14 Tips and Tricks For Moving in NYC

Congrats on your new apartment in the Concrete Jungle!

Let’s face it: moving can be just as stressful as it is exciting. You have a lot of stuff, and you care about keeping it organized, protected, and in one piece. Here are 14 moving tips and tricks to make your move in NYC hassle-free, without losing your precious belongings (or your temper).

1. Get organized ASAP

Moving is a hefty task that requires a long list of to-dos. The more organized you are, the lighter your load will feel. Start off by mapping out everything you have to do, from start to finish. Begin by creating a moving checklist, then mark every important task on a digital calendar. We recommend using Google Cal, because it’s super easy to invite others to view your tasks and events. Breaking your tasks into small items will make moving feel much more manageable. P.S. Don’t forget to add a champagne celebration to your calendar to give yourself a treat to look forward to.

2. Add a splash of color

Packing can get gloomy, so why not brighten things up? Yellow, pink, green, and blue are known to reduce stress and evoke feelings of tranquility, which you’ll probably need in times of hectic packing. So before you begin packing your boxes, print out bright colored labels and gather colorful pencils to stay organized, save time, and keep the process fun. Create labels for each room in your new digs and place them on your boxes, and make separate labels to number each moving box, which will help you make sure that no box gets lost or stolen in the process.

3. Be resourceful with your moving boxes

Head down to your local liquor store – in NYC, it shouldn’t be more than a few blocks away. After picking up your celebratory champagne, ask if you can grab a few used boxes to save some trees (and time). The inserts in liquor store boxes are perfect for protecting glass cups, wine glasses, and vases. Protip: If the boxes don’t have adequate handles, make your own. Cut triangular handholds in two sides of the boxes with a knife, and fold in the top flaps of the cut-outs. That way, the heavy lifting won’t feel so heavy.

4. Do well by doing good

Moving is a great time to organize your belongings and get rid of things you no longer use. So why not give your extra stuff to the people who need it most? Designate a few packing boxes for contents you don’t want, and arrange for a charity organization to come pick them up at least two weeks before moving. If you move with Flatrate Moving, they’ll provide you with boxes for your unwanted stuff, and will transport your boxes to the Salvation Army in NYC. Bonus: They’ll bring back your receipt, which you can use for tax deductions!

5. Don’t lose track of your stuff

For peace of mind, you’ll want to remember which items you’ve packed in which boxes. We suggest you take inventory of your belongings before you begin packing boxes. To catalog your contents, you can either record them on an itemized list, or use the app Sortly. Sortly allows you to snap pictures of your items on your phone, and organize them into categories. And here’s a bonus: you can assign each item to a specific packing box, and create labels for each box with a scannable QR code. That way, you can go straight to box #11 to find your vacuum cleaner, instead of desperately sifting through each box to find what you need on moving day.

6. Think outside the box

When you start packing, you’re going to realize just how much stuff you own. You’ll want to cut down on moving boxes as much as possible, so take advantage of what you already have. Pack your belongings in as many hampers, suitcases, and baskets as you can find around your apartment. The more creative you get, the fewer items you’ll have to carry. Plus, it’s an easy way to go green.

7. Take care of your breakables

Bubble wrap can be a waste of space and money. Instead, kill two birds with one stone: wrap all of your breakables – like glasses and dishes – in clothing. It’ll give your fragile items a much higher chance of surviving the move. It will also fill up irregular empty space in the moving boxes, so your belongings won’t shift around during the move. If any of your items require extra padding, socks can be quite the useful tool.

8. Avoid unnecessary work

Don’t waste time on any unnecessary packing and unpacking – you’ll be doing enough already. It’ll be more effective for you to keep some stuff in its place when you’re moving it. Keep your drawers shut and your small things in their intended containers, and hold them tight using leftover plastic wrap. Also, don’t bother taking your clothes off the hangers – instead, gently place them in a trash bag, so you can easily rehang them once you unpack. When it comes to moving, time is money (and sanity).

9. Snap some pics!

To avoid any extra hassles on moving day, take pictures of how your electronics are connected and assembled. That way, you’ll remember where all the wires go once you set everything up in your new apartment. Also, take pics of anything else you may want to remember when moving in, like the way you arranged your kitchen. You will thank yourself later!

10. Take care of your moving day essentials

Chances are you’ll be too tired to begin unpacking on moving day. So make sure you have easy access to all of your essentials on the big day. Place trash bags, phone chargers, toilet paper, tools, a change of clothes, and your toiletry bag in a plastic bin. That way, you won’t confuse your moving day kit with other moving boxes, and you’ll have everything you need within reach!

11. Avoid any extra costs

If you want your security deposit back in full (which you probably do), you’ll need to clean your old apartment enough to please your landlord. The last thing you want is unnecessary repair and cleaning fees. To avoid these, you can either clean your floor stains yourself, or you can download Handy. Handy allows you to book a cleaning pro in NYC, who can do the tough cleaning work for you. Scheduling the service is quick and easy, and it comes at a reasonable price. Once your apartment is tidy, be sure to snap detailed pictures of your old apartment in case you need to show your landlord.

12. Make sure you don’t lose anything  

On moving day, you’ll want to keep track of the things that are important to you. Whether it’s an entire box of valuables or simply your keys to your new apartment, you won’t want any extra worries on the big day. We recommend getting Tile, a tiny bluetooth tracker and app that keeps tabs on the item you attach it to. In the fray of hectic moving day, you’ll want that extra peace of mind.

13. Make moving day fun!

When the big day finally arrives, plan for a few special treats to make it as painless as possible. Bring a good set of speakers, and make a playlist of fun, upbeat throwbacks to keep the momentum going. Bring snacks for everyone, whether it’s pizza, small candy bars, or lemonade. A happy moving crew means a more efficient moving crew!

14. And once you’re all moved in….

Since you worked so hard keep your belongings safe during your move, make sure you continue to protect the stuff you care about. Once you’re all settled into your new digs, we recommend that you get a new renters or homeowners insurance policy – it takes just 90 seconds to get a Lemonade policy, and they start at $5/month. Once you’ve done that, you can sit back, relax, and enjoy your new apartment.