New York City – there’s no place else on Earth like it. Every year, many new people move to New York City. There’s probably no right way to move to the Big Apple, with its diverse attractions and reasons to move there. But most either move by themselves or utilize professional help. Here, we evaluate some of the biggest reasons to go solo.
Probably the biggest and most obvious reason to skip hiring professional movers is the expense. It completely depends where you’re coming from, but professional movers can be very expensive. Even if you’re moving from within New York City, it can be an arm and a leg. If you’re moving from halfway across the country, depending on the other services tacked on and the number of your possessions, it could easily end up well past thousands of dollars.
You’ll still encounter a lot of expenses, and of course, you have to do all the work and take all of the risk—but there’s no denying it, moving by yourself means you don’t have to hire others for literally days. You’ll save a bundle by moving yourself.
Total Control (Sort Of)
Professional movers are in fact professional. That said, when moving your collectible decorative plate collection or grandma’s ashes, you’re literally putting your most cherished items into someone else’s hands by hiring movers. That doesn’t mean you won’t break them, keep in mind! But it does mean all the stress of wondering just how delicate movers are being with the boxes marked “delicate” is erased.
Also, you can check all the online reviews and make sure you hire the very best, but mistakes do happen. Somehow, it feels better when we make the mistakes, rather than when somebody else does.
Calling the Shots When Things Change
New York City is big, and things can change in an instant. While moving, some of the following could happen:
Unexpected congestion on the roads—there doesn’t need to be a reason!
Weather emergencies crippling traffic, including devastating snow or hurricanes
Government shutdowns impacting traffic flows
Movie filming shutting down an area to traffic and even pedestrian flow
Strikes that put subway, cab, or other workers out of commission and more angry drivers on the road
Political events that quarantine areas
Media events that divert traffic
Protests, which often lead police to shut down areas
As you can see, just about anything can happen in New York City. When it does, traffic flows change and can cripple your ability to move. If you’re hauling everything you have, you get to call the shots. Not so when someone else is being paid.
In fact, you’re more likely to be patient and make rational moves, because you’re behind the wheel. On the other hand, your interactions with a moving company will be based on a lot of other factors, like expense.
Also, these things can happen anywhere outside of New York City, too. If you’re moving across a long stretch of city driving—think moving from Washington, D.C. to NYC—there’s a long gauntlet of things that could go wrong.
You probably don’t want to put yourself in a position where the moving company will be stuck for the next 36 hours and charging you thousands of extra dollars.
Storing Your Goods
With careful planning, this risk factor can be mitigated, but most people don’t think ahead of time about this: where is your stuff going to go? If your house, apartment, condo—wherever you’re moving into—is not yet ready and requires storage, you’ll need a place to put it. Sometimes, this happens as planned: your moving company has a storage facility, and you know it’ll need to stay there for three weeks while your place is being renovated and made ready for you.
Then, at the last minute, they need to get another permit. It’ll take 30 days. The moving company tells you they can’t hold your stuff anymore—they’d love to charge more, but they’re overbooked. So now you’re paying your moving company to haul your stuff into another storage unit. What a nightmare!
An even worse situation would be not planning on storage. In these cases, someone drops the ball and your planned living space isn’t ready when the goods arrive. Now, you’re desperately hunting for a place to store your stuff, facing hundreds of dollars in fees (and another delivery fee on top of that) all because of one person’s mistake that you couldn’t control.
True, some aspects of this scenario could play out similarly when you’re hauling your own stuff. But if it does, at least you will be in ownership of your possessions and all decision-making. This makes a world of difference not only for your peace of mind but also your finances, as—if nothing else—it’ll negate a delivery fee or two as you shuffle things between parties.
The Final Say
New York City is a magical place, which is no doubt why you can’t wait to move there. The same things we all love about New York City can make it a challenging place. No time is the challenge more apparent than when moving, a process that already tempts the hand of fate in hundreds of ways.
But with careful planning and a lot of backup options, you can make your transition to New York City a smooth success. Whether you get professional help or not is up to you. The pros and cons are best summed up simply: professionals take the worry and the control away from you, and provide you with a bill. If that’s a reality you can stomach, perhaps that’s best for you. But if you want to save a lot of money, have total control, and have an iron constitution, you just might excel at doing it all yourself.