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New York City NYC Moving Guide

9 Essential Tips for Living in Brooklyn, New York

Though Brooklyn is the most populous of the five boroughs, it comprises many areas that are far different from the hustle and bustle of New York City—abundant parks, walkable sidewalks, tight-knit communities, and even reasonable rents.

Families, young professionals, artists, and recent graduates all call Brooklyn home; many of them, in fact, relocated to Brooklyn from every corner of the United States, if not the world. More than, perhaps, most other places in America, Brooklyn celebrates its diversity. If you are planning on building a life in Brooklyn, New York, below are nine things that you need to know before, during, and after your move.

Brooklyn Does Not Fit Stereotypes

In the past, Brooklyn had a reputation for being one of the more dangerous boroughs of New York. Today, nothing could be further from the truth. Modern Brooklyn is home to incredible diversity, and many neighborhoods are ideal for both families and young professionals. Those moving to Brooklyn will find it vibrant and peaceful, exciting and family friendly. More than anything, Brooklyn does not fit any stereotype.

Brooklyn Is Excellent for Families

family friendly park in Brooklyn, New York

Image via Flickr by daisyelaine

Families living in Brooklyn, New York will find the walkable sidewalks, peaceful parks, sense of community, and family-friendly activities ideal for family life. From the Brooklyn Children's Museum to the Prospect Park Zoo, there are plenty of activities for children in Brooklyn. In addition, Brooklyn is an incredibly popular New York City borough for families because that extra bedroom in Brooklyn isn't going to break the college fund. If you are relocating to Brooklyn with small children, research the different neighborhoods. If you're looking for highly touted private schools, Park Slope is ideal. For a small-town feel, Bay Ridge is a tightly knit community.

Neighborhoods Feature Their Own Charms

Brooklyn neighborhoods outside NYC

Image via Flickr by RegulusAlpha

Brooklyn features approximately ten distinct neighborhoods, all with their own charms, community, amenities, and price tags. It's vital to research the various neighborhoods to find the area that best suits your present needs and future expectations. Although online research is an excellent first step, it is more effective to actually explore the areas, if possible. On a nice day, you'll be able to experience the sense of community found in parks, at events, near commercial areas, and while passing residents on the sidewalk.

Many find that subletting a place for a month and storing their belongings in a nearby storage unit is ideal when they are deciding where to live in Brooklyn. By doing so, you can experience the neighborhoods more fully and live short-term as a local. Moving is an important, life-changing event, so performing your due diligence is a prudent approach.

Brooklyn Is a Haven for Young Professionals

Brooklyn has long been a mecca for up-and-coming professionals, artists, writers, and young entrepreneurs. In fact, many areas of Brooklyn are driven by the energy and talents of young professionals. There is a tangible electricity in the borough that you would be hard-pressed to find in Manhattan. Startups and young companies abound on many corners, and they are often looking to fill jobs with fresh-thinking professionals. In addition, food, rent, clothing, and many other things are less expensive in Brooklyn than Manhattan, making it ideal for those beginning their careers.

If you're moving to Brooklyn alone, it is highly suggested to seek the help of a moving company. You are not going to want to—or be physically able to—move your furniture alone up seven flights into your studio apartment.

Brooklyn Can Accommodate Different Budgets

Affordable neighborhoods in Brooklyn, NY

Image Flickr by James Cridland

Without question, Brooklyn is a lot less expensive than Manhattan. From entertainment to rent, living in Brooklyn is, well, more livable. Although a four-bedroom brownstone in Park Slope is by no means cheap, it is less expensive than a four-bedroom apartment in the Upper West Side. For young families, finding a brownstone in the Fort Greene neighborhood may be even more financially practical. Likewise, if young professionals find studio apartments in Williamsburg out of their budget, then a studio in Greenpoint is an excellent alternative. Brooklyn also enjoys a somewhat hyper-local economy, which helps to cut costs for everyday living expenses. To ensure patronage and consistent business, many of the mom-and-pop stores compete with reasonable prices.

You Will Get to Know Your Neighbors

Unlike other boroughs in New York City, especially Manhattan, Brooklyn has an incredible sense of community. After setting up a life in Brooklyn, New York, you will quickly meet your neighbors, local business owners, and neighborhood residents. This sense of living in a tight-knit community is one of the major factors that makes Brooklyn so unique and popular, for both families and young professionals.

Having a Car in Brooklyn Is Optional

Walkable neighborhoods in Brooklyn, NY

Image via Flickr by halseike

Although having a car in Brooklyn is more practical than in Manhattan, it is by no means necessary. Although many residents do own vehicles, parking on the street can be expensive. Many residents use the subway system, and Brooklyn is incredibly walkable, especially within your specific neighborhood. This is part of Brooklyn's charm. In addition, people are finding car-sharing businesses, such as Zipcar, more economical and convenient than actually owning a vehicle.

If you are planning on ditching the car when you move, then it is important to find a moving truck company that allows adequate storage. Some moving truck companies also offer moving assistance: an incredible perk if you are moving alone.

Brooklyn Offers Space

Outdoor park in Brooklyn, New York

Image via Flickr by Marcin Wichary

Unlike many areas in New York City, Brooklyn has plenty of parks to get some fresh air. From playing soccer in Red Hook to jogging or biking in Prospect Park, Brooklyn offers space—a luxury that is hard to place a price tag on. There’s an abundant amount of parks in Brooklyn, and many do not get overly crowded. As a perk, many Brooklyn parks also host free concerts and movies in the summer. Nearly unthinkable in Manhattan, your apartment, condo, or brownstone may even have a small backyard, or if you're especially lucky, a tree.

Brooklyn Offers Something for Everybody

Where you live in Manhattan is largely dictated by where you work. However, Brooklyn is more distinct and diverse, and residents typically live in a neighborhood that suits their personality, home life, interests, and budgets. While each neighborhood is a viable option for raising a family, Park Slope and Bay Ridge are particularly sought-after due to their safety, beautiful parks, and excellent schools. For young professionals, Williamsburg and Greenpoint have long surpassed Manhattan's East Village as the ideal place for reasonably priced apartments and wealth of entertainment options.

Whether you are looking to raise a family, begin a career, or follow your artistic aspirations, Brooklyn is a nurturing, vibrant, and exciting place to live. Moving to Brooklyn can be a daunting prospect—like relocating anywhere—but with a little research, knowledge, logistical help, and a practical approach, you can soon be a Brooklyn resident with your own particular accent.

About the author

The Storage Queens

We know a thing or two about moving. Together, we share the best tips in organizing, storage, navigating your city, and more!

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