Downsizing or Upsizing? Here’s How to Coordinate Your NYC Move

Now that you’ve decided whether to downsize or upsize your NYC apartment, it’s time to coordinate your big move! I’ve teamed up with Oz Moving to provide you with some more specific tips and tricks to tackle the task. Let’s dive in! 

If You’re Downsizing

When downsizing, you’ll have to decide what possessions to keep, whether you’ll need to temporarily store some items, and what furniture will fit the new layout. Let’s discuss how to handle each thing. 

Sorting and Purging

The first step to downsizing is deciding what possessions stay and what gets donated or trashed. Be ruthless here. You’ll likely have 1/3 to 1/2 less space. Schedule time for this and enlist help sorting. For example, NYC has many home organization professionals who can help you decide what to throw away and what to keep. And there’s also junk removal services that can help take things away for you. 

Storage Unit Reservations

Even after purging, you may need a storage unit temporarily if your new place won’t fit everything. Reserve this 60 – 90 days out once you’ve sorted your belongings. Make sure it’s easily accessible for regular retrieval (because a long drive or subway ride to get your stuff isn’t fun). Some moving companies, like Oz Moving, offer temporary storage options. So be sure to inquire about it. 

Donate Unwanted Items Sustainably

Remember to donate discarded items sustainably. Look for local charities and organizations that can reuse your unused possessions. This can help reduce waste and help your local community. Some organizations offer pick up, but you’ll need to schedule that well in advance. 

Additionally, junk removal companies can also help you get your donations where they need to go. 

Finally, remember that one person’s trash is another person’s treasure. NYC is famous for its “stooping” culture. You can leave unwanted items on the curb to see if someone else might want them. Just be sure you don’t run afoul of any DSNY trash rules when doing so! 

Floor Plan Mapping

You should use the dimensions of your new, smaller home to map out where furnishings can realistically fit. This will prevent unpleasant move-in surprises (like a giant couch that doesn’t fit). Use to-scale digital tools or cut out shapes and maps manually. 

Don’t have a floor plan? Ask your agent to help you get one. If one isn’t available, you should ask the listing agent if you can return to the property to take measurements. 

If You’re Upsizing 

By contrast, upsizing revolves around customizing and filling your new spacious digs. And if you’re purchasing, renovations might be a factor in your big move. 

Contractor Consultations

If you’re planning on doing renovations in a fixer-upper home, get contractor quotes at least 90 days out. If you can get someone in as soon as you’ve got an accepted offer, then that’s ideal. Once you have a clear closing date, book them as early as possible. Like so many things in NYC, good contractors get booked quickly. 

Furniture Shopping

Don’t wait until move-in day to figure out what new furniture you might need. Start browsing early, as backorders can significantly delay deliveries. Ask your agent if you can visit your new space at least once prior to moving in. That’ll give you a chance to better assess what you will and won’t need. 

But at the same time, make sure you’re familiar with your building’s policies about furniture delivery. Don’t assume you can just ship things to your new address whenever and however you want. The property manager or landlord can give you the information you need. 

Scheduling Your Move-In

As I’ve discussed in a previous post – you should get extra clear on how and when you can move-in. This is especially important if you’re purchasing. Don’t assume you can move-in right away as some buildings (especially larger ones) require elevator reservations. And you may also need to provide them with important documentation about your movers. 

Also, if you’re getting new, bigger furniture, make sure it can fit through hallways, doorways and elevators. If it doesn’t, then speak with your movers to see if they might be able to disassemble and reassemble it so that it does. 

One last note! Remember – everything can change in a New York minute, so try your best to plan for contingencies. Having a bit of buffer time during your move is always helpful to deal with unexpected delays. And it also doesn’t hurt to add a bit of a financial cushion to your moving budget for unexpected costs.

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