Last Minute NYC Moving Tips

Ideally, you would have plenty of time to plan out your upcoming NYC move. After all, the moving process has dozens of tiny tasks that require attention to detail. In the best case scenario, you will have at least a month to manage the move. Of course, things don’t always go as planned and you might have to make a last minute move because you’re relocating for your job, dealing with a breakup, or maybe dealing with unexpected damages to your apartment.

Whatever your reason, making a last minute move, especially in NYC, can be even more stressful than your standard move. Luckily, if you follow the last minute moving tips below, you should be able to pull off a move in one piece.

Create a Checklist

Don’t neglect the basics! Just because you have less time to move doesn’t mean you can forego this step. In fact, it’s even more important as it will help keep you on track and ensure you complete everything on time. As you work your way through the moving process, check off the items that you complete. Seeing how much you’ve already done can help motivate you to push through the last bits of the moving process. When creating your checklist, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does your new or old building require a certificate of insurance? This impacts whether you can do a DIY move or have to hire movers
  • Will you rent a truck or hire movers? The answer depends on the amount of items you plan on bringing and your budget. If you plan on hiring movers, can they provide last-minute moving services?
  • What day and time can you move? Some buildings might require you to move during certain hours to avoid inconveniencing other residents. Are you able to take time off work to on short notice to make sure everything gets moved properly?
  • Do you have the appropriate supplies such as boxes, packing tape, etc? Many moving companies can also provide these for you, but they will cost you money.
  • Where will you be unloading your belongings? Will it be directly to your new home or will you need to place your items in storage?
  • What utilities do you need to turn on at your new place and which ones do you need to turn off at your old house?
  • How big is your new place? Will you be able to fit all your furniture and other items in it or will you need to get rid of some items?

All of these questions can help you create a personalized moving checklist. You can also do a search online to find more complete moving checklists or checkout this list of moving tips and tricks to get you started.

Start Downsizing

Moving is a great opportunity to declutter. Even if you’ve only lived in your apartment for a year, chances are you’ve accumulated plenty of stuff. Considering how small many NYC apartments are, you might not be able to fit everything into your new place. Plus, the less items you have the faster the movers can get you into your new home, which means you’ll be saving money.

Before you start purging everything, set aside items that you absolutely will want to take with you. That includes toiletries, clothes, kitchen utensils you use often, etc. From there, start culling what you don’t need and separate it into three piles – donate, dispose, recycle. If you haven’t used an item in the past year or so, chances are you’re not going to use it in the future. Of course, you might still want to keep a few items such as a nice pair of clothes and shoes for special occasions and a handful of seasonal items. With that said, don’t fall into the trap of keeping something just in case. If you don’t remember the last time you wore a shirt or used an item, it’s time to get rid of it!

If your items are in good condition you can probably donate them to a Goodwill store. Otherwise, you can try to give them away for free by listing them on sites like Facebook or Craigslist. Besides giving away your items, you can also find ways to recycle them. For clothes, stores like H&M accept all used clothing regardless of their condition in their recycling program. Likewise for electronics you can drop broken or unused electronics. Try to avoid throwing things out as much as possible. There’s already enough landfill as is, there’s no need to add more to the pile!

Pack Smart

It might be tempting to just throw everything into a box and deal with the mess once you’ve moved into your new place. However, this can lead to unpacking woes such as broken items, unorganized boxes, and more. You even end up leaving an important item behind because you weren’t keeping track of everything.

Even if you only have a week to pack, you can still do it in a smart and effective manner. Once you’ve culled your items, create a packing inventory so you can keep track of everything you’re taking with you. That way you’ll be able to immediately see if you’re missing something. From there, create a way of organizing your boxes. Many people color code each room so it’s easy to figure out which boxes should be placed in each room. On the outside of the box, write a general description of what’s inside so it’s easier to figure out what to unpack first.

When packing, start from the least important rooms and items. As you get closer to the move date, start packing up your bedroom, kitchen, and bathroom. On the last day before the move, pack an ‘essentials suitcase’ that includes things like medication, chargers, important documents, valuables, change of clothes, toiletries, and so on. That way you won’t have to rifle through all your boxes to find toilet paper!

Hire Professional Movers

Sure, you can save money doing a completely DIY move, but that also means you’re shouldering all the burden. And while you might think you have plenty of moving experience, compare that to the daily moves a professional makes! NYC movers are intimately familiar with NYC streets and can easily maneuver narrow hallways just as well as narrow streets. Plus, the best companies provide ongoing training to keep up with health and safety rules. For many people, hiring NYC movers is worth the extra cost. Plus, you don’t have to worry about injuring yourself during a move.

While residential moving is the most popular service, if you really don’t have any time you can also ask your movers if they provide a packing service as well. Many will offer partial or full service. Partial is a perfect option for those who have already packed some rooms, but need help with the others. If you haven’t gotten around to packing at all and you have room in your moving budget, you can also opt for full-service packing. As the name suggests, the crew will pack everything in your apartment. It’s a great option for those who aren’t available or capable of packing themselves.

Make Your Last Minute Move Less Stressful

Even if you have a month the moving process can be stressful and overwhelming. That only gets compounded when you have less time. Luckily, by following the tips above you can hopefully make your next move a bit easier. Plus, you can always call NYC Great Movers for help if you need it!


Do moving companies charge more for last minute moves?

It depends on the company. We at NYC Great Movers do not charge any extra fees for a last minute NYC moving.

How far in advance should I book movers?

Call and book as soon as you know when you need to move. This will give you more options when it comes to booking movers.

What happens if I need to cancel or reschedule?

As long as you cancel or reschedule within the cancellation timeframe, you should be fine. Always ask moving companies about their cancellation policy. Most will ask for at least 2 days notice. If you provide less, you’ll be charged a fee.