What to know about moving late at night

By Najah Ayoub

What to know about moving late at night

There’s growing demand in the city that never sleeps for moves carried out late at night. Here’s everything you need to know before planning an overnight relocation.

There aren’t many services that stop at night in New York City including removalists.

Unlike some other parts of the USA where there are ordinances and regulations restricting late night moves, the city that never sleeps has no such ban.

If you’re running a business that needs to relocate at night to limit the impact on day to day operations and your income, a move late in the evening can ensure you don’t miss a beat.

If you’re moving house and have a busy work schedule or you’re scrambling to find a mover at the last minute, this might be the best solution, even if it means a case of sleep deprivation.

Either way, you’ll want to choose a mover geared towards 24/7 round the clock moves, as there’s a different set of challenges that can arise out of business hours.

Here’s what else you need to know.

1. What is a night move?

Standard working hours for removalists are between 7am and 9pm each day, including weekends. Some movers like Piece of Cake Moving & Storage, operate 24/7 round the clock giving you the option to move well after 9pm.

While there isn’t overwhelming demand for overnight moves, book as early as possible so the best crew for your needs can be made available. Operating out of normal hours means there might be a time of day surcharge on your move, but the convenience is worth your while.

If you have some night owls in your squad, you may also be able to convince them to give you a hand settling in. After all, it’s harder for them to argue that they have another commitment at the time.

How to reduce stress on move day?

2. Check it twice

The key to a successful late night move is preparation. Avoid leaving any task for the last minute, because the last minute could be at 1am when it’s near impossible to resolve any problems quickly.

Before the close of business hours double check all your key arrangements including your Certificate of Insurance (COI). It will be extremely difficult to resolve a problem with insurance overnight, and a correct COI is mandatory before any mover is allowed inside a building. If there is a problem with access and you can’t raise a member of your building management team you may be forced to reschedule the move, or if the problem is at your destination you may need to send your things to storage for the night.

Ideally you want to pick up the keys for your destination well before meeting your movers, but if a broker or agent is meeting you on arrival be sure to confirm your timings and contact details earlier in the evening when they are easily reachable.

As most businesses will be closed, you’ll need to be extra prepared with supplies, tools and any items you need as shopping in the middle of the night won’t be much of an option. If you need any last minute boxes for items you overlooked when packing, you’ll need to get resourceful and find supplies in the recycling area of your building. Just be sure these second hand boxes are suitable for transporting your belongings, dry, clean and sturdy without any damage.

While it will be the middle of the night, you still have a schedule you need to stick to and you’ll want to limit any time wasting. Be packed and ready well before your movers arrive, make sure you have removed trash and done any repairs to protect your bond, so you can leave when the crew does.

3. Extra Precautions

One thing you will need in abundance for a night move is caution. It goes without saying that moving in the dark is more risky for you and your movers, but by taking more care you can have a successful move overnight.

The roads will be darker, exteriors and tripping hazards may not be well lit and your new home may not have all your utilities like electricity connected when you arrive. If this happens, keep a torch handy as it may take longer outside of standard business hours for power to be restored.

Some building management teams prohibit moves outside business hours on weekdays. Before you pay a deposit on your night move, check with your building about your options. Some Co-ops don’t allow service elevators to be booked late at night or early in the morning, while other buildings don’t have a Super available at night to manage common areas and facilitate your plans.

A key consideration for your building and your neighbours will also be noise. While there are no restrictions on moving at night in New York you will still have to adhere to the NYC Noise Code which restricts noise between 10pm and 7am. If you live in a pre-war building or are moving to a building with stairs and tight spaces, be sure to give your movers a heads up so they have all the right equipment to get your things inside as efficiently and quickly as possible. Given the Noise Code also prevents people from letting their pets make loud noises for longer than 5 minutes at a time, it’s one time you won’t want to juggle an unsettled animal.

4. Stress proofing a night move

When you’re moving late at night, you’re not worrying about any looming deadlines, so there is less stress on your time and there are fewer incoming emails to worry about. However, moving impacts much more than your professional life.

We recommend packing a moving day suitcase with all your essentials including phone chargers, essential medication and a change of clothes for the next day so you start the next day strong instead of rifling through boxes. Also throw in some snacks and a few water bottles in case you get hungry overnight and need some fuel to push through. If there’s one thing you’ll want to do at 1am it’s make your bed for a good night’s sleep, so consider setting aside some bedding with your moving day suitcase to make that process simple.

If you have a family, especially with any young children, you can bypass the disruption and tired cries by checking them into a hotel for the night before you meet your movers. They can have a good night’s sleep, room service for breakfast so you can focus on the logistics.

The same goes for any pets that can’t be easily secured in a house with doors left open for a few hours while trolleys and heavy furniture is navigated down stairs and into elevators. Arrange to leave them with a neighbour or sitter so your hands are free and they don’t spend 2 hours howling their protest at being closed inside the bathroom.

Parking near your building may be easier to secure outside of business hours for your moving truck. However if you’re planning a DIY move, be aware there is a rule prohibiting any commercial vehicle from parking overnight on a residential street in New York City, it does not apply if you are engaged in a commercial enterprise like moving and can prove it. Just set your alarm to ring after 3 hours because no commercial vehicle can park for longer than 3 hours no matter the time of day.

Storage options and prices in NYC

5. Late business moves

If you’re moving business locations at night, you will have put a considerable amount of preparation in place to handle the logistics of moving your commercial operations. However you may, at the last minute, face security and access issues that will need to be clarified in a hurry. Be sure to have a number of alternative contacts you can call – or rather wake up in the middle of the night – if your movers start unloading equipment and documents arrive at your new office but the front desk doesn’t seem to know you were arriving.

Once you’re inside, disruption to utilities could make setting up take longer than you expected. With a standby communications plan in place, you’ll be able to easily advise staff if they need to work from home the next day while you work on restoring the power, Wi-Fi, gas or other connections. If this isn’t an option, have a list of emergency hours contacts nearby to fast track any essential work needed to get you back up and running. The first day in your new location may involve a few hiccups but there’s nothing like a sense of humor and patience to get you all through it.

Unlike individuals moving house, you won’t be putting off packing until the weekend and likely keen to hit the ground running. With a detailed set up strategy in place for the placement of equipment and furniture you won’t have to worry about decision making in the middle of the night. Our commercial moving guide steps out detailed advice on handling every aspect of a business move, even if it happens overnight.

Whatever your move type or size, however long it takes, there’s always a strong coffee of 3 to be had when the sun comes up and a new day gets you back to the grind.

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