Moving to a new city can be a scary thing, but sometimes it’s the necessary next step in your life. Packing up a car and moving across the country has worked out for some people, but most need to plan every detail to ensure things go smoothly.
Moving to a new city means more than finding another apartment or house to live in, you’ll have to leave behind your old life and find new people and place to visit. Your favorite restaurant, shops, and boutique will no longer be there; as well as your local friends who you’ll have to work harder to keep in touch with.
Finding new places to frequent can be an exciting things but there’s a lot to consider before uprooting your entire life to live in a new place. Understand why you want to move and asking yourself the tough questions can determine if it’s even the right choice for you at the moment.
What to consider before you move
Why are you moving?
For Love? A new Job? For new opportunities + beginnings?
Questions to ask yourself if you are moving for love:
If doesn’t work out for you, will you resent your partner?
Whether you break up or you just can’t get back on your feet, are you going to resent your partner if things don’t work out the way you planned?
Can you picture yourself living in the destination city?
If you’re a city girl, and your boyfriend is moving to a small, suburban town in the Midwest – this is something you need to think about. Even with the love of your life you may still be unhappy in the wrong environment.
Are you financially fit enough to move?
If not, have you talked about how the bills will be payed and discussed living arrangements? Are you able to live rent free until you find a job? Think about how not having the best savings will affect your situation, money can end things before you even get started.
Do you have a job lined up or any prospects in the new city?
Having a job is important for financial stability but also your sanity. Being out of work is depressing and is sure to affect your relationship and your feelings towards the move. Before you uproot your entire life, make sure you have a good chance at finding a job, so you can start to build a life of your own as well.
Questions to ask yourself if you are moving for a new job:
Who will pay for relocation expenses?
Not every company is going to give you a large amount of money to relocate for a position. Be sure how much you’ll have to contribute to your move, if anything.
What is the cost of living in the new city?
Understand the kind of expenses you’ll be facing even after the initial costs of the move. Will you be able to cover all your expenses and still save money?
What is there to do besides work in the new city?
If you don’t have a family, the most you may have to worry about is how you will make new friends and how this might affect your relationship if you are in one. But for others, you have to consider your spouse and kids; where will they go to school, are their job prospects for your spouse? Don’t make the move without weighing the obstacles against the benefits.
Questions to ask yourself if you are moving for a fresh start in life:
Do you know anyone who lives there?
If you don’t know anyone who lives in the city you’re trying to move to things are going to be a lot harder than if you had some support. Having friends or family in a city (even if it’s just one person) can make all the difference. Having someone whose couch you can crash on or ask about the best places to shop is more valuable than you think - Google can help but sometimes a friend is better!
Where are the good/bad neighborhoods?
Take advantage of different apps and do your research to figure out which neighborhood is ideal for you to move into. Also, if you ever find yourself in a position where you’re not in a stable living situation knowing where it’s safe to be at night is great to know.
What is my goal for going out there?
If you don’t have a job lined up and you are just moving to see what opportunities come your way, don’t leave without making a to-do list. This is the list of things you plan to accomplish before you come back. The last thing you want to do is travel across the country and then start researching and making your game plan – have all the work done before you take off.
What to consider during your move
Get organized and plan everything out, and anticipate surprise expenses. Create a spreadsheet of all the monthly expenses and see if it's even a good idea for you to move. After you calculate all the money you’ll need to get by, double it. This accounts for unexpected costs that may arise, if you can still afford it then you’re in good shape.
Have six months of expenses tucked away in savings and a backup plan, You should know exactly what your next move will be if things don’t go according to plan.
Find out what things you need in your neighborhood and what the best spots are in your new city. Take note of where the dry cleaners, local grocery store, best schools, coffee shops, and laundromats are and how far they are from your home.
Tips for a smooth transition:
Move your most prized possessions yourself
It doesn’t matter if you are using family to help pack your moving truck or you hired a service, move your most breakable items yourself. Avoid having to struggle with the moving company to get your items replaced or being upset with a friend who accidentally dropped something and transport your fragile items in a car with you.
It sounds redundant but it’s quite crucial. There are going to be tons of boxes in your new place and everything will be a lot less stressful if you knew exactly what was inside. Be as specific as you can when labeling your boxes to make unpacking and organizing a seamless effort.
Save your friends for last
Use your friends as a last resort if you can. There are a lot of moving parts when you’re planning to move to a new city and you don’t want to bug your friends for help over small things you can handle. Save your calls for help to your friends when you need it the most.
Pack for a short trip
There’s no way you’ll be done unpacking and settled in after a day or two of working so pack like you’re going away for the weekend so all you’re essentials are ready for use. Things like your toothbrush, pajamas, and a change of clothes are what you’ll want easy access to when you’re ready to call it a day after lugging boxes around all day.
What to consider after you move
Make sure all major appliances are working properly
Check all items and furniture to make sure nothing is broken. If anything does appear broken, you can contact the moving company and your insurance company to submit a claim.
Keep all receipts associated with the move, you may be able to use those expenses as a tax write off
Register your vehicle. Don’t wait until you get pulled over due to out of state tags, especially if you’re registration is expired. Take the dreaded trip to the DMV as soon as possible.
Register to vote and make sure all your mail is being forwarded to the new address.