The Complete Harlem Moving Guide

November 12, 2019

Harlem is the perfect home for people who are looking to start anew. Besides the relatively lower cost of living, the neighborhood offers many benefits to professionals, students, and families alike.

Whether you’re moving to Central, West, or East Harlem, it’s important to learn the locals’ way of life and how they get around, as well as the landmarks in the area. Check out this Harlem moving infographic to start your preparation.

Furthermore, consider this guide below as your moving checklist.

1. Prepare For The Weather

Whatever your reason for relocating, the first thing to do is to gather information. This allows you to assess if Harlem will fit your needs. In general, these factors are what you need to take into consideration.


  • Winter: Harlem has four seasons, and winter can be harsh. If you’re planning to move to Harlem in December to March, make sure to stock up on wardrobe for the weather. It’s essential to wear 3-4 layers of clothing to stay warm. Typical clothes for winter:
    1. Synthetic fabric thermal top
    2. Flannel shirt or sweater made of manufactured wool (cashmere, chenille, or gabardine)
    3. Well-insulated synthetic fiber parka or a nylon shell, lightweight short down jacket
    4. Fleece-lined legging
    5. Denim jeans or fleece pants
    6. Impermeable snow boots
    7. Leather or lambswool gloves
  • Spring: Spring is the best time to explore Harlem by foot. Mornings and evenings of May to June are chilly, but it gets warm around noon. Make sure to have the right attire available in your wardrobe.Typical clothes for spring:
    1. Cotton shirt as base layer
    2. Gabardine or cotton trench coat, or a heavy wool pea coat above the first layer
    3. Denim pants
    4. Sneakers or any comfy rubber boots
  • Summer: Summer begins from the end of June to September, and it’s the best time to stroll along the Harlem River. Consequently, you can relax with clothing and wear breathable fabrics, like cotton, linen, or rayon.
  • Fall: September to December is the fall season. The average temperature of the spring and fall seasons is almost similar, so whatever you wear during spring, you can wear them again in fall.

Bonus tip: Familiarize yourself with the “heat season” in Harlem. This time covers the cold months of the year, from October to May. During this time, the NYC Housing Preservation and Development requires all building owners to use heaters to maintain an indoor temperature of 68 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 62 degrees during the night. This regulation requires building owners to provide hot water for use, so if your landlord fails to comply, know that you can notify the owner. If your concern is not addressed, you can report the issue by calling 311.

2. Scope Out The Neighborhood Before The Move


Many people perceive Harlem as unsafe because of its history, but the present crime rate is looking more hopeful in recent times. Compared to 34% of other cities in New York, Harlem is safer. Due to gentrification, new contractors and more residents are getting compelled to relocate to the area.

To ensure the particular area you’re moving into is safe, visit Harlem with a friend and evaluate the surroundings. Find out if this is an ideal location for you. Moreover, ask for safety tips from people who are familiar with the place, and get a list of emergency numbers from the building owner.


Harlem is rich in history and culture, good food. Moreover, the neighborhood is home to great musicians, like The Voices of East Harlem, an African-American vocal ensemble founded by the famous Charles Griffin.

If you don’t have any clue on what to do in Harlem, consider these suggestions:

  • Get a glimpse of the humble beginnings of legendary singers like James Brown and Michael Jackson in the Apollo Theater.
  • Learn about the Latino culture in El Museo del Barrio.
  • Enjoy the best jazz music at Bill’s Place.
  • Join the annual Harlem Harvest Festival every October.


People in Harlem especially love good food. If you’re a barbeque lover, an excellent restaurant to try is Dinosaur Bar-B-Que. Here, you’ll enjoy a full rack of flavorful pork ribs along with delicious sides. If you love sweets, you’ll find the best chocolate chip cookie at Levain Bakery Harlem.

It helps to get recommendations from family or friends who live in the neighborhood or search online for local services with customer reviews.

3. Pack Wisely

This is where the rubber finally meets the road. Once you’ve found a home in Harlem, it’s time to pack all your belongings and prepare for the big move. Make a checklist to make sure you don’t forget anything; donate stuff you’re ready to let go of as you start your new life.

To make sure your move is efficient and successful, hire reliable Harlem movers to help you out. Finding the right moving company doesn’t only give you peace of mind; it also allows you to establish two-way communication during transit.

4. Unpack And Get Settled

Once you’ve relocated, don’t start the housewarming party just yet. Unpack as soon as you get there and put things in their respective places. If you packed up all your things nicely, you can arrange them much quicker in your new home. Place boxes in areas where they’re supposed to be for easy access as you set up. For example, bring all boxes labeled with “kitchenware” to the kitchen as soon as you arrive. Doing so will help you organize everything for every area in one go.

Final Thoughts

Moving to Harlem is a big leap, which can be stressful. But this guide will help you start on the right foot. Harlem is a place for people of all colors; thus, you’re bound to feel right at home soon enough. The neighborhood welcomes diversity as much as it welcomes people who plan to make this neighborhood their second home.

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