Moving Yourself vs. Hiring Help in NYC

A young couple packing moving boxes in their home.
Photo Credit: Pexels

The key to a successful apartment move in New York City is to have a set, organized plan. Before you pack up containers and tape boxes shut, decide if there are moving tasks you can complete yourself as DIY, or if you could benefit from hiring an extra set of helping hands.

Before we break into the nitty gritty pros and cons of the hiring versus DIY moving, it’s important to note two major differences when it comes to moving in New York City that may impact your decision one way or another: cost, location, and type of Glenwood building you’re moving to.

Obviously hiring movers is the easier way to go, but it’s certainly not cheap. Even if you do scour the internet looking for more affordable options that will do the move at a reasonable price, note that many New York City apartment buildings require moving companies to have a certain kind of insurance to use the service elevators to move furniture in and out of buildings. So, before you hire a person or company, make sure to compare credentials with those of your buildings: both the one you’re moving out or and the one you’re moving into.

And now… onto the pros and cons of both!

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Find a Moving Company in Manhattan

If there’ss one thing that can make an apartment move easier, it’s hiring a reliable moving company. Find yours here.

Hiring Movers


The major pro of hiring movers is if you’re willing to shell out enough money, you literally won’t have to lift a finger throughout the entire process. Movers in the East Side will come to your apartment, pack everything for you, move it out of your old building, and relocate everything into your new one – quick! Since these professionals do this literally all the time, the process is efficient. You can also rest assured that your valuables are in good hands and boxed up properly.

Having a moving company from the West Side takes a lot of the smaller logistics out of your hands. For example, you won’t have to go to the Container Store to buy boxes and crates, rent a UHaul and figure out how to park it in front of your building, or coordinate schedules or bribes for friends to come help with bulky pieces of furniture. (Have you ever tried to move a mattress or sofa in and out of an apartment with one set of hands? It isn’t the easiest task!)


The cost is by far the biggest con when it comes to hiring a moving company. Even if you’re just moving a one-bedroom worth of stuff to a building down the street, the move can easily cost thousands of dollars. Just imagine if you’re moving a three bedroom all the way from Uptown to Downtown! On top of whatever prices are quoted, the correct etiquette is to add in an additional 15% tip for the crew, which is paid in cash.

Also, if you are hyper-concerned about strangers touching your great-grandmother’s china, having people pack and move your precious things might be more stress than it’s worth. Consider your personality type and take this into account when it comes to deciding to hire movers or DIY.

A white SUV pulling a UHAUL trailer on a back country road.
Photo Credit: UHaul

The Scoop on Moving yourself


By taking a do it yourself move, you essentially have control over the entire process! If you’d rather bubble wrap your champagne flutes and pack them in a giant roller suitcase and walk them 10 blocks to your new apartment at The Cambridge, go for it! Do you have a few weeks of overlap in the leases between apartments, and prefer to move slowly, one box at a time? No problem! You can really take total control over your move as you transition to Tribeca Bridge Tower.

Do it yourself moves can be much more affordable, given you don’t have a ton of stuff to move, or that you have a lot of free help. For instance, here are two scenarios:

  • If you’re a single person moving from your college dorm to your first real NYC apartment in Midtown East, chances are you don’t have big pieces of furniture to haul. A friend or two will be just enough to help.
  • If you’re moving around toys of your children, you’ll want all the help you can get! A few strong helping hands will help get furniture up and down stairs, in and out of elevators, and man the UHaul while it’s parked street side.

Regardless of how many hands you have helping throughout your DIY move, just be sure to order some really good NYC pizza as a thank you!

Finally, one of the largest pros in the DIY process of moving is that you can use this opportunity to weed through all your belongings and declutter, ensuring you don’t bring a lot of stuff you don’t need into your new home. You’ll arrive feeling detoxed and fresh in your new space at The Caldwell!


A major con with the DIY approach comes when you DO have a lot of furniture and bulky things to move, and you do NOT have a few sets of hands to help. An easy way around this is hiring help off a site like TaskRabbit. Even paying someone by the hour for help packing and moving will be considerably cheaper than paying for a moving company to execute the entire thing.

Again, just make sure to check the rules of both apartment buildings. Besides just having insurance requirements, many buildings have strict hours where you are allowed to move in and out (because of noise and also because you will essentially be hogging the elevator for several hours.) Some will require you make an elevator reservation. The more prepared you are with this knowledge ahead of time, the smoother your move will go!

Rows of colorful plastic containers at The Container Store.
Photo Credit: The Container Store

The Hybrid Approach

You do the packing, they do the moving! Yes, you will have to invest a lot of time (and some money) in getting boxes and packing supplies. But if you know you’re moving a month or more in advance, you can get started early and spread out the tasks. You’ll be living surrounded by boxes for a short time, but you’ll literally save yourself thousands of dollars.

However, leave the actual moving to the professionals. Especially if you have a lot of furniture and boxes to move, they’ve done this many times before, and you will be amazed how quickly then can get it done vs. how long it would take you and your family and friends. Plus, moving day is stressful enough, and if you can avoid doing all of the physical labor, it takes less of a toll on you.

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Tip: Keep in mind that if you do the packing yourself, your mover will most likely not be responsible for items in those boxes that break in transit.

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