Moving can be a complicated process without the proper help. Moving homes, moving to a new city, and moving to a new state all come with different considerations and preparations. Add in a move across the country, and you have even more logistics to consider. Whether it’s for a job, family or any other reason, if you have a move from California to New York City in the works, here are some things to think about as you’re getting ready for the big day.

Finding a Place to Live

If you’re able to nail down your new living arrangements ahead of time, you’ll be able to save time and money down the line. If you already have a connection in New York, ask if they know of any open apartments they’d recommend to you, or a realtor who can help you find a place from afar. Look into sites like CityRealty or StreetEasy for NYC rentals and real estate for sale. You can also check out Airbnb for short-term places to crash until you have time to apartment hunt for yourself.

Lining Up Storage

If you’re planning on waiting until you get to New York to do some apartment hunting, it’s best to sign up for self-storage before you make the move, that way you know you have a safe, dedicated space for your belongings right away. FlatRate offers the best NYC storage options around thanks to 24/7 security, surveillance, available climate-controlled rooms, and even on-demand pickup and delivery service. Need self-storage in California while you pack and prep for the big move? We can arrange that as well!

What to Bring and What to Leave Behind

A move from a town in California to the Big Apple could require some downsizing, as many cities in NY aren’t exactly known for their expansive living quarters. It may be more cost-effective to sell or donate some of your larger or heavier pieces (think entertainment center, bed frame, weight set) than adding them to the move.

Sites like Craigslist and apps like OfferUp can make parting with your items (and even getting some cash in return) a breeze, although we recommend posting these items a few weeks before your move to avoid last-minute meetups and appointments. If you have items you no longer want that aren’t sellable, look into dropping them off at your local Goodwill or any organization that accepts charitable donations. FlatRate even offers donation pickup services if you want a completely hands-off approach.

Consider the Season

If you have a say in when you make the move, it is best to take the seasonality and weather into consideration. A move from CA to NY in June is going to be a lot more pleasant than February. If you can avoid the possibility of encountering heavy snow, blazing heat or a busy hurricane season, do so!

Researching Your Moving Company

There are a wide array of long distance movers to consider, all with varying rates and offers. Do your research, ask family and friends for recommendations and referrals, and determine which company suits your needs best. The lowest rate might be tempting, but it won’t be worth the price if every box you put on the truck ends up damaged. Look at reviews and ask questions before you sign any contract, and make sure you take advantage of insurance packages offered as well, just in case one of your items does get broken en route.

FlatRate has been conducting international moves for decades and has built a peerless reputation through exceptional customer service, guaranteed delivery dates, and absolutely zero hidden fees. Reach out for a quote and let us make your move as painless as possible.

Boxes, Bubble Wrap and Packing Tape, Oh My!

Don’t be caught empty-handed with your possessions sprawled around you when the movers come. While you can definitely pick up boxes at a home improvement store near you, FlatRate has all the moving supplies you need, and we’ll deliver them right to your door. Not only that, but their options are usually much higher quality, including thicker boxes, stickier tape and more protective paddings. If you’re looking to save a bit of money on these items, you can always ask friends or coworkers for boxes from any packages they may receive in the month leading up to your move.

Driving Out East? Turn It Into A Road Trip!

Once you know how your household goods are getting to New York, you have to figure out how you’re getting there. If you have a car, and it’s a good time of year for a cross-country drive, consider packing it up with your necessities and picking a route from the West Coast to the East Coast. There are several ways to go — the Southern route, right through the middle of the country, heading up North through cowboy country, or zigzagging your way through to see the most sites! If you are in a rush and have a limited amount of travel time available before starting a new job, for instance, you may need to look into having your car shipped out and flying.

Not Driving? Arrange Car Shipping ASAP

It can take several weeks for car shippers to arrange a pickup of your ride, and they’re not always on-time or reliable. If you’re flying out on May 10th, don’t arrange to have your car picked up May 9th. It’s better to arrange an earlier pickup time and go without a car for a few days, or rent a car for your last few days in town.

Remember, It’s Expensive (and not always necessary) To Own A Car In NY

Moving to the City That Never Sleeps may mean that your vehicle (if you have one) is no longer needed. What with the subway system, buses, cabs, Uber, bike shares and the ability to walk just about anywhere, having a car in NYC may be a lot more hassle than it’s worth. If you don’t need it, consider selling it before you leave California, giving yourself some extra cash to start your new life in the city.

Cancel, Transfer & Setup Utilities

One aspect of moving that might not occur to you right off-the-bat is the need to cancel your existing utilities and setup new ones. You may have a cable box or modem that you need to drop-off or mail back before heading out of town, as well. Look into the possibility of transferring your utilities if the company you use still exists at your new NY address, like Comcast, for instance. It can take about two weeks for someone to come out and install cable, dish or internet at a new residence, so call a few weeks before your move and setup an installation date for the day after you move in.

Traveling With Pets

If you have kids and pets in tow, you will likely have some more decisions to make about how you get to NY and what happens once you arrive. Small pets in cages might be just fine on a cross-country drive if they are secured properly in the backseat. If you’re driving with cats or small dogs, make sure you have comfortable carriers for them that secure in the back with seatbelts.

Bring along a portable litter box for cats to set up in your hotel, motel or Airbnb each night (they’ll likely be uninterested in using the facilities while in the car during the day), as well as food, and dishes for food and water as well. For dogs, especially larger animals, you’ll likely need to plan several stops into your drive for walks and bathroom breaks, so work that into your estimated ETA in New York. Flying your pets to your final destination is also an option, though they will likely arrive before you and it can be costly.

And A Note About The Kiddos

With kids in the car, you’ll want to make sure you are packed with non-perishable and easy-to-eat snacks and beverages for the trip. You may want to research the route you’re taking to see if there are any kid-friendly side excursions you can take along the way to ward off boredom and the dreaded, never-ending question — “Are we there yet?”

Those with children are encouraged to find a babysitter before you move so there will be someone on-call if you need help distracting your kids while the adults unpack in your new home. Check out or for background-checked caregivers near your new address. You may just discover your new, go-to babysitter for Friday and Saturday nights in the process!

Doors Closed = Doors Opened

A cross-country move can at times be uncomfortable and frustrating, but as long as you plan ahead and get all of your ducks in a row before the big day arrives, you’ll be ready for success. As the nation’s most trusted NYC moving company we’ve helped people relocate to the city from every part of the world. We even offer a regularly-scheduled “Express Service” that goes directly from Los Angeles to NYC, which makes it one of the fastest and easiest ways to move from CA to NY.

Let our movers come when it’s convenient for you, take advantage of our packing services so you don’t have to lift a finger, then sit back as we safely transport your belongings to your new home. Whether you’re moving a studio apartment, or need commercial movers for a five-story office complex, we can take care of every step of the process. Contact us today and let’s get the ball rolling in the right direction.

Categories: Moving Tips