8 Things You Wish You Knew Before Moving to L.A.

  1. Beware the Gypsy Moths

Long story short, Gypsy Moths kill trees. California loves its trees; so if you plan on shipping your furniture into the Golden State make sure you’ve filled out the necessary paperwork. Otherwise, your furniture isn’t getting in.

  1. LA’s Transient Population Advantage


Every year thousands of new, young hopefuls make the pilgrimage to LA for a chance to see their name in lights. After a string of unsuccessful auditions, tapping out their parents goodwill and acquiring a general disdain for all things “Hollywood,” they typically pack up and leave for the real world. With the incredible amount of people moving in/out of LA there is plenty of cheap furniture to be had. If you haunt craigslist for long enough, you should be able to furnish a full apartment and avoid the huge costs of shipping your furniture from afar.

  1. You need to befriend a dude with a truck

To get all your new craigslist gear from point A to point B you’ll need a truck. Hiring movers every time is just too expensive. Very few people have trucks in LA. Gas is expensive, smog is a problem and parking is enough of a nightmare with a SmartCar let alone an F-150. When you see someone with a truck, befriend them. Invite them to parties. Buy them drinks. It will pay off.

  1. Long carry fees


LA is known for its sprawling city neighborhoods. While beautiful and cozy for such a large city, it can mean a rather long walk from where you park to where you live. Movers will typically charge a long carry fee if they can’t pull the moving truck up within 75 feet of your front door. Make sure to get this fee in writing ahead of time. The last thing you need is exhausted movers calculating additional fees on moving day.

  1. Unlicensed and uninsured workers

For those who haven’t looked at a map in awhile, LA is close to Mexico. So close, in fact, sometimes areas of LA can feel more like Mexico than the US. That being said, some moving companies may take advantage of the cheap labor coming over the border. While getting a move done cheaply is great, be careful about who you let into your home. The law is gray on this one, but if someone gets hurt you could be on the hook.

  1. Street cleaning days are the worst

It rarely rains in LA, especially with the prolonged drought at the moment. In order to keep the streets clean, a weekly street cleaning time is scheduled for most of the city. This means no parking during said hours. If you’re planning a move, make sure to avoid street cleaning times or risk a nice big parking ticket.

  1. Crazy expensive parking tickets


Besides street cleaning, LA is also notorious for extremely confusing parking signs. If you hire movers, make sure they’re taking care of any necessary parking permits or acquiring temporary no parking signs. If you’re using a moving container like PODS, make sure to get permits ahead of time. The City of Los Angeles charges around $60 to block up to 80 feet of parking space.

  1. Consider traffic time

Many movers will charge by the hour. So a major backup on the 405, could add hundreds to your move. Make sure to speak with your movers ahead of time about costs in the event of a major traffic jam. You don’t want your wallet to be at the mercy of LA traffic.

These moving tips are provided by Ryan Carrigan, CEO of moveBuddha, a site that helps people find and compare moving services.

Ryan Carrigan