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What Is the Cheapest Way to Move out of New York City?

Updated on April 14, 2022

Leaving New York City on the Cheap

After 8 ½ years I'm leaving Manhattan for greener pastures. However, leaving New York City is not easy when you are trying to save what little money you have. If you think coming to New York City is expensive try leaving! Movers charge outrageous amounts and most buildings either have several flights of stairs which pushes the price of the move up or you have to get a ridiculous amount of insurance in case your chest of drawers accidentally scratches a wall or something. Then, there are the bridges and tolls, not to mention the sheer exhaustion at just finding a place to park the truck. Throw in the cost of boxes and packing materials and most of the time your are paying more for that old sofa than you could buy new at your new place. So what do you do? I'll tell you the best way to leave New York City behind without the big apple biting you in the pocket book one last time!


First of all sell everything! Sell everything you can possibly sell that doesn't have precious memories connected to it or is in the realm of your former husband's ashes in an urn. The very first place you should start to sell things is on Craigslist. But, you can't just put any old ad up on Craigslist and expect it to sell. The trick to successful selling on Craigslist is making sure you have a really good picture and that the item is priced well. After you've take the picture and priced the item competitively wait for the response. If there is no response lower the price. Once you have someone who is willing to purchase the item..sell it to them! If they want it for less money give them what they want. Don't make the mistake I did and try to hold out for more money, thereby costing yourself in the end by losing the buyer. You are the one that NEEDS to sell the item and YOU are constrained by a deadline..NOT THEM. Sell the item! I know it's hard, I know you don't really want to sell it but do it anyway, once it's gone you can move on and trust me another buyer may not come along and then you will be stuck with a piece of furniture that you'll have to either give away or set out on the street! When you arrive at your new location you can get the deals but for now you have to suck it up and sell your things at below what they are worth.


If you have books (and I had quite a few) there are places in Manhattan that will buy them. One place that I have been to several times is called “Book-Off”. They buy books for 1 dollar a book. I know, I know, it's not much but it adds up. I sold over 100 books at that place and believe me 100 books are very heavy and not worth trekking across country. I managed to bring them in one of those old lady carts on the bus. They had to use the handicap lift to get me on the bus but so what. I got my $100 bucks and I had several less boxes to haul.


Advertise what you have and what you want to sell on Facebook too. You never know who knows someone who knows someone who needs that metal detector you've had for 5 years and only used once! I would also recommend putting fliers in the laundry room of your building and if you have bookshelves outside bookstores. Be creative and think outside the box.

Rock Center on Election Day
Rock Center on Election Day


Speaking of boxes, don't buy boxes! You can get boxes for free on Craigslist or go to your local grocery or drugstore and get them there. When packing, use your clothes, towels and linens to wrap your stuff. It will save space and you wont have to hunt all over the place to find newspaper (besides newspapers are dirty).


When it comes to hiring movers you can do it the expensive way and hire a mover from the yellow pages (do they still have yellow pages?) or you can save a lot of money and find someone..a cousin, an uncle, an ex-boyfriend who has a truck or van and pay them cash to move your stuff and you. If you hire a moving company you will pay a fortune and you will also have to move yourself either by car, plane or train which is an added expense. So find someone and pay them say..$200 a day + gas to move you. You will save a fortune just by doing that.


If you are moving from a doorman building they will want your “mover” to have insurance. And, that insurance will cost a fortune and your cousin, uncle or ex-boyfriend will not have that insurance. So tell the doorman that you are just moving a few things and that your cousin, uncle or boyfriend is helping. Of course, it helps to have a good relationship with the doormen. It ALWAYS helps to have a good relationship with the doormen! If you end up moving more than a few things, so're gone and there is nothing they can do at this point. Where there's a will there's a way!


If you end up getting stuck with some stuff that you haven't been able to sell, once again go to Craigslist. On Craigslist there are people who will come and pick up your stuff for nothing and at least you will be done with it.

If all else fails you can always set it on the sidewalk and someone or the trash collector will take care of it. Just don't leave it in your apartment as your landlord may charge you for it.


Leaving New York City can be an emotionally difficult thing to do. I have enjoyed my time here and will treasure the people, places and memories I've collected since coming 8 ½ years ago. Leaving is akin to leaving a relationship that is no longer hate to go but you know you must. So for me, I've had to muster all my mental stamina to keep from turning back to the city that just isn't working for me any longer. I decided to do a juice fast, I kept up on my exercising, and I am purposely looking ahead instead of looking back. Furthermore, I have allowed myself to be sad at leaving, after all, if leaving isn't sad then maybe you never really enjoyed the time you spent in the first place. Now when I feel sad I remind myself that I was blessed to have experienced everything New York had to offer and I will experience other friends, places and adventures in my new town.

Very Funny


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