This is part of my Living in New York series. Read the first part here.
Woo-hoo! You've decided to move to New York! That's so exciting! But now, the logistics of moving to a city are starting to sink in. It can be a completely overwhelming process that requires a lot of things to happen at once.
Below are some tips and tricks I found that worked well for me, and some that I wish I knew beforehand.
- Find a place to stay for your first 2-4 weeks.
Don't worry about apartment hunting until you actually get to the city. It moves too fast, is a little complicated, and too exhausting to try and find your apartment remotely. If you don't have any friends that can host you for 2 weeks, consider finding a sublet on Craigslist. Living with strangers is totally normal in New York. I almost consider it a right of passage of sorts. You're able to meet new people right away, and save a little money in the process. If you're not comfortable with Craigslist, there are other options like a private Airbnb and The Webster Apartment.
When I first moved here, I subletted an apartment with three other people for my first six weeks. I chatted with them on Skype before I moved so that I could 'see' the apartment, and make sure they were relatively normal and sane (which, they totally were!). Staying there was key for me. I was able to start my job with a place I could routinely come home too, but it also gave me enough time to find an apartment. You can definitely find an apartment in NYC in under a week, but giving yourself at least 2 weeks to hit the ground running will be key. I'll talk more about apartment searching next week.
- Think about what you'll really need in New York.
Spoiler alert: it's not much! I moved here with two suitcases. Once I found my apartment, my parents used a local moving company to move 14 boxes and a chair to my apartment. I think I had about 2 boxes of stuff too much, but overall, I came here with not a lot of 'things'. Of those 14 boxes, there were probably 4 scrapbook boxes. For me, those were mandatory ;)
Closet space here is a luxury. I would recommend bringing only two suitcases full of clothes and shoes. Anything else, you probably don't need, even though you will think you will. For shoes, think about practicality. You'll want to bring more flat shoes than heels, because you'll be walking everywhere. It's common here for women to either bring heels with them to work every day, or keep them stashed in a drawer at their desk, but they usually rotate the same 3-4 heels. Obviously, if you work in fashion, maybe that will be a little different. But, the key thing is that you can always buy more clothes and shoes once you get here (no sales tax in NY!). So, really think about what you need, because your tastes will change once you're here.
I wouldn't recommend bringing any furniture, home decor, or kitchen items. If there are key things you need (I brought some favorite mugs and a couple kitchen appliances), then bring those. However, you'll want to buy furniture and kitchen items based on your apartment size, and you'll want to buy home decor based on your new furniture.
D moved here with his furniture from California, and it's huge furniture! He has a reclining leather couch and chair, a queen size bed, and some huge Ikea shelving units. While those are considered normal sizes in any other apartment or home, they are giant for a NYC apartments. It makes his place feel so much smaller than it actually is, just because of the size of his furniture.
- Move Out Alone
Okay, if you're planning to move with your significant other, or friend, then obviously you should move with them. However, if you're moving solo, don't bring any extra friends, family members or strangers for the first couple weeks. No matter how much they want too, tell your parents to stay home until you're ready. You're going to be exhausted, overly stimulated, and not in the mood to entertain. Take this time to be selfish and daring. Definitely have them come visit once you are a little more settled. They come quite in handy for emotional & to-do list support ;)
- Connect With Your Network
As soon as you've bought your plane ticket (maybe a little before), start reaching out to anyone and everyone you know in New York. Scroll through Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and even ask other people who they know in New York. Chances are, you'll know at least one person when you're here. Even if you weren't that close to someone, send them a note anyways. You never know how the time has changed them (or you!), and you never know what sort of friendships you can create. Regardless, it's so comforting to get drinks with one friendly face.
When I moved out here, I only knew a handful of people. A professor told me to meet up with another UNL graduate, and to this day, we see each other multiple times a week and are constantly GChatting or texting. New York can be a very lonely city, so the more people you know, the more comforted you'll feel.
- Take A Cab From the Airport
Spend the $40-$55 to take a cab from the airport to your temporary housing. Save yourself the headache. It's not worth trying to figure out a new transportation system with your giant stuffed bags and people constantly buzzing around you.
- Start Acquainting Yourself With The City
Now the fun begins! Start walking around the city, take the Subway, eat lunch/dinner out alone (gasp - it's awesome!), just start exploring. You're finally here!
What other tips and tricks do you have about the logistics of moving to NYC?
The Living In New York Series originated from a desire to share my learnings and experiences of living in NYC., hopefully to make your experience easier. All of these suggestions are based solely off my experiences, and therefore only my opinions. If you have another positive opinion, I would love to read it in the comments!