How Can I Make Moving in NYC Easier?

How Can I Make Moving in NYC Easier?

Is a New York City move in your near future? Whether you’re moving from one borough to another or relocating to the city from out of state, there’s nothing easy about this transition.

From parking permits and NYC traffic to budgets and new neighborhoods, you will surely have a lot on your plate. That’s why Gentle Giant’s NYC move experts have created a comprehensive guide to help lighten your load (and hopefully prevent damaged floors or fractured relationships!).

Gentle Giant has your back with tips on budgeting, packing, parking, and more. You may be moving in the city that never sleeps, but that doesn’t mean you should lose sleep over it!

Budgeting For Your NYC Move

Whether you’re moving local or long-distance, budgeting for a move requires careful planning to ensure a smooth transition without overspending. Costs can accumulate quickly during the moving process, so prepare accordingly to avoid unwanted hits to your bank account. For a detailed guide, check out our recent blog, How Much Should You Budget For a Move?

These simple tips will help you create a comprehensive and practical budget:

Take inventory: If you plan on hiring movers, determine what you’re moving before making any calls. Start with the large items in your home, like furniture, and specialty items, like pianos, pool tables, valuable artwork, electricals, etc. Then, take stock of items like clothing, lamps, kitchenware, and other smaller items.

We recommend going room by room and recording your inventory on paper or your computer/mobile device. This is also the perfect time to purge your home by recycling, donating, or discarding unused or unwanted items.

Create a moving budget template: Whether you choose to go old-school and write it down on a sheet of paper or go all out with an online spreadsheet, a template will make creating a budget much easier. Your template might include two columns, one for categories and the other for costs. The first column might contain the following categories;

  • Moving fees/rates
  • Packing services
  • Moving insurance
  • Specialty services
  • Unpacking services
  • Moving materials (boxes, tape, blankets, paper, etc.)
  • Hidden costs (damages, tips, food and beverage etc)
  • Contingency (+5-10%)

Insert the estimated cost in the second column next to each category, adding each cost to create your subtotal. Including a contingency of +5-10% will allow for unanticipated costs without causing too much stress.

* These costs will look different depending on whether you use professional movers or execute the move yourself.

Hire Professional NYC Movers or DIY

Professional NYC Movers

If you’re looking for the easiest way to move in NYC, hiring professional, reliable, and reviewed movers like Gentle Giant Moving Company is the way to go. Professional movers are trained in heavy lifting without causing injury and packing/transporting without causing damage. 

So, if you want to avoid a potential back strain or broken desk, and your budget allows, hiring professional movers is the most stress-free option.

Choosing a NYC Moving Company

When looking for professional and reliable movers in New York City, consider the following factors:

Service locations: Does the company service your current and destination locations?

Moving services: Does the company provide additional moving services besides the basic transportation of boxes? For example, do they offer packing/unpacking, assembly, and specialty services?

License and insurance: Does the company have an up-to-date license and insurance coverage?

Customer reviews: Is the company highly rated? Check for recent reviews on Google, Yelp, and Facebook.

How to make a DIY move in NYC easier

If hiring professional NYC movers like Gentle Giant is out of your budget, we’ve got some expert tips for those taking the DIY route.

Pre Move

Collect measurements: Measure entryways and stairways/lifts in your new place before attempting to move large furniture items like sofas. If it’s too large, check if it can be disassembled and reassembled. You don’t want a Ross from Friends ‘Pivot’ situation on your hands!

Purge/Declutter before moving: NYC apartments notoriously lack storage space. Use this opportunity to purge your closet. We recommend donating or recycling items where possible.

Rent a moving truck: You can either rent a moving truck or hire movers to load/unload and transport belongings for you. Either way, we recommend contacting companies about four weeks out from your preferred move date. Allow an extra two to four weeks when moving long-distance (Anything beyond 60 to 100 miles from origin to destination).

Purchase packing materials: Have the following materials on hand for moving.

  • Boxes
  • Packing tape
  • Box cutter
  • Packing paper
  • Bubble wrap
  • Plastic wrap
  • Labels and markers
  • Furniture blankets
  • Dollies or handcarts. If you have a doorman or concierge in your building, kindly ask them about borrowing a dolly.

Create a moving binder: Use it to store important documentation like contracts, a copy of your lease, personal identification, bank statements, and more.

Create a moving day to-do list: Moving day can be chaotic. A to-do list will help you stay on track amidst the chaos.

Prepare your new home: Contact your utility company about a week before your move to ensure that the electricity, heat, and water will be on when you arrive. And don’t forget to update your mailing address so mail doesn’t get lost in the shuffle.

Check (current and new) building rules and regulations: Many buildings will have strict guidelines on moving in and out. This can include using freight elevators, limitations on hours, and more. Don’t forget to book an elevator or loading dock if you anticipate needing these for your move.

During the Move

Once you’ve chosen your moving date and checked off those pre-move tasks, it’s time to start packing up your home. Packing is often the most overwhelming and underestimated part of a move. But don’t worry, we’ve got you! Here are some of our most valuable packing tips for your DIY move.

  • Set up a designated packing station and ensure you have all necessary packing materials on hand.
  • Use your inventory list as a guide.
  • Begin by packing out-of-season items that you won’t need for a while.
  • Pack room by room where possible.
  • Put heavy items in small boxes and light items in large boxes.
  • Use packing paper to protect fragile items and furniture blankets to protect oversized items like dressers.
  • Label each box with its contents and room for easy recall.
  • Pack an overnight essentials bag. This might include items like phone chargers, toilet paper, a change of clothes, toiletries, a shower curtain, and pajamas.

Check out our Pack Like The Pros series for a comprehensive guide.


  • Identify and unpack in work zones. We recommend tackling the kitchen first, then the bedrooms and bathrooms.
  • Once a work zone is close to completion, create a shopping list and checklist for immediate needs. Then, move on to the next zone.
  • Break down and recycle boxes as you empty them. Have a specified destination for boxes to be donated or recycled once unpacked and broken down.
  • Place two large empty boxes beside you while unpacking: one for garbage items and one for donations.
  • Breathe…you did it! Now, enjoy your new home.

NYC Moving Regulations

Consider the following moving regulations you must abide by on moving day.

  • Rental trucks and commercial vehicles cannot travel on New York State parkways.
  • Rental trucks and commercial vehicles must park parallel to the curb to avoid blocking traffic.
  • Rental trucks and commercial vehicles cannot park in one place for over three hours or double park for more than 20 minutes.
  • Trailers must always remain attached to a vehicle, even when parked on the street.
  • Someone must stay with the truck at all times.
  • You don’t need a permit to move in New York City. However, you may need parking permits for your truck or trailer. Check out the parking laws in your neighborhood beforehand. If you have hired movers, double-check with them before they arrive.

If this all seems like a lot, we have good news for you. Hire a professional NYC moving company like Gentle Giant, so you don’t have to think twice about regulations.

Are you planning a local or long-distance New York City move? Speak with a reputable NYC moving company like Gentle Giant. We have some great resources to get you started on your NYC move. Check out our moving checklist for information on how to prepare and use our free move estimate tool to determine the cost of your relocation.