Compare Movers and Prices

The Ultimate Guide to Moving from NYC to LA

Moving to Los Angels

Say goodbye to the nation’s finest bagels and most efficient public transportation and hello to sunshine and Hollywood! In moving from New York to Los Angeles, you’re basically making a quantum leap. This is an exciting opportunity to explore a whole new world and way of life. As you plan your move it’s best to consider how you can make it efficient, affordable and as stress-free as possible. To help you on your journey, here is some helpful advice to help make your cross-country move as flawless as possible.

Hire long distance movers with experience

Professional and experienced movers know all about moving long distance. From helping you find the most affordable way to ship your belongings to make sure you have the right moving insurance, a full-service moving company can take the headache out of the equation. Since the cost of relocating to California is no laughing matter, make sure the people handling your move are knowledgeable and reliable- beware lowball estimates and offers that appear too good to be true! If the moving company you chose is indeed a pro, they most likely offer additional moving insurance to keep you feeling safe and protected.

Driving? Take the scenic route

Sure, you could catch the red-eye, but where’s the fun in that? Moving cross-country could be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see and enjoy some of the most spectacular views in the country, as long as you’re up for a road-trip. Plus, you’re going to be doing a lot of driving once you’re an Angeleno, so you might as well get used to it. Do your research ahead of time to find places to stay on your move to LA.

The skies are wide and the roads are open, but the towns and hotels are few and far between. Check out Airbnb for some secret sweet spots or even consider CouchSurfing to meet the locals and get more of the flavor of each stop.

Be a moving minimalist

Downsizing before you hit the road will cut the cost of moving from NYC to LA considerably. Sort through your stuff and toss, donate or give away as much as you can. You can even do a garage sale of sorts (though your NYC flat isn’t likely to have a garage) to earn a few extra dollars. Moving from the east coast to the west it’s safe to assume most of your winter gear can be sold or passed onto a friend- just remember to leave some warm clothes with friends or family for when you visit. If you have lots of stuff you don’t think you’re going to need while in LA but don’t want to part with, consider renting a unit at a storage facility.

Fuel up in the small towns

Driving from east to west means a whole lot of highway miles, so be gas-conscious and make sure to fill up your tank in time. Fueling up in the small towns along the way has two major upsides- gas prices will likely be cheaper and you can avoid the traffic jams of more major cities.

Pack to the long haul

Your belongings will probably be packed away for quite some time, so be sure to use materials that can stand up to a week or two on the road. A whole lot of shifting, bumping and turning goes on in the back of those big trucks, which means you need to take special care when packing anything fragile or delicate; use sturdy boxes and don’t skimp on the padding. Special boxes designed for glasses, dishware, and specific pieces of furniture can help — and your movers may have crates for rent that will do the job well. For more excellent packing advice visit this blog post.

Take what you need with you

It typically takes between two to four weeks for your shipment to arrive from NYC to LA, so pack a big bag with everything you may need and take it with you. Toiletries, extra clothes and shoes, personal documents, some instant coffee and maybe even your favorite pillow- whatever you need to have a comfortable start in your new zip code. While you wait for your shipment to arrive take the time to explore and meet new people.

A few other tips

  • Don’t forget that you only have 10 days after getting the California residency to get a new license. You also need to register your car in California, so be sure all emissions are up to the highest standard — California is strict, and Los Angeles even more so.
  • If you’re moving for work purposes, you might be able to deduct your moving expenses. The IRS spells it out in detail, so keep your receipts for lodging and gas for tax time.
  • Be sure to register your change of address with the USPS and your bank. That will keep you from getting those pesky Jury Duty notices from New York, and make sure that all important mail makes it to your new home in the sun.

And don’t forget- if for whatever reason you become fed up with the great weather, the healthy yet delicious grub or the amazing beaches, moving from LA to NYC is easy… Just read this article backwards!

About the author

Ashley Hernandez