Moving to a new place is both exciting and exhausting. A new apartment means a fresh start and a blank canvas for you to decorate and furnish. But what if you already have furniture you like from your old apartment? Sofas and tables aren’t cheap and moving itself can be quite pricey. So do you ditch your old stuff entirely or do you bring it with you?
As with almost every aspect of moving, there’s no correct answer here. It’s all a personal decision and depends on a variety of factors. Even if you want to get all new furniture, it might be too expensive. On the other hand, even if you want to keep some old furniture, it might not fit in your new place. In order to make the appropriate decision, you’ll need to consider a few things.
Local or Long Distance Move?
Are you moving from Brooklyn to Queens or from California to Manhattan? Where you’re moving can influence your decision on whether to bring certain pieces of furniture or not. If you’re moving down the street, it might make sense to hire movers and bring what you currently have, so long as it actually fits in your new place. It will save you the hassle of picking out new furniture and save you money.
So what about long-distance moves? In most cases, you should probably offload the furniture. Freight shipping can cost anywhere between $300-$1,000+ per piece depending on what you’re moving. If you decide to hire long-distance movers, the cost will depend on whether you choose to have a dedicated moving truck or a shared truck, distance, and overall weight of all your possessions. The more furniture you bring, the more your cargo will weigh, thus increasing the cost. For best prices, make sure to call several moving companies for a quote to find the one that best suits your budget.
Your New Home Size
Before you decide to move everything into your new place, you’ll need to figure out whether your new home has enough space for all your furniture. Otherwise, you’ll waste time and money trying to move something that won’t fit. If you’re moving to a bigger home, it might be worth it to move everything. Even if you plan to replace it in a year, it will be worth it to have a couch you can relax on and a table to dine on in the meantime.
With that said, even if you have more rooms, the actual size of the rooms might be smaller than what you had at your previous place. That’s why it’s so important to take accurate measurements of your new place beforehand. If you didn’t measure, you can still ask the landlord/broker or real estate agent for the dimensions and floor plan of your new house or apartment. Even if it’s not 100% accurate, it can still give you a general idea of what to expect. From there, measure your furniture and then create some scaled proxies to see what can fit in your new place. You might be surprised with how little or how much more space you have to work with!
Of course, if you’re downsizing, chances are you’ll need to get rid of a lot of furniture. If you’re moving from a house to an apartment, it might just make sense to only bring your mattress and a chair and then buy new furniture once you move in. Not only are apartments much smaller, but you’ll also have to deal with narrow hallways and stairwells and tight corners. Even if a particular piece of furniture might fit in your apartment, it might not fit through the front door!
Consider the Practical, Sentimental, and Monetary Value
If your couch’s best days are behind it, you might need to make the decision to let it go. Older furniture is more likely to get damaged during a move as it’s already on its last legs. Even newer Ikea pieces might fall apart during a local move since the materials themselves are not very durable. Plus, things like bookshelves, chairs, and even desks are not that expensive. If you’re moving locally within NYC, you might even be able to pick up some pieces of furniture for cheap or even free. You just have to know where to look.
Of course, there might be times where your furniture has sentimental value. Maybe you have a dresser that was passed down through your family for generations. Or maybe you have a recliner you’ve had since college that you love. It’s fine to have an emotional attachment to some items, but not every piece of furniture is a family heirloom. Before moving, take a hard look at each piece of furniture and figure out how much they mean to you. In general, you’ll probably only have one or two pieces that hold any sentimental value. And even in those cases, you might have to leave something behind because it simply won’t fit in your new space. In those instances, see if you have a friend or family member who would be willing to take that sentimental piece.
Finally, consider the cost of buying new furniture for your new home. Sure, moving furniture is expensive, but it’s often cheaper than buying new, high quality pieces. When deciding what to bring with you, ask yourself the following:
- Was this item expensive?
- Is it an antique?
- Does it double as an exquisite center piece?
- Is it made from quality materials?
You can always get older furniture evaluated by a professional if you’re not sure about its value. Some items might be worth bringing with you. If you’re not able to bring it with you, you might be able to sell it for a decent price.
Are you not able to move into your new home immediately? If you need to store your belongings for a long period of time then you’ll need to put your items in storage. As you might expect, the larger the storage unit, the higher the monthly fee, especially since you will want to store your furniture in a climate controlled environment. This is especially important if you own any antiques.
Depending on how much you need to store, you could be looking at paying around $300 a month or more. Many moving companies do offer short and long-term storage solutions, but not all of them offer climate-controlled units. If you decide to add on the storage service to your move, make sure to request one that is climate-controlled and always ask about their security and how they deal with things like floods, fires, etc.
Stick to Your Decision
Ultimately, you need to make a decision based on your move, the furniture, and your personal preference. For some people, getting all new furniture is part of what makes moving exciting. For others, having some remnants of their old home might make them feel more at ease. Whatever you choose, don’t overthink your choice too much.
Once you’re ready to make your move, bring in some professional help. Moving companies, like TWO GUYS AND A TRUCK Movers, know how to move all types of furniture and have experience working around tight corners, narrow halls, and multiple flights of stairs. They’ll do the heavy lifting, so you don’t have to!