At 22 years old, I moved for the first time from Los Angeles to New York.
The weather and my five-story walk-up were shocking, but the overall move went smoother than I anticipated.
Here are seven things I learned about moving across the country by plane.
In August, I moved from Los Angeles to NYC by plane. The entire process, from door to door, took about nine hours.
I was born and raised in Southern California, and I grew up in a suburb 25 miles outside of downtown Los Angeles. After graduating from the University of Southern California in May, I decided to move to New York City with three friends. I've never lived outside California, and NYC has always been my dream.
I flew out of LAX and into Newark International Airport in New Jersey. My mom and I used a car service that cost $100, which is comparable to Uber and Lyft prices from Newark into the city.
The move was easier than expected, but I learned a lot, practiced patience, and now I know what to expect if another long-haul move is in my future.
1. When it comes to packing for a big move, procrastination is not your friend.
As an avid procrastinator, I naturally waited until the last minute to pack up my childhood room. For the trip, I filled three suitcases with clothes and shoes. We both checked two bags at $35 per bag and a carry-on.
My suitcases were not quite organized to my liking, and if I planned ahead I would've properly cleaned out my closet prior to leaving.
My mom and I landed in Newark at peak rush hour, so the traffic into Manhattan was heavier than normal.
For transportation, my mom ordered a car service ahead of time to avoid the chaos of Uber and Lyft. The service cost about $100, and the driver picked us up right outside of baggage claim. The traffic after our flight was bumper to bumper, so what should've been a 30-minute trip turned into an hour.
I was the last of my three roommates to fly into the city, but we all moved into our Little Italy apartment within the same week.
The humid weather and intense walk-up were some initial challenges off the bat, especially after the nine-hour journey.
Though we were exhausted after the flight, my mom and I still had to lug our suitcases up five flights of stairs to get to my apartment. Since our building has no elevator, the trek took some getting used to.
The weather was also not on our side during moving week, as it was hot and humid each day. Luckily, the precious tenets before us left some of their A/C units so we could cool down the apartment.
2. Costs will sneak up on you, so budget wisely but include some wiggle room.
Throughout the moving process, costs would creep up seemingly out of nowhere. From splitting laundry detergent to rush ordering an A/C unit for a heat wave in late August, there are a million little things you won't know you need until you arrive at your new location.
In terms of budgeting, it's best to create an idea of how much money to spend and be willing to be flexible depending on how the move goes. I definitely recommend downloading the Splitwise app to split costs evenly, if you have multiple roommates.
3. You're going to create a lot of trash, but try not to let it pile up.
New York apartments aren't built for copious amounts of trash, but that is exactly what moving creates. Be cognizant of taking the trash out regularly, because it can collect without notice and soon the whole apartment will be covered in cardboard.
For peace of mind and to declutter, my roommates and I made regular trash runs every time we left the apartment.
4. Be patient with orders, delivery dates, and yourself.
I was in a rush to get everything on time, but as long as there's a bed, everything else will fall into place. For me, it was nice to have staggered shipment dates so that I could finish one thing at a time and watch my room come together.
5. Plan on staggering your shipments so that they arrive before you or a few days after.
It was nice to have staggered shipment dates so that I could finish one thing at a time and watch my room come together.
I shipped five boxes from Los Angeles to NYC, filled with mugs, books, coats, and sweaters that wouldn't fit inside my suitcase. Since I wasn't in a rush to get these items, shipping them later worked out.
6. Taking advantage of helpful tools like Task Rabbit and purchasing protection warranties can make your move smooth.
In New York, it's almost impossible to move without asking for help. I would definitely recommend asking family, friends, or hiring movers to help.
At Best Buy, my roommates and I bought a $200 yearly warranty that guaranteed Geek Squad would mount and set up our new TV. I also hired a Task Rabbit to carry my Ikea bed up five flights of stairs and build it for me for a total cost of about $150.
Other smaller builds I was able to put together myself or with the help of my roommates.
7. On the first night in my apartment, I slept on an air mattress instead of a bed. Be sure to think of sleeping arrangements ahead of time.
Ahead of our arrival, I ordered an air mattress since my bed and mattress hadn't been delivered yet. The $60 air mattress from Amazon really came in handy when we arrived at an empty apartment.
My mattress was at my apartment when I flew in and my Ikea bed frame arrived three days after. The rest of my furniture, a desk, and mirror, was also from Ikea. Those items showed up a week after. After my bed was complete, I was able to take my time with the rest of the furniture and decorations to pick out what I really love.
Overall, the experience was an exciting introduction to my new life in New York City.
Though there were some bumps, the transition to the east coast has been smooth, so far. Thanks to services like Geek Squad and TaskRabbit, and help from friends and family, my apartment felt like home in the blink of an eye.
As I acclimate to city life and settle down after the move, the next hurdle to overcome for this Californian is the winter weather.
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