How to Manage a New York City Move With No Building Elevator

Moving into an apartment in New York City is exciting, but it can also be a stressful experience. This is especially true if you’re moving into a walk-up, which is an apartment with no building elevator. Although it may seem like a backbreaking, time-consuming endeavor, with the right approach, a walk-up move can be completed without any harm to your back or your sanity. Here are some useful strategies to help you manage a move into a NYC walk-up.

Pack Belongings into Smaller Boxes

It can be tempting to fit as many of your things as possible into a few massive, fifty-pound boxes, but moving without the aid of an elevator is much easier if you spread your belongings throughout a multitude of smaller boxes. Even if this means more trips up the stairs, carrying smaller boxes means less risk of injury to you or your movers; it won’t matter how few boxes are left if a pulled muscle prevents you from carrying them. In addition, smaller boxes will be much easier to fit through tight apartment door frames.

Measure Everything Beforehand

Measuring the height and width of all boxes and furniture pieces beforehand is crucial when moving into a walkup. Nothing is worse than carrying a heavy chair or dresser up five flights of stairs only to realize it won’t fit through your doorway, and the way to avoid this scenario is to measure everything before you move. If something simply won’t fit into your new apartment, it’s best to know ahead of time so you can sell it for some extra cash.

Hire Movers if You Can

If you can afford to spend the money, the easiest way to move into an apartment with no elevator is to hire professional movers. New York City-based movers will have experience moving into apartments of all types, including walk-ups, and will, therefore, know the best strategies to get everything up to your new apartment without the help of an elevator. Professional movers are also used to carrying heavy loads, so they’ll be less likely to injure themselves than you would be.

If You Can’t Afford Movers, Hire Some Friends

The best alternative to hiring professionals is to hire your friends. If you have one burly friend who can handle even the heaviest boxes, you know who to call first, but having anyone at all helping is better than trying to carry everything yourself. If you are able to “hire” a few friends, try getting your things up the stairs relay-style: position one friend on each floor and pass items from one person to the next. This will keep any one person from being exhausted by a heavy load, which should let you spend longer moving things up the stairs, and will also keep you and your friends from hurting yourselves. If you do get help from your friends, just be sure to thank them with food and refreshments, even if you’re paying them.


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