We’re getting to the end of my moving series with FlatRate Moving, which can only mean one thing YOU DID IT – or you at least know how to if you’re considering a move! You learned how to scope out listings, get approved, and now it’s time to coordinate the exciting part… MOVING!
How I moved to the city is probably the single most asked question I get from my readers, which means you guys want to hear it from someone who has done it before and I’m your girl! Plus, I have the pros on my side so you guys are in for a wealth of information, aka this is going to be a long (but hopefully helpful) post ;-) I’m going to start with my story and then we’ll go through short and long distance options!
When you choose to move to the city long distance you have a few options to start with..
- Hire long-distance movers
- Pack up a moving truck and take a long road trip
- Get rid of your things and pack a few suitcases
There isn’t really a right or wrong answer here, but I decided to bypass the moving truck options and just hop on a plane with 5 suitcases and my pup. Granted, I also only planned on living in the city for a few years, but that was the choice I ended up with . Looking back, I’m not quite sure how I did it considering I have SO much stuff, but somehow I made it happen.
So yeah, I grabbed my bags and arrived in the city with no furniture, no kitchen essentials… and well an empty apartment! My roommate at the time had just moved up here from out of state too so we were like a couple of newbies out of the water trying to figure things out together. Kind of awesome, kind of terrifying, but definitely memorable. I’ll give myself a little credit.. I did manage to bring quite a bit in those 5 suitcases.. space saver bags were my best friends but there was about a week of sleeping on my hardwood floors before my bed was delivered and we didn’t have any furniture in our living room for about a month. It all worked out though and within a few months we were decently stocked on the things we needed and we slowly accumulated more decor options later.
While it was an eye-opening experience, it was kind of fun to piece things together in my new city and it was much easier to be able to book a plane ticket than have to think about driving across the country or hiring movers. I was only 21 when I made the move and it was 100% self-funded too so that was my best option at the time. Would I suggest it to others? If you can get by on minimal items and don’t mind starting over? Sure! Especially if you don’t plan on staying here a long time, it can definitely be a good option and if the queen of pack-rats can do it, you can too!
Now onto our other options – local and long-distance moves. I want to start this portion off with some really awesome info that FlatRate Moving shared that I think is pretty useful as a guide from when to schedule your movers to peak and off peak times to move.
They also mentioned that if you move off-peak you might be able to get a better deal so if your moving timeline is flexible that is definitely something that might be worth checking into!
Where do you even start with this one? At least that’s the way it can seem at first when you start planning. Rent a truck? Pack your essentials in your car or a family car? Hire movers? What’s the best option here? Well, that’s going to depend on a lot of things – timing and cost being two of them.
If you plan to rent a truck or use your car or a family car you’re going to want to come up with a plan for your route and make estimations for fuel costs. I’ve had a few friends move this way and they did their best to make a trip out of the move and stop and see some top landmarks along the way. If you’re up for it, totally go for it! I mean how often are you driving across the country (or partially)? Better yet if you have someone along for the trip too.
The next option involves hiring moving services. As I mentioned, I don’t personally have experience doing this so I was really interested to connect with the pros on just how this works so I could share with you guys. Basically they broke it down to me with the 3 different options they have.
- Weekly shuttle to popular destinations: If you’re moving to L.A., San Francisco, Miami, or Chicago, just reserve space on one of our shuttles - which leave up to three times a week - and save money.
- Non-stop service in an exclusive truck: Although most long-distance moves use shared trucks that make several stops en route, we can provide non-stop service.
- Long-distance EXPRESS with guaranteed delivery date: For fastest shipment from New York to L.A. - with a guaranteed delivery date - choose our express service. If we’re delayed, FlatRate will give you $100 cash for each day we’re overdue.
So there are definitely some different options available with different pricing to work with you on your budget. Your rate is going to depend upon your items and location but you can easily fill out their quote option or contact them directly to get more information on what their services will run.
Something that is definitely important to do before you request a quote is to do a proper inventory and give an accurate description of the things you have. You don’t want to end up getting misquoted or have to deal any surprises when your movers come for the job and realize you have double the amount of things you said you did. So take the time beforehand.
Local moves are certainly less complicated than moving across the country but they still require some planning! Living in 3 apartments over 4.5+ years, I’ve officially moved across the country by airplane, moved to an apartment by renting a truck and using the help of my friends, and hiring movers for my last apartment. So you could say I have a little bit of experience with a couple of different options!
There’s a couple things that make moving from one New York apartment to another that you’ll want to consider when deciding if you want to move yourself or hire movers.
- Stairs: A big reason to hire movers is for the sole reason of all of the stairs involved in your move. Moving is tough work and stairs make the process a little more complicated! My first move in the city was from a 4th floor to another 4th floor walk-up – that I did with friends and then my second move was from a 4th floor to a 5th floor walk-up. I just can’t escape those stairs! Not only are stairs kind of a pain running up and down but it can make carrying furniture a little trickier so keep that in mind.
- Parking and driving a moving truck in the city: My last move, I had to rent a truck to finish up my move and let’s just say I NEVER want to drive in the city again after that experience. Driving in the city is tough enough and if you aren’t familiar with driving here (which most people don’t have cars here) then the idea of driving a moving truck is terrifying! Another good reason to hire movers or put one of your experienced NY driving friends in charge of the truck.
- Building requirements for moving: I have only lived in walk-ups so I haven’t personally experienced this, but some of my friends who have lived in doorman buildings have dealt with pretty strict rules on moving requirements. Some buildings only allow moving during certain hours for use of the freight elevators and some buildings actually require you to have movers. Make sure you find out about your circumstance before you make any plans!
Personally, after moving a couple of times here I think movers are 100% worth it. It’s definitely more expensive than hiring your own truck but you’re hiring professionals who move people for a living and know how to get a project done in a few hours flat. I swear my last movers were the Hulk’s brothers.. I watched one of the guys carry my mattress up 4 flights of stairs with one hand! Crazy. Anyways, hiring movers can really help ease your stress with the process too. Moving is stressful enough and thinking about parallel parking a moving truck is giving me nightmares just thinking about it. If you do decide to go that route, here’s some advice I have:
- Have water for the crew: This tip might seem a little obvious but if you’re heading to your new place you probably don’t have your fridge stocked yet and chances are your cups are still going to be packed! Bonus if you get your crew some snacks – hey everyone deserves some treats right?
- Take out cash to tip your crew: Make sure you hit the ATM before your move so that you have some money on-hand to tip your crew after they do a great job for you.
No matter how you decide to move though, some things remain the same. You’re going to have to pack! Well actually, you can hire a crew to do the packing for you too but chances are most of you will probably be packing yourselves so I wanted to wrap up this post with some tips to make your move go a lot smoother!
As you might expect, organization is key when you pack. Try and pack items by room and put detailed descriptions on the boxes so that it’s easier to unpack as well as know what is packed within your boxes. Definitely make sure to write fragile on all of your breakables as well and make sure they are packed tightly so that things don’t break in transit.
The FlatRate Moving team also had some advice when it comes to packing your boxes, “When packing the boxes keep in mind that they should be packed tight, filled all the way to the top and also tightly sealed. It’s very important to stick to the guidance of what to pack in which box so they don’t get too heavy or easily breakable.” They also had some tips on what to do with your fragile items, “Breakable items should be packed in layers. It’s highly recommended to use a lot of cushioning around and in between the items and layers, as well as on the bottom of the box, using the news print. All the breakable items should be packed in standing vertical position with few sheets of paper wrapped around them.”
And there you have it! Tips and tricks on the whole moving process! I hope my tips as well as those from FlatRate Moving were useful to you guys! If you have any further questions feel free to reach out or check out their website for more detailed service information.
See you next week!