Why Moving in New York City Is Different
New York City isn’t just one of the most popular tourist destinations, but it is also home to over eight million people. And who can blame those residents? In NYC, there is always something to do, an endless list of restaurants to visit, and a diverse and lively culture. However, there are a few details you should know about when it comes to moving in NYC. If you are wondering why moving in New York City is different, check out the five reasons below.
Elevators need to be reserved for moving day.
“Most elevators in New York City need to be reserved for moving day and trying to estimate the right time to book them can be a little tricky,” says Nancy Zafrani of Oz Moving, a New York-based moving and storage company. “When booking, you need to factor in how long it will take to load the truck at the former residence, time to get through traffic, and how long unloading will take.”
It is important to note that some full-service movers will take care of booking building amenities such as the elevator for you. However, it is always a good idea to ask whose responsibility booking is to ensure everyone is on the same page.
There are tons of professional moving companies, as well as moving scams.
You won’t be scrounging to find movers in NYC since the city offers everything from full-service movers to van lines. However, you should keep in mind that moving scams are also rampant in New York—especially for long-distance moves— so be sure to do your research. Here are a few questions to consider when evaluating companies.
How long have they been in business? You want to find a company that has been in business for at least five years. This not only helps assure you that they aren’t fly-by-night scammers, but it also means they have the experience needed to navigate the heavy traffic and building oddities of New York.
Do they have reviews? A company should have a fair amount of reviews, and the majority should be positive. While a few bad reviews shouldn’t deter you, pay special attention to these to see exactly what people didn’t like about the company. You can find reviews on Yelp, the company’s Facebook page, and Google.
Do they have a BBB profile? Check to see if the company is registered on www.bbb.com. If they are, it is always a good sign. Plus, you will also be able to see their overall rating and any complaints filed against them.
What’s their USDOT number? All commercial vehicles operating in New York over 10,000 lbs. require a United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) number. So any legit moving company should have no problem giving you theirs if you ask. You can check the number on the FMCSA website. Or, you can also search the company by name if you don’t have a number.
Decluttering isn’t just recommended for moving in NYC—it is often essential.
Decluttering is highly recommended to make your move easier in The Empire State. By paring down your possessions, you will not only have an easier and quicker move, but another upside is that decluttering has been linked to health benefits like increased productivity and more mental clarity. And if that isn’t enough to get you on board, selling the stuff you no longer want can also be an excellent way to help fund your move—which often costs upward of $1,000 in NYC.
Start decluttering for your move by going through your home room by room and seeing what you need. If you don’t need it and haven’t used it in the past year, donate, sell, or toss. Try to remember that New York apartments tend to be on the small side when you are deciding what you need and what you can do without. Alternatively, if you are having a hard time parting with possessions, storage is always an option. This can help keep items like seasonal decor, off-season clothing, and other cluttery items out of your main living area, but in a place where they will still be accessible. Some moving companies even offer discounted storage if you use their moving services.
It can be a tight squeeze for walkups.
It can be tricky getting furniture where it needs to be with tight walkups and the narrow doorways in older buildings, especially in older neighborhoods like Greenwich Village and the Upper West Side. That isn’t to say larger furniture is a no-go—it just requires planning, along with some disassembly.
If you are worried about not knowing how to put your furniture back together, check to see if there is an assembly manual available online or take pictures as you disassemble it. To make assembly easier, you should also keep all hardware together in a sandwich bag and tape it to the piece itself. Alternatively, if you have lots of furniture that needs to get disassembled, you can bag and label the parts then place them all in a shoebox or bag.
You need to factor in traffic delays.
While in most cities you can avoid heavy traffic by planning your move for off-peak hours, expect congestion at any time in New York. Inching along in traffic can add hours to your move, especially in highly congested areas like Midtown. That is something to keep in mind if you have rental equipment that needs to get returned at a specific time or need to book elevators (see tip 1). So, be sure to leave yourself a large time cushion and consider using an app like HERE WeGo to get live traffic updates so you can avoid extra congested areas, construction, and accidents. Alternatively, you can check live traffic updates online before you hit the road.
The temporary challenges of moving in NYC are worth it for the rich culture, world-class cuisine, and endless entertainment. And if you need any help during your moving journey, just ask a neighbor—New Yorkers are often more than willing to lend a hand when asked!