Everything You Need to Consider Before A Move

A person moving boxes into their new apartment

When it comes to liv­ing in a city, mov­ing is sim­ply a part of life as rent con­stant­ly fluc­tu­ates, you change jobs, you want a dif­fer­ent com­mute, and so forth. The good news is that you can learn every­thing you need to know about mov­ing in a city from those who have come before you.

Here are the most impor­tant things you need to know before mov­ing. Start by cre­at­ing a mov­ing bud­get, then decide your next steps based on the below factors.

Are Professional Movers Worth It?

Professional team of movers moving a couch into a truck.

If you gen­uine­ly dread the process of mov­ing, you may be curi­ous about whether you should hire a pro­fes­sion­al mover. Pro­fes­sion­al movers can help you with the entire pack­ing process, from pack­ing up your belong­ings to trans­port­ing them and unpack­ing them in your new home. 

Start by ask­ing around for sug­ges­tions. Oth­er­wise, look online for a rep­utable com­pa­ny. When hir­ing a pro­fes­sion­al mover, you want to get an in-per­son con­sul­ta­tion for an accu­rate quote from three dif­fer­ent com­pa­nies. Before hir­ing a mover, make sure they can give you the help you need, are licensed and insured, and that they have pro­fes­sion­al accreditations.

When hir­ing a mover in a big city, you’ll pay any­where between $40-$150 per hour, per mover (plus extra fees for stairs, heavy items, etc.). Typ­i­cal­ly for a 1‑bedroom apart­ment, you’ll spend between $700 and $1,400 on just labor (mov­ing sup­plies are often billed sep­a­rate­ly, plus you’ll have to tip your movers). 

Should You DIY Your Move?

An open moving truck used by someone DIY-ing their move.

Are you bud­get-con­scious or look­ing for ways to cut mov­ing costs? Con­sid­er mov­ing on your own instead. Choos­ing to do all the heavy lift­ing your­self is the cheap­est option since you wouldn’t have to pay to hire movers. How­ev­er, there are plen­ty of oth­er ben­e­fits to a DIY move. 

Even if you DIY your move, you’ll have mov­ing expens­es for hir­ing a mov­ing truck, gas and tolls, mov­ing sup­plies, park­ing, insur­ance expens­es, and feed­ing the friends and fam­i­ly you rope in to help. Plus, there’s always a risk of break­ing some­thing in the move. So be sure to do the math and make sure a DIY move will actu­al­ly save you money. 

An aver­age 1‑bedroom DIY move in a city typ­i­cal­ly costs between $400-$1,000. So, most of the time a DIY move will be cheap­er than hir­ing pro­fes­sion­al movers. How­ev­er, doing it your­self will like­ly be more stress­ful, time-con­sum­ing, and painful. 

Selling Your Stuff

A man taking a photo of his couch to sell it on AptDeco ahead of his move.

Whether you’re hir­ing a pro­fes­sion­al or mak­ing your move DIY, you want to move as few items as pos­si­ble. When it comes to declut­ter­ing most peo­ple default to toss­ing or donat­ing, but don’t for­get that you can sell many of the things in your apart­ment, includ­ing fur­ni­ture, cloth­ing, jew­el­ry, and artwork.

Think of the fur­ni­ture in your apart­ment and deter­mine whether you 1) want to move it and 2) if it will fit in your new space. You can eas­i­ly sell fur­ni­ture online that is old, out­dat­ed, over­sized, or doesn’t have sen­ti­men­tal val­ue. While some sites require you to do all the leg work, using a ser­vice like Apt­De­co makes the process extra easy. With their white glove ser­vice, you don’t have to lift a fin­ger; sim­ply post your item and when it sells the Apt­De­co team will come to dis­as­sem­ble and deliv­er it to the buy­er for you! 

Sell­ing your fur­ni­ture before a move makes the entire mov­ing process eas­i­er by let­ting you avoid mov­ing the big, heavy items. Plus, it puts a bit of cash in your pock­et to help fund your move, refur­nish your new apart­ment, or throw a wel­come par­ty in your space. 

What You Need to Help You Move

Supplies needed for moving to a new home.

Sim­pli­fy the mov­ing process by hav­ing the right mate­ri­als ahead of time. While some mate­ri­als you need are obvi­ous, there are oth­er help­ful things to have on hand, such as: 

  • Card­board or plas­tic box­es. Check local stores for any extra box­es from inven­to­ry, or look on your local Face­book Mar­ket­place for old mov­ing box­es. You may also be able to rent stur­dier plas­tic box­es for your move. Just remem­ber that plas­tic box­es can add weight that you must move. 
  • Pack­ing Tape. Make life sim­pler by invest­ing in a pack­ing tape dis­penser to quick­ly cut the tape where need­ed and keep track of the end for you, elim­i­nat­ing the frus­tra­tion of try­ing to open it again. 
  • Pack­ing Paper/ Bub­ble Wrap. Fill in the extra space and give extra cush­ion­ing to your most frag­ile items with pack­ing paper or bub­ble wrap. You can also use old news­pa­pers, t‑shirts, or linens too.
  • Mov­ing Blankets/ Bands. Mov­ing blan­kets and bands can help you make sure your fur­ni­ture doesn’t get damaged. 
  • Plas­tic Bags. Use plas­tic bags to pre­vent spills with soaps and liquids. 
  • Garbage Bags. Use them to trans­port blan­kets or pil­lows or use them as gar­ment bags. If you’re care­ful enough you’ll be able to make full use of them in your new apartment. 
  • Labels and Mark­ers. Label your box­es to sim­pli­fy the packing/unpacking process. Make sure you label each side of each box to see it eas­i­ly when moving.
  • Tool Set. If you need to dis­as­sem­ble any­thing, you’re going to need tools on hand so make sure you have a set of screw­drivers, a ham­mer, etc. 
  • Fur­ni­ture Dol­lies. Con­sid­er what you’re mov­ing and get the prop­er dol­ly. Fur­ni­ture dol­lies tend to fit direct­ly under large fur­ni­ture and appli­ances, while a reg­u­lar dol­ly can also help you move box­es and requires you to tip it to move. A home improve­ment store or mover can help you fig­ure out which one will be best for your move.

Pur­chas­ing these sup­plies can be cost­ly and often leaves you with excess items when you reach your new home. You may opt to rent many of these items (plas­tic box­es, mov­ing blan­kets and bands, and dol­lies) from a pro­fes­sion­al mover or home improve­ment store to save mon­ey and make your move green. 

Choosing the Best Time to Move

A moving truck in the snow illustrating the difficulties of moving in the winter.

Mov­ing in the city is nev­er fun, but some days are eas­i­er. Try to move between Mon­day and Thurs­day. Most peo­ple want to move on week­ends, so mov­ing com­pa­nies charge pre­mi­um rates. Plus, you must sched­ule well in advance if you want to move on the week­end. There­fore, choos­ing a week­day gives you more flex­i­bil­i­ty and cost sav­ings. Also con­sid­er the time of year you’ll be mov­ing. If you’re mov­ing when there’s snow on the ground or heavy win­ter winds your expe­ri­ence will like­ly be more dif­fi­cult. On the oth­er hand, mov­ing dur­ing the cold­er months may save you mon­ey on movers.

How to Move in a City

A 1-bedroom city apartment packed up and ready to be moved.

Mov­ing in the city is a unique expe­ri­ence. You’re often short on space, time, and park­ing. Here are a few spe­cif­ic things to con­sid­er to make the most of your move.

  • Keep your eye open for the type of apart­ment you want, and be as flex­i­ble as possible. 
  • Always fac­tor your com­mute into your apart­ment hunt.
  • Only use a bro­ker if you plan to stay put for a few years to jus­ti­fy the cost.
  • Try to arrange a lease date in the mid­dle of the month since most peo­ple move at the begin­ning or end of the month. 
  • Avoid mov­ing dur­ing any major events in the city (i.e., marathons, con­certs, parades, games, etc.).
  • Mea­sure your new space thor­ough­ly, includ­ing the building’s entrance and hall­ways, to ensure your fur­ni­ture will fit (you don’t want a F.R.I.E.N.D.S. couch moment)
  • Check your new lease for move-in require­ments to ensure you have every­thing lined up (such as cer­tifi­cate of insur­ance, required pro­tec­tive cov­er­ings, freight ele­va­tor access, etc.). 
  • Review your old lease for move-out instruc­tions. Be sure to clean and repair any dam­age in your old apart­ment to get your full secu­ri­ty deposit back. 
  • Hire movers for the heavy items and DIY the rest of the move.
  • Take note of park­ing restric­tions around your old and new apart­ment to avoid park­ing tick­ets or get­ting towed. 

Most Helpful Moving Tips

A man taping up a moving box ahead of his next move.

Once your new lease is signed, you want to give your­self as much time as pos­si­ble to unpack. If you plan ahead, you can pack at a leisure­ly pace and in such a way that the entire process is as stress-free as pos­si­ble. While this guide gives you all the info need­ed to start plan­ning your move, be sure to check out our top mov­ing hacks and tips that will help make the pack­ing process a breeze. 

Have you moved in a big city before? Let us know what you wish some­one had told you before you moved in the com­ments below. 

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