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Moving into an Apartment with an Elevator

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Moving into an apartment is hard enough, but a move into an above ground rental is even more difficult. While moving into an apartment with stairs is definitely challenging, using an elevator to relocate your belongings comes with a completely different set of hurdles.

Potential problems

As with any move, bringing your belongings in an elevator presents a unique set of difficulties for you and your movers. When pondering whether to move up the stairs or elevator, consider the following:
  • Will your belongings--particularly large furniture--be able to fit in the elevator?
  • Are you only one or two floors up? Would it be quicker to move via the stairs?
  • Will a move up and down the stairs be too tiring?
  • Will you be forced to move on an inconvenient day of the week, so the elevator is more readily available?
  • Is it possible others will be using the elevator to move into their own rentals?
  • Does the lobby only have one lift for the whole building which may slow down your move and possibly increase its cost?
  • Is there a service elevator? How far in advance must you reserve it?

Plan in advance

After finding an apartment, signing a lease and purchasing tenant insurance, it's time to start planning your elevator move.
  • Ask your future landlord any questions you may have.
    • Is a service or freight elevator available for use so you are not hassling the other building's occupants? Who uses this elevator and are there limits to when it can be used?
    • What elevator times are the busiest? What times are quietest? Is there a better day of the week to move in based on these times?
    • Can you reserve an elevator for your use if the lobby has multiple lifts?
    • Will you have access to an elevator key to hold the doors open manually?
  • Measure the elevator's dimension in advance to see if large items will fit properly
    • Don't forget to mark down the measurements of both the doors and the interior
  • Write down the lift's weight limit and the number of occupants it can safely carry
  • Have at least three people ready to help you and keep an eye on your belongings--one in the lobby to load the items, one in the elevator to ride up with your items, and one on your rental's floor to assist with unloading
    • The move will go faster if the loading and unloading floors both have their own dollies to transport moving boxes

Be considerate

Once the day of your move has arrived, it's important to practice good moving etiquette. Do your best to not inconvenience your soon-to-be neighbours with your move--you don't want to make enemies before you've even moved into your new rental property.
  • Say hello to other tenants when your paths cross
  • Allow them to enter the elevator first and place anything you're carrying out of their way
  • Give them sole use of the lift when you are bringing in large furniture
  • Apologize if your move has impeded them in any way

TIP: Wrap furniture in moving blankets to protect the walls and floors of the elevator from any potential damage.

Hire movers

Don't want to deal with the hassles of moving into an apartment via elevator? Hire a professional moving company instead! To get started finding moving companies, fill out our fast and free quote form to receive no-cost estimates from movers in your area--and don't forget to ask if an elevator move costs extra.

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on November 21, 2014 - Moving Expert
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