How to Prepare for a Temporary Move to NYC

There are plenty of reasons why you might need to make a temporary move. Maybe your job requires you to be on-site for a few months in a different location or maybe you’ve made your move to NYC but haven’t been able to find the apartment of your dreams yet. Whatever the case, you need to figure out your next steps.

Just because you’re only staying for a few months doesn’t mean you can slack on planning. In fact, managing a short term rental can require more planning as you have to figure out what to pack and what to put in storage during this transition period. Still, that doesn’t mean the move has to be stressful. By following the tips below, you can make this temporary move as stress-free as possible.

Check to See What’s Included

Since you’ll only be in the apartment for a few months, you want to make sure the apartment offers as much basic furnishing as possible. Make a list of essential furniture you will need during your stay. A bed and sofa are necessities, but what about a desk, dining set, and dresser? The more furniture they have, the easier it will be for you as you won’t have to go through the effort of packing and moving heavy items.

Don’t forget to ask what appliances come with the rental. While your standard apartment lease might include a refrigerator and microwave, apartments specifically for short-term renters might not. You don’t want to get stuck eating take-out every night or making food on a single-burner stove especially if you need to save up money for your permanent home. Even if these appliances are listed in the ad, you should always ask just to make sure and don’t forget to ask about the size. A mini-fridge means you’ll have to spend more time shopping for produce as you won’t be able to fit as much inside.

Find Storage

Once you’ve figured out what’s included in the rental, you’ll need to figure out right storage facility for the rest of your items. While it might seem convenient to move everything into your new place, remember that you’ll have to repack and move everything back out again in just a few months. If you’re only staying in a place for 3-4 months, there’s no reason to bring all your belongings. Instead, bring maybe one or two boxes of essentials such as:

  • Clothes – at least enough for 2 weeks. You’ll have to go on more laundry runs of course
  • Laptop – a desktop might seem like a must, but laptops are a better option as they take less space. If you have any important documents on your desktop, simply transfer them over to your laptop before your move
  • Some cookware and dishware – if your temporary residence doesn’t provide these, bring one pot, one pan and maybe two plates, bowls, forks, knives, and cups.
  • Important valuables – most storage facilities have 24/7 monitoring, but if you have valuables that are very important to you or require specific handling, you might want to bring these with you
  • Medication – it should go without saying, but if you take daily or even weekly medication, you should always pack it with you. If you’re moving from a different state, make sure to have your doctor write a prescription for you so you can get it refilled at a new pharmacy.

As for things like toiletries, you can always buy some while you’re in your short term rental. Depending on how long you plan on staying in the apartment, you might be able to get away with buying travel size toiletries. For longer stays, invest in the standard size bottles as you can always bring it with you to your new NYC apartment.

When it comes to choosing your storage facility, opt for climate-controlled storage options. Your belongings will be protected from the elements and you won’t have to worry about extreme humidity or temperatures, both of which can wreak havoc on electronics, antiques, and artwork. If you’re working with professional NYC movers, ask about their storage services. NYC Great Movers, for example, offers short and long-term storage options with 24/7 surveillance and climate-controlled facilities. Not only will we bring your belongings to the site, we’ll also move them to your new home once you’re ready.

Save Your Boxes

Once you’ve unpacked everything, don’t throw out your boxes. You’ll need them again in a few months! It might seem like a hassle, especially since moving boxes aren’t expensive, but it will save you money and time. Plus, you know that all your items will fit in these particular boxes.

The nice thing is that boxes are easy to store. Simply break them down flat and then tuck them away under the bed or somewhere else out of the way. If you really don’t want to deal with cardboard boxes at all, consider renting plastic bins from your movers. These are a great option if you only need a few boxes. The movers will bring the boxes to you a day or two before your scheduled date and once you’re done unpacking, you can have the movers pick up the bins. It’s an easy and eco-friendly moving option.

Plan Around Your Pets

If you don’t have pets, then this isn’t applicable to you! However, considering around 70 percent of US households own a pet, chances are you’ll need to factor them into your temporary move. Do you have a partner who is staying behind at your old place? Then you might need to leave Spot behind for the few months that you’re living in your new place. If you live alone, you have a few options:

  1. Find a short-term apartment that accepts pets and then ship the pet over via a pet relocation service
  2. Find friends or family who can take the pet for a few months
  3. See if there’s a long-term pet boarding option in your area

If you do end up bringing your pets with you make sure that you bring them into the vets for a checkup. You want to make sure they’re healthy enough for travel, especially for older pets as it can be very stressful.

Find Reliable Movers

If you’re only moving a handful of boxes, you can go the DIY route especially if you have your own car. However, there are plenty of reasons to hire a mover especially if you live in NYC. Many people who live in NYC don’t own a car and many don’t even have a driver’s license, making it very difficult to move heavy items across town. Sure, you might be able to hail a cab or get an Uber, but you might end up with some damaged dishes or plates along the way. Plus, they won’t help you move the rest of your belongings into storage.

Instead of dealing with the hassle of renting a truck and finding a separate storage facility, it’s easier to hire professional movers. You can let them know what boxes need to go to storage and which ones need to be dropped off at your temporary residence. Plus, if you use their storage services, you can have them move everything to your new place with no issues. Just make sure you let them know the move date, number of stops, and address of your current and new apartment and they’ll do the rest!

Making a Temporary Move to NYC

While living in a short-term rental isn’t ideal, circumstances might require it. The tips above should hopefully make the temporary move to NYC easier and hopefully you’ll be able to move into or back to your permanent home in no time!


Should I bring any personal documents with me?

Yes, you should bring things like your birth certificate, social security card, ID card, and medical records.

What should I pack for my wardrobe?

It depends on your length of stay and the climate of the region. If you are moving to NYC in the winter, for example, you should pack heavy jackets and warm clothing. If you plan on staying for just the summer, you can get away with lighter clothes.

How much should I expect to pay for short-term rentals?

Costs vary by building and location. However, the more furnished it is, the higher the rents tend to be. Some short-term rentals can go for $5,000 a month while others might be $2,500. The more affordable options might be located further away from Manhattan and/or offer fewer amenities.