After having just gone through a move I thought I’d share my wisdom with you and let you in on my hard earned tips for moving apartments in New York.
First Tip: DON’T
But, sometimes you don’t have a choice in New York, or anywhere for that matter. Your lease is up and the landlord has raised the rent by $200 a month – because, well, he can!
Then it’s time to find the perfect place where you keep a few clothes and squeeze your worldly possessions into multipurpose furniture.
Everyone goes looking for the winning trifecta of price, location, size, but often settle and happy if they manage to secure one.
And then you have to move… amongst all the craziness that is New York.
I have always said I like to move house or apartment. It’s the perfect opportunity to clean out all those extra ticket stubs and throw away unmatched cracked bowls. Then we did our first real move in New York. It was not relaxing at all. It was exhausting and frustrating to stay the least.
Rather calm in the lead up to the move, I started packing boxes in advance slowly with things we don’t use often (side note: that should be a hint right there, if you don’t use it, lose it).
I shock myself every time when I think about how I moved from Australia to New York just over 3 years ago with only two (ok maybe three) suitcases. The difference is worlds apart.
We were going down the ‘do it ourselves’ route, so we hired a van and lured some friends with wine and dinner afterward. If you aren’t paying 3 bodybuilders to move, you will want to take note of few things we realized along the way.
Cull Cull Cull
Ask yourself; do I really need three potato peelers? Sure they don’t weigh that much, but the same sentiment could be said for many other items in the house. You will be much happier if you get rid of things you don’t use prior to moving, rather than lugging it down, then up and eventually down again to throw away.
Pack Smaller Boxes
Sure the larger boxes fit more crap, I mean stuff, but carrying them up and down stairs is awkward and backbreaking. Pack more but smaller boxes and at the end of the day your back, in fact your whole body will thank you.
Sell Sell Sell
One way to avoid moving lots of furniture is to sell it. Selling on Craigslist usually means the buyer has to find a way to move the item. And if you are looking for all new furniture, most retailers deliver and set up the furniture for you.
Don’t Buy Boxes
With plethora of delivery services in New York, we were able to save all our grocery boxes over the course of 4 months and had about 12-16 boxes by the time we had to move. If you do need to buy boxes, U-Haul is by far the cheapest – buying boxes from the local hardware store might be supporting the ma and pa shop but it will also increase the price of cardboard by about 300%.
By far the most frustrated aspect of our move was the hiring of a van from U-Haul. We decided to go with a Van given we had sold lots of our furniture and mainly had boxes and a bed. Where you live, make sure you are able to park a van on a residential street, as it will be considered a commercial vehicle. We learned that the hard way. Enlist a lazy friend happy to sit in the truck/van while the others move everything from the vehicle to the curb.
Now good luck and be sure to schedule a full body massage the day after your move.
Herstory is a weekly column on women and travel by Steph Ridhalgh. Steph is a Sydney born; New York based television producer and travel blogger. Not one for being quiet for too long she simply loves talking about travel and lifestyle.
Steph is the founder of STEP(h) ABROAD, a travel and lifestyle resource for those who love to be in the know and know how.