There are few experiences in life similar to moving and relocation. Moving has been ranked as one of the top 5 stressful situations we encounter in our lifetime. The initial stages of moving into your new NYC home are mostly fun. The researching of neighborhoods, the dreamy home search, and the visions of what is to come.
Whether moving within NYC just a few blocks away or entering a new city; moving can be a logistical nightmare and disruption to your life. Also, you have to deal with all that packing and lifting. The average American will make over 11 moves in their lifetime, the average length of a move is subjective, but for most people, it takes two weeks to settle into a new home.
Table of Contents
- NYC Moving Tips
- Develop A Packing Plan
- Store It or Sell it
- New Essentials
- Utilities & Service Calls
- The In-Betweeners Survival Kit
- Hire efficient NYC movers
- Reserve enough time for your building
- Pack as many items as possible
- Keep your old apartment for a few weeks or 30 days if you can
- Scout out your street in advance
- Don’t select a prime day or time for your move
- Check the street closure list
NYC Moving Tips
Relocating to New York City is probably one of the more difficult moves any individual could take on, but what about moving within the city?
Honestly, that is not so easy either. Moving in NYC from one apartment to another presents a variety of logistical issues, not to mention spatial challenges and time constraints. When I moved across town from the Upper East Side to the Upper West Side, I had no idea how tough it would be to haul my belongings a few short miles. But just as real estate is a different world in NYC, other mundane tasks such as moving come with their own set of rules as well.
Whether you’re switching boroughs or merely hopping apartment buildings a few avenues west, keep these tips in mind to make your moving day run like a well-oiled machine.
Develop A Packing Plan
If you can control the things that can be, moving will ultimately be easier. Of course, the unexpected headaches may show up, but if everything else feels smooth, it will only be a hiccup. Packing and unpacking should be mapped out and planned, whether this is by color or number (room or contents) are up to you. Consider this a time to re-catalog everything you own, sorting things in their desired future spaces. Be sure to give yourself the ample time to pack in advance; you’ll thank yourself later.
Store It or Sell it
We all have possessions we can’t seem to (nor want to) get rid of. Whether this be furniture, shoes, collectibles, books, or whatever! Now is the time to save them or to purge them. You are either moving your belongings (with the help of family and friends) or paying for it to be moved by item/weight, you’ll only benefit by lightening the load. It is inherently human to us to keep and value material possessions, be sure this doesn’t become an excuse to hold onto everything.
Storage units are widely available across the globe, consider storage (long-term or temporary) as an option for the big things you can’t part ways with. For the other stuff, you can part with, consider selling stuff. There are a variety of sites that make finding a buyer for your “junk” a natural reality – Poshmark for Clothing, eBay for Vehicles, and even Facebook Marketplace for almost everything else. Look around for things that may be overworn and overlooked that you’ll consider replacing in the near enough future – no need to move stuff you’ll soon be rid of.
There’s no need to haul your old worn out home goods like decor, furniture, or mattresses. Consider now the time to refresh and revamp your in-home essentials – I am sure you have a dream aesthetic you are seeking for the new space, fill up your online carts and take advantage of having these items shipped. Many times we make impulse purchases in-store because it’s a great deal or we need/want it now, instead shop ahead online and go after the items that will transform your new space.
Not only does this saves you weight in the moving load, but you can also have all those new at-home-must-haves delivered on (or around) unpacking day. Today, the internet can be used strategically in these kinds of shopping situations to provide not only products but also conveniences. From cleaning supplies and a stocked pantry of food delivered that same day. To a quality foam mattresses (bed-in-a-box) air sealed to a fraction of the size, all packed and given right to you.
Utilities & Service Calls
A close second to packing, scheduling service appointments is a nightmare. When all you want is wifi, but the next available date is weeks out – it becomes hard not to become frustrated. Consider doing these things ahead of time (depending on various necessary lead times). If you call in advance and plan accordingly, you can schedule these appointments before your move. This will help you to best plot these service visits, maybe all on the same day or staggered across the days you already have planned for unpacking.
The In-Betweeners Survival Kit
The transition phase of moving is hard, waiting for the keys and crashing on couches (hotel rooms) is sometimes an impatient reality. We all know that living out of boxes and bags is only posh when we’re on vacation. Depending on the length of your different transition be sure to pack all the everyday essentials. No need to spend excess money on things you already own but can’t seem to find. Pack an extreme overnight or weekend bag, equipped with the necessary paperwork, valuable possessions, technology, chargers, medication, and toiletries.
Hire efficient NYC movers
First and foremost, hiring the right movers is essential. I made the mistake of going with movers who were not accustomed to moving an apartment filled with furnishings and personal belongings in a short few hours. They were antique movers in NYC, so they weren’t familiar with working on a tight schedule and transporting a lot of boxes, but instead carefully moving large pieces of expensive furniture or art.
In New York City, you won’t have an unlimited amount of time to move, so hiring an experienced moving company who can get the job done well is as important as the moving truck itself.
Best NYC Moving and Storage Companies
Moving is stressful, but the one thing you can do to provide yourself some pressure relief is to use the best movers in NYC. Hiring a highly rated, affordable and reliable mover that is also insured and bonded is a must—and there are hundreds of movers in NYC who meet these basic criteria. So how do you choose the best movers to transport your belongings door to door safely and who are also friendly and accommodating in the process? We’re here to assist!
Following are our top picks for the best of the best local NYC movers.
Lift NYC has been in business for more than 30 years and provides moving services from Greenwich Village to The Hamptons. A family-owned business with a small organization business model; LIFT is known to provide exceptional service at affordable rates.
All Star Moving and Storage
I’ve used them half a dozen times. All-Star; moving guys, is quick and efficient and can carry twice their weight in your furniture, clothes and other stuff with belts strapped to wardrobe boxes full of your belongings that they load on their backs. I’ve never even had to empty or remove drawers from file cabinets or dressers! And they are affordable as well.
This green moving company has trucks fueled by biodiesel. Their trademarked GothamBoxes are reusable plastic bins they drop off before your move that they then recycle. Mover, Not Shakers! Takes special care of your belongings and also offers terrific customer service.
The wizard of NYC movers. Aside from offering superior service; the company invests in the community. From their Oz, Moving Scholarship and special offers for veterans and active-duty members of the military; Oz supports Toys for Tots, NY Cares Coat Drive, MS Walk New York City, and the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, Oz is a community member in every sense. They are also highly recommended for moves in and around NYC.
Rabbit movers is a Brooklyn-based collective comprised exclusively of artists, writers and other creatives living and working in NYC. Their website proclaims, “We aim to do this [moving] with the grace and confidence of a Beatrice leading Dante from the Moon to the Sun; and with the same quirky cuteness of a Rabbit leading Alice to Wonderland.” How can you beat being moved by a poet?
Flat Rate bills itself as NYC’s most recommended moving company. And with their, yes, flat-rate guarantee, you can see why. The FlatRate folks take an inventory of your home and then provide you with an all-inclusive rate that won’t change even if there is a traffic snarl during your move; an underestimate of time or any other factor.
JP Urban Moving is a highly-regarded company that promises clear and continuous communication throughout your move. Small enough to give personalized attention; JP Urban Moving will contact you immediately if any issues arise and send you updates by text as well.
Respect, transparency, and honesty are the three pillars of Imperial’s interaction with colleagues and clients. It’s also lovely that Imperial has been voted best movers again and again. If New Yorkers say they’re right – they must be great!
A Tri-state local and long distance operation moving people and their stuff 365 days a year. With flat-rate pricing and service expect a clean cut, professional, reliable and affordable choice.
In addition to perusing moving company websites; you should always comparison shop and get bids from at least three different companies. And, to lessen your stress about moving and choosing the right mover for you, take a look at Yelp reviews, testimonials on Angie’s List and other sites, and also ask around your group of friends and colleagues for their recommendations.
Moving is stressful, and there’s no way around it so. So, give yourself a break by hiring one of the best movers in NYC.
Reserve enough time for your building
If you live in an elevator building; part of the protocol is to reserve your elevator for a block of time so you can move out. That’s to ensure that no other residents choose the same day and time, which will hopefully keep the elevator vacant so you can move in and out more efficiently. Hiring an experienced moving company in NYC comes in handy here too. Do not exceed the amount of time allotted for your move-out, which is what happened to me because my movers didn’t have experience moving a lot of items in a few hours.
Pack as many items as possible
This point might seem like a no-brainer, but packing the majority of your items will keep the moving process from turning into a nightmare filled with excess tchotchkes. Boxes take less time to load and unload than single pieces so get organized before moving day. Your possessions are also less likely to be damaged when appropriately boxed.
Keep your old apartment for a few weeks or 30 days if you can
Overlap time isn’t always doable, but if it is; I say, go for it. If you have the budget to pay for an extra month or even two weeks in your current residence, you might want to spring for it. You can move some of your more valuable belongings into your new pad ahead of the movers. This will also give you time to paint; clean up, and tweak the apartment before moving boxes arrive. Once everything you own is sitting in your new one-bedroom apartment, you’ll barely be able to walk, let alone disco dance to celebrate your new place.
Scout out your street in advance
Figure out where your moving truck will be able to park, or more than likely; in Manhattan, double park. The truck will have to be stationary for several hours, depending on how much you’re moving. The last thing you’d want is for the movers to show up and have no spot for them to stage and load.
Don’t select a prime day or time for your move
You won’t be able to control factors like weather or traffic; but if you can move in the middle of the day rather than at rush hour, you’ll be ahead of the game. If you live in a part of the city that’s tourist-laden, avoid moving on holiday weekends, because double parking a moving van will be extra tight with the excess traffic.
Check the street closure list
The city shuts streets down regularly. Map out your route to your new apartment and be sure you don’t head down a road that’s closed. For instance, Fifth Avenue is the parade route; so you’d want to avoid this street and other streets surrounding it. Or better yet, schedule your move on a completely different day to avoid the parade chaos.
Share your NYC moving experience; we would love to hear your comments below.