Moving tips written by professional NYC movers.

We tried to put ourselves in your shoes and provide you with the most useful moving tips we could think of. From how to find a moving company, to how to transfer your internet to the new address – and everything in between. 

If you cannot find the answer to your question, simply give us a call or send us an email using the buttons at the bottom of the page. Our moving consultants will be happy to share their knowledge and give you appropriate advice to make your moving process a smoother experience. 

1. Moving tips before the move.

Finding a trusted and licensed mover is the most important thing – and therefore it is #1 one our list of moving tips. Start by researching movers online (Google Reviews, Yelp, Thumbtack, BBB). Then – compare your research with your friends’ experiences. Word of mouth is usually the safest way to go about finding a trusted moving company. Finally, make sure that the movers you reach out to are licensed and insured. Good news – Otter Moving & Storage is fully insured and licensed with the US DOT and NYC DOT.

Majority of the buildings in New York City will require your moving company to show proof of insurance. It is important to ask your movers right away if they can meet the insurance requirements and provide a compliant certificate of insurance (COI).

At Otter Moving & Storage, we provide the certificate of insurance (COI) free of charge for as many locations as needed.

Fixed rate is an all inclusive price of all of your moving expenses. It is upfront and guaranteed based on the information you provide. If a mover is not offering a fixed rate, there is a high chance that you will experience upcharges on the day of the move.

The key to a smooth move day is the timely and detailed planning. That is why we have designed our quotes to be quick to get, easy to understand, transparent and upfront.

Our experienced moving consultants work with you to collect detailed information about your upcoming move (date, addresses, inventory list, additional requests) and put together an all inclusive fixed rate quote for you within minutes.

It is important to share exact details of your move with us, so that we can make sure that the quote we give you actually covers everything that you need us to do. 

If you follow all of these steps, you will be in for an easy move.

QUOTE – Quotes are based on the list of items, logistics of the move and the date of the move. Once you provide this information to your moving consultant they will present you with an all inclusive transparent rate that will not be subject to change unless the details of your move change (eg. adding items, changing date, etc). Make sure to read the quote in full (terms and conditions too) and confirm that everything you mentioned made it to the inventory list.

INSURANCE OPTIONS – As required by the Department of Transportation, customer’s belongings will be covered with basic coverage of $0.60 cents per pound per damaged item. If the customer would like to additionally protect their items our moving consultants will recommend a trusted third party insurance company where the policy can be easily obtained.

Moving is not the only expense you will experience when you decide to relocate to a new place. There are a lot more costs associated with moving. Make sure to budget for rental deposit, elevator reservation fee, cost of Uber/transportation from point A to point B, as well as potential gratuity for your movers.

Preparation for the move is equally as important as the move day itself.

Step #1 would be to iron out the logistics. Decide when you are going to move, where you are going to move & what you are going to move.

Once you did all of that, provide the same information to your moving consultant. This will make sure that we are all on the same page, and that your fixed rate will stay the same on the day of the move.

Finally, we suggest that you declutter and donate/throw away items that you will not need to move. This will help you get a lower moving rate, as well as get a fresh start in your new apartment.  Of course, we also require the customers to empty out all of your furniture & pack and seal your boxes (unless they ordered the full packing service). 

We recommend scheduling your move approximately 1-2 weeks in advance for non busy dates. If you are looking to move during the peak dates (end & beginning of the month) we suggest reaching out 3-4 weeks in advance in order to secure the most affordable rate. 

Of course, most of the time we’ll be able to accommodate next day moves, and even same day moves if the schedule allows us.

Informing your super / building management about the move is very important. If you are moving in / out of the elevator building, you will need to reserve the time for the elevator use. If possible, try to secure the parking spot for the moving truck, so your move goes faster. 

If you do not reserve the move date with your landlord, you are at risk of getting your move postponed.

Packing usually takes more time than expected. To prevent yourself from packing late into the night before the move, we suggest you start packing a week in advance. 

Mark your boxes, so once the movers deliver them into the new place, unpacking will be much easier. Feel free to write more information on top of the box, such as: fragile, valuables, heavy, etc.

Usually on the day of the move you will find yourself balancing multiple tasks and putting out many fires. That’s why entrusting your pets and kids to a friend or a professional might be a good idea. Even if you are moving alone, having an extra set of eyes will be very helpful.

Last thing you’ll want to experience is moving into the new place without electricity or WiFi.

Some of the service providers might have long waiting times, so we suggest reaching out to them as soon as you sign the lease. Depending on when you get the keys to the new place, we suggest having the internet provider install the WiFi prior or right after the move. 

Switching your USPS address, as well as billing addresses on your online accounts (bank, subscriptions, etc) will also save you a lot of headaches.

When moving to a new neighborhood you’ll need to learn the ropes quick. By visiting the new neighborhood a few times before you move, you’ll find your new favorite deli, coffee shop, park, etc. By the time you move into your new place, you will fill right at home. 

2. Moving tips during the move.

Once the movers arrive it is too late to organize your items. Here are some helpful tips:

1- Put all of your boxes in one room / hallway. Boxes are the first thing that movers will move (to make more room for protecting the furniture). So having boxes near the entrance door will speed things up.

2- Put stickers on items that you are not moving. This will save you a lot of time and potential headaches, as movers will know exactly what to move and what to leave behind. Stickers can be used to mark items that are going to the extra stop, or items that are fragile.

3- Put aside the items that you will need during the move. These items are often your laptop, backpack, valuables or the WiFi router. Movers move fast and there’s a chance that your backpack might end up in the back of the truck. To avoid situations like this, we suggest having a dedicated corner of the apartment cleared out for your items that you will be using throughout the moving day.

Once the moving foreman shows up at your door these will be the first things you should take care of. We made these steps customer friendly with our super efficient moving app. We’ll collect your digital signature, scroll through the list of items and collect the payment within a few minutes.

This might sound funny, but it’s actually very common. When you are moving your brain is focused on more important things than food. Often customers find themselves hungry and dehydrated heading to the delivery location.

Prevent this by planning out your meals and drinking enough water. The best times to eat would be while the movers are loading the truck, or in between the stops.

Once all of your items make it out of the apartment, we suggest completing a move out inspection with your landlord. You should confirm that the landlord is satisfied with the state of the apartment and that your security deposit will be returned to you. Finally, hand over the keys to your landlord.

Depending on the distance between the pick up and delivery location, you might have to organize different ways of transportation. Wether it’s a five minute walk across the street, or a train ride to another borough, keep your movers posted on your ETA. By communicating together you will avoid waiting for the movers, or vice versa.

Keep in mind that moving trucks move much slower in traffic compared to regular cars – especially when it comes to long distance moves. 

3. Moving tips after the move.

Unlike packing, unpacking can last a lot longer. We suggest unpacking your electronics, dishes and clothes first. Everything else you can take your time with.

If you packed your items into boxes, you should make them flat and then discard them into the designated disposal area in your building.

If you used plastic moving bins, coordinate a pick up time with the plastic bin provider.

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