movie hotels you can book in real life.

1. PARK HYATT TOKYO // TOKYO

Located in the heart of the city, the Park Hyatt Tokyo is the five-star hotel at the center of Sofia Coppola's Oscar-winning Lost In Translation. Along with its spectacular views of the neon lights of downtown Tokyo and Mount Fuji in the distance, you can also order a glass of Suntory Whisky at the New York Bar in the 52-story skyscraper where Bob (Bill Murray) and Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson) first met and began their wild adventure through Japan.

2. MOUNTAIN LAKE LODGE // PEMBROKE, VIRGINIA

Mountain Lake Lodge

Although it takes place at the fictional Kellerman's Resort in New York's Catskill Mountains, Dirty Dancing (1987) was actually filmed at two locations: Lake Lure in North Carolina and the Mountain Lake Hotel in Pembroke, Virginia, which is still a popular vacation spot. The hotel hosts Dirty Dancing weekends with group dance lessons, a tour of the filming locations, and a watermelon toss. The resort even features the Virginia Cottage (or “Baby’s Cabin”), where the Houseman Family stayed in the film. It’s also where “Nobody Puts Baby in a Corner!"

3. THE PLAZA HOTEL // NEW YORK

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New York City's Plaza Hotel is a famed shooting location for many Hollywood movies, including Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) stayed at the luxury hotel when he was separated from the rest of his family (again) in this 1992 sequel. The legendary hotel also served as the new home for Mick Dundee (Paul Hogan) when he came to New York from Australia in Crocodile Dundee (1986), as well as the location where William Miller (Patrick Fugit) finds Penny Lane (Kate Hudson), who almost overdosed at the end of Cameron Crowe's Almost Famous (2000).

Other movies that were filmed at The Plaza include North by Northwest (1959), Arthur (1981), American Hustle (2013), and The Great Gatsby (2013).

4. BEVERLY WILSHIRE // BEVERLY HILLS

Beverly Wilshire

The primary filming location for Pretty Woman (1990) was the historic Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. The luxury hotel even offers guests a glamorous “Pretty Woman For The Day” package, which starts at $15,000 and features a stay in the “Pretty Woman Suite” (the hotel’s Presidential Suite), a personal shopper on Rodeo Drive, a couple’s massage, a “shoeless” picnic with cuisine inspired by the movie, and a night at the Los Angeles Opera. The Beverly Wilshire Hotel also made appearances in Clueless (1995), Sex and the City: The Movie (2008), and Escape From the Planet of the Apes (1971).

5. HOTEL DEGLI ORAFI // FLORENCE

Hotel Degli Orafi

If you’d like to stay in the beautiful and romantic room from James Ivory’s A Room with a View (1985), ask for Room 414 on the fourth floor in the Hotel Degli Orafi in Florence, Italy. It’s true, the room has an amazing view of the Arno river and the Ponte Vecchio.

6. CHATEAU MARMONT // LOS ANGELES

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Sofia Coppola shot her fourth film, 2010's Somewhere, almost entirely on location at Los Angeles's Chateau Marmont, a luxury hotel known for its celebrity guests and residents. In fact, the film’s star, Stephen Dorff, stayed at the hotel during production to get into the mindset of his character and to easily get to set every day.

"I was living in Paris, and I was homesick," Coppola explained to LA Weekly of why she shot the film at the hotel. "In France, it's so different, and I was thinking about L.A., how it seems like our whole pop culture is so interested in celebrity, and now people all know about the Chateau Marmont. There have been iconic L.A. movies that I always loved, and I thought, 'We haven't had one showing today, this era of L.A.' "

Many L.A.-based artists and writers such as Billy Wilder, Hunter S. Thompson, Annie Leibovitz, Dorothy Parker, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Tim Burton have all stayed and worked within the Chateau Marmont at one time during their careers, while The Doors' frontman Jim Morrison took up a brief residence at the hotel. Unfortunately, John Belushi also died of a drug overdose in one of its rooms in 1982. At the end of La La Land, Oscar winner Emma Stone's Mia Dolan finds herself at the legendary hotel.

7. CAESARS PALACE // LAS VEGAS

The Hangover (2009) was shot almost entirely on location at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas (and no, Caesar didn’t really live there). Aside from the Wolfpack’s villa—which was a sound stage in Hollywood—a majority of the hotel and casino were used for filming, including the front desk, lobby, entrance driveway, pools, corridors, elevators, and the infamous rooftop, where Doug (Justin Bartha) was found at the end of the comedy. Other movies that were filmed at Caesars Palace include Rain Man (1988), Iron Man (2008), Dreamgirls (2006), and The Big Short (2015).

8. FONTAINEBLEAU MIAMI BEACH // MIAMI BEACH

Fontainebleau Miami Beach/Facebook

The Fontainebleau Miami Beach is featured at the beginning of Goldfinger (1965) and is where James Bond (Sean Connery) first met the villainous Auric Goldfinger (Gert Fröbe). It was also the location of the iconic scene where Bond discovers the dead body of the character Jill Masterson (Shirley Eaton) after the lethal henchman Oddjob (Harold Sakata) suffocated her by painting her in gold.

In addition, the luxury hotel was also the setting for Jerry Lewis’s The Bellboy (1960) and Police Academy 5: Assignment Miami Beach (1988).

9. PLAZA HOTEL // LAS VEGAS, NEW MEXICO

Historic Plaza Hotel/Facebook

Founded in 1882, the Plaza Hotel is an historical landmark in Las Vegas, New Mexico. The Coen brothers renamed the hotel The Eagle Pass Hotel in No Country For Old Men (2007). The hotel is where the heart-stopping shootout between Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem) and Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin) took place.

10. TIMBERLINE LODGE // MOUNT HOOD NATIONAL FOREST, OREGON

Just outside of Portland, Oregon and near the peak of Mount Hood rests the Timberline Lodge, which was featured in The Shining (1980). While its interiors were filmed at Elstree Studios in Hertfordshire, England, director Stanley Kubrick used the Timberline Lodge for the exteriors of The Overlook Hotel. Although the hotel doesn’t have a Room 237, the hotel’s most requested room is number 217—the mysterious and haunted room from Stephen King’s best-selling novel, on which the film is based. King also used the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado as inspiration for the book.

Today, the Timberline Lodge is a popular vacation spot for its amazing ski slopes and snowboarding. There's also an annual Overlook Film Festival, which showcases the strangest and brightest films in horror.

11. JUVET LANDSCAPE HOTEL // VALLDAL, NORWAY

Knut Bry/Juvet Landscape Hotel

Located in the side of a mountain in northern Norway, the modernist Juvet Landscape Hotel was the filming location for tech billionaire Nathan Bateman’s (Oscar Isaac) isolated home in 2015's Ex Machina. While Norwegian architects Jensen & Skodvin designed the hotel with the idea of simplistic modern design in a tranquil setting, producers chose the scenic location to emphasize the character’s power and good taste. 

“We wanted it to be among nature, we wanted it to be stunning, and we wanted it to be exclusive,” Ex Machina’s production designer, Mark Digby, told Vanity Fair. “We felt someone as powerful, as rich as this, and as intellectually competent as him, would have a good sense of design.”

12. HOTEL DEL CORONADO // CORONADO, CALIFORNIA

One of the greatest comedies in American cinema history, a number of scenes from Billy Wilder’s Some Like It Hot (1958)—which follows two musicians (Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon) who flee town after witnessing a mob hit and later disguise themselves as women to join an all-female band—was filmed at the Hotel del Coronado in Coronado, California. The historic hotel, which appeared as the Seminole Ritz Hotel in Miami, was selected because it fit the film’s 1920s era setting with its Victorian architecture.

Fun Fact: Author L. Frank Baum wrote three books in the Wonderful Wizard of Oz series at the Hotel del Coronado during the early 20th century. He designed elements of the Emerald City based on the hotel.

13. RELAIS BOURGONDISCH CRUYCE // BRUGGE, BELGIUM

In In Bruges (2008), Ray (Colin Farrell) and Ken (Brendan Gleeson) are sent to Belgium and hole up at the Relais Bourgondisch Cruyce, which is located at the intersection of two canals in Brugge, until the two hit men get further instructions from their crime boss (Ralph Fiennes). The boutique hotel is considered one of the most romantic hotels in Europe, while Lonely Planet even called the bed-and-breakfast, "The very epitome of a Bruges experience."

14. MILLENNIUM BILTMORE HOTEL // LOS ANGELES

Millennium Biltmore Hotel

First opening its doors in 1923, Hollywood has long had a fascination with Los Angeles's Millennium Biltmore Hotel. The historic hotel has appeared in a number of big movie productions, from The Sting (1973) and Chinatown (1974), which filmed in its Gold Room and Limousine/VIP Ramp, respectively, to Ghostbusters (1984) and Beverly Hills Cop (1984), which used its Music Room and Rendezvous Court, respectively, as filming locations. The hotel has also appeared in many other movies, including Bachelor Party (1984), Splash (1984), The Fabulous Baker Boys (1989), and Cruel Intentions (1999).

As legend has it, the Millennium Biltmore Hotel was also the last place Elizabeth Short (a.k.a. the Black Dahlia) was seen before her dead body was discovered bisected in a vacant lot in 1947.

15. SANDTON HOTEL DE FILOSOOF // AMSTERDAM

James Bridges - © TM and © 2014 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All Rights Reserved

The whirlwind romance between Augustus (Ansel Elgort) and Hazel (Shailene Woodley) in The Fault in Our Stars (2014) took place at the Hotel de Filosoof in Amsterdam, where author John Green wrote the novel on which the film is based. Although the couple stayed at the hotel, its interiors were actually filmed at the American Hotel across town.

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XOXO: 20 Things You Might Not Know About Gossip Girl
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Giovanni Rufino - © 2012 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Ten years ago, Gossip Girl became appointment television for America’s teenagers—and a guilty pleasure for millions more (whether they wanted to admit it or not). Like a new millennium version of Beverly Hills, 90210, the series—which was adapted from Cecily von Ziegesar’s book series of the same name—saw The O.C.’s Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage trade in their west coast cool for New York City style as the show followed the lives of a group of friends (and sometimes enemies) navigating the elite world of prep schools and being fabulous on Manhattan's Upper East Side. In honor of the series’ tenth anniversary, here are 20 things you might not have known about Gossip Girl.

1. IT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE A LINDSAY LOHAN MOVIE.

Originally, the plan for adapting Gossip Girl wasn’t for a series at all. It was supposed to be a feature film, with Gilmore Girls creator Amy Sherman-Palladino writing the script and Lindsay Lohan set to star as Blair Waldorf. When those plans fell through, the producers approached Josh Schwartz—who was just wrapping up work on The O.C.—about taking his talent for creating enviable high school worlds to New York City’s Upper East Side.

"The books are a soap opera, and TV makes a lot of sense," executive producer Leslie Morgenstein told Backstage of the decision to go the small-screen route. "When we made the list of writers who would be the best to adapt Gossip Girl for television, Josh was at the top of the list."

2. PENN BADGLEY INITIALLY TURNED DOWN THE ROLE OF DAN HUMPHREY.

Barbara Nitke - © 2012 THE CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Though he was hardly a household name when Gossip Girl premiered, Penn Badgley had been acting for nearly a decade—and had a lot of experience working on first season TV shows that never took off—when he was offered the role of Brooklyn outsider Dan Humphrey, and his initial response was: thanks, but no thanks.

“The reason I turned it down initially was because I was just frustrated,” Badgley told Vulture in 2012. “I was frustrated and I was broke and I was depressed and I was like, ‘I cannot do that again. I can't.’ … Stephanie Savage, the creator [of Gossip Girl], she said to me, ‘I know you might not want to do this again, but just take a look at it.’ And I actually was like, ‘I appreciate so much that you thought of me. I just don't want to do this. Thank you for understanding that I wouldn't want to do this.’ And then they couldn't find anybody for it—which is weird, because a million people could play Dan Humphrey—and she came back around, I was about to get a job as a waiter, and I was like, ‘Okay.’”

3. ULTIMATELY, BADGLEY PROBABLY WISHES HE HAD FOLLOWED HIS INITIAL INSTINCT.

Badgley told Vulture that, “I wouldn't be here without Gossip Girl, so I will always be in debt and grateful. And I've said some sh*t that ... I don't regret it, but I'm just maybe too honest about it sometimes.”

But executive producer Joshua Safran had a different view on the situation. “Penn didn’t like being on Gossip Girl, but …. he was Dan,” Safran told Vanity Fair. “He may not have liked it, but [his character] was the closest to who he was.”

4. THE CREATORS GOT THE IDEA TO CAST BLAKE LIVELY FROM THE INTERNET.

According to Vanity Fair, when it came time to casting the show’s main roles, they cruised some of the online message boards related to the Gossip Girl book series to see which actors fans of the books were suggesting. One name they kept seeing for the role of Serena van der Woodsen: Blake Lively, who had starred in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. “We didn’t see a lot of other girls for Serena,” Schwartz said. “She has to be somebody that you believe would be sitting in the front row at Fashion Week eventually.”

5. LIKE BADGLEY, LIVELY WAS ON THE VERGE OF QUITTING ACTING.

© 2008 Warner Bros. Television

Like her onscreen (and eventually off-screen) love interest Penn Badgley, Blake Lively was also considering leaving Hollywood when Gossip Girl came calling, so she turned the producers down.

“I said, ‘No, I want to go to college. Thank you, though,’” Lively told Vanity Fair. “Then they said, ‘OK, you can go to Columbia [University] one day a week. After the first year [of the show], it’ll quiet down. Your life will go back to normal and you can start going to school. We can’t put it in writing, but we promise you can go.’ So that’s why I said, ‘OK. You know what? I’ll do this.’”

As for that going back to school and life going back to normal? “When they say, ‘We promise, but we can’t put it in writing,’ there’s a reason they can’t put it in writing,” she said.

6. LEIGHTON MEESTER DYED HER HAIR TO GET THE PART OF BLAIR.

Because Blair Waldorf and Serena van der Woodsen were both best friends and occasional enemies, it was important to the show’s creators that the characters did not look like the same person. That fact almost cost Leighton Meester the role of Blair.

“She came in and she was really funny, and really smart and played vulnerable,” Schwartz recalled of Meester’s audition. “But there was one problem: she was blonde. And Blake was blonde, obviously; Serena had to be blonde. So, [Leighton] went to the sink and dyed her hair. She wanted it.’” (Sounds like something Blair would do.)

7. THE NETWORK WORRIED THAT ED WESTWICK LOOKED LIKE A “SERIAL KILLER.”

Giovanni Rufino - © 2012 THE CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Ed Westwick, who originally auditioned for the role of Nate Archibald but ended up playing bad boy Chuck Bass, almost didn’t land a role on the show at all. Though the show’s co-creators, Schwartz and Savage, loved the darker edge that Westwick brought to the group of friends, The CW worried “that he looked more like a serial killer than a romantic lead.”

“He's menacing and scary, but there's a twinkle in his eye,” casting director David Rapaport told BuzzFeed. “You want to hate him, but you would also probably sleep with him. He's one of those guys you hate for always getting away with things, but you also want to hang out with him and see what he's up to next. He's the guy that's going to give you a joint for the first time or get you drunk for the first time, so you know he's wrong for you, but he's fun.” Fans clearly agreed.

8. WESTWICK CHANNELED HIS INNER CARLTON BANKS TO PLAY CHUCK BASS.

In order to perfect his posh American accent, Westwick—who was born in London—looked to another iconic American television character for help: The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’s Carlton Banks (Alfonso Ribeiro). “There’s a slight thing in Carlton Banks,” Westwick told Details Magazine in 2008, “that kind of über-preppy, that I did pick up on.”

9. GRETA GERWIG AUDITIONED FOR THE SHOW … IN OVERALLS.

In 2015, Golden Globe-nominated actress Greta Gerwig—who just wrote and directed Lady Bird, starring Saoirse Ronan—talked to HuffPost Live about the mistakes she made early on in her career as an actress. “I have had moments when I was starting out when I was auditioning for things like Gossip Girl," she said. “And they would look at me like, 'Why are you wearing overalls to this audition?' And I'd be like, 'They said she was from a farm!' and they would be like, 'Well, this is Gossip Girl.’” (The role she was auditioning for, Eva Coupeau—a love interest for Chuck—eventually went to Clémence Poésy, who played Fleur Delacour in the Harry Potter movies.

10. BLAIR WALDORF HAD TWO MOMS.

© 2008 Warner Bros. Television

In Gossip Girl’s pilot episode, Blair’s mom—popular women’s clothing designer Eleanor Waldorf—was played by Florencia Lozano. In episode two, and throughout the rest of the series, Eleanor was portrayed by Margaret Colin.

11. IT WAS ONE OF TELEVISION’S FIRST STREAMING SUCCESS STORIES.

Years before House of Cards changed the way we watch, and even define, “television,” Gossip Girl served as a sort of precursor to the streaming generation. While the show’s Nielsen ratings were mediocre, New York Magazine reported that, “New episodes routinely arrived at the No. 1 most-downloaded spot on iTunes, and then there were the hundreds of thousands who were downloading free week-old episodes on the CW's site. Even executives at Nielsen threw up their hands and admitted that Gossip Girl appeared to be speaking to an audience so young and tech-savvy they hadn't really figured it out just yet.” (Lost and The Office had followed similar tracks.)

12. THE SHOW WAS BANNED BY SOME NEW YORK CITY SCHOOLS.

Giovanni Rufino - © 2012 THE CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

According to Vanity Fair, some of the elite New York City private schools that might have shared some similarities with the show’s fictional Constance Billard and St. Jude's banned their students from watching it. (Which, the outlet noted, “only served, in all likelihood, to make the students want to watch it more.”)

13. THE SERIES TURNED ITS CRITICISMS INTO A MARKETING CAMPAIGN.

Even by 2007’s standards, Gossip Girl—for a show about high schoolers on what was mainly known as a teen-friendly television network—seemed to relish in pushing the boundaries of what might be acceptable. It didn’t take long for parental advocacy groups like the Parent Television Council to take very public, and vocal, issue with the show's in-your-face sexuality. When it was criticized as being “mind-blowingly inappropriate” and “every parent’s nightmare,” the show turned those critiques into a marketing campaign to help promote viewership.

14. A WRITERS STRIKE HELPED THE SERIES GROW ITS VIEWERSHIP.

While the show struck a chord with certain audiences immediately upon its release, the 2007-2008 Writers Guild of America Strike proved to be a boon to the series. “The CW, because they couldn’t just run repeats or game shows, [Gossip Girl is] all they had,” Schwartz told Vanity Fair. “They kept re-running the show during the strike so more and more people were watching.” Which led to even higher ratings when the show returned for a second season.

15. DESIGNERS WERE BEGGING TO SEE THEIR FASHIONS WORN ON THE SHOW.

Giovanni Rufino - © 2012 THE CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Just like New York City itself, the fashions in Gossip Girl essentially served as another character. According to a 2008 article in The New York Times, “Merchants, designers, and trend consultants say that Gossip Girl … is one of the biggest influences on how young women spend."

“When we came back with Season 2, so many designers were lining up and wanting to be a part of it,” the show’s costume designer Eric Daman told Vanity Fair. “They wanted their stuff on either Blake or Leighton.”

16. IT SPAWNED ITS OWN CLOTHING LINE.

To capitalize on the show’s influence in the fashion world, Daman and designer Christine Cybelle (a.k.a. Charlotte Russe) created a Gossip Girl-inspired clothing line.

17. KRISTEN BELL PLAYED AN ESSENTIAL PART OF THE SERIES, BUT WAS NEVER CREDITED.

Though viewers had to watch all 121 episodes of Gossip Girl to learn the identity of the titular tattler, Kristen Bell provided the voice for “Gossip Girl” for all six seasons, without credit. And while she sort of hoped that the finale would have revealed that she was indeed “Gossip Girl” all along, that ending was not meant to be. “I’m sure that it would’ve been really cool had I got to play some vicious part and actually come out as Gossip Girl, but I think it was appropriate for one of the main cast members to have surfaced as Gossip Girl,” she told Perez Hilton.

Though she was a key part of the series, she didn’t learn GG’s true identity until the very end of the show—and she was surprised. “I don’t know that I ever forethought it being Dan,” she admitted. “That was a bit of a shocker!" (If it makes her feel any better, Badgley reportedly didn’t learn Gossip Girl’s identity until that scene was actually shot.)

18. JANUARY 26 IS "GOSSIP GIRL DAY" IN NEW YORK CITY.

© 2008 Warner Bros. Television

At least it was in 2012, when then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg proclaimed January 26 “Gossip Girl Day” in celebration of the show’s 100th episode. “I don’t have a whole lot of time to follow what New York magazine has called ‘The Greatest Teen Drama of our time,’” Bloomberg said. “But I am interested in finding out who the real Gossip Girl is—Serena’s cousin, maybe? And I don’t see how Blair could marry Prince Lewis while she is clearly in love with Chuck, although she and Dan became pretty close when they interned at that fashion magazine. And I just wish that Nate and Vanessa had been able to work things out, I guess Nate was preoccupied with everything that was going on with his father and Jenny and, I mean, it was a tangled web, I guess Dan would have ended up making their relationship impossible anyway, but I’m just a casual fan.” 

Super-fans of the show can still take a Gossip Girl tour of New York City.

19. IVANKA TRUMP AND JARED KUSHNER MADE A CAMEO.

Over the full course of the series, plenty of familiar faces popped up, but two in particular seem kind of funny in retrospect: Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner played themselves in a club scene. (Ivanka was apparently a huge fan of the series.) “They did it for the money,” a chuckling Schwartz told Vanity Fair.

20. IN AN ALTERNATIVE UNIVERSE, SERENA IS A SERIAL KILLER.

In 2002, von Ziegesar published a bloody take on her famed book series with Gossip Girl: Psycho Killer, which she said she’d love to see adapted. "I took the original text of the first book and whenever I saw an opportunity, I layered in this story of Serena coming back from boarding school as this coldblooded psychopath, which, to me makes total sense,” von Ziegesar told Entertainment Weekly. “She’s sort of like the Ryan Gosling of Gossip Girl world. She has that deadpan style, doesn’t seem to have much personality, and she’s really gorgeous, but then underneath she has this kind of scary ability to kill people. So she’s murdered people up at boarding school. She’s always had this dark side and everyone is a little bit scared of her.”

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8 Big Moving Mistakes—And How to Avoid Them
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Your wine glasses are smashed to pieces, and your toiletries are nowhere to be found. No wonder moving day is the most stressful life event for 62 percent of adults, beating out divorce or a new job for 43 percent of people, according to a recent study by the energy company E.ON. Many times, however, the moving day stressors can be avoided. We’ve got the dirty moving deets straight from the pros so you can move in one piece.

1. THE MISTAKE: LABELING JUST THE SIDE OF THE BOX

Ben Soreff, a professional organizer with House to Home Organizing in Connecticut, says that when the boxes get stacked, you can’t see their labels—so you may spend hours at the new house searching for your toiletries or bed linens after a really long day of moving. Instead, label every side of the box, and you’ll be able to spot your belongings quickly.

2. THE MISTAKE: THROWING AWAY RANDOM CORDS AND ELECTRONICS

It can be tempting to throw away what appears to be a spare cord, but Annie Draddy, organizer and co-founder of Henry & Higby, a professional organizing company in New York, thinks you should fight the urge. Instead, put all the random chargers, cords and electronics in one box. Then, as you go through your home prepping for the move, you can look for the mates, and be sure that you’re only tossing random cords that don’t have a purpose anymore.

3. THE MISTAKE: PACKING THINGS YOU MIGHT NEED TO HAVE HANDY ON MOVING DAY

Everyone wants to be fully packed when their movers arrive, but everyone will also find that they need last-minute items on moving day. Michelle Hale, organizer and co-founder of Henry & Higby in New York, recommends creating and properly labeling a moving day box. “Ideally, this box should include a hammer, screwdrivers, scissors, box cutters, tape, duct tape, dust cloths, basic cleaning products, paper towels, glue, sticky notes and pens, snacks and trash bags,” she says. You might need a bunch of those items even right up to when the last box has been moved (we’re looking at you, snacks and tools), and you’ll also want easy access to them the second you get into your new pad. You should also pack a separate box for your overnight essentials for that first night, which should contain sheets, towels, and toiletries. “Basically, anything to make the nighttime and morning rituals as normal as possible,” Hale says. “And remember to label it appropriately, and flag it to the movers as important.”

4. THE MISTAKE: PACKING LAMPS WITH THE LIGHTBULBS STILL IN THEM

Lightbulbs break easily—you don't want to be unpacking and stab yourself with a piece of bulb shattered during the move. Lamps and other large items can be bubble-wrapped and placed into boxes, but you should remove all lightbulbs before packing the lamps, said Nicholas Boorom, logistics director at Everything But the House, an online estate sale marketplace. If you have lightbulb boxes handy—or even have room in your Christmas ornament box—pack them up and bring them along. Otherwise, toss them and start fresh in your new place.

5. THE MISTAKE: LOSING PARTS OF DISASSEMBLED FURNITURE

There's nothing worse than getting to your new home and attempting to reassemble your furniture, only to find that you're missing a piece. Mike Glanz, co-founder and CEO of HireAHelper, a company that offers hourly movers throughout the United States, suggests having a Ziplock bag nearby when you're disassembling furniture in anticipation of your move. Toss all of the nuts, bolts, washers, and flanges for that item into the bag, then duct tape the bag and its contents to the item for an easy and quick find when you’re ready to reassemble.

6. THE MISTAKE: PACKING HEAVY ITEMS INCORRECTLY

Dense, heavy items like books should be backed in small boxes so that carrying them is manageable, says Nimrod Sheinberg, vice president of sales at Oz Moving and Storage in New York. “Movers can’t handle the box if you can’t lift it,” he says. On that note, a dresser full of clothes is a dresser that's too heavy to move. Movers aren’t superheroes, and some will refuse to move a packed dresser, Sheinberg says. Empty everything before moving day.

7. THE MISTAKE: LEAVING EMPTY SPACES IN BOXES

Leave space in your box, and whatever you've packed in there will move in transit to your new place. Sheinberg recommends filling the spaces with packing material or newspaper.

8. THE MISTAKE: FORGETTING TO PREP YOUR PLANTS

Your plants can survive a move ... if you get them ready about three weeks before moving day, according to Atlas Van Lines Inc., a moving company based in Evansville, Indiana. About three weeks prior to the big day, move your plants into unbreakable pots. Two weeks before, prune your larger plants to make them easier to handle (but skip this step if you’ve got jade plants, aloe, cactus, or other ferns and succulents). Two days before, water your plants normally, but don’t overwater because your plant could freeze or get moldy (depending on the weather). Finally, wrap your large plants with a bed sheet or tissue paper on moving day. Put them in a snug box, and put paper around them in the box so they’re snug. Put air holes around the box so it can breathe, then label the boxes and mark them so they aren’t turned upside down.

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