How to Move in Manhattan, NY

Moving In Manhattan
If you’re moving in Manhattan, or getting ready to move to the city, there are a few key things you need to know.  We met with the experts at the U-Haul moving and storage location in Chelsea to get some insider tips on how to move efficiently in the busy city of Manhattan. Here is what we learned:

Pack Ahead:

If you are moving in Manhattan there is a good chance that when you are loading or unloading, your moving van will be blocking traffic.  To avoid a ticket (and angry drivers), have your stuff packed in boxes and your furniture disassembled before picking up your moving van. This will make your load time much quicker during your move. You can pick up moving supplies in advance at your local moving center or order them on

*Tip:  Check the Take a Box, Leave a Box bin at your local moving center.  Fellow community members have used this to recycle their boxes, and it can save you some money on moving supplies!

Moving In Manhattan
Re- use at U-Haul Moving and Storage of Chelsea

Get Help

Another way to expedite the load and unload of your moving equipment is ask friends or hire Moving Help.

Reserve Elevator time

Some complexes have restrictions on when a tenant can move, or times that an elevator can be reserved. To avoid delays, ask your superintendent before reserving your moving van.

Moving In Manhattan
Parking in Manhattan is scarce so plan ahead.


If you have a car, try to secure a spot in front of the building before picking up your truck. Then swap it out with the moving van once you arrive.

Moving Equipment

Trying to navigate through the city with a large moving truck can be challenging.  We recommend you consider renting a cargo van or small moving truck if you are moving within Manhattan. You will be surprised how much you can fit into the back of these vans.

 Picking up your moving van

There are a lot of people in Manhattan and very few moving locations.  Here are some tips to help you expedite the process:

  • Express Check-In: If you are moving with U-Haul, you can check-in ahead of time at  This does not get you front of the line treatment, but all your information is saved in the system, so all you need to do is show your ID when you get to the counter.
  • Arrive Early: If you are moving at a popular time (weekends or end of the month), then arrive 30-40 minutes early to pick up your moving equipment, this will ensure that you can pick up the equipment at the scheduled time.
  • Use mass transportation: Parking is scarce, and leaving your car at the moving center is probably not an option, so plan according. Plus you should be using your car to save that parking spot!
Moving in Manhattan
Parking and Driving can be tricky in Manhattan, so consider renting smaller moving equipment

Dropping off your moving equipment:

Moving In Manhattan
Kareem is happy to check in your equipment!

When you bring back your moving equipment, make sure it has been cleaned, moving pads have been folded, and the gas has been refilled to the level it was at pick-up. There may be a refueling service available, so check your contract for the details.  If you have a few items unwanted items, you can pay for the dumpster service at the moving center.  If the items can be reused by another community member, place them in the re-use center.

When you arrive, there will be a quick inspection by the staff at the moving center to ensure the equipment is in order, and then you will be on your way!

Once you’re on the move, have a little fun and snap some photos on the way! Submit them here or via Instagram using #uhaulfamous to become U-Haul Famous!

Have you moved in Manhattan? Please share your lessons learned in the comments below. If you have any other questions about moving in New York City, we are here to help!