There are many reasons someone may consider relocating. New jobs, change of lifestyle, you have an empty nest or decide to go back to school somewhere other than the current location you live in. Whatever the reason, most of the time, it is an exciting time, but a time that also takes a bit of work which is why we have developed an ultimate guide to answer all your burning questions.
When is the best time to move?
Relocating may have to happen sooner rather than later, but if you have the option of choosing when you can pack up and start something new, choose the winter months. Moving in the winter is usually cheaper. Whether you are buying or renting, the rule of thumb stays the same; renting during the months of January-March is found to be the cheapest. Buying in the coldest months leaves you more room to negotiate as demand is lower than those warm, summer months.
What are some easy ways to save money?
Packing is not the most loved chore when moving, but it is a necessary task that needs to be completed. The materials required also add up very quickly. You will need moving boxes, moving tape, usually an exacto knife, bubble wrap, and more. There are ways to save money, though. Boxes are something you can’t avoid, but you can, however, find cheap or free ways to get them. Go to your local grocery store or anywhere that sells alcohol; they are usually willing to give away their boxes for free or at little cost. If that doesn’t work, there are more ways you can be frugal during the process.
Start collecting newspaper and paper towels to wrap up any breakable items. You can also use towels and pieces of clothing you won’t need from the time you start packing until the time you move.
How to stay organized while packing?
It is astonishing the amount of stuff we can accumulate over the years, things we don’t even use. You don’t necessarily notice until it’s time to start packing for a move. It is easy to mindlessly pack up all your belongings, bringing the wanted extra stuff to the new house. Below are some ways to focus on items you don’t need and ways to be rid of them.
- Make piles as a way to stay organized
- Rent a dumpster if you have to
- If you haven’t used it within the last couple of months, it isn’t coming with you.
- Is the unused item seasonal? If so, put it in a pile to keep
- Clothing that hasn’t been worn in 6 months donate or sell
- Go through sentimental items; if you can’t part with them, you can store them in a tote
- Yard sales or social media selling groups; if the item is useable, you can try selling for extra cash
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What should I know about the neighborhood?
Moving the family takes time and planning, and part of your planning should include research. Check out the neighborhoods, the safety of them, as well as opportunities for family fun. Social media is an excellent resource for neighborhood research. Find local groups such as a local mom group or a neighborhood watch. You might need approval from an admin before asking any questions, but social media is an excellent way of finding vital information once received.
If you have school-aged children, there will be additional critical information to gather. You can find school rankings online as well as teacher reviews. Area mom groups on social media are also a great option.
Whether you are moving a family or doing this alone, research is still crucial. Finding out how safe your new neighborhood will be and the types of crimes, if any, that occur. Looking for fun, local activities to participate in or to discover a fantastic restaurant or local pub.
A look into your new life
Are you going from a small town or country life to a big city? If so, calculate your quality of life. This is a significant change, and taking the time to consider all potential outcomes is essential. Some things to ask yourself:
Do you have the proper finances for city living? And if you don’t, will you be getting a new job with a higher salary to adjust to the higher cost of living?
Is green space important to you? Another thing to add to your research list could be, how much green space will you have?
How is the culture? Is it different from what you are used to, and if so, are you ok with that?
Relocating can be long-term or short-term, and it is vital to identify your time frame so you know which housing route to take. It may be wiser to find a rental if relocating is short-term. More reasons to rent for the first little bit is so you can get a feel for your new neighborhood and its surroundings before making a permanent decision like purchasing a home.
If you don’t have a car, it is crucial to know the options you have for commuting to work, the grocery store, meeting up with friends. Check out the types of public transit your new location offers. If there is public transit like city buses and streetcars, you can check out their schedules ahead of time to plan your work commute before moving. Research how many bus stops are near your house. Not only do you want to know how many, but where they all go. Is everything convenient for you, or will you have to take three buses to get groceries and go to work?
Friends and Family
You might be leaving your friends and family behind to relocate, which can be hard on everyone involved. Have set dates you will go back and visit and make time for others to visit you. It is important to support your loved ones while you are away in a new place where you may not know anyone.
If you are choosing to move out of the city or state, it is essential to know any laws that may be different from what you are used to—buying a new home or driving rules and even bylaws such as the rules regarding noise levels and quiet hours, overnight street parking, and more.
Making New Friends
I am sure you will want to find ways to decompress after the big move, and what better way than to get out of the house and have a good time. Getting out and enjoying your new surroundings will help you settle in, and you will spend less time missing your old home and everything that came with it.
There are plenty of ways to make new people. Looking for a professional connection can lead you to LinkedIn, while local Facebook groups can introduce you to others who are also new to the area. There are even apps like bumbleBFF to take advantage of.
New City, State or Country
Choosing to move out of state or out of the country (like Guam) can be difficult, but it might be a decision that needs to be made for new or better opportunities. This can be more time-consuming and put on extra stress. Including this in your relocation guide can increase your level of confidence. When moving out of a city, state or country, consider the following:
You will want to visit your new state and city. You might have to make a mini-vacation out of it, but this can help you get a feel for the new environment, look at neighborhoods that could be a good fit. Check out the city’s tourism guide if they have one so you can experience what it is like to be a part of the activities and see the different events happening throughout the year.
Like any new area when having children, you want to research the schools. As mentioned above, you can find important information online. Call local schools and ask to speak with the principal. This allows you to ask questions you may not find answers to while online.
The cost of moving out of state can accumulate quickly. Hiring out-of-state movers have an estimated cost of over $4,000. Now you can move on your own, but you will need to include moving truck rentals, gas, supplies, and other expenses to your budget.
Make appropriate arrangements
It can be a long process when you are moving out of state or country; you will want to plan accordingly and make all the proper arrangements beforehand. This can include hotel rentals, plane tickets, car rental, or even temporary housing while you wait for the movers to bring your belongings.
If your new state or country will be your permanent residents, you will need to establish a legal domicile for tax purposes.
- Driving in a new state or country you live in will require a new license with the state of residency.
- Don’t forget you need to register to vote!
Have a pet? You will need to register your pet with your new state. The state can keep track of your pet’s rabies vaccine schedule along with other significant information.
This applies to all moves, but you will want to make sure you transfer over any utilities and memberships that are location-dependent, like a gym or library.
Moving can be a challenge and a scary time, even if you aren’t doing it alone. Doing your research, budgeting, and planning ahead can help you along the way. Through all the stress and uncertainty, don’t forget to enjoy yourself and your new surroundings!