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Essential Tips for Moving to a New City

Moving to a new city often brings excitement, new adventures, and interesting places to explore but it can be a headache if not much thought is put into it. Let’s be real here, we all know the task of moving is a daunting one even if it’s just in the same city, so adding long-distance traveling to the mix can bring forth a whole other list of concerns so why not make it as easy as possible? There is a lot to consider when moving to a new city, like housing, moving expenses and figuring out what areas you like in an unknown territory. It can be an overwhelming experience consisting of many small pieces but this list of tips will assist in making the moving process as smooth as possible so that you can enjoy your new surroundings.

Don’t move in the summer if you can help it

The summer season is a busy time of the year, so if you can help yourself, move in either the fall or spring. There is a lot that goes on during the summertime whether it be traveling, fun events, or a thousand other people moving everything they own to the exact place you are. With such high traffic and high interest due to people constantly shifting around, it’s often more expensive too from rent prices to the actual cost of moving. Plus, moving in a far less busy season will provide you with more options when it comes to your house or apartment. There is usually more supply to meet demand in the fall or spring.

Declutter and get rid of whatever you don’t need

declutter when moving to a new city

Moving is the perfect time to make a little extra money while getting rid of the things you no longer use or don’t want anymore. Declutter your closets, your kitchen, those junk drawers, and everything else by putting the things you no longer have a use for on reselling apps. Just think about it, you have more money in your pocket to help cover moving costs or to explore your new city with and you have less to pack. Also, if you plan on redecorating once you get your new place, you will not have to worry about furniture or pillows that don’t fit the new vibe. It’s a win-win situation. Donating your items is also another way you can give your stuff a new home without throwing it in the trash.

Compare different ways to move your items

There is more than one way you can transfer your furniture, clothing, or other various items. There’s a common method of either driving a moving truck yourself or hiring a moving company. Another option could be shipping containers like Ubox and PODS where you pack all of your belongings into a single or mutiple containers and they’ll ship the container(s) to you. You also have the option of doing freight shipping if you have a lot of big furniture. There are a few factors you want to keep in mind when choosing the best course of action. How much are you planning on transporting? Where is it going? Should you get insurance or some kind of protection for your items? How much will it cost? Be sure to do your research on each one and read any reviews to help make sure your stuff makes it in one piece as much as you can.

Visit first to see which areas you like

If you have not been to the city you’re moving to, it’ll be a good idea to check it out to see which neighborhoods you are interested in. Think about what stores you want easy access to, school districts, crime, walkability, restaurants, and nightlife. Make a checklist of what is important to you when deciding where to live. Take in the surroundings and see how loud it gets if noise isn’t your thing. Are there any parks nearby or is it next to a train? In this case, the exterior is just as important as the interior. If you cannot get to the city before you move, research is key. Go to forums or talk to people you know that’s already there. Use Walk Score to check out different apartments or rentals and how easy it is to get around each neighborhood. You must get to know your surroundings and where places are located whether it is before you get there or after so don’t be afraid to explore.

What does transportation look like?

Transportation is a big factor to take into consideration when it comes to both choosing a new city to live in and moving. Your car has to get there somehow whether you drive it yourself or you haul it with a trailer behind the moving truck There is also the option of shipping it through an auto transporter or sending it on Amtrak’s auto train. Of course, it all depends on where you need it to go. Cars also come with insurance, registration, and other requirements like smog checks. Be sure to know the requirements needed to get your car registered as well as any fees and don’t forget to transfer your car insurance to the new state. If a car is no worry to you or even if it is, having an idea of the public transportation available in the city is always a good call. Buses, subways, and metro rails all have their systems, so get familiar with maps, routes, and fares.

Pack a bag with clothes and essentials

Tens upon tens of boxes are usually always present in the moving process. With so much to go through once it all reaches its destination, it’s hard to find what you need right when you need it. Sometimes your stuff even arrives after you. This is why packing a bag full of essentials is necessary. Think of the stuff you use daily. Clothes are a given, maybe a couple sets of towels, and hygiene products. All your important documents are something you want to keep by your side at all times. You can of course buy stuff when you get there, so if that is the case, pack the essentials you already have last so you can unbox them quickly.

Pack a bag of essentials when moving

Create a moving budget

Take it from me those moving costs add up. Between the boxes and bubble wrap to the costs of shipping your items and the gas it takes to get there if you are driving. Hotel costs might be added to the mix as well. There is a lot to consider so having a budget that you are comfortable with will help alleviate the stress of costs and fees because you have a clearer idea of where your money needs to go. Whether it be on your phone or in an Excel sheet or even on paper, whatever your method of organization is, use it. Keep track of expenses and receipts, compare costs, and look for deals wherever you can find them. You do not want to cut corners when it comes to transporting your stuff. It would be not so great if you paid all this money to move your stuff to find it all broken because bubble wrap was not included in the budget.

Contact utility companies

Often when moving to a new city, there are different service providers and utility companies in the area. That could be the internet provider, power company, homeowner, or renter’s insurance. It could even be delivery services, your alarm company, or gardener. Whoever is providing a service to your home, call them and either transfer or cancel that service before leaving. It’s a good practice to call a month or two beforehand to provide them with your moving date and when you are looking to stop your plan. Then, you have to do the other side, don’t forget to call the new companies and providers to get your services going for the new home. You want to do this before your move-in date so that everything will be ready before you get there especially if it’s water, electricity, and gas.

Give yourself time

Moving can be a stressful task, let’s just insert that reminder here. More often than not, there is a lot do and different steps you have to take to make sure your new home is set up the way you like it. That is why you have to give yourself time. Take time to research and explore your new city and neighborhood. Give yourself breathing room b packing as early as you can. Be sure to take into consideration and account for if you need time off from work. Or maybe, you need to start looking for a new job so start putting in applications early. Whatever assistance and preparation you can give yourself, I encourage you to do so. That can include saving boxes or asking people you know for boxes, reserving any rental trucks or euipment you may need or finding a new home for your old items.

Get to know new people

meet new people when moving to a new city

Moving to a new city can be a bit intimidating especially if you are doing it alone. Meeting new people and getting involved in your community is a great way to help ease yourself into your new environment if you are having trouble doing so. I say that because making new friends is not a priority for all people and that is okay. Going on apps like Eventbrite and MeetUp and volunteering can give you ideas of events and fun things to do while meeting new faces. Joining a gym or Facebook groups can provide additional resources if you are looking to meet new people. It’s always good to know at least one person wherever you are, but don’t feel pressured to do so. Connections are made on your own time no matter if you are new or not.

Know what kind of home you are looking for

There are a variety of resources to find a new apartment or new house when moving to a new city. You have Zillow, Apartments.com, ApartmentLsit, Craiglist is still an otpion, RentCafe and many more sites to peruse through. There are also state specific real estate sites and real estate agencies. With so many options to choose from and different places to look, you have to know what you are looking for. Do you want a house, apartment or townhouse? Are you looking for a roommate? How big do you want your place to be and how many bedrroms? Is having a lot of sunlight important to you? What about laundry, balconies and amenities? Do you want something more modern, traditional or something out of a storybook? Are the utilities and pest control included in the price if you are renting? Are you looking for a big backyard and at least a 2-car garage? These are only a few of the questions to consider. Get detailed and make a list of criteria to rank from most to least important.

Compare packing options & label everything

Everything with moving things these days has an alternative. Most moving is done using boxes of course, but there are other options you can consider like containers or heavy duty moving bags. Moving bags are good for items like linens, towels, clothes, purses, pillows. Pretty much anything that isn’t fragile or too heavy. When using boxes, make sure you use the right boxes whether it be a TV box or smaller boxes for heavier items. Compression bags can also help with saving space. When packing, always label each box or bag so that you know what’s in there and if it needs be handled with more care. If you are not moving your items yourself, it’ll be very beneficial to keep an inventory list of all of your items or at the very least each box, container or bag, their size and a quanity of items that it contains.

Give the post office your forwarding address

One other thing you want to make sure you do before moving is giving the post office your new address. This also extendeds out to any other mailing services you can update your address with to make it easier. This is an area you want to give yourself time with as well. You can choose your forwarding start date and it takes about 7-10 business days for that mail to get to your new address. You do not want your mail to be stranded without a place to go, so don’t forget to change your address wherever necessary.


Photo by RDNE Stock project

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