What to Pack When You Move to L.A.

I've been getting this question a lot, so I thought it would make a great blog post! I know the struggle is real when trying to figure out what the hell to bring with you on this big move. 

One thing to keep in mind: you don't have to bring everything RIGHT NOW. You can bring the essentials and have other items shipped to you later. This will help you in the beginning because it can be quite difficult lugging all of your belongings around Los Angeles before you have a place to store everything. 

With that being said, here is a breakdown of what to pack when you move to Los Angeles. 

Clothes

The weather in LA is very mild. The coldest it gets is in the 40s (Fahrenheit, excluding the deep valley), and the hottest it gets is the 90s (sometimes over 100 in the valley for a few weeks in August).

So in terms of extreme weather clothes, you won't need a parka anytime soon. I have one "winter" coat, and I hardly ever wear it. It also rarely rains, except in the "winter" months like December and some of January. So you don't need a ton of rain gear either.

*Note: you can drive 2 hours outside of LA and be in the skiing mountains, so if that's your thing, have those clothes shipped to you once you get settled.

Here is a clothing packing list that I would include:

  • Pants
  • Shorts
  • Shirts
  • Bathing suits
  • Light sweaters
  • Light jacket (think 45 degrees, not negative 10 degrees)
  • Sweatshirts (if you don't have central heat in your apartment, these come in handy!)
  • Shoes (I'm a girl, I have a million pairs, so bring whatever you'd like! You won't need snow boots—though I see many actors walking around in Uggs in between takes...)
  • Casual—depending on your profession. No pant suits required for film production
  • NO gloves needed, although I wear beanies sometimes because they're CUTE!

Furniture and appliances

Depending on how far you are coming from, it may cost more money to transport and store large pieces than to buy new ones in L.A. If you already have a place to live lined up, and you're driving straight to that place, then, sure, bring the uhaul. But if you don't have a place to live yet, and you're staying in friends' places, doing air bnb, or hotels, it's going to a bitch to store furniture and large appliances. 

If you're super attached to your pieces and reeeeeallly want to bring them, then no one is stopping you! Go for it. Just be prepared to deal with the logistics of moving and storing everything.  

On the flip side, one good thing about bringing your own expensive pieces, is that you won't have to worry about the sales tax in Los Angeles. Sales tax here is higher than most cities (9%), and it SO annoying when purchasing big items, because 9% really adds up. For example, if you buy a couch (or computer, etc.) for $1,000, you're going to pay $90 in taxes. That's almost $100 extra! Crazy pants. 

To sum up: I suggest NOT bringing furniture or appliances. 

Other stuff

For all the miscellaneous stuff like pots, pans, dishes, TVs, towels, etc., you'll have to use your own judgement. I had my parents ship a bunch of boxes out to me a few weeks after I found an apartment. When I moved, I flew and had my car shipped. I couldn't fit that much in my car, especially because of the strict rules about nothing showing in the windows, so I had to ship a lot and just bring the essentials. 

You can always buy kitchen stuff at Target or Ikea. Your best bet is to figure out how much it will cost to ship/bring vs. how much it will cost to buy new. 

If you're planning on having a roommate, remember you may have two of a lot of items if you both bring everything. So keep that in mind, and talk to your roommate to figure out what they will be bringing.

I hope you found this helpful! If you have questions about specific items, put them in the comments below and I will answer them for you!

Best of luck with the move!