New York City is a dense, chaotic, and beautiful place. Any given day, any given moment, the unexpected not only could happen, but will. If you live in New York City, you already know this, and you probably would agree it’s the city’s best and worst quality.
Regardless of how you feel about it, there’s no denying it makes moving within New York City a heck of a challenge. That’s why the decision of whether to move yourself within New York City or to hire professional movers, is quite possibly more critical than anywhere else. There’s a lot to consider, so we’ll break down what you can expect with each route.
It’s moving day, and you’re ready to pick up all your packed items and furniture from your old location. Here’s how it plays out in each scenario.
Moving yourself, you’ll possibly spend a while hunting for the best place to park. You may have to negotiate with others more than you’d like. There may be some uncertainty as to whether you can park at a certain place, and for how long.
Depending on how much help you have, you may also realize for the first time you might not have sufficient eyes on your possessions while they’re being loaded on the street. You also realize for the first time your help doesn’t know as much as you thought about how to properly load. You find yourself trying to politely delegate jobs so that the person who knows how to properly stack boxes does that, but then find that he’s also the strong one you need carrying items down the stairs.
With professional movers, you avoid the parking problem. They arrive with tools you didn’t have access to and don’t need to delegate jobs because these tools make everyone equally strong. Someone is always at the truck, and now you’re free to oversee the process, anyway. But it all goes according to plan, and you decide to grab a hot dog instead.
On the road
Moving yourself. Let’s be generous and say you didn’t misjudge the size of truck you’ll need. This is only going to be one trip. Let’s also say you rented a truck, and don’t have to deal with the nightmare of loading multiple cars—that’s a whole other, self-explanatory scenario.
For some reason, the traffic is really agitating you. It doesn’t seem worse than any other day, but you’re wary of your possessions jostling about in a truck you don’t have any experience driving. You finally arrive, and the place the landlord said you could park has a vehicle in it. You drive in circles, nervous to parallel park this unfamiliar truck.
With professional movers, you follow behind the truck, surprised they took a route that’s longer, but everything goes smoothly because this route has less traffic and is easier to navigate in a truck. It actually takes less time to arrive this way.
The movers have the same problem of a vehicle parked where they were supposed to be able to park, but one communicates with the landlord while the other parallel parks with ease in a place you wouldn’t dare try.
Moving into the new place
Moving yourself, you’ve finally arrived and are ready to just get everything over with. Half of your help decides they’re sore and want a break, but you’ve parked in a place you can only park in for an hour. You decide to push it, and get started with 30 minutes to move. You try to rush, and someone hurts themselves but insists they’re fine.
While worrying about your friend’s back, the building manager arrives asking to see your insurance. He tells you-you can’t move stuff into your new place without it, and you try to have a calm conversation while worrying about your friend, the fate of your belongings, what the heck this insurance is, and … Oh no, you’re late! You have to move the truck.
You tell the building manager you’ll be right back, and dash out to the road, shocked that a full half hour has passed, only to find a ticket on your truck.
With professional movers, one of the employees hunts down the building manager and exchanges insurance information. The rest set up their tools, and begin unloading.
No one is injured, the truck is not parked in a precarious spot, and the process feels like it’s over before it started.
Moving yourself, of course, could have gone perfectly. You could have been lucky and not encountered the insurance situation or had the foresight to care for it beforehand. Your help could be in top shape. You could have been lucky with traffic.
The reality is, that’s not likely. The reality is, in fact, that moving yourself is a gamble, and you don’t know whether these factors will happen or not.
With professional movers, things could still go wrong, as well. The advantage is that when the movers have a hard time finding a spot, get stuck in traffic, or even if one of their workers injures themselves, you’re not liable. This is a huge reduction of stress, time, and energy.
Again, the unknown can happen—but whether they happen or not has much less bearing on the end result.
Of course, you’ll also get a bill. But as you can see, there are many factors that might make moving yourself not just mentally and emotionally expensive, but financially expensive as well. With a professional, it’s choosing the known versus the unknown.
The Final Say
When it comes to moving in New York City, there are many factors that are outside of our control. Whether you do it yourself or utilize a professional moving service, you’ll need to think about each of the outlined pros and cons to determine which is better for you. If you stay calm under stress, have a fit team of people ready to help, and know the streets like a pro and can handle driving a big truck, it’s worth considering moving on your own.
If you want to avoid a thousand stress points, save yourself time and energy, and rely on professionals who know how to get the job done, and don’t mind paying for their service, professional movers is the best bet.
The choice is ultimately up to you, but one thing is clear: hiring movers isn’t free, but you get what you pay for!