Moving is always a hectic time. However, if you are moving from a house and into an apartment, especially one without an elevator, there are a whole lot of other additional issues to consider. You have to take into account the building management and their policy on moving furniture, as well as the design of the building. Here are four tips to make the move easier.
Contact the Building Management for Moving Hours or Special Policies
Some buildings have special policies on when and how tenants can move in. This is often an issue in elevator buildings because it can tie up the elevator for hours at a time. However, even in walk up buildings, it can be an issue. You should always check in case there are certain days of the week or times of day when tenants are not allowed to move in. You will have to contact the management about measurements (discussed later) so you might as well establish the rules about moving in schedules as well.
Measure Large Furniture and Get Doorway and Stairway Measurements
The last thing you want to deal with is a couch that won't fit through the stairwell doors. So, before you have your movers try and wedge and shove a sofa through the entrance and try and get it up the stairs, get the measurements. Some of the older buildings might not have wide stairwell openings, so that extra-long sofa in your house might have to end up on Craigslist. You can always head to the building with a tape measure and check for yourself if you're super concerned about a large piece of furniture, but you can also call and ask to speak with the super. They will be able to measure the opening for you.
Don't Overpack Boxes with Fragile Items
When you're packing up fragile items, don't fill up the box all the way. You don't want the boxes to be too heavy for the movers. If they only had to move the boxes from the moving truck into the lobby and then into the elevator, it wouldn't be a big issue. But carrying a box of heavy dishes up 5 flights of stairs can get tiring, so make it easier on them and safer for your fragile items by spreading things out over several smaller boxes.
Contact A Local Mover
Finally, you should make sure you contact a local mover who has experience with walk up apartments. You don't want a group of movers to show up thinking they are handling a regular house move and find out they will have to lug furniture up several flights of stairs. It's polite, as well as practical, to let them know beforehand. This way they are prepared. Otherwise they might not have the right materials (carry straps and wedges) and will also be annoyed. A local mover who specializes in Manhattan moves will have staff who understand the difficulties and can deal with the issue as long as you give them notice.