Parking Permits For Moving In Boston Now Available Online!

The process of obtaining parking permits for your move in Boston has gotten a bit simpler today. For the first time, residents of Boston are able to obtain single-day moving permits through the City of Boston Website. As always, there are certain guidelines that must be followed, but this should make your permit acquisition easier, and you can save the money that it costs to hire a service (like our own) to do this.

To be eligible for online permits, you must be getting single day moving truck permits, and it must be 2-4 weeks in advance of your move. If your move is in less than two weeks, you must still obtain your permits in person at City Hall. The permits are also not available for the North End, and for certain streets and areas (such as Park Drive).

That means that all of you looking for help with permits on September 1 can apply today and save yourself the trip to City Hall (or possible posting fees of hiring somebody). There are lots of people moving in Boston this busy summer, and this should alleviate some pressure for a lot of them.

Parking permits have been a requirement for parking a moving truck on-street in Boston. Up until now, if you wanted to obtain your permit for a move, you would have to go to City Hall in person, or at least hire a person or company who would be willing to make the trip for you. Online permits have been available in Cambridge, Brookline, and Somerville for some time now, and it is a great step forward to see Boston finally streamlining this process for its residents.

If you have a move scheduled and it is at least two weeks away, you can use this simple online application to obtain your permit. And if you’re still looking for movers for your August 31-September 1 move, Big City Moving Company has limited appointments remaining. Contact us today to secure your appointment for the busiest moving week of the year in the city of Boston.

For more great information about this new policy, check out this article by Sanjay Salomon over at

Parking Permits Are Required When Moving In Boston

The City of Boston has been making sure that all moving trucks have legal parking permits.

The City of Boston has been making sure that all moving trucks have legal parking permits.

Whether you’re moving into Boston, moving out of the city, or going from one neighborhood to another, you need to make parking arrangements for your moving truck on moving day. For most people, that means obtaining Street Occupancy Permits from City Hall in Boston. This year in particular has been very tough to try to get by without a parking permit. Our moving crews have been shuffled away by Boston Police on every move that we’ve attempted without legal parking spots acquired in advance. If you are planning on moving within the City of Boston, these tips will help you make sure that you don’t run into any issues when it comes time to find a parking space for your moving truck.

Who Needs Parking Permits?

It’s actually a little easier to rule out the few people who don’t need to get parking permits. There are basically four exemptions to the rule.

1. Driveway – If your building has a large enough driveway, with plenty of room to turn in and out of, you might not need a permit. You may need to make arrangements with the other tenants or property manager who have access to the driveway as well.

2. Loading Dock – If your building has a loading dock, you will most likely need to schedule a time with your property manager for your moving truck.

3. Commercial Loading Zone – Some buildings will have a designated commercial loading zone. These are not always available for residents to move in or out of a building. Check with your property manager to see if you can have access to the loading zone, and schedule a time if necessary.

4. Parking Lot – If your building has a large parking lot, you may be able to utilize that for your move. Check with your property manager to see if any appointments need to be made.

If you do not have any of those four options available, you will need to get parking permits for your move.

How Do I Obtain Parking Permits?

Parking permits must be acquired in person at City Hall in Boston. Permits need to be obtained at least three business days before your move or they will refuse to issue them to you. If you are unable to obtain permits on your own, Big City Moving Company does offer permit acquisition and posting services. You can request permits now by clicking here.

What Is The Cost For Parking Permits?

Most moving trucks in Boston will require the smallest available parking permit – two consecutive parking spaces. The typical cost for this would be a total of $69 ($61 for the permits plus $8 for the two signs you will need to post). If your permits are for metered parking spaces, the cost would be +$40, or $109 total. Big City Moving Company can obtain and post your permit for you for an additional $75.

What If I Can’t Obtain Permits?

Any time you attempt to do a move in Boston without proper parking arrangements, you are taking a number of risks.

1. Parking violations – Parking without a parking permit leaves you vulnerable to getting hit with parking violations.

2. Wasted time – If you can’t find a parking spot, you may be forced to drive around in circles, waiting for something to open up. You may also not be able to park close, and the added distance between your location and your parking spot will make your move take longer than it needs to.

3. Forced cancellations – In extreme situations, we have been forced to leave a job by the Boston Police Department. They don’t want to have moving trucks double parking, clogging up the streets, potentially putting other motorists in danger. They have been taking this very seriously over the last couple months. As a moving company, if we are forced to cancel because proper parking permits haven’t been arranged, you are still responsible for the minimum charge.

In short – if you are unable to acquire a legal parking space for your truck, you’re taking some potentially costly risks. We strongly urge everybody to do things the right way by obtaining all legal parking spots needed in advance of the move.

Five Tips For Planning A Move During Winter

Some people love it, some people hate it. If you live in New England – it’s something that you have chosen to live with, one way or another. SNOW! Winter weather conditions will make it difficult for anyone planning a move, but there are some things that you can do to make everything go as smooth as a sheet of ice.

1. Always Have A Second Option

Winter weather can be extremely unpredictable here in New England. From one hour to the next, a forecast can have drastic changes. You really just never know exactly what you’re going to get when a storm is on the horizon. Keeping a backup moving date available can be essential. When there are roads closed, parking bans, or unplowed roads, there isn’t a safe way to try to move.

2. Make A Path

It is essential to have a safe, fully cleared pathway from your moving truck to the entranceway(s). You’ll need to have enough space for your moving truck (or storage pod, or van, etc) to park as well. Attempting to move furniture across ice or snow can be very dangerous, so be sure to melt the ice as well.

3. Protect Your Floors

Things tend to be particularly dirty when there is snow on the ground. The snow melts and gets all wet and dirty, plus all the salt in the roads and walkways can get everywhere. We recommend using some floor protection (Home Depot, Amazon, etc) to prevent the floors from scratching. As long as you make a clear path into each room, the movers should be able to set the furniture wherever you need it to go.

4. Drive Carefully! 

If you are transporting your belongings in a truck, make sure that you drive as carefully as possible! Leave as much space as possible for braking and adjusting to any unexpected conditions.

5. Be Flexible 

Winter weather is often going to slow things down. Traffic will move much slower. Carrying furniture – especially up or down stairs or ramps – can take longer. Trying to rush things in the snow can be very hazardous – so be flexible and don’t try to do too much at once.

4 Essential Pieces Of Moving Equipment To Help You On Moving Day

Moving Equipment

Pads, dollies, and straps are all used to protect your belongings within the truck

Moving can be a really tough job. However, utilizing the right gear and equipment can really help to make sure that your move isn’t any more difficult than it needs to be. Some equipment helps to protect you, some to protect your equipment, and some of it just makes the whole process easier. The following pieces of equipment can really help to make your move go as smoothly as possible.

1. Padded Moving Blankets

Padded moving blankets are essential for every move. We find it best to secure pads to your furniture items with tape, stretch wrap, and/or elastics. Padding your furniture also helps to protect your walls and other things that the furniture might rub into; it’s a lot less damaging to hit a quilted moving pad than it would be to snag a wooden corner.

Aside from padding your furniture, moving blankets are also useful if you need to slide anything. For example, if you were to slide a dresser across a hardwood floor, you may damage the dressers legs, and you will most likely scratch the floor. However, adding a furniture pad as a buffer will work wonders in keeping everything protected.

2. Moving Dollies (Four Wheelers) 

The easiest way to move most boxy furniture and appliances is to put it on a moving dolly. This is even more important if you are moving within an elevator building, or any building with long corridors. You can’t really dolly your furniture up and down stairs, so that is one limitation of moving dollies. However, if you get creative with some locking moving straps, bungees, or ropes, you can secure almost anything to a dolly. That can be useful if you have any pieces that don’t set flat on your moving dolly.

3. Hand Trucks (Two Wheelers) 

Hand trucks can be great for shuttling large numbers of boxes along. They are also very useful for some larger pieces that might be awkward to carry, such as refrigerators, washers, dryers, armoires, and even bureaus. Some hand trucks are even special made for these large items, and will have straps to secure the cargo to the hand truck, as well as “stair climbers” over the wheels, which make it possible to bring these items up or down stairs. Proper use of hand trucks can shave hours off of your moving time, and can help to save your energy as well.

4. Simple Tool Kit

You’re going to want to keep a basic tool kit handy for any move. Essential items would be a hammer, philips & flat-head screwdriver, alan key set, and adjustable wrench. It can be handy to have a socket set, pliers, and even some power tools as well, but they aren’t as essential. You’ll want to make sure that you have all the equipment you may need to assemble or disassemble any furniture, remove doors from hinges, and possibly to unmount things from your walls, like TVs or framed items.

What Are The Best Places To Get Moving Supplies?

Moving Supplies
When you are planning a move, you will most likely need to get some moving and packing supplies. What you need could vary widely based on what you have to wrap. If you have a collection of trinkets, glass, or ceramics, you’ll probably need a lot of bubble wrap. If you have a lot of framed items like mirrors, paintings, and photos, you may want some photo-corner boxes and some bubble wrap. You may even require a crate if you have some equipment that needs to be securely locked down. Everybody has their own needs, and finding the right supplies can be a real challenge. Luckily for you, we’ve worked with almost everything out there, and we know some great resources to help ensure that you get everything you need to keep your move going smoothly.


If you need a wide array of supplies, or anything specific at all, I would strongly suggest checking out Uline. They do orders by phone or through their website. They can provide just about everything you could possibly need for your move. Tools, dollies, hand trucks, pallet jacks, bins, boxes, tape, stretch wrap, mattress covers, and much more are all available for very competitive prices. Even if you find yourself shipping items frequently, Uline is a great resource for the packing materials that you would want to use. Please keep in mind that you would need to place an order, so it is good to buy from Uline when you have enough time to allow for shipping.

Your Moving Company

Your moving company most likely offers some supplies. However, every mover is different. Some companies will be able to deliver supplies in advance of your move. Some movers may be able to only bring supplies on your moving day. We suggest you talk to your mover about what your moving needs are, and what supplies you may need, and work with them to find the best solution. Even if your moving company is unable to provide you with the supplies that you require when you need them, they should be able to help you find them.

Home Depot

We have had great success in finding a wide array of supplies from Home Depot in the past. It can be handy if you need to pick up a few things, or even if you need something more substantial. They offer boxes, bins, tape, stretch wrap, furniture covers and pads, and even dollies and hand trucks. We have even gotten replacement parts for our dollies and hand trucks when they have been damaged. And of course it is a great place to shop for any tools that you may need for your moving or other home projects.

Local Storage Facility

Many storage facilities offer a shop for buying boxes, tape, mattress covers, couch covers, and other basic moving supplies. You can oftentimes rent items like hand trucks and dollies, so if you won’t need them long term, it can be a good idea to rent from a storage facility. Whether it is an independent shop or a national chain, they most likely offer some line of supplies. It can be a good idea to call in advance to make sure they have what you need.

Rental Truck Shop

Much like the storage facility, most rental truck outlets will have a shop for some moving supplies, including items available for rent. This can be a better option if you don’t want or need to keep your moving and packing supplies.


How To Organize Yours Moving Truck For Your Move

How to organise a large removal van when moving house

Planning the layout of how you will pack your furniture and boxes into a large removal van is an essential first step to consider when moving house!
Thinking about this right from the start will ease the entire process and will ensure the highest level of safety too.

Before the process of packing begins, ensure boxed items are labelled clearly with the room they belong to and any furniture to be taken apart has been
fully dismantled. Any screws, nuts and bolts from furniture can be stored in tupperware or biscuit tins and kept together, clearly labelled as to what they
belong to. Once your van has arrived, begin moving items out onto the street and begin the process of packing!

First – Pack all heavy appliances in first. This can include the fridge, freezer, dish washer, cooker, oven, washing machine and so on. Being as far
forward as possible means the heavier items are closer to the engine which makes life easier and safer for the truck and its driver. Remember, it is always
best to store appliances the right way up.

Second – Separate out all things that can be used as cushioning or padding. This can include cushions, blankets, towels, pillows, mattresses, duvets or
curtains. First, you may wish to wrap any of these for their own protection from dirt or damage. Have a roll of duct tape handy to aid in wrapping these
objects. Tape can also be handy in wrapping certain delicate pieces of furniture with towels or blankets, including mirrors or large ceramics.

Third – Pack longer, larger pieces of furniture along the sides of the van. This can include sofas, wardrobes, drawers, cabinets and the odd chaise longue!
It can also include long pieces of furniture that have been taken apart for transport including bed frames and book shelves. Any pieces of furniture that
include drawers are best packed with drawers facing the sides of the van to minimise the chance of
them opening in transit. Taping drawers shut is a good idea, although if you are worried about marking the furniture use rope or cables instead to secure
some kind of padding, either blankets or a mattress.

Fourth – Bring in the boxes! Normally a large truck will allow for three levels of storage. Ideally load
your lowest level with the heaviest boxes, the middle level with slightly lighter boxes and the top level with the lightest boxes. It’ll be far easier if
all boxes are the same size, keeping each level roughly the same height.

Fifth – Now bring in the remaining items to fill any gaps or holes in the van. Use any remaining soft items to cushion and soften any tight packing,
delicate objects or sharp corners. Remember, loose objects are dangerous objects! If you run out of cushioning, use cable-ties or rope where possible to
secure movable objects or layers of packing that might seem unstable.

What happens if you discover the truck is bigger than you need? It is never a good idea to layer your belongings too high in a large truck and leave a
large empty space at the back. This will allow things to shift and move once the van gets going. Instead, do not aim to create as many as three layers but
spread out your packing to create one even layer throughout. You are always aiming to allow for as little movement as possible, so even layers and secure
cushioning will be your best friends at all times.

Where Do I Park A Moving Truck?

not the best place to park your moving truck

not the best place to park your moving truck

Today’s question was submitted by James B. from South Boston. James asked: My neighborhood is mostly residential parking. I know commercial parking tickets can be even costlier than normal parking violations, so I don’t want to get a ticket. Where can I park a moving truck for my move?

Well, to state the obvious, parking through the house (like in today’s image) is not the best way to go. There’s at least a couple choices that you should try before you let it come to that. Today’s blog will offer some tips on finding the best spot to park your truck for moving day.


Parking In A Driveway

If you have your own driveway, or if you share a driveway with neighbors, that can be an ideal place to park the truck. There are a couple things that you should be aware of beforehand.

• Watch for low hanging wires or other obstructions.

• A steep incline from the street to driveway or vice versa can get the truck stuck.

• Driveway should be long enough that the truck can fit into it with the ramp out.       This is usually two car lengths (15′ box truck) or three car lengths (24′ box truck).


Parking In A Parking Lot

Some apartment or condo complexes will have parking available to residents. You may need to speak with a property manager about parking a truck there for moving day. If the spots are general assignment, and not assigned to each resident, you should speak with your neighbors so that they don’t leave you without a spot.


Using A Loading Dock

If a loading dock is available, this is usually the best place to park. It will ensure that the truck has a spot designed for trucks, with easy access without requiring a ramp or lift gate. You should always request an appointment with the property manager weeks in advance to ensure the loading dock’s availability. Also, take note of height requirements. Certain structures are built to allow a smaller vehicle, but might not yield the height of a larger truck. Let your moving company or truck rental agency know what the height requirements are.


On Street Parking (Ususally Requires A Permit)

When the other three options are not available, your best choice will be to park on the street. You should check out parking regulations for the community you are moving to if you are unsure. Parking Permits are required in the cities of Boston, Somerville, Brookline, and Cambridge. Some of the surrounding areas have their own parking guidelines to follow. A quick search on Google should help you find out what will be required in order to park a moving truck for your move.


When Should You Get A Parking Permit For Your Move?

J.S. submitted the following question:

I am moving from Allston to Back Bay. Will I get a ticket if I don’t get a moving permit for either location? I am planning on starting the move around 9am on a Saturday. 

In short, you’re going to want to obtain parking permits for this move. A parking permit will reserve the best possible parking space for the truck on your move, which will reduce the move time. There will be no wasted time searching for a parking spot, which will also reduce the time. Obtaining a permit will also help eliminate the risk of a parking violation, which can be quite costly for a commercial moving truck.

If you’re planning a move in Boston, there’s only a few scenarios where we would not recommend getting a parking permit for the move:

Driveway – if you have your own driveway that can accommodate a large moving truck, no permit will be necessary. Be sure to measure out all three dimensions – a lot of people overlook the height issue, but a low hanging wire or branch can prevent you from parking the moving truck in the driveway.

Parking Lot – If your building has it’s own parking lot, you might not have to get a permit. You should check in with the property manager and find out if you are allowed to park the truck in the lot, and make a reservation if necessary. Some parking lots are not made for a large truck, so be sure to check with the property manager in advance.

Loading Dock – If your building has a loading dock, you should not need a parking permit. In most cases, the loading dock will need to be reserved in advance, so make sure you reach out to a property manager well in advance of the move.

Commercial Loading Zone – In some rare cases, a building will have its own commercial loading zone available to tenants. Find out if this space needs to be reserved in advance so you can decide if you can use that, or if you’d be better off getting a parking permit.

Other than those (somewhat rare) scenarios, we always suggest obtaining a parking permit for your move. If you need help, Big City Moving Co. can help obtain permits for Boston (all neighborhoods), Cambridge, Somerville, & Brookline. There’s also The Permit Guy or Permit Puller, who can be hired to obtain permits in the Greater Boston area as well.

Thank you, J.S., for submitting a question! We appreciate the chance to answer all your moving questions right here on our blog. To submit your own question, click here