Moving to Los Angeles, CA: 10 Expert Tips to Navigate Moving in a Big City

Updated on August 10th, 2023

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Los Angeles is a popular destination for people looking to buy or rent a home, and many turn to real estate websites like Redfin to help them find the perfect place. Whether you’re searching for Los Angeles apartments or houses for rent in Los Angeles, you’ll find a variety of options in this vibrant metropolis. With its stunning beaches, diverse neighborhoods, and flourishing entertainment industry, it’s no surprise that many people are drawn to this bustling city. 

However, moving to Los Angeles can be overwhelming, particularly for those unfamiliar with big-city living. Fear not, we’ve got you covered with expert tips to help you navigate the ins and outs of moving to this incredible city.

Couple with Moving Boxes in New Home _ getty

1. Research Los Angeles neighborhoods

Living in Los Angeles is a vast and diverse experience, with dozens of Los Angeles neighborhoods to choose from. Each neighborhood has its own unique character and vibe, so it’s important to do your research before deciding where to call home. 

Factors to consider include proximity to work, school, and amenities, as well as safety, cost of living, and overall quality of life. If you’re looking for Los Angeles apartments or houses for rent in Los Angeles, it’s important to be prepared for the competitive Los Angeles rental market. Start your search early and be prepared to act quickly when you find a place you like. With some patience and perseverance, you’ll find the perfect home in this dynamic and captivating city.

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2. Plan your move to LA

One of the most important things you can do when moving to Los Angeles is to plan ahead. This means creating a timeline for your move, hiring movers in advance, and making arrangements for any necessary services, such as utilities, internet, and cable. Planning ahead will help ensure that your move goes smoothly and that you’re not left scrambling at the last minute.

Expert tip: “Preparation is crucial for a successful move to Los Angeles,” says local moving company, LA Moving Star. “It’s recommended to book a reliable moving company ahead of time and take note of the city’s parking regulations. To avoid traffic congestion on the busy streets, it’s also advisable to plan your move during off-peak hours.”

3. Consider transportation

Transportation is crucial when planning a move. Depending on distance, consider renting a truck, hiring movers, or shipping. For long-distance moves, a professional moving company is often best, while renting a truck is a cheaper option for local moves. Consider size, weight, budget, and timeline when selecting a method. Ensure the method is reliable, safe, and your belongings are protected.

Expert tip: The Padded Wagon points out, “don’t risk paying for a moving company to transport furniture that won’t fit around a tight corner or up the stairs. If you have oversized items, consider hiring a moving company that offers hoisting services, which can help you get your furniture into upper floors or tight spaces. This will save you time and money in the long run and make your move much smoother.”

4. Pack smart

When packing for your move to Los Angeles, it’s important to pack smart. This means packing strategically, labeling boxes clearly, and packing an essentials box with items you’ll need right away, such as toiletries, a change of clothes, and important documents. It’s also a good idea to declutter before your move to minimize the amount of stuff you’ll need to pack and transport.

Expert tip: Optimal Movers states, “streamline your packing process and reduce the number of items you need to move by decluttering your home before the move. This will not only help you stay organized, but also minimize the amount of stuff you have to move.”

5. Hire experienced movers

Moving in a big city can be challenging, so it’s important to hire movers who are experienced with navigating narrow streets, tight corners, and heavy traffic. 

Expert tip: City of Angels Moving Inc says, “Reputable movers have a proven track record of providing quality service and protecting your belongings during the move. By selecting a company that is established and committed to their business, you can have confidence in the safety and care of your items.”

6. Communicate your moving needs 

When you’re planning a move, it’s important to communicate your needs with your moving company. This includes things like the size of your home, the amount of items you’ll be moving, any fragile or valuable items that require special handling, and any specific timelines or deadlines you need to meet. By communicating your needs clearly and effectively, you can ensure that your moving company is fully prepared and equipped to handle your move in the most efficient and effective way possible. This can help reduce stress and ensure a successful move.

Expert tip: Trek Movers shares, “our virtual estimation meetings allow you to connect with our skilled team through video calls, providing a detailed walkthrough of your home. This approach enables us to create a tailored action plan that meets your specific needs, resulting in a hassle-free and smooth moving experience.”

7. Get insurance

Accidents can happen during a move, so it’s important to get insurance to protect your belongings in case of damage or loss. 

Expert tip: “To protect your valuables during the move, it’s essential to purchase full coverage through a third-party insurance company, rather than relying solely on the minimum liability coverage (typically 60 cents per pound) offered by the moving company,” insists MuraWay Moving. “Also, be mindful of what you pack and what you leave for the movers. Avoid packing or leaving items such as food, liquids, jewelry, or other valuable belongings. This will minimize the risk of damage or loss and ensure that your items arrive safely at your new home in Los Angeles.”

8. Pack fragile items carefully

Fragile items, such as glassware and electronics, should be packed carefully to prevent damage during transport. 

Expert tip: “To ensure your belongings are well-protected during your move, it’s essential to invest in quality packing materials,” advises Inland Empire Movers. “This means choosing sturdy boxes that can support the weight of your items and strong packing tape to secure everything in place. While packing everything yourself can make the move quicker and cheaper, many moving companies offer packing services too. Don’t forget that professional movers will also disassemble and wrap your furniture using plastic wrap and moving blankets to prevent scratches and damages. These services are usually included in your moving package.”

Craftsman home exterior and front yard _ getty

9. Notify important parties about your new address

Be sure to notify important parties, such as your bank, credit card companies, and utility providers, of your change of address. 

Expert tip: “Plan out logistics such as how to enter the building, where to park the moving vehicle, and whether to work with building management to reserve a loading dock or elevator. Use Google Street View to check out the address if you won’t be in LA before the move. Permit Puller says, “note that you may need a temporary parking permit and Tow Zone signs to reserve a street space for the truck if you lack a large driveway. Check the street cleaning times and keep in mind that street placement for containers is not allowed in LA.”

10. Remember, timing is important

The timing of your move is crucial. Consider factors such as the time of year, weather conditions, and peak moving season. Scheduling your move during off-peak times can save you money and reduce the stress of coordinating with a large number of other movers. Also, give yourself enough time to plan and prepare for the move, especially if you’re moving a long distance or have a lot of belongings. Finally, make sure to confirm your move-in date and time with your new landlord or real estate agent to ensure a smooth transition into your new home.

Expert tip: According to SFV Moving Company, “it’s a good idea to carefully choose the timing of your move. Opting for off-peak hours and scheduling your move mid-week when parking is more readily available can help you avoid the chaos of busy streets and narrow roads. By taking these simple steps, you can ensure that your move is less stressful and more efficient.”

If you are represented by an agent, this is not a solicitation of your business. This article is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for professional advice from a medical provider, licensed attorney, financial advisor, or tax professional. Consumers should independently verify any agency or service mentioned will meet their needs. Learn more about our Editorial Guidelines here.

Marissa Crum

Marissa is part of the content marketing team and enjoys writing about real estate trends and home improvement. Her dream home is a contemporary-style house with ample outdoor space.

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