More than 36 million Americans, or roughly 12 percent of U.S. citizens, move each year, according to Census Bureau data. Although the number seems high, it's a much lower figure than 50 years ago. Even so, this means that quite a lot of people worry about the safety of their belongings when transitioning between homes. And because moving takes up a lot of time and can often cause a spike in one’s stress levels, to help make things easier, we've put together a moving checklist.
These are some crucial steps that you should consider before starting the moving process; once the movers are at your door, it will be too late to make any changes in the plan. Check out our tips below, and make sure you keep reading, because we’re going to recommend some great moving companies in New York City that you can count on. Also, make sure to check out our first apartment checklist which is a great resource for renters or our new house checklist if you're a buyer.
- If you are going to call on a team to help you relocate, start by researching moving companies and reach out to at least three to get a moving quote and, if possible, have them do an onsite assessment. Try doing this about two months ahead of your move-in date. We have a list of recommended companies for you at the end of this article, to save you some time, so be sure to check that out.
- Right about this time, it would be good to start looking for doctors, banks, lawyers, or any other services you might need at your new address. Make a list of all the businesses and services you will need, and start contacting them to make sure you’re all covered when you move in.
- Make sure you alert any interested parties of your move. Notify your employer and utility providers, both at your current address as well as your future one. This can include electricity, gas, water, trash collection, internet services, and more.
- Buy moving supplies–boxes, tape, bubble wrap–and come up with a clear labeling system (by color, number, or room). Make sure you carefully wrap and label your fragile items, like glassware or antiques, so that the movers will know to be extra cautious when handling those items. Serik Baimoldayev, CEO and Founder of NYC moving company SEKA Moving, has some tips on how to handle this part of the process: ‘Since you know what you will be moving, estimate how much packing supplies you need. Then go ahead and buy enough boxes, fillers, bubble wrap, duct tape, etc. You can also purchase packing materials from your mover on the day of the move, or ahead of the move, by having your moving company deliver them straight to you.’
- You should start packing early, at least a month in advance, by sorting out seasonal decorations, last season's gear, and clothing, kitchenware, and dinnerware that you seldom use. You’ll save a lot of time and stress by starting early and gradually packing your things.
- While packing, mercilessly sort through your items, as this is the perfect time for a declutter. You can donate or sell any items that you’ve never used, because chances are you won’t use them at your new place, either. Although it's easy to get attached to things, at this time you should be looking at them from a financial perspective–every item you don't need or use is another thing you're not just paying to have shipped, but you're also investing time in packing and unpacking it. Either organize a yard sale, or gift and donate all those possessions that you don't need, use or like. Recycle or throw away all that is broken or unsalvageable.
- After you've packed away everything you won't be using in the following month or so, start going room by room, marking all the boxes by which room they go in. It will be helpful to know precisely where your bathrobe is without having to go through your winter gear and your grandma's porcelain gifts.
- During this phase, make a list of all the things you own. It might come in handy later for insurance purposes. Your inventory can be either photographic or in video format, whichever is easier for you. Ivan Budiac, CEO of New York City moving company Expo Movers, suggests you ‘use your calendar or organizational app to take notes about your most important tasks. By breaking each chore into smaller, more manageable pieces, your move will not feel as overwhelming.’
- Keep your important papers separately. If you decide to hire a moving company, don't leave birth certificates, passports, school records, and other documents with the movers, instead, keep them with you. Things can get lost or damaged during a move, and you really don’t want those things to include your essential papers.
- If you have pets, keep their medication on hand, if they take any. Keep plenty of food and snacks, as well as their favorite toys on hand for the move. Moving can be more stressful for animals than it is for people, and they can become overwhelmed by the new people, new sounds, all the commotion, and the new surroundings. Do the best you can to make them feel safe and keep their stress levels down.
- Before you leave for the new place, go through every room and every closet to make sure nothing stays behind. Thoroughly check every nook and cranny, and make sure you leave your old home in good condition. The landlord will appreciate you taking out the trash, cleaning up a bit, and leaving everything in order, including keys and any other items.
- Finally, after you’ve settled in a little bit at your new digs, plan a gathering with your friends and family. You'll not only enjoy your new place more and make it feel more like home, but your friends will also know where to find you from now on, and might even come up with ideas on how to make your new home cozy and pleasant. Not to mention all the housewarming gifts!
Choosing the right moving company in NYC
It is up to you if you wish to handle the moving process by yourself, with help from friends and family, or by hiring a moving company. While in the first case, you might save some money (although adding gas costs, time, and supplies, it might turn out just as costly), hiring professionals could make a real difference as they are well prepared for such actions. They have all the right equipment, the right vehicles, the necessary manpower, and are experienced with moving large items like furniture and appliances. Hiring a team to help you with the moving process could also save you a lot of time, not just energy. Professional movers will transport all of your items and can even help you unpack, disassemble, reassemble and install furniture and appliances.
Finding the right moving company, however, can also be overwhelming, especially when you live in New York City, where there are a plethora of professional movers to choose from. You want to pick a team that has a lot of experience, that knows the area very well, and that has stellar reviews. If you’re moving to Brooklyn, you’ll want a company that knows their way around that particular area, and the same goes for every other borough. From our own experience with a recent move, we can tell you that we'd highly recommend Perfect Moving. They're a newer company, but the service was truly excellent and the pricing was reasonable.
You can also check Google and Yelp or ask your friends for recommendations - or feel free to check out the list we’ve come up with for you.