8 Tips for Moving to a New City
It’s time to move to a new city. You may have planned this for years or you just felt like it. Moving to a new place is surely exciting and there’s several advantages that make it so. It allows you to start afresh and you also have the upperhand at creating a better situation for yourself.
At the same time, it’s also normal to feel nervous about the whole move since you’re going to be treading into uncharted waters. New faces, new roads, a new job can take you some time to get used to. There’s also things like moving day jitters, cold feet and hard goodbyes that makes the moving saga challenging.
We know how tough it can get and so we’re here to give you some tips and advice that will help the transition feel less all over the place.
Tips To Make Moving To A New City Easier
1. Research The City And Its Profile
You could be a Google search away from learning all there is to know about the new city you’ve selected. Think of this tip as an exercise where you build the city profile. Use Google Maps to get familiar with stores, parks and your workplace location so you’re not completely clueless when you reach there.
If this is a short distance move, you could also drive to the city and get a feel of the new terrain. For long distances, if you can’t make it there, you can virtually paint an image of the place with the help of technology. Nextdoor and Yelp are apps trusted by thousands and you could certainly find some useful information about your neighborhood on it. Overall, doing this would tone down that feeling of unfamiliarity when you reach the new place.
Goal – You want to be able to know what’s in and around your new neighborhood. Locate places of interest, stores, hospitals, parking spots and so on.
2. Plan Administrative Visits In Advance
When you move a new city, there’s going to be a truckload of administrative tasks coming your way. This is why we highly recommend that you create a list of all the possible tasks. There could be time sensitive tasks like visiting a DMV to get your license address revised and car registered.
You also have to notify the Post Office with your new address and register to vote in the new state (if this is an interstate move). Visiting banks to change the address and set up a new account could also be another task to add to the pile.
You also need to get cable and Internet services. We suggest to find the contact of the provider that your neighbors and everyone around seems to be using. Your 9 to 5 job might limit the amount of time you can dedicate for such administrative tasks, hence plan a schedule where you enlist the tasks for different days.
Goal – Have a to-do list of every single possible administrative task that you have to tackle in the new city. Write down addresses and contact numbers of offices and departments you have to visit. Plan a window of time when it’s convenient for you to visit so you don’t always have to take off from work.
3. Be Prepared To Deal With The Weather Conditions
When you move homes, it’s important to learn about the weather conditions so that you’re prepared for a rainy day (in the real sense). If the new city faces extreme heat or frigid winters, it’s best to find out about it in advance. This way you’re prepared for things you need to buy or invest in like the right seasonal outfits.
If you’re going to be dealing with sub-zero or single digit temperatures, you want to have winter accessories ready. You may take time to acclimate to new weather patterns so when you know what to expect it makes it easier to digest.
Goal – Read about the weather conditions of the new city so that you’re not in for a surprise.
4. Research The Public Transit Options
If you don’t own a car, you want to ensure that the city has amenities like a reliable bus line or a metro line you could easily hop on. Some cities even have well maintained bicycle paths and are extremely pedestrian friendly. It’s necessary to pay attention to these modes as well when you move to a new city.
We also suggest planning out routes you’ll take to work. Your place of work and residence should ideally not be too far apart but to ensure you get there in time, have the route mapped out. Most cities have apps that cater to making commuting easier for tourists but it could be useful for you as a new resident too.
Just like when you start an exercise, it seems super time consuming, similarly the route you embark on will be time consuming at first. So always leave home earlier than usual. Once the commute becomes a routine, the time you’ll take to reach your destination will automatically reduce.
Goal – Figure the commute options available for you to get to work or your kids to get to school in time.
5. Keep Track Of Your Finances
Now having your finances in order is absolutely essential when it comes to moving to a new city. We suggest tracking your expenses from A to Z. It’s wise to also set a cap on the amount of money you’re ready to spend. When you have a new apartment or house, you could be tempted to fill it with new pieces of furniture and decor. At times you could fall into a rabbit hole of making unnecessary purchases only to soon realize you’ve spent way too much. This is why it’s best to set a cap on amounts you can spend for eating out, buying new things and so on.
We also suggest familiarizing yourself with how much the sales tax, property tax and income tax are. This way you’re not entirely shocked or unprepared when these amounts are deducted. Here are two pro tips we highly recommend applying when you move to a new city.
3 Months Rule
If you’re going to be living on rent, make sure you have saved at least three months of the rent amount before you even make the move. This would help you have extra savings and avoid the stress of finances for the first three months till you find your feet. A good rule of thumb is to have savings that you can solely depend on for the first 3 months. This time period is the most sensitive because it is the time you’re getting acquainted with the new city.
In your old apartment, you’d probably more or less have an idea of the figure you see on your utility bills. However, this isn’t going to be the case in your new home. This is why we suggest having a 50-30-20 plan in place. The 50-30-20 rule is that you’re only spending 50% of your salary on needs (like utilities), 30% of it on wants and you manage to keep 20% aside as savings. Be sure that you keep this rule in mind so that you’re not running out of money and just getting by in a new city. Also, this rule must be applied after all the amount that goes towards taxes is deducted.
Goal – Come up with a system so that you can track your expenditure in the new city. You should ultimately learn how much you’d like to spend monthly to sustain the lifestyle you wish to have. Also, make sure you have enough savings to depend on for the first three months.
6. Get Acquainted With The Lifestyle
When you move to a new city, there’s things you would need to learn and unlearn. You might find that people in the new place you’d like to call home love being athletic and staying outdoors. Some cities work at a faster pace while in others time can really slow down. Take your time to learn the way of life and ways to blend in so you don’t feel out of place. If you like sports, learn about the ones that the residents are all crazy about. You don’t have to change who you are, but just find things in the city that you resonate with.
7. Join Social Groups
Find opportunities to branch out and meet new people. Attending office parties and social gatherings in the community are great ways to know the people in your city. You can also volunteer to help with an event or festival that is being organized so that you ultimately introduce yourself to new people. A simple housewarming party is also another way to start conversations and know your neighbors.
8. Give Yourself Time To Process The Move
Amidst all the chaos of moving, we can forget to sit back and enjoy the success of the move. At times you might feel overwhelmed with all the tasks on your plate but it’s alright to ask help. If it’s your first time moving homes, ask friends and family to support you with things you can’t handle. Don’t rush yourself with the whole moving project; just break down the entire process into manageable steps.
We’d say having time by your side is the best way to essentially stay ahead of things you have to do. From the day you decide to move till the day you settle into the new home, there’s going to a whole bunch of things to complete. Maintaining a schedule you can trust is also the best way you could assure yourself that things will pan out the way you want.
- Downsize as much as you can when you move to a new place. This helps you save on moving expenses.
- Unpack the boxes and things you got in stages. It could be tiring to finish unpacking all rooms in one go. Unpack toiletries, bedroom items and kitchen items first. It’s best to divide the process into days, but don’t put off the task for too long.
- Transform into a tourist for a while. Make a list of city attractions, things you want to explore and other things that you personally love doing. Take time off from work to tick these tasks off the list too.
- Use technology to your advantage. Download apps that people use to order food, find social events and even commute. Ensure you have these on your phone so that you’re making things easier for yourself.
- Be aware of the places to avoid at all times. Check neighborhoods that have a bad reputation so that you’re not putting yourself at risk. All cities have bad neighborhoods, so it’s best to learn about it.
- NeighborhoodScout, Yelp, Trulia, Zillow, AreaVibes, WalkScore are noteworthy websites to visit to gain more information and a sense of the city. We highly recommend using these online tools for your research stage.
- Ditch the car once in a while so that you have a first-hand experience of the city via a bicycle or by walking. Stop by at coffee shops, local restaurants or a farmer’s market so you get to know the people around you.
- Invest in professional movers to reduce the burden of transporting all your goods safely. Belongings can bring a sense of familiarity to the house so it’s absolutely necessary that you’ve arrangements for your boxes to reach safely.
What are the first things to do when you move to a new city?
Ideally, it’s best to set up your Internet connection when you move to a new city. You can also start unpacking a few of the absolute essentials. Begin with making the bed so that you get a good night’s sleep. Also, unpack the cookware that will help you conjure up a meal. Unpacking toiletries is also necessary.
How can you make the move to a new city easier?
To make the move easier, we highly recommend researching the neighborhood. Learn about where the closest grocery store lies so you can pick essentials. Also plan the route and public transit you’ll take to reach the office.
What are the things to look for when moving to a new city?
When you move to a new city you should look for the following information on the city –
- Crime rate
- Cost of living
- Weather conditions
- Public transit options
- Best neighborhoods
- Schools and universities (if you have kids or plan to raise a family)
- Places for recreation (look for nearby parks, lakes or beaches)
How do you survive moving to a new city?
First and foremost, make sure you have a few reliable sources around your place for basics and essentials like groceries, laundry and medicines. Build rapport with these local businesses because they won’t just be there for you in times of need, having friendly faces around can help a bit with loneliness.
You could also meet and invite your neighbors over for a meal, or engage in any community and neighborhood activities organized. Similarly, it’s good to find things you can do outside of your work or college life. Find ways to engage in activities you enjoy, even if it’s as simple as visiting a local comedy club.
For singles, dating apps sure can help, even if it’s just to make friends. Develop hobbies and make sure there’s a healthy balance of you spending your time indoors and outdoors. Explore things at a pace you’re comfortable with, be it meeting new people or visiting new sites and spots in the city.
One important thing to keep in mind is safety, so always be wary of the places you visit and the people you choose to trust. Do your research well. Most importantly, plan and manage your finances well so that you don’t have to struggle to make ends meet. Save and invest as much as your situation allows you to.
Is moving to a new city hard?
Moving to a new city can be harder for some than others. While adaptability is one vital factor, the reasons to move and the circumstances under which you do play a huge part in deciding how hard the move ends up being. Make sure you plan your finances well before moving to a new city. All the same, read up as much about the city as possible, from transportation and cost of living to weather and crime rate. If you’ve secured a job beforehand, found a house or apartment, got yourself acquainted with the city you’re moving to, planned your finances, handled all the registrations and documents, and hired a good moving company to handle your needs, then moving to a new city shouldn’t be all that hard.
Why is moving to a new place scary?
Moving to a new place comes with so many uncertainties. You never know if you’ll find a job or when, in a situation where you move to a new place without securing one. Then there’s the matter of adjusting to the pace of life, getting along with new people, fitting into the culture and lifestyle of the place and being able to handle the financial demands of living in the new place. The thought of even one of these things going wrong can sometimes have a ripple effect on other things, which is understandably a scary thought. It doesn’t make things better knowing that you’ve left the comfort of familiarity behind for a new place. Quite frankly, everyone can have their own reasons to find moving scary, although, it doesn’t have to be.
How do you move to a new city with no money or job?
Ideally, it’s best to not move without a job. But if you don’t have an option, make sure you’re moving with at least enough savings to last you 3 months in the new city. Keep in mind that these savings would be irrespective of your moving expenses, which could involve lodging on the road, transportation costs and the fees you pay to any moving company you hire.
On the other hand, moving with no money is a lot trickier. Your best bet would be relying on any good friends or close family members you might have in the city you’re planning to move to. But staying at the mercy of well wishers won’t necessarily be good enough if you have no job and no money. You will require a fair bit of luck too if you’re moving without any money. Things would definitely be slightly easier if you already have a fair amount of work experience, skills and if the city has ample job opportunities available in the industry you’re a part of. Make sure you do a good amount of networking on platforms like LinkedIn with relevant people from your industry, both before and after moving. That can really help.
Yes, moving to a new city is chaotic but for things to fall into place, you must come with a plan. A move with no plan is to put it mildly ‘double the trouble’. A plan or a simple schedule to stick to manage your finances and administrative tasks is essential.
It’s best to also build a portfolio of the city in your headspace so that you’re not completely foreign to the new place you’re moving to. All in all, don’t rush yourself to have it together immediately. Give yourself enough time to take in the whole adventure.