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Steinway Moving & Storage: Your New York City Moving Company
NYC Moving Company

Steinway Moving & Storage: Your New York City Moving Company

For many, the lure of moving to the big city is a dream too big to pass up. No matter the borough, the appeal of living at the center of it all strikes a chord for people from all walks of life.

Before taking the leap, it is crucial to do your research into the neighborhoods and their nuances, the apartment style that best suits your lifestyle, the qualities to look for in a reputable New York City moving company, important questions to ask, and all the necessary preparatory steps leading up to the big day—which will go a long way in ensuring your transition is as seamless as possible.

New York City is a melting pot of cultures, and each borough serves as its own miniature version of the Big Apple, with unique flavors and offerings. While there is far too much to encapsulate completely, here’s just a small sampling of the biggest attractions, along with a few select neighborhoods to explore in your quest for your potential new home.  

This comprehensive resource guide breaks down everything you'll need to know about moving to New York City, from helpful moving tips and descriptions of each of its five boroughs and several popular neighborhoods, to advice on picking your new digs, choosing the right mover, preparing for the move, last-minute and often-overlooked moving 'essentials,' and much more.

Consider this the ultimate New York City Moving Guide.

 

 

 

Part 1

The Five Boroughs

The Bronx

Each of the five boroughs has its own charm, and the Bronx is no exception. Home to such landmarks as Yankees Stadium, the Bronx Zoo and the New York Botanical Garden, it has more to offer than meets the eye, including the city’s largest stretch of greenery in Pelham Bay Park—three times more expansive than its slightly better-known Manhattan neighbor, Central Park. Foodies can also find what many consider to be the “real” Little Italy on Arthur Avenue, a street you can literally eat your way through, lined with ample meat and fish markets, restaurants, bakeries and pastry shops.

One of the most popular, and yet surprisingly affordable neighborhoods is Riverdale, nestled between Manhattan, the Hudson River and Van Cortlandt Park. With an average rental price of just over $2,000 a month, this Old World neighborhood is the perfect locale for those who want to experience city life while enjoying the comforts of suburbia, just a 25-minute Metro-North ride away from the bustle of Manhattan.

Brooklyn

Known for its diversity, striking architecture, and world-class food, Brooklyn has become a veritable melting pot for people from all walks of life. A cultural hub, there are roughly 700 art galleries and theaters that call this largest borough home, in addition to a burgeoning downtown Cultural District. Of course, you can’t forget the world-famous Coney Island and its resident Cyclone, the landmark Brooklyn Bridge, and the beautiful Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

Depending on what type of environment you are looking to reside in, Brooklyn has a neighborhood to suit every need. Prospect Heights features lush, tree-lined streets and classic 1890’s brownstones right alongside modern buildings, giving a multi-dimensional vibe to this small cultural cornerstone. If waterfront living is more your style, Bay Ridge is a perfect, family centric locale, featuring breathtaking views of the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge. Greenpoint, often referred to as a “less-expensive Williamsburg,” can best be classified as an up-and-coming neighborhood, home to many young families and a local flavor all its own. (And plenty of mouthwatering, homemade pierogies!)

Manhattan

Of course, when people mention “the city,” they are most often referring to Manhattan, the literal and figurative heartbeat connecting all five of the boroughs. Considered to be the epicenter of the world by many, Manhattan is home to countless tourist attractions, including Central Park, the Empire State Building, Times Square, Rockefeller Center and Broadway, to name just a handful. Of course, we can’t forget the museums, restaurants and secret hideaways that even native New Yorkers might have difficulty spotting.

Though Manhattan can run a bit pricey, there are a few neighborhoods that are far more affordable for those itching for the opportunity to live in the so-called "City That Never Sleeps." The Lower East Side, with its strategic proximity to a number of thriving districts, such as Chinatown, the East Village and NoHo, is known for its art scene, delectable cuisine and engaging nightlife; but don’t let the façade fool you, it’s also home to some of the most highly valued schools and family friendly cooperative buildings. Murray Hill, located right in midtown Manhattan, is similarly prized for its close proximity to Grand Central Station and its laid-back vibe.

Queens

The bridge between Long Island and New York City, Queens tends to take a backseat to the other four boroughs in misinformed conversations about culture, despite having much to offer in its own right. Several of the most prominent museums and art centers can be found right here, from the New York Hall of Science to the Queens Museum. Also prevalent is its parkland, as Queens is home to three of the top 10 parks in New York City, including Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. And of course, let’s not forget Citi Field, beloved stomping grounds of the New York Mets!

Queens is arguably the most ethnically diverse borough, with neighborhoods that range from urban to decidedly suburban. Sunnyside, with its proximity to LaGuardia Community College and numerous mass transit options, has a decidedly younger vibe than its neighbors. For those looking for a convenient commute to downtown Manhattan with waterfront views, the up-and-coming hub of Long Island City has become an artistic and culinary haven. Astoria, mostly known for its cuisine and nightlife, makes its mark as a neighborhood bustling with family owned businesses. (And oh, that Greek food!)

Staten Island

Last but certainly not least, Staten Island possesses its own unique charm as a (somewhat) “forgotten borough.” Known for its old-school tradition, as well as a deep appreciation for Italian cuisine, it also holds the title as the greenest of the five, home to 12,300 acres of protected parkland. Staten Island is twice the size of Manhattan with only one-third its occupants, making it the ideal location for families looking to put down roots on a piece of property complete with a backyard.

One of the most-sought-after neighborhoods is St. George, nestled next to Manhattan, offering waterfront views and a quick commute. One wouldn’t think a mode of transportation would serve as a notable tourist attraction, but the Staten Island Ferry serves as just that, shuttling passengers to and from New York City daily, past the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. The best part? It’s free!

 

Part 2

Picking A Place

Once you’ve decided on your borough of choice, it’s time to determine which type of apartment best suits your particular lifestyle. There are countless options to choose from, depending upon your budget, number of potential inhabitants, and your individual needs and preferences.

Here are just a few of the most popular apartment styles: 

One-Bedroom 

An apartment with one “true” bedroom, including a window, closet and door, along with adequate space to fit a dresser and bed.

 

Two-Bedroom

Similar to the one-bedroom model, but with double the aforementioned “true” bedrooms.

 

Townhouse

Typically offers such suburban amenities as a private backyard and eat-in kitchen.

 


Brownstone

 

A particular style of townhouse made of brown sandstone.

 

Walkup

Generally six levels or less, this type of building has no elevator.

 

Railroad

Comprised of a straight floor plan, with one room leading directly into the next; no hallways.

 

Studio

One room with a full bathroom and kitchen; sometimes includes a partition.

 

Micro Studio

Usually ranges from 230 to 360 square feet; features big windows, ample storage space, a kitchenette and balcony.

 

Loft

A large, open living space, typically converted from an industrial building; has high ceilings and large windows.

 

Co-Op

Owned by shareholders, each apartment may be sublet after a thorough approval process by the co-op board.

 

Condo

Units are privately owned, while common areas are designated as collective property.

 

Duplex

Two separate adjoining floors are connected by an interior, private staircase.

During the apartment-hunting process, it’s important to familiarize yourself with certain common terms so that you have all the information you need to make an informed decision.

The following are a handful of essential terms to know:

Rent Stabilized vs.
Non-Stabilized

Rent Stabilization insures that your rent cannot increase annually more than a designated percentage, as set by law. Non-Stabilized rents may increase once a lease ends, based on the lease manager’s individual discretion.

No Fee

When using a broker to find an apartment, the finder’s fee may be waived if it is being paid by the building owner.

Pre-War vs. Post-War

Designating when a building was built, pre-war refers to those constructed prior to World War II; these are generally valued at a higher rate.

Security Deposit

Paid by the tenant prior to moving in, this amount is held by the landlord for the duration of the lease, and returned at the conclusion, pending a property damage assessment.

Renter's Insurance

A type of optional insurance which can include a renter’s personal property, as well as liability coverage.

Part 3

Choosing Your New York Moving Company

Once you’ve nailed down the location, it’s time to shop for a mover.

This is a crucial component to your transplant, as the moving company you select will be the one walking you through each step of what can tend to be an often stressful process.

There are several qualifications to note when searching for a reputable New York moving company.

To start, it is advisable to look for American Moving & Storage Association (AMSA) members, as this designation indicates they have passed background screenings with government authorities, as well as with their chapter of the Better Business Bureau. ProMover members are ideal candidates, as these companies have taken the extra step of completing a quality certification program designed for those AMSA members who provide both local moving, and interstate services.

For those moving within New York City, the state requires that all local movers be registered with the New York State Department of Transportation, as well as the Motor Carrier Compliance Bureau

Of course, there is no substitute for reviews from prior customers, as they provide the best indication of the services a moving company typically provides.

After making an initial contact with a particular company, there are several important questions to ask to help narrow down your options and determine the best fit.

These include:

  • What is the company’s history/experience with moving? A company with a solid name in the game is a great indication of longevity and reputation.

  • What types of estimates do they give? Know the difference between binding and non-binding estimates, as well as the criteria of a “not-to-exceed” estimate.

  • Does the quote include any extra or hidden charges? There may be additional fees based on weight or distance; confirm these up front.

  • What forms of payment do they accept? Cash-only is a red flag. It is also advisable to inquire if deposits are refundable.

  • Is there a company they can recommend if you wish to declare valuation? In general, basic valuation is 60 centers per pound, per item. Full Value Protection can be purchased to cover all belongings.

  • What is the process if something breaks or goes missing? It is important to verify each company’s policy.

 

Part 4

Prep Makes Perfect

Once you have done your due diligence and chosen the best mover for the job, the difficult part is over!

Now, it’s on to the business of packing and organizing your information to make the transition as seamless as possible.

While everyone may have a slightly different time frame when it comes to preparing for a move, the earlier you can begin the process of sorting through your belongings and categorizing items, the better. Those that can be discarded or donated should be set aside first, so as to better assess the number of boxes that will be needed, how best to pack what remains and—most importantly—come up with a system for organizing and labeling it all.

It’s a good idea to put together a personal checklist in the months leading up to moving day to make sure you have the essentials taken care of:

Gather Your Personal Records

These include medical records, veterinary files, prescriptions and any other documents you may need. When: One to two months before.

Cancel Any Recurring Charges

Location-specific memberships, such as gyms or yoga studios, may be able to be transferred to a locale closer to your new home; if not, they should be deactivated. When: One month before.

Set Up Your Utilities

It’s a good idea to contact all service providers, both old and new, in preparation for your move. Arrange for a “service stop date” the day after the move; likewise, schedule the “service start date” at the new location for the day prior. When: Two to four weeks before.

Update Your Voter Registration

This can be done by mail, in person or onlineWhen: In New York State, 25 days prior to the election.

Inform Your Car Insurance Company

The Department of Motor Vehicles requires you notify your auto insurance company immediately of any plans to move. When: ASAP.

Register Your Change of Address with the Post Office

The USPS enables you to easily update your information online. When: Two weeks before.

Bring Back Your Library Books

Don’t forget to return any outstanding library materials, and be sure to inform the library to cancel your card. When: One week before.

Organize Your Bills

It may be advisable to set up Auto Pay for any accounts that offer this option, to ease the transition. When: One week before.

Collect Your Spare Keys

Recollect any extra sets you may have given to family, friends and neighbors prior to vacating the premises. When: One week before.

Take Pictures of Your Electronic Set-Up

It doesn’t hurt to document the layout of wiring prior to unplugging, and perhaps labeling each with masking tape, for good measure. When: Once you pack your electronics.

Leave the Garage Door Opener

Remember to remove this from your car and leave it for the next tenants. When: Day of move.  


Part 5

The Big Day

After months of preparation leading up to the big move, it’s easy to forget several essentials you will need on the day itself.

You may want to set aside the following items a few days before, to ensure you have everything easily accessible:

Documents

It’s best to collect all important paperwork in one place, making sure to label items such as your moving documents, insurance policies, rent leases, bank documents, employment history, doctor/vet records, and credit documents.

Packing Supplies

Be sure to have extra packing tape, boxes, bags, bubble wrap, and old newspapers on hand.

Medication

A small first aid kit can come in handy, including painkillers, allergy medicine, antacid, cold remedies, bandages, and any daily prescriptions you, your children or pets might need in a pinch.

Bathroom Supplies

Include a small toiletry bag filled with essentials, such as your toothbrush, a razor, deodorant, shampoo and shower gels—and of course, toilet paper!

For the Children

It’s always useful to have a few favorite toys or books easily accessible.

For the Pets

Have clean food and water bowls ready, along with food, treats, and a comforting blanket or toy.

Food and Drinks

Don’t forget to pack a cooler full of snacks, sandwiches and beverages for the ride; or, if you’re not traveling too far, to enjoy a quick bite in the new home!

The Old House

You wouldn’t want to walk into a messy living space, so be sure to tidy up for the new tenants before you vacate your home for the last time.

 

Part 6

The New Digs

Once you’re settled into your new abode, there are a few uniquely New York tips and tricks to help you adjust to the neighborhood.

In addition to scoping out the area for necessities, like your favorite coffee shop and the nearest grocery store, you’ll need help navigating the best route to work each morning, the maze of mass transit, and the safest place to store your car.

Bridges, Tunnels & Tolls

If you live in one of the five boroughs, chances are you will have need to cross a bridge or traverse through a tunnel during your residency. For a list of the most up-to-date tolls, E-ZPass discounts, and any closures or scheduled construction, visit http://web.mta.info/bandt/traffic/btmain.html.

Street Closures:

Whether due to parades and festivals, or construction, repair and paving projects, seldom a day goes by without some sort of street closure in New York City. Be prepared and plan alternate routes by visiting http://maps.nyc.gov/streetclosure/ and checking out the area you plan to travel through beforehand.

Alternate Side Parking/Street Cleaning:

You found the perfect NYC home, now to find the perfect NYC parking space… Many streets in New York have alternate side regulations, which allow for street cleaning on rotating days during allotted times. To keep up on the schedule, holiday suspensions and weather-related exceptions, visit http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/html/motorist/alternate-side-parking.shtml.

 

Part 7

Home Sweet Home

Congratulations! You are now a New York City resident. That wasn’t so bad, was it?

At Steinway Moving & Storage, our mission is to make what can be a stressful process as easy as possible by never losing sight of what matters most—the people we serve. We provide professional and accredited moving and storage services for both luxury and commercial residents throughout New York City, and pride ourselves on our unmatched attention to detail and genuine hands-on approach with each and every customer. 

For further information or to request a quote, contact Steinway Moving & Storage at 718.278.9090 or email Info@SteinwayMovers.com.