Author Topic: Moving apartments cheaply and efficiently  (Read 1254 times)

EricNYC

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Moving apartments cheaply and efficiently
« on: November 02, 2019, 12:04:31 PM »
I can't renew my lease and staying in my current building doesn't seem feasible. Besides, it'd probably be a $250-350 increase in rent to move to another apartment in my current building, and my commute would remain at an awful 60-70 minutes each way.

Thankfully I've got until the end of January, and I've been fairly Mustachian this whole time. But this is the first place I've lived since striking out on my own, so what started as a couple carloads of clothing, books, and a laptop is now a full one bedroom's worth of stuff.

I don't own my own car (see the "NYC") but I've got a couple of friends with SUVs I could get help from -- though I've got to move between 9am and 5pm which complicates things. I've checked a few different movers for quotes and am budgeting $800 if I have to get movers.

I'm looking for general tips on moving and apartment hunting. For example: I know it's cheaper to pack your own stuff rather than have the movers do it, and I'd prefer to do it myself anyway. But those big old cardboard boxes are expensive, and I don't like buying non-reusable stuff, so is there an alternative for them?

I'd also be grateful for any other moving tips, of course.

Malcat

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Re: Moving apartments cheaply and efficiently
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2019, 12:25:36 PM »
In my city there are moving companies that will drop off large plastic boxes 1 week before your move and pick them up 1 week later.

Hirondelle

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Re: Moving apartments cheaply and efficiently
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2019, 12:34:53 PM »
Cardboard boxes from the supermarket?

Also, declutter, declutter, declutter. I usually move with a backpack, about 2 boxes of kitchenware and a handfull of 'loose' things that I consider too bulky for a box (e.g. vacuum, drying rack). It makes life much easier. Try to get back to that 'carload of clothes, book and a laptop'.

GizmoTX

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Re: Moving apartments cheaply and efficiently
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2019, 12:37:26 PM »
In my city there are moving companies that will drop off large plastic boxes 1 week before your move and pick them up 1 week later.

I used BungoBox.com during our recent move & will definitely do it again. The boxes are clean, super strong, securely close without tape, & stack nicely.

Linea_Norway

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Re: Moving apartments cheaply and efficiently
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2019, 12:47:02 PM »
Do you have a driver's license? Is borrowing your friend's car during office time an option? Or renting a car for a day? Maybe with a trailer? Or a little van?

We can buy cheap style, but good enough carton boxes at building stores and at Ikea. Also ask around if anyone has them laying around from their last move and can donate them to you.

Think that everyting you can sell second hand, can be bought back for a similar price at a similar quality. So you could sell thing now and buy back later. Something DH and I consider if we are moving to another part of the country.

EricNYC

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Re: Moving apartments cheaply and efficiently
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2019, 12:59:35 PM »
Cardboard boxes from the supermarket?

Also, declutter, declutter, declutter. I usually move with a backpack, about 2 boxes of kitchenware and a handfull of 'loose' things that I consider too bulky for a box (e.g. vacuum, drying rack). It makes life much easier. Try to get back to that 'carload of clothes, book and a laptop'.

Good idea. There's plenty stuff I have no need for. I could also keep most of my work related books at the office for the interim - just drop one or two off in my cube every day. That should save a box or two, which isn't a lot, but I'd be an idiot to not do that when it's just so easy.

But I think I can only pare my things down so much. There's plenty of stuff that it just makes no sense to part with, like my desk, dining table, and couch, which I got great deals on and total to about as much as movers would (the desk was a birthday gift, but still). I'm planning to sign a lease that starts sometime January, which gives me a couple of weeks overlap to move stuff over. I've yet to do the hard math on it, and I may be looking at it the wrong way, though. :)

Do you have a driver's license? Is borrowing your friend's car during office time an option? Or renting a car for a day? Maybe with a trailer? Or a little van?

We can buy cheap style, but good enough carton boxes at building stores and at Ikea. Also ask around if anyone has them laying around from their last move and can donate them to you.

Think that everyting you can sell second hand, can be bought back for a similar price at a similar quality. So you could sell thing now and buy back later. Something DH and I consider if we are moving to another part of the country.

I never got a license (long story!) though I'm going to start taking lessons once I move. Thankfully, many of my friends work nonstandard schedules, and there's also options on how I could pay 'em back.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2019, 01:20:33 PM by EricNYC »

zygote

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Re: Moving apartments cheaply and efficiently
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2019, 08:40:40 AM »
Yeah, NYC moving is a little bit different than when I've done it elsewhere.

I don't really trust used boxes by dumpsters like I might in other areas. You never know what they've been exposed to... Try craigslist. Maybe you'll see some listings of people getting rid of their used moving boxes. Or ask around at your work to see if you can take some boxes from shipments over the next few months.

I also agree it makes sense to just move with your furniture if you like it. Replacing it, especially without a van (like most of us in the city), can be just as expensive and annoying as moving what you already have.

Most of my friends rent a U-Haul for the day to move themselves. I see you don't have a license (and even with a license trying to drive a U-Haul in NYC can be terrifying), so it'd be great if one of your friends can help out. You can probably also negotiate with your buildings about the hours of the move. They all say they want the move done during business hours, but that's not realistic for a lot of people. I see plenty of moves happening at weird hours. I think as long as you're not trying to do it in the middle of the night and bother your neighbors with the noise they're usually okay with it.

If not, there are a ton of moving companies that range from cheap to ridiculously expensive. The last time I moved (7 years ago now), I had a good experience with Two Men And A Truck. It was reasonably priced and they did a good job, including carrying everything up the stairs of my walk up and maneuvering my bed through a too-small doorway.

Good luck!

EricNYC

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Re: Moving apartments cheaply and efficiently
« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2019, 09:47:57 AM »
Yeah, NYC moving is a little bit different than when I've done it elsewhere.

I don't really trust used boxes by dumpsters like I might in other areas. You never know what they've been exposed to... Try craigslist. Maybe you'll see some listings of people getting rid of their used moving boxes. Or ask around at your work to see if you can take some boxes from shipments over the next few months.

I also agree it makes sense to just move with your furniture if you like it. Replacing it, especially without a van (like most of us in the city), can be just as expensive and annoying as moving what you already have.

Most of my friends rent a U-Haul for the day to move themselves. I see you don't have a license (and even with a license trying to drive a U-Haul in NYC can be terrifying), so it'd be great if one of your friends can help out. You can probably also negotiate with your buildings about the hours of the move. They all say they want the move done during business hours, but that's not realistic for a lot of people. I see plenty of moves happening at weird hours. I think as long as you're not trying to do it in the middle of the night and bother your neighbors with the noise they're usually okay with it.

If not, there are a ton of moving companies that range from cheap to ridiculously expensive. The last time I moved (7 years ago now), I had a good experience with Two Men And A Truck. It was reasonably priced and they did a good job, including carrying everything up the stairs of my walk up and maneuvering my bed through a too-small doorway.

Good luck!

Thank you!

I got my couch and dinner table for $650 total from my landlady, and the desk was a birthday gift. I'm thinking that since that's close enough to my moving estimate, it'd be worth it to get a truck just for the furniture -- if we were talking about a cross country move, I'd be singing a different tune.

It's possible that I could use a truck only for the furniture. My job's fine with me changing my hours so I could move that, or even do it off-hours if it's just clothes, books, kitchen stuff, and computer stuff so I could recruit a friend for their car and pay them back or get them something in return.

My current building is a bit curmudgeony. I rent in a co-op where most own, there's very few other people under 40 or 45, and it's shockingly rare for someone to say hello back to me. I get along great with my landlady, it's just that they changed their laws to cap how long a renter can stay. All that said, I'd be very shocked if they were mad about a couple guys bringing cardboard boxes through the lobby on Saturday afternoon.

All in all I'm sure I'll be fine, but why waste $ when you can ask smart people for advice :)

GizmoTX

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Re: Moving apartments cheaply and efficiently
« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2019, 10:41:20 AM »
If you do use a local mover, typically 2 men & a truck, be aware that they usually have a minimum time. So have all your boxes ready to go along with your furniture, have the movers transfer the furniture, & have them take the boxes if you're not at the halfway time point. We did several moves like this for DS' college apartment, where it saved money to move & store his stuff for the summer rather than pay for an empty apartment.

Zikoris

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Re: Moving apartments cheaply and efficiently
« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2019, 11:21:27 AM »
Last time we moved to a new building we hired a random dude with a truck off Craigslist and paid like... $120? $150? Something like that? We also got rid of a bunch of stuff first. That was two truck loads. It did include a washing machine though. We could probably swing one truck load now, since we don't have a washing machine or bed frame anymore, and are more minimalist.

Villanelle

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Re: Moving apartments cheaply and efficiently
« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2019, 11:39:39 AM »
Craigslist, NextDoor, and Facebook groups often have people selling or even giving away their moving boxes.

Hirondelle

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Re: Moving apartments cheaply and efficiently
« Reply #11 on: November 03, 2019, 11:56:06 AM »
Cardboard boxes from the supermarket?

Also, declutter, declutter, declutter. I usually move with a backpack, about 2 boxes of kitchenware and a handfull of 'loose' things that I consider too bulky for a box (e.g. vacuum, drying rack). It makes life much easier. Try to get back to that 'carload of clothes, book and a laptop'.

Good idea. There's plenty stuff I have no need for. I could also keep most of my work related books at the office for the interim - just drop one or two off in my cube every day. That should save a box or two, which isn't a lot, but I'd be an idiot to not do that when it's just so easy.

But I think I can only pare my things down so much. There's plenty of stuff that it just makes no sense to part with, like my desk, dining table, and couch, which I got great deals on and total to about as much as movers would (the desk was a birthday gift, but still). I'm planning to sign a lease that starts sometime January, which gives me a couple of weeks overlap to move stuff over. I've yet to do the hard math on it, and I may be looking at it the wrong way, though. :)


Sure, for big furniture I wouldn't recommend getting rid of it and getting new unless it's a long distance move. But as you said yourself, get rid of what you can because every book that you don't need to carry from one place to another will matter :)

lizzzi

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Re: Moving apartments cheaply and efficiently
« Reply #12 on: November 03, 2019, 12:07:42 PM »
A liquor store is a good place to get cardboard boxes.

MoolahLula

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Re: Moving apartments cheaply and efficiently
« Reply #13 on: November 03, 2019, 12:15:28 PM »
If your workplace uses a lot of paper, the boxes that printer paper come in are pretty sturdy and come with lids if they donít get separated in use.  See if there are any empty paper boxes you can take home.  Good for packing up small books, dvds, kitchen bricabrac. 

blingwrx

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Re: Moving apartments cheaply and efficiently
« Reply #14 on: November 03, 2019, 09:35:37 PM »
Just walk outside during recycling collection day. Tons of boxes being tossed out. Online shopping is huge these days not hard to find good condition boxes for free especially with Black Friday coming up. If you buy stuff online or know friends who do save all those boxes. No fragile items Like Clothes you can pack in laundry bags or garbage bags.

Def would not pay $800 to move especially if itís within a few miles which most moves are within this city. Thereís plenty of cheaper options. Get a friend to Rent a uhual truck or van. The furniture might not fit in an SUV unless your able to take the couch apart.

lizzzi

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Re: Moving apartments cheaply and efficiently
« Reply #15 on: November 04, 2019, 04:54:22 AM »
Be careful about packing clothing in garbage bags. In the hullabaloo of moving day, it's all too easy for somebody to throw out your clothing along with the real garbage. (I'm not saying not to do it--just be careful.)

Malcat

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Re: Moving apartments cheaply and efficiently
« Reply #16 on: November 04, 2019, 05:40:23 AM »
Be careful about packing clothing in garbage bags. In the hullabaloo of moving day, it's all too easy for somebody to throw out your clothing along with the real garbage. (I'm not saying not to do it--just be careful.)

Coloured bags are great for this.

Treb3

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Re: Moving apartments cheaply and efficiently
« Reply #17 on: November 05, 2019, 07:25:02 AM »
Medical companies like hospices etc. throw away SO MANY clean/I'm good shape boxes every week. I'm sure they would let you take some.

debbie does duncan

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Re: Moving apartments cheaply and efficiently
« Reply #18 on: November 05, 2019, 09:49:27 AM »
Check Home Depot for their van rental rates. A very large orange van  for the day and no milage fees may be just what you need.

GizmoTX

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Re: Moving apartments cheaply and efficiently
« Reply #19 on: November 05, 2019, 02:40:33 PM »
Home Depot sells clear leaf bags -- these are what we use for soft things like bedding, pillows, clothing, so that we can see the contents & know it's not trash. The bags also provide another layer inside boxes to keep the contents clean.