How to Survive a Move in NYC
Who invented fifth-floor walk-ups, anyway?
So you just signed the lease on your dream apartment on the Upper West Side. Well, it’s a 15-minute walk from the subway and the living room doesn’t have a window, but there’s exposed brick and an elevator, dammit.
That was the easy part. Now you actually have to pack up and move out of your fifth-floor walk-up in the East Village.
Here are nine tips to help you survive a move in New York City (and oh, you’ll need 'em).
KONMARI BEFORE YOU PACK
If you’ve been meaning to try Marie Kondo’s genius organizing technique, now is the time--before you end up in your new apartment and realize you have 14 mini-flashlights. Folding your clothes the KonMari way will also save tons of space in your moving boxes.
JUST SHELL OUT THE CASH AND HIRE ACTUAL MOVERS
No, not some random dude who promised you a good deal on Craigslist. Not a “man with a van” you saw on a flier. Not three college friends who will work for pizza. Getting legit movers with great Yelp reviews and most importantly, insurance, in case they scuff up your freshly painted wall, is well worth the investment. Best of all, if they get a ticket while parallel parking, they have to take care of it, not you.
TAKE A DAY OFF OF WORK
We know you’re saving your PTO days for a trip to Belize, but moving on a weekend can be more chaotic and pricier--especially the last weekend of the month (prime moving time). If you can manage to move during the week, you might get a lower quote than if you move the last Sunday of the month.
FORWARD YOUR MAIL IN ADVANCE
The post office will automatically forward your mail for up to a year after your move--but it takes a few days to process, so if you set it up the day of your move, you could end up getting mail in both places. Schedule the date you’d like the post office to begin forwarding your mail a few weeks in advance, so you don’t miss that extremely important West Elm catalogue.
MAKE FRIENDS WITH THE PERSON MOVING IN
You’ll be busy doing packing and moving of your own, so don’t get too involved, but a friendly chat with the new tenant goes a long way…especially if they might be interested in inheriting your old 150-pound filing cabinet.
MEASURE EVERYTHING FIRST
If we’ve learned one thing from Friends, it’s this: Before you go hauling that massive sectional sofa to your new place, be positive it fits in the door. Measure the stairwells, hallways, doors and the perimeter of each room to make sure all of your stuff actually fits.
TAKE A MILLION PHOTOS
We know you’re anxious to get over to your new place and start decorating, but take a few minutes to snap photos of your old, empty apartment before you leave. That way, if your landlord tries to pull any funny business with your security deposit (and oh, he probably will), you have photo evidence that you didn’t leave any gaping holes in the walls…or at least that you spackled them up before you left.
LEAVE A BOTTLE OF CHAMPAGNE
It doesn’t necessarily have to be expensive, but leaving a bottle of bubbly for the next tenant goes a long way. Especially the moment you realize you hid your jewelry box in such a super-secret spot, you forgot to take it with you.
MAKE SURE YOUR NEW KEYS WORK
Before you lug your queen-sized mattress, sofa and giant box of books all the way over to your new abode, you might wanna check to make sure the keys your landlord gave you actually open the door. (Trust us on this one. Learn from our mistake.)