Picture this: you’re hurrying to the subway already late for work when you get a text. Time to move! Maybe your temperamental landlord has finally snapped and given you the boot. Or perhaps your not-so-reliable roommate has missed one too many rent payments. Whatever the case may be, last-minute moving happens all the time in New York City. Here are some helpful tips to get you through it.
Invest in garbage bags. In a perfect world, you’d have the time to neatly pack and organize your belongings into carefully labeled boxes. Unfortunately, that world does not exist today. Instead, spring for a jumbo box of garbage bags and fill them up fast! Resist the urge to refold the hundred hoodies you never wear, or sift through that pile of old bills and crumpled receipts. You’ll have plenty of time to reorganize once you’re settled in at your new place. For now – everything must go! Pro tip: Clear garbage bags are your best bet for avoiding a scavenger hunt later.
Be resourceful. If you’re moving in one day, odds are that you haven’t had a chance to buy boxes, bubble wrap, or packing peanuts. Luckily, lots of items that you already have can serve a dual purpose. Use your bath towels to wrap fragile glassware. Old T-shirts make excellent padding for delicate tchotchkes or cosmetics. Suitcases, hampers, and laundry bags can even be used in place of boxes (or garbage bags, as the case may be). There are plenty of ways to use what you already have to facilitate the moving process. Just look around and get creative.
Lighten your load. As you are packing, you will inevitably encounter some items that you could live without. Things that you either don’t have use for anymore or have been planning to replace anyway. Instead of lugging that stack of old books with you, make someone’s day by leaving them on the curb. Better yet, schedule a same-day pickup to donate old clothing to charity. There are plenty of organizations that provide this service for free!
Recruit friends. More bodies equals more hands, which equals fewer trips up and down the stairs of your walk-up. Plus, friends can provide much-needed moral support to help get you through the day. Pro tip: Offer your friends first dibs on any furniture you can’t take with you. This subtle form of bribery will further help lighten your load.
Pack an overnight bag. The last thing you need is to pack your entire life into garbage bags only to realize that the shirt you need for work the next day is nestled somewhere at the bottom. Make sure to pack a small bag with all of the essentials: toothbrush, pajamas, clean undies, and one or two outfits that will get you through the next few hectic days. You might also want to include valuable items, like your passport, laptop, and car keys to prevent them from getting lost in the fray.
Hire a man with a van. For help moving your larger items, you’re gonna need some wheels and some manpower. Luckily, New York City is abundant with advertisements for Man with a Van services. Unlike big moving companies, Man with a Van usually doesn’t require too much advanced notice and tends to have lower rates. Of course, make sure you’re safe (another reason to recruit friends) and also that the person you hire is legit. Below are three vetted recs for reliable, responsive (i.e., get back to you fast) and cheap and fast local movers: