Chicago skyline with high rise buildings and river

Moving is always stressful and difficult. Moving into a high-rise building has its own special challenges, especially as high-density communities tend to have and need a lot of rules to keep everything working smoothly.

Here are the things you need to know before making your move:

  1. Make sure you have picked the right building for your needs. Check the security, read reviews to see if the building has any problems. Check smoke alarms and such before moving in. If you have a pet, check the rules on pets. Some buildings have size or breed rules.
  2. Learn the building's rules before you move in so that you don't annoy your neighbors or your landlord right off the bat.
  3. You may have to book the freight elevator. Many buildings do not allow furniture to be moved using the passenger elevator. If they don't have a freight elevator, then they will want to pad an elevator for you. Some buildings don't allow reservations of passenger elevators at peak times. If possible, schedule the truck to arrive in the middle of a day, but also check which days. In fact, some buildings even have a specific move-in/move-out day and you can't move on any other day.
  4. You may also have to book the loading dock. There are also often rules as to when the loading dock can be used.
  5. Be aware of how much stuff you have before calling the moving company. It's better to say you will need more time and get a pleasant surprise rather than a nasty one. Give them as much detail as you can. Some companies will ask for photos so they can eyeball the stuff you have and give a better estimate.
  6. Figure out where your stuff is going before moving day. You can measure rooms and furniture. Then you can label furniture and boxes as to which room they are going in. Given the tight space, you may want to get rid of things you don't want to move. Also, measure doors. You may, for example, find that it is simply impossible to get a king mattress into the bedroom. (Ideally, check some of these things before signing the lease). If you are downsizing, make plans to donate, sell, or give away the furniture you aren't taking with you. If your high-rise apartment is your first home, on the other hand, you may be making trips to buy furniture. If so, consider whether you will need to hire help to get it into your new home.
  7. Clean the apartment before moving in. Or at least inspect it. A lot of large buildings will do a mini-renovation between tenants, in which they clean and possibly replace carpet, clean appliances, etc. However, this doesn't mean it will meet your standards.
  8. On a related note, if you have kids or pets, child or pet proof the apartment before you move in your furniture. You may want to lock windows so children can't open them. Window screens will help keep your cat from sitting on the window ledge and falling out. It's much easier to do child or pet proofing with no furniture in the apartment.
  9. Ask if the building has any luggage carts or dollies you can rent. This can speed things up by giving the movers an extra cart. (It's also handy to know for the future. Those cart rentals can be very useful).
  10. Finally, book your moving company well in advance, especially if you are moving a long distance and/or it is spring or summer (which tend to be busier times for movers).

The most important thing to remember about moving into a high-rise is that there will be building rules, whether you are renting an apartment or buying a condo. Keeping your move within the rules will give you a much smoother first impression. Get a quality moving company who can help you move in quickly, and you will be set.