Moving in NYC: An Odyssey

Summer in New York City is one of the most beautiful times to be in the city. Winter’s over, the sun’s out, and people are happy. It’s a time everyone looks forward to.

For me, it also means I’m probably looking for an apartment.

I’ve moved a total of 4 times in the 5 years I’ve lived in this city. Sounds crazy, but I feel like many New Yorkers will understand what I’m talking about. The reality is, moving in New York City is hard for many reasons:

  • Finding the right apartment in the right borough that fits all your needs, some of which include size, location, and price (and hopefully laundry in building).

  • Putting in an application before everyone else that wants the place does (you have to move fast).

  • Actually getting your application approved (fingers crossed).

  • Coordinating your move-in date and decide if you are hiring movers or doing it yourself (highly recommend movers if you have a 5th floor walk-up like me).

  • Packing (which for me usually leads to a lot of Goodwill trips and compromising).

My last apartment hunt was probably the fastest one of them all. Something that helped me was doing some research on every neighborhood and creating a very specific list of things I knew I wanted/ didn’t want so I didn’t waste time looking at places I knew I wasn’t going to like. After all the places I’ve lived in the past, from Brooklyn to Midtown to Harlem, I realized something I definitely wanted was more space while still paying a reasonable price, which meant I had to move farther away from the city.

After all the research, I decided on a neighborhood I’ve actually been spending a lot of time lately, Washington Heights. This neighborhood, located at the top of Manhattan, is full of life and culture, and is actually rapidly gentrifying. I was able to find a decently sized apartment within my price range without leaving Manhattan. Other great things about the neighborhood include amazing Latin Cuisine (mostly Dominican), proximity to a lot of nice large parks (Fort Tyron and Inwood Hill Park), and a variety of transportation options (including the A, C and 1 trains).

After all the moving experiences I’ve had so far in New York City, I’ve created my own DO/ DON’T list. I’ll guide myself by the next time I move, hopefully not within the next few years!


Use websites that say “No Fee”

Go see every apartment you like in person as soon as you can.

Consider places you’ve never seen before, you might end up liking them.

Start organizing your boxes and donating clothes as soon as you can.

Rent that U-Haul or hire movers.


Use a broker, if you can avoid it.

Be fooled by apartment descriptions such as cozy and charming, it means small!

Be fixated on one neighborhood (explore the options out there).

Pack last minute. Like my mom says: “The lazy work twice as hard.”

Try to avoid a subway move or an Uber move.

So yes, moving in the New York City is a lot of work that requires planning and dedication, but for me, all the effort and time is worth it once you realize you are living in one of the best cities in the world.

This said, happy moving!

Andreina Figueira, Designer

Andreina Figueira, Designer