Moving to New York
How to move to New York
So, you’ve settled on the Big Apple for your next move. Whether you have a job lined up or just want to move to the city for a fresh start, the first step of your new adventure is getting your belongings there. Even if you’ve moved long distance before, it’s important to understand that, just like living in New York, moving to New York is an entirely different experience.
Moving to NYC step 1: Finding a place to live
It can be challenging to search for apartments in the city – especially if you’re trying to find a place while you’re living in another state. You can search online, but sometimes photos and descriptions can be misleading. If you are able, visit New York to look at apartments in person. If you’re having trouble finding a place, or if you can’t visit beforehand, a real estate broker might be the way to go. A broker will assist you in the apartment hunting process, taking your preferences into account. You will pay a broker, but finding the ideal apartment can be worth the price.
While you hunt for the perfect place, make sure you consider the neighborhood, your commute and whether or not you need a pet-friendly apartment. You should also be prepared to provide complete documentation when you fill out a rental application, including an employment letter, pay stubs, references and ID.
Moving to NYC step 2: Planning your move
Moving to New York is different from moving to other places, even other big cities. If you're considering truck rental, think about NYC traffic — between fast-paced city driving and trying to navigate one-way streets, driving a rental truck can be a tough way to move to New York. There’s also full service companies that do everything for you, but they often come with a hefty price tag. If you’re looking to keep costs at a minimum, finding an affordable New York moving company is a must.
Enter U-Pack®. U-Pack is a moving service where you do the packing and loading, but we handle the driving. We service almost every area of the city including Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan, The Bronx and more. Get a quote to see how much your move will cost.
Moving to NYC step 3: Preparing for your move
If you’ve decided to go with U-Pack, take note of these details that will help make moving day a success:
Equipment. Note that for most areas of New York, the price listed on your quote will be for space in a moving trailer. While U-Pack does offer moving containers, many streets are too narrow to accommodate the flatbed trailer used to deliver them. Talk to your U-Pack moving consultant to verify available equipment options for your move.
- Parking. You’ll need a place to park the moving equipment. Because ample overhead clearance is necessary, we require uncovered parking. If your apartment doesn’t have its own lot, you may need to reserve parking on the street. If you and your friends have cars, you can have them park in front of your building when you’re expecting delivery. You’ll need 3-4 car lengths of space to park the 28” moving trailer, and in most locations, you’ll be doing a “live load” so you’ll only need the parking spots for a short time. A “live load” is where the truck and trailer are parked for four hours so you can unload your belongings. See how a live load works in this video. In some boroughs, the city may provide you with cones to block off parking spots as well.
Unloading. If possible, have someone stay with the truck on the street while you carry your belongings inside. If you have a “live load”, make a plan to get unloaded in your four-hour window.
Moving crews. We can refer you to experienced helpers who can assist in unloading your belongings at your apartment. For New York City moves, we recommend a crew of at least three people because of the limited time frame.
Freight elevators. Check with your landlord and find out if there’s a freight elevator in your building that you can reserve on moving day. These are often much larger than standard passenger elevators to make moving furniture and boxes much easier—plus you won’t hold up your neighbors or have to wait as they stop at multiple floors.
Other options. If bringing the moving trailer or container right to your apartment won’t work, you can opt to unload at our nearest service center. While you’ll have to borrow or rent a truck to get your belongings to your apartment, this solution does offer a pretty substantial savings.
- Moving permits. Often, customers ask if a moving permit is required from the city of New York. Thankfully, no permits are required for your actual move, but a parking permit might be required for the truck depending on where you plan to park it. Always check with the city to find out if you need a parking permit. As long as you secure safe, legal parking, our drivers will make sure to follow all parking laws.
Moving to NYC step 4: Learn how to be a local
Once you figure out how to move to New York, start thinking about how to really live there! A few things to research and plan for include:
Transportation. There are many options for public transportation, so scope out your best routes for getting to work or school—just keep in mind if you’ll be walking or taking the subway or bus. It’s a good idea to have a backup plan in case of inclement weather or traffic delays. Also, check weekend and nighttime public transit schedules to see if you have to adjust your route during those times. And of course, there are always taxis or Ubers, but those costs can add up quickly!
Food options. With a variety of local markets, grocery stores, restaurants and food delivery services within walking distance of most apartments and townhomes, you’ll have plenty of options to choose from. If you enjoy cooking, keep in mind that because you won’t have to drive to a store and stock up on groceries like you would in the suburbs, you may only have to shop for just a few days’ worth of food at a time. If you have a doorman, ask before you schedule a grocery delivery, since some won’t accept delivery if you’re not at home.
Schools. Your real estate broker or landlord can tell you about which school zone your apartment is in, or there are also plenty of options for private and charter schools. Inquire and apply before you move, as some can have long waitlists—this applies for grade schools and colleges and universities alike.
Parking. If you own a vehicle and your apartment doesn’t have a parking garage, you will likely have to factor the cost of long-term parking in a nearby garage or lot into your budget. If your neighborhood allows for street parking, familiarize yourself with area parking regulations so you don’t get towed!
- Pets. If you plan on moving to New York with your pet, scope out nearby dog-friendly parks, dog runs or dog walking services. Remember that dogs must be licensed, have up-to-date rabies shots and wear tags when in public.
Questions about moving to New York?
If you’re ready to plan your move, start by getting a moving quote. If you still have questions about how to relocate to NYC, leave us a comment below or call us at 800-413-4799. We’re happy to help you plan for your move however we can!