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New York City NYC Moving Guide

9 Handy Items Every New Yorker Should Own

Crowds of people at Times Square in NYC

Are you getting ready to move to the Big Apple? Then you should know – there's a growing list of essentials that every New Yorker should own, making life more comfortable, and at times, more bearable. Be prepared to purchase these nine handy items before you relocate to the City That Never Sleeps.

1. A Basic Tool Set

A hammer, nails, screwdrivers, and maybe even a small power drill could make your life a whole lot simpler and save you some cash too. You won't need to call a handyman or wait for your super to assist (supers have a laundry list of stuff to fix for tenants) with tasks like hanging pictures and installing shades or curtains.

2. A Pair of Two of Earbuds

Did you know that decibels can reach nearly 100 in some parts of NYC? New Yorkers survive noise levels by wearing headphones or earbuds. Select a trusty pair that will block out city noise and allow you to listen to your favorite tunes at the same time. You may also want to curate a list of songs for your daily subway commute.

3. Refillable Water Bottle

Refillable water bottle used in daily activities

New York tap water is some of the best in the country, if not the world, and a single swig will prove it. A tip for living in New York is to take advantage of the clean (and free) water by purchasing a refillable bottle, so you can fill it up anywhere and at any time. Water bottles are becoming more popular around the country too. Newer airports offer free water filling stations, so have bottle, will travel wherever you go.

4. Rain Boots

When it rains, it pours, especially in New York City. You'll need the proper gear to attempt to stay dry when walking the streets, and that starts with waterproof boots. What's more, you'll end up destroying your shoes if you don't have the proper footwear, so be prepared to go rubber boot shopping shortly.

5. Earplugs

Sleeping in the City That Never Sleeps isn't always easy depending on the neighborhood and street where you live. While earplugs may take some getting used to, I promise, once you do, you'll never leave home without them. Block out jackhammers, horns, sirens, city chatter and more for sound sleep every single night.

6. Yoga Mat

Woman using yoga mat for exercise

Even if you're not a yogi when you make the move, you may become one the longer you live in New York. Yoga is a great stress reliever, which is why so many New Yorkers practice regularly, and you might end up joining in the fun. Not convinced? If you're sure that you'll never attempt yoga, a mat is still an excellent item to own for at-home workouts. Pull it out for pushups, sit-ups, leg lifts, stretches and other exercises.

7. Recycling Bins

New York is an eco-friendly city and most, if not all, buildings recycle. You'll need to separate your trash from glass and plastic, and paper goes in yet another container. Depending on the management of your building, those containers may be provided in the public trash area, but if not, do the earth a favor and buy your own.

8. A Folding Grocery Cart

Despite what many people assume, New Yorkers really do cook. And cooking requires making trips to the grocery store (when schedules run hectic, ordering online from Fresh Direct is the way to go). If you shop each day or even every other day, then you can probably carry several bags on your own. But otherwise, shopping for the week will require grabbing a taxi (silly for a few blocks) or taking a grocery cart on your shopping trips. Carts fold and can stay tucked under a piece of furniture and out of sight and will enable you to stock up on canned goods and heavier items if you have space.

9. A Weather-resistant City Bag

Couple walking around NYC with all-weather bags

An all-weather bag is essential for living in NYC. Keep paperwork, a laptop, a wallet, cell phone, and all of your belongings dry. Many women prefer tote bags with a shoulder strap, while men usually go for backpacks. A large cross-body bag is also a practical unisex option. No matter the style, nylon is likely the best material for rain, snow, sleet and whatever else Mother Nature throws your way when walking the streets of NYC.

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About the author

Tracy Kaler

Tracy Kaler is a ballet dancer turned interior designer turned lifestyle and travel writer who blogs at tracysnewyorklife.com. A former Atlantan, you can now find her byline in The Telegraph, IN New York Magazine, TravelMag, National Geographic, Mabuhay Magazine, am New York and others. When she's not glued to her laptop, you'll find her wandering the streets of New York City or off discovering another part of the planet.

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