Moving to New York City? Don’t Skip These 5 Planning Tips

brooklyn bridge

Creatives, Wall Street moguls, dreamers… New York City boasts a diversity that is second-to-none, so it is only natural that a vast variety of people are attracted to The City That Never Sleeps. If the city is calling out to you and you’re thinking about becoming a New Yorker, you may have already found which NYC neighborhood is best for you or even mapped out where the best pizza places are. However, before you get ahead of yourself, don’t forget that moving in NYC comes with its own unique set of challenges that need to be considered. The good news is these hurdles usually only require a little extra research and planning to clear—and the 5 tips below will help you get started!

Account for NYC Moving Day Intricacies

Moving day is what the majority of people dread the most. On the one hand, it means that you are one step closer to the finish line for your move. But on the other, it also requires a lot of work and holds the potential for unexpected problems like delayed moving trucks, furniture not fitting, broken items, etc. Luckily, planning can take care of many of these issues before they arise. Consider these moving day planning musts from Nancy Zafrani, the general manager of the NYC moving company Oz Moving.

Book Elevators: “Most buildings require elevators to be booked for move-in day. Book as far ahead as possible and then call a couple of days before your arrival to confirm the booking.”

Plan for Traffic: “When booking a truck, elevators, or anything else for moving day, take into account traffic delays. This will help you avoid late fees for returning equipment or missing your time slot for amenities.” You may want to check for live traffic updates on NY1 to reroute around congestion. Also, moving on off-peak hours can help the commute go quicker.

Disassemble Furniture: “Many NYC apartments are tight walkups, especially in older neighborhoods like the Upper West Side or Greenwich Village. So disassembling larger pieces is often a must.”

Calculate the Cost of Living

It is no secret that living in New York City is expensive. But exactly how much more expensive it is compared to where you currently live is another story. For example, if you are moving from LA to NYC, you rent will jump approximately 50%—with a one-bedroom apartment in the city centre costing $2,240 and $3,350 comparatively. Seeking out the bustling city life from Alabama? You can expect to pay a whopping $225% more on rentals in New York’s city centre.

If you want to see exactly how much more you can expect to pay, a great online tool to compare the cost of living is NUMBEO. Here you can compare the price of not only housing, but food, transportation, apparel, and recreational activities.

Want to see how to weather compares? Take a look at the Current Results.

Plan to Pay a Broker’s Fee

Adding to the high cost of NYC living, a broker’s fee is required to secure many apartments. This means that in order to get a lease, you have to pay 10%-15% of the annual rent for this fee. On top of that, it isn’t uncommon for landlords to require you to make 40 times the monthly rent—and no, that, unfortunately, isn’t a typo. Luckily, if your bank account isn’t overflowing with cash, you can get a guarantor to co-sign the lease. Generally, your co-signer is a family member but if you don’t have anyone, there are companies that provide guarantor services.

Want to skip the broker’s fee and the guarantor? It is possible! Some apartments don’t have these requirements—although competition tends to be fierce on these properties. Another way around these hurdles is to find someone looking for a roommate. To do so, search the online classifieds, ask your friends if anyone they know is looking, or try NYC roommate websites like Spare Room, New York Habitat, Roomie Match, etc.


Find Reputable Movers

If you have decided hauling furniture up multiple flights of stairs isn’t for you or you just don’t want to deal with the heavy lifting, professional movers are always a go-to. There are tons of professional movers in New York City, but not all are reputable—a large volume of movers also means that moving scams are plentiful. So when choosing movers, ensure that they have:

A Good Reputation: They should have a trackable history of being in business for at least a few years. Often you can track this through their online presence, such as social media. Additionally, you’ll want to look at reviews on Yelp, Google, and The Better Business Bureau to make sure past customers have had a good experience.

A BBB Profile: The Better Business Bureau verifies all businesses they accredit. Here you will also be able to view a business’s overall ratings and any customer complaints.

Licensing: New York movers are required to have a United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) number to operate, and any legitimate moving company should have no problem providing you their number. Many companies even list it directly on their website.

Declutter Before Your Move

New York City has a lot to offer, but an abundance of space isn’t on that list. Since NYC apartments tend to be on the smaller side, it is a good idea to pare down your possessions before your move. Declutter to get rid of any unnecessary home decor, donate any unused clothing, and sell off any unnecessary furniture. As a bonus, the less stuff you have, the less your move will cost!

If you are short on room but not ready to part with your belongings, storage is also an option. Many moving companies with storage facilities will store your stuff at a discounted rate if you use their moving services.

New York is one of the most unique places to live in the world, so it is no wonder that moving there has a few intricacies. However, keep in mind that any moving hurdles are temporary, while the benefits of living in New York are everlasting. With a bit of planning, research, and patience, your move can be a huge success—you will be enjoying that slice of New York pizza before you know it! 


This was a guest blog post by Oz Moving. Call them in NYC at (212) 452-6683; in New Jersey: 866-WIZARD-OZ; or in California: (323) 796-0133.