Whether you live in a city or a small town, you may find that you can save money on your housing expenses by moving into a second-floor (or even higher) walk-up apartment. Apartments on the second floor or higher are generally less expensive than their downstairs counterparts, because they're less convenient due to the stairs. While carrying groceries or laundry up and down the stairs might not be a problem for you, the layout can make things tricky when it's time to move in. Take a look at these tips on moving into a walk-up apartment while keeping your furniture (and the walls) intact.
Measure Twice, Move Once
There's not much as frustrating as getting your oversize sofa up one or two flights of stairs, only to find that it won't fit through the front door. Before you attempt this feat, measure your doorways. If the front door is too narrow, try the back door. Assuming one of the doors makes the cut, you're going to need to figure out if the sofa will fit up the stairwell, as well as around any corners and other architectural obstacles that are in the way. Furniture that will not fit in your new apartment can be donated or sold.
Particularly if you are moving into an apartment in a building that you do not own, you're going to need to be very careful not to nick or dent any walls. Wrapping large furniture in moving blankets (or even heavy quilts or comforters) can make this easier. Every bump will be padded by something soft, and you reduce the risk of damaging walls or your belongings. You can also use these blankets to line the back of the car or truck, or even the inside of some of your boxes, to make it less likely that small items will be broken by jostling around.
Rent a Dolly or Hand Truck That Can Go Up Stairs
While the first few trips up and down the stairs might not impact you too much, several hours of stair-climbing will feel like quite a workout. You can lessen your load by renting or borrowing a dolly or hand truck that is made to go up and down stairs. These come in manual and battery-operated styles; if you feel like you will need some mechanical power to help you bring everything up, go for the type that relies on battery power (rather than man- or woman-power).
Of course, you are not going to attempt to move your entire home into an upstairs apartment on your own, but be wary of hiring too few helpers. If you have only one friend with you, you both will be exhausted from running up and down the stairs all day. Try to have at least four people in total; this way, you can have two teams that can alternate moving small and large objects.
Also, if you are moving into a third-floor or higher apartment, you can split into teams to meet on the landing. For example, you can move smaller items from the moving van to the first landing, then someone else can bring them the rest of the way up.
If you have some leeway in your moving budget, hiring movers can take a huge burden off of you. They can do all of the packing, or you can handle that part and just hire the movers for the move itself. The moving company will provide the number of people and the appliances required to get everything into your new apartment safely and without causing any damage.
Moving into your new walk-up apartment may be physically strenuous, but it will all be worth it once you're moved in. The good news is that anything you can successfully move into your apartment can also be successfully moved out when the time comes, so you won't have to worry about measuring and manhandling your belongings once your lease ends.