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My Top 8 NYC Moving Tips

Si ou renmen gren andan, ou dwe renmen po a tou - If you like the nut, you have to love its shell too.

Moving is a stressful time no matter where you live, but in New York City it’s a different beast altogether. Despite all the challenges that come with moving, it’s always worth it. If your new place is the nut, moving is unquestionably the shell.

But how can you make this process as simple as possible? Well, I’ve spent quite a bit of time thinking about it, as you might have guessed (go figure—I’m a landlord-tenant attorney!), and I’ve compiled some of my favorite tips for moving in the greatest city on earth.

Let’s jump right in:

1. Make Moving Fun!

Moving, being inherently tedious and tirin

g, must be made fun if you want to enjoy it at all. So what are you waiting for? Turn on some music or a podcast while you’re moving. This can help lighten the mood and break up the monotony of packing and unpacking. Consider turning on a favorite movie once you have all your things inside.

Additionally, bring food and refreshments for yourself and everyone helping you move. Not only will a bite to eat restore some of your energy, it’s a nice break from the intensive work!

2. Hire Movers (If Possible)

While it might not always be in the budget, if you can hire professional movers, your transition can be much easier. Having dedicated people with the resources to move your larger items quickly can save you a lot of time and energy. Plus, professional movers can save you the hassle of figuring out where you need to park to be compliant with NYC’s complex parking laws.

3. Move Fragile Items Separately

When it comes to moving things like dinnerware, glasses, and anything else that’s fragile, try to bring them separately. If you include them with larger, heavier items, you risk them being crushed or damaged. Instead, try bringing them to your new place on a separate trip.

Sustainability Tip: Check if your nearest convenience store or liquor store has cardboard boxes they’re recycling: beverage boxes often have inserts that create perfect spaces for glasses, jars, vases, or other fragile items.

4. Negotiate Your Moving Dates

The summer months between Memorial Day and Labor Day are when you’ll see the most moving trucks in the streets of NYC. The warm weather, the opportunity for children and parents to adjust to a new area before school, and university students moving in and out make this the busiest—and most expensive—time to move.

If you can move earlier in spring or later in fall, you’ll be able to save money in the moving process: cheaper truck rentals, cheaper moving services, and maybe even a better chance of finding a good place to park your moving truck.

5. Figure Out What You’re Not Taking With You

For a smooth moving process, start sorting through items well ahead of your moving date. Identify what you won’t be taking with, and donate these items to local organizations or second-hand stores. Additionally, you can consider selling them on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist, or give them away in your local Buy Nothing group.

Speaking of buying nothing and being sustainable, consider sourcing packing materials like boxes and crates on social media. Because there will always be people moving, a simple post in a local group could land you with all the resources you need for free.

6. Pack Smart

Packing and unpacking are some of the most labor-intensive and time-consuming parts of the moving process. Therefore, to make the moving process easier, pay careful attention to areas that can stay simple.

  • Many dresser drawers can just be removed and used as boxes. This means you don’t need to pack and unpack your clothes, and removing the drawers will make the dresser easier to move.

  • If your clothes are on hangers, you may not need to remove them from the hangers. Instead, you can gently place the clothes in trash bags when you move, or drape them over the top of boxes where nothing else will fit.

  • Don’t put too much weight in any particular box, and try to avoid lifting over 35 pounds at a time. Straining yourself to carry more than that could lead to injuries, which will only make moving more stressful.

7. Pack a Box of Essentials

Moving can be tiring. Odds are, you might not want to unpack right away, or have the energy to do so. When this is the case, you don’t want to have to sort through your boxes for toiletries, basic utensils, or clothes. To prepare for moving, pack a box of everything you’ll need right after moving so you can take it easy if need be.

8. Celebrate!

When you have everything finally moved in, it’s a big deal. That’s a lot of work. Whether you moved three blocks or three hundred miles to NYC, getting settled in is something to celebrate. So go ahead, check out your neighborhood; find the hip restaurants, check out the dive bars, or whatever it takes to reward you and your friends after a hard day’s work.

Moving is a stressful, exciting, and generally very emotional process. It’s the end of one chapter in your life, and the start of a new one. But however hard it is, whatever emotions are tied to it, moving makes memories that will last your whole life. At least, that’s the way I see it.

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