The History of NYC’s Moving Day + New York Moving Tips

It may seem impossible to believe today, but there was a time in the not too distant past when nearly everyone in New York City moved…on the same day.

Prior to World War II, February 1st was known as “Rent Day” in New York City.  On that day landlords would inform tenants what their new rent would be at the beginning of the next quarter.  Renters would then spend the next few months seeking out better deals elsewhere.  All leases in the city would then expire simultaneously at 9:00 a.m. on May 1st, leaving thousands of people taking to the streets at the same time as they changed residency.

If you move to New York City today you likely won’t be sharing your moving day with thousands and thousands of other people, but you will face a more contemporary set of challenges.  Here are a few New York moving tips that will hopefully help make things easier for you.

  • We’re not trying to rain on anyone’s parade here, but unless you’re really well off financially New York City can be cost prohibitive in many ways.  So when looking for a place to live, be ready to choose between rent, location and size, because you’re not getting all three.  You’re probably not likely to even get two of the three.
  • If you’ve never lived in a big city, consider a month-to-month rental.  These apartments tend to be older, smaller and in less ideal places in the city, but if you’re unfamiliar with New York they’re a great option for helping you get some bearings in the city and get a better idea of your budget before you commit to a year-long lease.
  • Tiny New York City apartments have become a stereotype in film and television, but this is one of those times when the stereotype developed because it’s true.  Save yourself something on your rent by going with a smaller apartment.  Keep seasonal furnishings, clothing and possessions nearby without cluttering your apartment by renting a storage unit on the outskirts of the city (or even across the river in New Jersey).
  • Consider selling/giving away/donating your furniture rather than moving it.  There are plenty of places in New York to find affordable furniture, including everyone’s favorite…IKEA.  Selling your old furniture will leave you with you with extra cash from both the sale and the savings on moving costs.  New York City’s streets weren’t made for moving trucks.  Going with new furniture will save you a lot of time, hassle and aggravation.
  • Love your car?  It won’t take much NYC gridlock to change your mind.  Add in the high cost of parking (which could be even more than your rent), and you might be better off just selling your car.  If that’s a thought you can’t bear, check with storage facilities outside the city for the cost and availability of parking space.

Moving to New York City can be intimidating, but if you prepare yourself for some realities it doesn’t have to be terrifying (or even worse, disappointing).  Self storage in New York can be a great option for making moving to, and living in, New York easier and more affordable.