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Pre-Relocating Tips when Moving to NYC

By: Sean Zharfati

So you’re moving to New York – the Big Apple! Congratulations on fulfilling the dream so many have – and on taking such a momentous and courageous step. There are many things you will need to do in advance of your trip. Hire relocation services, deal with packing and storage, changing your address, etc. But let’s take things step by step.

Now clearly, before actually hiring relocation services and moving to New York, there is a great deal of thought, research and planning that must take place, in order to make your move the smoothest and easiest it can possibly be. There are traps and pitfalls lying in wait for those relocating (which those of you who have started checking out relocation companies may already have discovered), but with the proper amount of consideration, you don’t need to fall into them, but can rather sidestep and move on to the new life that awaits you.

First off, here is a list of facts that will help you get pre-acquainted with your new home before relocating:

  1. Boroughs – Outsiders moving to New York often do not know that New York City is actually a collection of five areas known as the ‘boroughs.’ These five boroughs are comprised of the most well-known, the island of Manhattan, as well as Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, andStaten Island – another Island that one accesses fromManhattan by ferry.
  2. Cost of Living – Life and living in Manhattan is the most expensive, so people when relocating often choose to reside in one of the other boroughs and commute to work in Manhattan, if that is where their job is. Living in New York City costs well over the average across the nation, and housing costs nearly 250% of the national average! Even utilities are far more costly, so take all that into consideration before moving.
  3. Weather – New York City is hot and humid in the summer, and very cold in the winter. Perhaps not Chicago cold, but when moving to New York, expect plenty of snowfall, below-freezing temperatures and a wind-factor that gets down under your parka and into your bones. The layout of Manhattan architecture also creates plenty of wind tunnels that only serve to exacerbate the situation. You’ll need hat, gloves, scarf – and fuzzy earmuffs can be a great addition. If you don’t have, don’t worry. You’ll be able to find them easily at one of the street stalls that pop up all over town.
  4. Transportation –  Here you have options. Depending on how far you need to get, walking in New York is a treat. There’s always something happening and plenty for the eye to see, so if you enjoy walking you’ll find this a great way to get around. If your destination is a bit further, there is a vast subway system that goes both north to south and east to west, including between the boroughs. It’s a maze of subway lines, each accorded their own color, and may take some time to get adjusted to, so get a map and keep it on hand and soon you’ll find your way around. You also should check with the relocation services you choose, to see if they can help familiarize you with the aspect of transportation. Another option, for those who prefer to be above instead of underground, is to take the bus. Cross-town as well as north and southbound buses are available, and they’re a good option, unless rush hour traffic slows things down.
  5. Parking – This can be a challenge, and a parking space on the road, even a metered one, is looked at like gold. Alternatively there are parking garages around, but you may find them very costly. As well, if you own a car when moving to New York but don’t have your own dedicated parking space, you will need to deal with ‘alternate side of the street parking’ which means that in certain neighborhoods, you need to park on different sides of the road on alternate days. That translates to getting up a few mornings a week, getting in your car and finding a new parking space, even if you aren’t going anywhere. Most people who live in Manhattan don’t even own a car, and you may find in relocating that this is the easiest way to go as well.

Now that you have some information about the city itself, let’s talk about the actual move. You will need to start by looking at relocation services that can assist in your move. The best relocation services know the area you are moving to and will provide you with more than just transportation. Great relocation services help you in planning and strategizing your trip, are reliable and dependable, and offer a multitude of options such as storage, packing and overseeing the entire transport of your belongings from one place to another. So when you start to interview relocation companies, make sure you find out exactly what they provide, and be sure to get recommendations and references so you choose the one that will help make this move the wonderful start of your wonderful new life!

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