New year, new you and for many that might also mean a new NYC apartment. Making all of these changes can certainly be exciting, but if there’s one resolution you should keep this year, make it the year where you get organized for your move. After all, you’ve already dealt with all the stress from the holidays so there’s no better time to prepare yourself for the next chapter in your life than in the new year. Below are some tips on how to make your move stress-free during the New Year.
Make a Moving Plan
If you weren’t much of a planner in the previous year, consider making that one of your resolutions for the new year, especially with your move. Creating a moving plan can help keep you on track so you never feel overwhelmed. A good moving plan includes:
- List of tasks – break these up into small, manageable pieces
- Deadlines – work backwards from your move date. You start planning your move at least a month in advance. Don’t forget to add in things like shutting off the internet, changing your address for your mail, transferring utilities, and so on!
- Budget – how much do you need for security and first month’s rent? Do you plan on hiring professional movers or going the DIY route? Will you be buying new furniture? All of these can affect how much you need to save for your move. And don’t forget to budget for smaller items like boxes, tape, and other packing supplies. These can add hundreds of dollars and often take people by surprise.
Research NYC Professional Movers
As soon as you know when you plan on moving, start researching moving companies. Yes, you can go the DIY route, but it comes with a lot of downsides. While renting a truck and doing it yourself might seem cost-effective, consider the following:
- You will have to load and unload everything. If you’re not used to carrying heavy boxes or furniture, best case scenario you will be sore for the next few days. Worst case scenario you could seriously injure yourself.
- You’ll need to deal with NYC traffic and parking. And on top of that you’ll be handling a large vehicle that you probably aren’t used to. That’s a recipe for an accident.
- There’s no insurance of any kind that covers your belongings or the buildings you move in and out of. So if you damage the new building, you’ll be liable for the costs. Of course, if you lose or damage an item during the move, you won’t receive any payment to replace it.
- It will take a lot of time. Professional movers have years of experience and move people on a daily basis. Even if you change NYC apartments every year, you still won’t be as efficient as the pros. What might take them 2 hours could take you all day.
At the end of the day, hiring NYC movers might cost you more upfront, but it will save you a lot of time and stress. To find a good mover, reach out to friends and family first and see if they recommend anyone. If not, do a search for NYC movers nearby and narrow then check out their site and read online reviews.
Once you’ve narrowed it down to around five movers, give them a call. This will give you the opportunity to share more about your move and learn more about their services. It will also help alert you to any red flags that might not have popped up in your online research. Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you need clarification and listen closely not only to their answers, but their tone as well. You want to work with a moving company that offers friendly and informative answers in a professional tone.
Get an Estimate
Once you’ve found a few NYC movers who seem legitimate, give them a tour of your home and belongings. While they are there, continue asking questions about the company and share more about the move and what you need. If there are any changes to your move, make sure to include that so you don’t get any surprise charges. After this, the moving company should be able to provide you with a written estimate that provides their costs and services. Compare costs with other movers and choose the one that fits your budget. Most companies should be similar, but if one sounds especially low be wary. They might not have included other costs such as travel, stairs, tax and so on.
Once you’ve confirmed the moving company you’re going to use, you will need to sign the estimate. The document will include the company’s address, email, phone number, USDOT number and MC Number. Don’t feel pressured to sign the document! Moving companies tend to be slower in the winter months and while you might be moving during the holiday season, they won’t be as busy as peak moving season between April and September.
Declutter and Sell and/or Recycle Unwanted items
Before you start bringing out the packing boxes, you should take the time to declutter your apartment. Sure, NYC apartments might be small, but you can cram a lot in 300 square feet if you’re creative. And if you’ve lived in one location for a few years, chances are you have collected a lot of stuff you probably don’t need.
Moving is the perfect opportunity to slim down your belongings. Go through everything and decide whether you need it or not. Ask yourself if you have used this particular item in the past year. If you have, then keep it, if not get rid of it! The less stuff you have, the less stuff you’ll have to pack. Plus, it will give you the opportunity to start fresh in your new apartment.
Once you’ve separated out the items you aren’t going to bring with you, find ways to get rid of them. For specialty items that are in good condition, consider selling them on eBay or Facebook Marketplace. While you don’t have a ‘garage’ you could host a ‘stoop’ sale so long as your landlord allows it. Your goal is to get rid of as much as possible so make sure the prices are low. For everything left over, put a sign in front that says FREE and see how quickly they disappear over the next week. You can also donate items that are in good condition to goodwill stores.
Pack Essentials in a Separate Bag
You won’t want to unpack immediately after you move. Chances are you’ll just want to relax and maybe order a pizza to reward yourself for finally moving into your new place. If you don’t pack your essentials separately, you’ll have to spend time searching for toiletries, towels, beddings, etc. it’s worth it to take the time and pack a few essential items like clothes, medicine, some cups, etc. to cover the next couple of days. Think of it as packing for a camping trip for the weekend. If you have pets, don’t forget to pack their bowls, toys, and food!
Speaking of packing, besides your essentials bag/box, you should label all your boxes clearly and itemize each box by room/utility. It might be faster to just throw everything into a box without planning, but it will be a huge pain when you have to unpack and your bathroom items are mixed in with your kitchen things. Pack like items together as much as possible so books with other books, cups with cups and so on. That way, even if you forget to pack an essentials bag you’ll be able to find what you need easily since everything will be packed and labeled properly!
Ask for Help
There are a lot of tasks involved with moving that it can get overwhelming. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from friends, family members, or neighbors if you’re on good terms with them. Depending on your relationship status, you could ask for help with packing, babysitting, cooking dinners, getting packing supplies, and so on.
Even if no one is able to help, they might be able to offer suggestions on good babysitters they use, meal plan kits, or kennels for your pets. These might cost you money, but they can save you a lot of time and headache during the packing and moving. Just make sure to budget these extras in so you’re not set back by these costs.
Celebrate Your New Apartment
Once the last box has been moved into your new place, it’s time to celebrate! Unpack your essentials first, but then spend a little time decorating the place and run out and grab a bottle of bubbly to toast your new beginning.
If you’re still in the beginning process of your move, these tips should help keep you organized. And if you need help, don’t be afraid to contact NYC Great Movers for a free quote.
Does it cost more money to move over the holidays?
It depends on what movers you use. At NYC Great Movers we charge you same rate regardless of the date.
Should I worry about holiday delays and/or traffic?
You should keep street closures and subway schedules in mind when moving during the holidays if you are driving or taking the train to your new place.
What happens if I can no longer move on the date I had scheduled?
Make sure to call the moving company ASAP. Most companies require you to contact them at least two days in advance for cancellations or rescheduling.