Common Mistakes to Avoid When Moving to NYC

Tens of thousands of people move to New York City every year. After all, if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere! Living in the city certainly comes with its own challenges with the high cost of living, job competition, and fast-paced lifestyle. However, many people end up struggling even before they have made their mark. Yes, living in NYC might be hard, but moving to NYC isn’t a walk in the park either!

Luckily, you can learn from other people’s moving mistakes. Distance doesn’t necessarily play a role in how successful your move will be. If you want to avoid a moving horror story of your own, check out these moving tips.

Visit the Apartment Before You Move

A two-bedroom in NYC is different from a two-bedroom in West Virginia. You might be expecting two bedrooms, living room, and kitchen, but in many cases a two-bedroom in NYC is a converted one bedroom. In NYC a bedroom must satisfy the following requirements to be considered legal:

  • Be a minimum of 80 square feet
  • Have a minimum width of 8 feet in any dimension
  • Have a minimum ceiling height of 8 feet
  • At least one window measuring no less than twelve square feet

As you can see, there aren’t too many qualifications to be considered a bedroom in NYC. That’s why you need to be extra careful when apartment hunting. If you’re moving from a different state, rent an AirBnB so you can actually visit each apartment before making your choice. If you can’t visit, ask the broker as many questions as possible and ask for an accurate floor plan. Even if they don’t have dimensions, you can at least see the layout, which can go a long way in helping you decide whether you want to move into a place or not.

Hire Experienced NYC Movers

There are dozens of movers to choose from, but if you want to make sure your move goes smoothly, you’ll want to find one that has years of experience moving in New York City. Experienced movers will know and understand the quirks of moving in New York City. For example, things like double parking, maneuvering furniture through tight spaces, navigating traffic, etc. should all be second nature.

Experienced NYC movers will also have relationships with various building managers. They likely will know whether the building will require a certificate of insurance and the timeframe when they can move. Of course, you should still verify this information and pass it along to the movers. That way, you won’t run into any moving day issues.

Pack Everything Before the Movers Arrive

Unless you’ve opted for the full-packing service, you’ll want to make sure all of your items are properly packed before your movers arrive. That includes small items like your toiletries, tchotkes, etc. When doing your own packing, make sure that you provide the best protection to your items and to label the boxes with their contents and designation room. If you have fragile items, don’t forget to include necessary handling instructions so the movers know to handle them with extra care.

If you are not ready when the movers show up, most moving companies will have some supplies handy to help you complete the job. If you choose to accept their help, they will charge you extra for the materials and their time. Even if you decide to pack yourself, you’ll still be charged for any additional time the movers spent waiting for you to finish packing. Either way, you’ll pay more so make sure you get everything done beforehand.

Pack Your Necessities In a Separate Box

The last thing you want to do after you’ve moved is rifle through your boxes to find the essentials you’ll need for your first few days in your new place. By packing everything together, you’ll have less stress to deal with and can focus on slowly unpacking in the next coming weeks. In general, you should pack the following separately:

  • Clean bedding and pillows – there’s nothing better than sleeping on familiar sheets and pillows in an unfamiliar place. If you have time before your move, take the time to wash these items.
  • Cleaning supplies – you’ll want to do a deep clean of your new apartment before you start unpacking. Not only are you tracking dirt and dust into your new home, you might have to deal with a few dirty areas from previous tenants. Some basic cleaning supplies include sponges, dish soap, hand soap, paper towels, all-purpose cleaner, rags, toilet paper, and a broom.
  • Toolkit – Sure, you might not be ready to hang up artwork after you move, but if you have disassembled furniture for the move, you can put it back together immediately after you move. Some movers provide basic disassembly and assembly, so check with them before you start re-assembling your furniture.
  • Phone and laptop chargers – Most phones and laptops last around a day before they need to be recharged. So if you depend on both for work and home, make sure to keep their chargers in your box of essentials.
  • An overnight bag – An easy way to feel put together during a move is to pack a small bag like you’re going on an overnight trip. You won’t have the energy to unpack immediately, but you’ll still want a change of clothes and to take care of basic hygiene (brushing your teeth, showering, etc). Pack your overnight bag with what you definitely will need. This includes things like pajamas, medication, toothbrush and toothpaste, shower essentials, and clothes for the next few days. If you can, include a shower curtain.


Everyone makes mistakes, but moving mistakes can make your experience go from stressful to downright hellish. Taking these extra precautions can help make your move a lot simpler. If you really want to reduce stress, hire experienced and professional movers like NYC Great Movers!


How much money does an NYC move cost?

It depends on how much you’re moving, what services you need, and from where, but a local move for a one-bedroom apartment tends to run anywhere between $250-$700. .

Is there a good day or time to move?

While you should choose the day and time most convenient for you (and works for both your buildings) generally speaking you should move either Monday or Thursday in the early morning to avoid traffic.

What if I need to store my items?

Many moving companies also provide storage solutions and will drop off your belongings to a secure unit and move it to your new place once you’re ready.