6 Tips and Tricks for Moving in NYC

No matter where you live, moving isn’t fun, but there’s something especially aggravating about moving in New York City. You have to deal with horrible traffic, limited parking situations, get a COI for some high rises and do a lot of research before choosing a moving company (hint: check us out).

While a lot of things are out of your control such as the weather and just the general NYC environment, there are some tips and tricks you should follow in order to keep your sanity.

6 Tips and Tricks for Moving in NYC

Negotiate Move in/Out Dates

You won’t always get a yes, but it doesn’t hurt to try and see if you can plan your moving day on a weekend instead of a weekday. Depending on your landlords they might be willing to push it a couple days. Of course, this is all dependent on whether or not there’s another tenant in place. If that’s the case, then you have no option but to move out on the actual date.

If you are able to stay at your apartment later be prepared to pay some additional money. A lot of landlords might insist on a full month’s payment, but if it’s only going to be an additional day or two, try to negotiate them down to only paying for the two days. If they still insist, just move out. If you can’t move into your new apartment immediately, see if the professional NYC movers you’re using also offer storage solutions. Many provide both short and long-term options. The best part is that they will move your belongings in and out of storage. Just let them know the dates and they’ll do the heavy lifting – literally!

When moving in to a new place, there’s probably a lot more leeway especially if you end up moving in the winter. If you want to move in early, ask if it’s possible. Again, depending on the season many might even throw in the week before your actual move-in date for free. There’s no harm in asking!

Get Everything Packed Early

Whether you’re hiring movers in NYC or not, waiting until the last minute to pack everything will just add unnecessary stress to something that is already stressful. Yes, packing isn’t fun, but instead of spending a whole day putting everything into boxes, start packing as early as possible. Start with the non-essentials first and continue down the line. That way, once you’re ready to move, you don’t have to scramble making sure everything is packed. And, most importantly, make sure to pack your essentials in an easy to access bag so you don’t have to go rooting around your boxes afterwards.

You’ll want to start packing at least a month before your move-out date. This will give you plenty of time not only to pack, but also to declutter properly. After all, the less stuff you have, the easier the packing and unpacking will be. Plus, it could save you money on moving costs as the movers will need to spend less time loading and unloading everything!

Keep an Inventory of your Items

In addition to labeling your boxes, you should absolutely keep an inventory of all the items in each of the boxes. It’s time consuming, but it helps you keep track of all your items in case something gets broken or lost. Make sure to label and mark you boxes as well so you can reference your labels. That might be something as simple as numbering them or using a color-coded system, whatever works for you. Just make sure to put in a description of the items in the box, take a picture of fragile items and then save it to your computer and cloud storage for easy access.

Moving is also a great time to throw away or donate old items that you never use anymore. The less you have the easier it’ll be on you and your movers.The best part is that you can use whatever money you earn by selling your items to put towards your moving budget so you’re not dealing with as many out-of-pocket expenses. And while donating items won’t give you immediate cash on hand, if you keep the receipts you can write them off on your upcoming tax forms.

Clean Your Apartment

If you want to get your security deposit back in full then you need to make sure that your apartment is nice and clean. Depending on how long you have lived in your place, it might take a day to a few weeks. Some common actions to take include:

• Painting your walls white
• Covering up any holes you might have put in the walls to hang up cupboards, etc.
• Deep cleaning all the rooms in your apartment

Make sure to take detailed pictures of your apartment once you’ve cleaned everything up in case you need to show your landlord.

In general, you want to get your apartment as close as possible to when you first moved in. Of course, this might not be possible especially if you’ve been living there for several years. Luckily, landlords cannot withhold your security deposit for standard wear and tear such as gently worn carpets, loose door handles, stained bath fixtures, grout and mold, etc.

And speaking of pictures, once you move in to you new place, make sure to take pictures of the current state of the apartment so when you move again you don’t get docked for potential issues that were already there.

Get Your Utilities Set Up

While most apartments in NYC will already have electricity, hot water and heat set up, you’ll still need to get your cable internet and gas set up. It can usually take days though some people have waited weeks to get these essentials set up. For a no hassle move, call your utility providers in advance and get them to set up either on the day of the move or the day after. It might seem overwhelming to do everything at once, but in the long run you’ll have everything you need to get up and running in your new place in a few days.

If you’re moving on the weekend, make sure you schedule for the following Monday as most utilities companies will not send out a service person on the weekend. Also, if you’re moving around a holiday, call the utilities company in advance to see if they are closed and schedule for the next available time.

Get Movers

You can’t and shouldn’t do everything yourself. Moving is hard work and you can easily injure yourself trying to carry heavy boxes or furniture in and out of your moving fan. And that’s not even the worst part! You have to deal with NYC traffic, finding a parking spot close to your new place and handling all of the logistics of moving such as checking to see if you need a COI or not.

There are many affordable and reliable movers in New York City. Just make sure to book them in advance or you might end up with very few choices. When you call movers, make sure you have the following information prepared:

• Number of rooms you’re moving
• Number of big items (bed, table, couch, etc)
• Number of boxes
• Number of floors in your current and new building and whether it’s a walk-up or elevators
• If there are any items the movers will need to pack

And while movers are good, they’re not psychic. Make sure to label all boxes with fragile items in big, large letters and protect them with bubble wrap and, once you get to your new place, direct them where to place the items, especially heavier things like furniture.

While moving to a new apartment won’t spark joy for most people, following these tips can at least make it a lot more bearable.


How far in advance should I book my movers?

In general, you should book your movers at least 3-4 weeks before your move-date. If you’re moving during a busy season, you might need to plan on reserving movers 5-6 weeks in advance.

What comes included in a standard moving package?

Every company offers a different ‘standard’, but in general it includes loading and unloading of your boxes and furniture and some basic packing of items like your TV, glass countertops. Some companies even offer wardrobe box rentals for free.

My move date changed, what do I do?

Make sure to contact the moving company at least 2-3 days before the move date to let them know. Most companies have a 24-48 hour cancellation/rescheduling notice. If you need to make any changes, do so before this window of time as you won’t be charged a fee.