Getting ready to move in New York City? Whether you already live within the five boroughs or are preparing to live in the city for the first time, you’re undoubtedly wondering about a few things (at least): How to move a bed, how to move your other furniture, what you need to do when moving out—just to name a few. 

The good news is that at Gotham, our storage units have played a key role in moves for thousands of New Yorkers just like you, so we have a few tips and tricks to help make yours as smooth and stress free as possible. 

How to move apartments in NYC

The best place to start planning your move—especially within New York City—is with tips for properly moving out of your current apartment. Remember, you most likely put down a security deposit when you moved in, and if you want to see that money again, you’re going to have some work to do. 

Set aside a day for repairs a few weeks before you plan to move. If you’ve painted any walls, paint them back to their original color. Fix any small holes or patches in the wall (including any from temporary shelving), fix any broken tiles and give your kitchen and bathroom a good deep clean. Do a second, smaller cleanup closer to your moving date, get rid of any dangerous materials you might have around (paint, matches, aerosol cans, etc.), and take pictures of everything in case there’s any disagreement later about the condition of the apartment when you leave. 

As for your stuff, start by figuring out what’s not coming with you. Return items you’ve borrowed, then put things you don’t want or need any more on Craigslist and freecycle networks.

With that out of the way, devise a system for keeping track of what you are bringing. That means how you’re going to label your boxes and how you’re going to keep track of what’s in each box. Spreadsheets are great for this. 

Speaking of which, make plans to backup any files on your computer that you might need in case something goes wrong during the move. You should also make separate plans for any valuables you may have; moving insurance tends to max out at $100 of coverage per box.

How to move furniture in NYC

The biggest part of your move is your furniture, so moving it properly is essential. Get a floor plan for your new apartment, along with dimensions for the elevators and stairwells, so you can make sure everything will fit. If you’re moving into and/or out of a high-rise, the loading dock will almost certainly come into play, so make note of any relevant policies or procedures.

You’re also probably going to need to disassemble at least some of your furniture to move it. When you do, keep all the screws, brackets and other hardware together, grouped and labeled by the piece of furniture, and keep it someplace that’s easily accessible: Secure it to the furniture itself if possible, or keep it all in a separate box that you carry with you.

Where to find free moving boxes in NYC

The same sites and freecycle networks you used to unload things you no longer want are also great sources of boxes for your move. You can also ask friends and neighbors—those Amazon boxes do tend to pile up pretty quickly—and local stores may have some to contribute. (The corner bodega can be especially helpful if you show up an hour before closing.

Of course, a lot of what you’re bringing to your new apartment has value beyond money, so used boxes might wind up being too flimsy for your purposes. You can get high-quality boxes—along with other packing supplies—from Gotham Mini Storage, helping to take care of the things that matter to you most.

Where to rent storage in NYC

Got stuff that doesn’t have a place in your new apartment, but still has a place in your heart (or is essential for more boring reasons)? That’s where Gotham Mini Storage comes in. The leader in Manhattan mini storage we offer climate-controlled units and indoor loading area, 24/7 security, and free move-in truck along with affordable rent, expert advice and free WiFi. Find a unit today.