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The Best Movers in New York

Photo-Illustration: Curbed; Photos: Getty

For $300 Less Than Other Quotes

Lou Moves You;

When climate activist Seth Laxman moved from a third-floor walk-up in Flatbush to a new apartment in Bed-Stuy in May, he reached out to Lou Moves You, which had previously moved his girlfriend, and got a quote of $625 — nearly $300 less than a larger moving company he had contacted. Educator Toomi Al-Dhahi, who moved from Harlem to Brooklyn in April, said the same thing: “Lou was a sweet deal — $300 or $400 less than any of the other quotes I got.” Owner Lou DeFabrizio keeps prices down by keeping overhead low. He runs the business with his wife and one office assistant and typically hires a crew of artists and musicians who are in between creative projects, so that they can, he says, “make a bunch of money and then use that to do what they love.” (DeFabrizio is a musician himself.) Both Laxman and Al-Dhahi say that DeFabrizio’s team of movers (“a handful of guys right out of Bushwick in their 20s,” adds Al-Dhahi) did an impeccable job, and according to Laxman, “They fit my really huge couch through a tiny doorway in five minutes like wizards.” In fact, he recommended Lou Moves You to a friend who moved in June, who “said it went great.”

For the Speediest Job

Sven Moving;

“The three guys from Sven were so incredibly efficient it was like one big choreographed dance,” says writer Oliver Horovitz, who hired Sven Moving for his move from a Chelsea one-bedroom to the Upper West Side in June. “They came in, and instantly they were moving. There was no wasted time.” The job, he adds, took just two and a half hours, and the guys were done before lunch. Seven others we spoke with recommended Sven Moving (from $250 for a van job; from $500 for a truck); many of them cited the team’s impressively brisk pace. Graphic designer Dan Alssid says the team “made crazy good time” schlepping his TV and scores of books from a fifth-floor walk-up on the Upper East Side to Park Slope; journalist Nur Ibrahim echoed both Horovitz and Alssid, saying her move from Williamsburg to Crown Heights took under three hours — two hours less than her previous moves from similar spaces. Kyra Frankel, who owns a property-staging company in Brooklyn, uses Sven Moving about once a week (she says she considers it a colleague at this point) and confirms that “even in snowstorms, or in 100-degree heat, they hustle. You’ll never see them standing around.”

For a Hand With Packing

Cool Hand Movers;

Staring down a move between two three-bedroom apartments in Williamsburg, and daunted by the thought of dealing with her children’s rooms, Anna Barabas started looking for a moving company that also offered packing services. Barabas, who owns a maternitywear line, found Cool Hand on Instagram in 2020 and chose it both for its profile (a Black-owned mom-and-pop outfit) and litany of additional services. Rather than offering only full packs and regular moves, the company is willing to pack exactly what a customer wants (from $10 per reusable bin) and uses detailed questionnaires and virtual walk-throughs to size up jobs (and to inventory easy-to-forget items like air-conditioning units). “I asked if they’d pack the kids’ rooms and move the rest, and they said ‘yes,’ ” she says. “I left them entirely as is — no prep. Then they came in the day before our move, and in four hours everything was organized and labeled. It was amazing.” Besides packing services, Cool Hand offers bin rentals with BoxUp and can supply customers with wardrobe boxes and dish and glass dividers to make the whole process smoother. (Its movers will return to your new place to pick up the bins whenever you manage to get everything unpacked.) Barabas has hired Cool Hand twice since (for moving her belongings in and out of storage during a home renovation) and says she “recommends them to anyone I know who is moving.”

For Single Items

Solidarity Movers;

Writer Kimberly Drew first hired Solidarity Movers in 2018, when she moved out of her office at the Met Museum. She has since done five moves with the Brooklyn-based company, including a last-minute job after another mover was unable to fit a custom table through a doorway. Drew called Solidarity (from $1 per cubic foot of boxes and furniture), and “they got a saw from the hardware store and sawed the legs right off,” she says. “It was the most elegant thing ever. They didn’t panic at all.” A few months later, when Drew moved to a different apartment, Solidarity again took the table apart, moved it, and put it back together. (“They came in and saved the day,” she says.) Digital fundraiser Liz Zaretsky also relies on Solidarity for moving single pieces around (from $175) — like a heavy three-seat sleeper sofa between rooms, then to her sister-in-law’s apartment. “We contacted a few movers who basically said they’d have to charge us for two hours to do this, which would make it weirdly expensive,” she says. “Solidarity was willing to charge us only for the time spent on us and were able to fit us in between jobs.”

For Family Heirlooms

Morgan Manhattan,

Ahead of a move in Carroll Gardens, P J Sweeney, a teacher, says he was “extremely nervous” about his antiques. “We have a few pieces that are family heirlooms,” he says, “like some delicate glass scales used by my great-great-grandfather, who was a pharmacist.” A colleague suggested Morgan Manhattan — known, he told Sweeney, for handling expensive, challenging, and otherwise delicate items. The company regularly moves pianos, artwork, and wine, often building custom crates to safely transport belongings to specialized storage facilities and vaults. (According to Bridget Russo, who stages apartments around the city and recommends Morgan to her clients, the mover will even partner with rigging companies to gently hoist pianos, or king-size mattresses, or large artworks, through penthouse windows.) As for Sweeney’s antique scales: “They individually packaged each one,” he says, “and delivered them without any damage at all.”

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