Many people are drawn to Miami by the promise of warm weather, beaches, a multinational population, and a city that’s active all day and all night. Maybe you’re planning to work odd jobs as you figure out your life plans or go to school. Or, maybe you’re relocating for work and plan to settle in the city with your spouse and kids. No matter what your reason for moving to Miami, FL is, this vibrant city will offer you a rich and exciting lifestyle. To help you plan your move to Miami, we’ve got the following advice to make your moving day go smoothly.
Pick a good day to move
If you can, avoid moving to Miami in the summer months, particularly July and August. Summer in Miami is hot and humid. You wouldn’t want to carry heavy boxes or run multiple last-minute errands on a sweltering, sticky day. Thunderstorms are also more common in the summer months. Once you’re a resident, you’ll learn how to immediately take shelter during one of these storms, which usually pass quickly. But if you’re moving in, you could get stuck outside with your belongings during a heavy downpour.
From June to November, Miami experiences its hurricane season, which results in more rain and, in some years, a direct hit from a hurricane. If you’re flexible as to when you can move, choose winter or spring. The weather tends to be drier, and it won’t be as hot.
Depending on which neighborhood you’re moving to, also try not to schedule your moving day to coincide with one of Miami’s popular festivals. The Art Basel Festival, set in early December in Miami Beach, and the South Beach Wine & Food Festival at the end of February draw large crowds, take up the already limited amount of parking, and make traffic even more congested.
Heavy traffic is one of Miami’s least attractive features. Whether you’re on one of the major freeways or on a smaller street in the city grid, you’ll frequently experience bumper-to-bumper traffic.
As you’re figuring out how you’ll move your belongings to Miami, ask yourself if you’d be comfortable driving under stressful conditions. If you’re using a rental truck or a large van that you’re not accustomed to driving, consider the potential for accidents and other problems on the road.
To make your driving experience less difficult, study the city’s traffic patterns in advance to know which roads to avoid and when. In general, the early morning hours and the late afternoon and early evening hours are when the roads are clogged with commuters. On the I-95, southbound traffic is worse during the morning rush hour, and northbound traffic is at its most congested during the evening commute. On the US-1, the pattern reverses; northbound, the traffic is worse in the morning, and the southbound traffic is worse during the evening rush hour. The Palmetto Expressway seems to be congested day and night. One way to assess traffic and find out about closed lanes and construction is to get live reports from sites such as BeattheTraffic.com.
Even if the freeways can get frustrating, they’re still preferable to taking the city’s surface streets, especially if you’re driving for more than a few miles. The surface streets can also get congested during rush hour; furthermore, the traffic lights will slow you down.
You’ve made it to your new home, and now you need a place to park your car. Assuming you don’t have your own driveway, what are some of the options?
Metered parking is available on the street. You can pay with coins or with a special electronic card purchased from parking authorities. Once you’re a resident, you can get a parking decal to display in your car if you’ll need to park on the street on a daily basis. In some places, you may be able to park for free after a certain hour in the evening, but you’ll need to carefully read the signs on a given street to be sure that you can do this. If you park illegally or fail to pay the meter, you may get fined or have your car towed. Have someone stay with the car if you can’t find legal parking for it; that way, whoever is with the car can quickly move it if necessary.
Parking garages are also option in Miami, particularly if you need a place for your car overnight. Garages and lots maintained by the municipality you’re moving to may give you a safer and cleaner space for your car than parking on the street. To find out where these city-run lots are located, visit the relevant websites. For instance, parking authorities for the City of Miami have set up a locator on their website that shows various parking space options. The City of Miami Beach offers a similar locator for parking garages and lots.
Another great parking option is a vehicle storage unit. You can utilize a CubeSmart vehicle storage unit for parking RV’s, boats, jet skis, and motorcycles and other vehicles in addition to cars. Browse our Miami storage locations for vehicle storage here.
Finding a mover
If you decide to transport your own goods, visit Penske truck rentals for a variety of affordable truck rental locations around Miami.
You can also use professional movers in Miami. Be sure to carefully review the way they’ll charge you. In addition, check for any hidden fees. These can cover fuel costs and the use of equipment, which includes dollies and blankets for padding your furniture and other belongings.
Finding a place for your garbage
As you’re moving in, you’ll probably need to dispose of boxes, bags, wrappings, and general garbage. Maybe you’ll want to get rid of some belongings that sustained irreparable damage during the move. You may be tempted to place these items on the curb by your home. Before you do this, visit the relevant website for your municipality to make sure you’re following all garbage disposal regulations. For instance, the City of Miami has a webpage for the Solid Waste Department that answers frequently asked questions about where to leave your garbage and when to expect pick-ups. For any items you want to keep but can’t seem to find the right place for in your new home, CubeSmart has plenty of storage availability in the Miami area. Search Miami storage units here.
Finding good restaurants in your neighborhood is important when you’re moving in. Usually people don’t have the energy to cook, or they haven’t unpacked everything they’ll need to whip up a meal on their own. Eating out is also an opportunity to treat your friends to a meal if they’ve helped you move.
Throughout Miami, you’ll find restaurants drawing on various Caribbean and Latin American culinary traditions, especially dishes and flavors popular in Cuba. Because Miami is a cosmopolitan city, it also has no shortage of restaurants that feature other cuisines from around the world. You’ll have your pick from among high-end restaurants serving steak and seafood and casual joints where you can get a fat, greasy hamburger. To start your search for a restaurant, use the restaurant finder from Miami New Times, which allows you to search by neighborhood, cuisine, price, and other restaurant features.
Taking care of odds and ends
In the course of moving in, you may find yourself needing various supplies and odds and ends. You can head to any number of nearby CubeSmart superstores in the Miami area for items like tape, boxes, markers, and other moving supplies. Should you need to assemble furniture or make minor repairs to your new home, try Home Depot, which has several stores in Miami or consult the Yellow Pages for other Miami hardware stores.
You’ll find convenience stores and mini-markets all over Miami. In addition to basic foods, many of them will also have toiletries. Walgreens is a popular chain that sells groceries, toiletries, household supplies, and over-the-counter medications. They’re located throughout Miami, and you can easily find the store closest to your neighborhood through a search on their site.
Taking the stress out of moving
With careful planning, your move to Miami will hopefully be accomplished with minimal stress. Take the smallest details into account, and make back-up plans for driving, parking, and other aspects of your moving day.
When you’re done moving in, be sure to celebrate by getting better acquainted with your new city. Visit a museum, go to the beach, have a picnic in a park, or spend the early morning hours dancing at a nightclub. Right from the start of your residence, make the most of Miami.
Have any questions about moving or storage in Miami? Ask us in the comments section below. We’d love to hear from you!