Alex is the founder of 9Kilo Moving, which he started to help people easily find and choose the right moving company to make their move as stress-free and seamless as possible.
He has spent over 20 years working in the moving industry, so he knows every aspect of the business and uses his knowledge to write about the industry and give moving advice.
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
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.
CALCULATE MY MOVE
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
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.
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.
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.
See also: Most Sunniest and Cloudiest Cities in the U.S.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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 –
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.
See also: How to Start Saving for a New House | Tips for buying a house in New City | Reasons to Move to Another City or State
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