7 Tips to Relocation Bliss
Relocation. Most of us have done it a couple of times already: whether it’s going off to college, studying abroad, or moving to the big city for your first job.
Still, it can be scary. Regardless of how often we do it, moving never gets any easier. However, the more prepared you are, the less stressful it will seem. Here are some starter tips for a smooth transition to a new city:
Moving isn’t just stressful—it’s expensive. One of the most important things to do before you go is to get your finances in order. Make sure you’ve budgeted for a deposit on a new apartment, a couple months of expenses, and an emergency stash as you wait for those first new paychecks to come in.
Also, make sure that you’ve updated your banks, health plan, credit cards, and cell phone provider with your new billing address. It’s easy for these things to fall through the cracks, and the next thing you know, your phone’s been turned off!
2. Old Friends, New Friends
Ten years ago, saying good-bye to friends when moving was hard. Now we have Facebook, text message, Skype, and cheap cross-country airfare. So, as hard as it is to leave your best friend behind, know that they’re just a phone call or email away.
One way to ease the pain is to set up a scheduled call with a close friend. In a new city, knowing that you can call home every Thursday afternoon at 5:00pm will be a comfort.
3. Packing it up
As obnoxious as packing can be, this is also a great time to go through your belongings to decide what you need and what’s weighing you down. Donate extra clothes and furniture to friends, or even better, the Salvation Army. Go through your papers and decide what you need to keep and what to trash.
When you’ve finished sorting through everything, box it up and label—in detail. You don’t want to show up exhausted to your new place and not know which box your sheets are in! If you don’t have a permanent place yet in your new city, put things in storage until you do—no need to move twice.
If you have signed a long-term lease on a new place, decide whether you are going to fly or drive and whether you need to hire movers. For a cross-country move, movers may be necessary but if you’re moving to a city only a couple hours away, consider renting a U-Haul or borrowing a friend’s car.
4. Finding an apartment
This can be tricky, especially if you don’t know the city that well or it’s particularly far away. But this is also going to be the one place you spend most of your time.
Call around—ask friends who know the area for recommendations and read up on up-and-coming neighborhoods. Most major cities have great local magazines that frequently feature areas of their cities, like New York magazine or LA Weekly.
This is a good time to think about what’s important to you: Do you like to go out? If so, aim for a neighborhood with a young demographic, with a lively bar and restaurant scene. Would you rather have a backyard or do you have a car that needs a garage, or at least space on the street? Consider living in a quieter neighbor closer to the edge of the city, or right outside.
It’s best if you’re able to be in the city while looking for a place. That way when you do find a great place, you’ll feel confident about your decision, knowing the city just a little bit better. If you can, find somewhere temporary while you get your bearings.
If you need to find a permanent place right away, make sure you do it in person, or send a trusted friend in your stead. There’s nothing worse than showing up at your new home and realizing it looked much better in the pictures.
For more tips on getting your bearings, tapping into existing networks and using hobbies to settle in, check out the full article on PYP.