So, you have decided that NYC will be your new home? And you’re going there on your own? Then you need to get ready.

When it comes to New York City, many people have unrealistic expectations, which is totally expected if you’ve watched shows like Friends or Sex and the City. But too high expectations can ruin your whole experience in the city once you settle in.

People also tend to have unrealistic expectations when it comes to moving. How difficult can it be, right? Oh, it’s very difficult, especially if you’re moving alone. No friends to bribe with pizza and bear to move your stuff. The whole planning and relocating is on you and it can be really stressful.

Luckily, there’s a way to make your NYC relocation easier. Here’s how.

1. Hire Professional Movers

Hiring professional NYC movers is the easiest way to relocate. Sure, using a moving company will cost, but a common misconception is that hiring professional movers is more expensive than organizing everything by yourself. You need to look at the bigger picture and consider things like hidden expenses, dangers, risks, and stress when moving by yourself.

Extra tip: Professionals movers are usually busiest at the weekends and at the beginning/end of the month. Negotiate a discount by moving mid-month or mid-week.

2. Looking for a Place to Live

Finding a place to live (alone) in the Big Apple is a big decision. And an expensive one at that. But the price isn’t the real challenge. Getting an apartment is. You’ll be competing with hundreds of other people who’re looking for a great deal on a room. Hiring a broker is a great idea, just be prepared to pay the broker fees in addition to your deposit.

Whether you’re looking for an apartment on your own or working with a realtor, always beware of scams. First and foremost, never send money in advance. Second, ask for recommendations from people you know or look them up online.

3. Get Ready to Spend a Lot

Do some research to get a general idea of how much renting an apartment will cost you. How much are the overheads? How much do people spend on average per month? You have to be aware that life in NYC might prove to be more expensive than what you expected. Maybe you should consider living with a roommate to reduce the expenses.

It should also be noted that the flats in NYC tend to be ridiculously small but very expensive, even in the most affordable neighborhoods. Take this into consideration when you’re packing. You’ll probably need to leave half of your clothes behind. Speaking of clothes…

4. Winters in NYC Are Cold

Despite popular belief, winters in New York City aren’t like winters in the North Pole but they are quite cold. That’s another thing to have in mind when packing. Don’t forget to bring warm jackets and boots. On the other hand, it can get very hot during summer, so throw in some T-shirts and sandals as well.

5. You’ll Probably Move Several Times

If you live in Brooklyn, you might get tempted to experience life in the city. And then, you’ll get bored or regret your decision and decide you want to go back. Or, you might think you’ve scored a great apartment only to discover that it’s too far from the subway station, or there are too many stairs, or the walls are too thin.

6. Commuting in NYC Alone

Every decent New Yorker owns a pair of super-comfortable shoes. But even though you’ll probably spend hours and hours walking around the city, you’ll have to use public transport to get to work or meet with friends.

Since you’ll spend a lot of time on the subway, find a way to keep yourself busy – download your favorite music and podcasts or pack a great book because there is no service underground.

Also, be prepared for over-crowdedness. When using the subway for your daily commute, you need to be ready to share your personal space with total strangers on a daily basis. You have no choice but to get used to it unless, of course, your budget can take the expense of riding cabs. Or driving a car.

7. If you Have a Car, Get Ready to Spend Even More

If you’ve decided to bring your car to NYC, be prepared to spend a ton of money. There are bridge tolls, tunnel tolls, parkways, expressways… You’ll also need to pay up to $20 in order to use a freeway (to get pretty much anywhere out of NYC).

8. It’s Not Law & Order Every Day

The number of crime shows set in NYC is enough to make you frightened. It’s OK to be cautious but try not to get completely scared of walking the streets alone. It’s not like there’s someone stalking you and waiting for a chance to get you. What you should be afraid of are pickpockets and credit card scams.

9. But People Do Like to Drink

New Yorkers are hard workers but they’re also hard players. When the workday or work week is over, drinking with friends and colleagues is a ritual. Luckily, there’s no shortage of bars in the Big Apple and almost every single one of them offers some sort of Happy Hour. And since you don’t have to drive home (this is the moment when you start loving public transport), you can sit back and relax.