Moving is especially taxing when you’re planning to relocate to a new city or a new state. You’re not just changing the place you call home — you’ll also have to adjust to a new environment, potentially master a new job, and build a new support network, all at the same time.
Fortunately, you can reduce these stress factors. All it takes is a little planning. Give yourself plenty of time — two to three months, if possible — and use these 13 tips to help ensure you’re ready for the big moving day.
1. Get organized. The best way to stay on top of a big move is to have a comprehensive checklist. You can use a pen and paper, but apps like iMoving, Moving Day, MovingHelpGuide.com or Moving Planner are a more efficient way to manage the bulk of the work. They’ll keep your move organized and on-schedule.
2. Ask about relocation help. If you’re moving to a new city because of work, ask your employer about relocation assistance. Many companies already have packages in place — you just need to request the details.
3. Pack smart. Every box should be full, but not so full that you can’t lift it or the bottom falls out. Maximizing each box’s real estate will reduce the number of boxes and size of moving truck you’ll need.
4. Consider hiring a moving company. Moving companies can take some of the hassle out of moving to a new city, but you’ll want to verify that movers are the most economical option. Do your homework. Compare the costs of a few companies to the time and money you’d spend doing it yourself.
5. Arrange to leave your current home. If you rent, check your leasing agreement to make sure you give notice in time to get your security deposit back. If you own your current home, you’ll want to get it listed as soon as possible.
6. Give utilities a shut-off date. Moving to a new city will mean contracting with new utility companies, so give your current companies a set shut-off date. You don’t want to be paying electricity bills for a place you’re no longer living in.
7. Get to know your new city. If possible, learn a bit about your destination city before moving there. In-person visits are best, but you can also pick up a lot via the Internet. Find out where restaurants, grocery stores, and other community resources are. If you’ll be using public transportation to get to and from work, review the routes and schedules.
8. Know the cost of living. The cost of living can vary greatly from one city to another, so it’s important to know what to expect. Make sure you have the funds you’ll need before packing everything up and moving.
9. Don’t make long-term commitments. When moving to a new city, it’s wise not to commit to a long-term lease or mortgage right away. Get a temporary place to stay, then start scouting out neighborhoods where you’d like to live permanently.
10. Build a social support network. Before you move, look for social activities. Meetup is a great way to find people who are interested in the same things you are, and local libraries often have community calendars that can be great resources, too.
11. Set up new utilities. Get the utilities in your new place running a day or two before you move in. You’ll want A/C and lighting when trying to carry and unpack a big pile of boxes.
12. Change your address. Set up mail forwarding once you’re settled in. You can do it in person at a local post office or set it up online. You’ll also want to update your driver’s license and any paid subscriptions or accounts.
13. Unpack one room at a time. Move methodically through the unpacking process. It’s tempting to open all the boxes at once, but resist the urge. You’ll thank yourself later.
Moving can be stressful, but don’t worry — you’ve got this. Just follow your checklist and the tips outlined above, and you’ll be off to a great start in your new city.
This guest post was brought to you by Jonathan Deesing, community specialist at imove.