1. Use Moving Crates, Not Boxes
Autumn brings about 3-5 inches of rain per month to New York. It’s not your imagination—it really is slightly wetter out there. That can be a serious problem if you’re carrying cardboard boxes around. To avoid ruining your belongings or having them spill out on the sidewalk, consider renting plastic crates instead. Our favorite company for renting plastic moving boxes in New York is BoxUp. Tell them we sent you!
2. Declutter and Donate
Now’s the time to go through all your stuff, especially spring and summer gear, and get rid of anything you won’t be using in the near future. Another good rule of thumb: if you haven’t used it in the past six months or year, it should go too. Look into non-profits you can donate to. Not only will you get a feel-good vibe, but you may also be able to claim it when tax time rolls around in a few months. Think outside the box with donations; animal shelters will often take used blankets and towels, while there is a myriad of domestic violence and homeless shelters which can use everything under the sun, particularly games and books for children, as well as hygiene supplies and clothes. Your local food pantry would also likely be thrilled to have your non-perishables, especially if you can get them in before they fill up from Thanksgiving donations.
3. Cover the Floors
Pick up some of the floor covers painters use and lay it out at your old place and new home to protect the flooring. At the very least, you’ll probably be tracking leaves inside, but if you’re dealing with inclement weather, you’ll want to protect the floors from mud. If you’re having trouble finding some that’s not slippery and is safe to walk on, invest in a couple of large mats and keep a broom and/ or vacuum handy. You can also minimize what you track in by sweeping the path to the door before you start.
4. Book Your Movers Early
Yes, it is slower in the fall, but reputable residential moving companies still book up well in advance. If you’re coordinating a long-distance move, you’ll want to give as much notice as humanly possible. If it’s a local move, target at least a month in advance. If you’re reading this and just realized you should have booked movers months ago, don’t fret. Sometimes even awesome moving companies get cancellations or have availability at the last moment, simply because life circumstances change. Make this your first priority, so you’re not stuck scraping the bottom of the barrel.
5. Schedule Your Connects and Disconnects
Unfortunately, it can sometimes take a few days for utility companies to get you up and running, so do a little research in advance and see if you can transfer some of your current services to the new place or get established with new providers if you can’t. You’ll also want to schedule your disconnects for the day after you plan to be gone from the old place. In the hustle and bustle of moving, it’s easy to forget and you don’t want to be on the hook if the landlord or next tenant racks up bills in your name.
6. Make One Room Your Grand Central Station
By this, we mean stage an area of your current home as a packing and storage area. Keep all your packing supplies there as well as a notepad and paper, so you can create a to-do list as you go. Begin stacking your packed items in one corner and make sure each one is labeled well, so it’s super easy to load and sort out what goes where at the new place. You’ll need to set up your packing station at least a few days in advance. If you’re packing your stuff alone and only have a studio or one-bedroom apartment, give yourself at least 1-2 days to pack everything. Add 1-2 days for each additional room you need to pack. To be clear, if you’re working, attending classes, or are otherwise occupied for the greater part of a day, those don’t count as “days.” Seriously. Give yourself ample time to pack in an unrushed way.