Moving is never easy. There are a million things to take care of before setting off to a new place. Whether you stay in the same city, ditch everything and move across the country, or move to an entirely new country, it's always scary being 'new'. We've compiled a list of life hacks and essentials tricks to living in a new place. While we specify living in a city, these tricks can apply to any moving situation—good luck.
Similar to flying somewhere for vacation, the trick is to pack as lightly as possible. There's no reason to get stuck lugging around dozens of boxes that you, believe it or not, might not even use when you arrive. Most times, we only use a portion of the things we bring with us. Consider what space you're moving into and how far you're moving, then pack accordingly. Things can always be purchased when you get there.
Consider Moving Expenses
The idea of moving to a new city can be invigorating. The one major pushback of moving is the cost. It's incredibly expensive to hire movers and if you choose to move your own belongings, the cost of gas adds up. Whatever method you choose and wherever you choose to move, consider placing these expenses into your budget.
Figure Out Your Living Space Beforehand
Before you get too excited about moving to a new city, you have to consider the space you choose. You should be well aware of the size of your room, whether there are stairs, and how many roommates you'll have—if any. This will all help you determine how much you should pack and visualize your game plan for moving all of your belongings there in the first place.
Keep Your Routines
Your energy outlet is one of those things you shouldn't put on hold if it's embedded into your regular schedule. You don't need to go out and purchase a gym membership, but a healthy equivalent can be arranged. Immersing yourself into a familiar exercise routine or creative outlet can relieve your post-move stress and even make you some new friends.
Map Your Routes
We're not saying to stick to the same routes every time you step outside. But when you're new to a city, it can be easy to get lost. So, mapping out a way back home before going out can save you from some unnecessary anxiety. Planning all of those routes will also familiarize you with streets and landmarks, to make the next time you're in the area way easier.
Find a Local Grocery
Your local grocery will probably be your least expensive meal option once you get your affairs in order. Delivery food will quickly add up. On one of your strolls around the neighborhood, keep an eye out for a grocery. Or use that wonderful maps function on your phone to tell you where the nearest grocery is, and if it's in your budget.
Meet People Who Already Live There
Most times, we base our destination on things we see online or people we've met who have stories about their time there. The wonderful part about meeting people who have already been to or lived in the city you're thinking about moving to is that they can give you insider tips and tricks to the location. They'll have information no online source will be able to provide, so utilize your network to your advantage.
Decide If You're Taking Your Car
One thing about moving to a city is the lack of parking; there isn't exactly a surplus of driveways. Street parking is possible, but it sometimes comes at a hefty cost. If you love your car then, by all means, bring it with you. You won't have to worry so much about hailing rideshares or walking. But if you think you can manage without a car, then it's okay to start fresh. You can sell it or donate it to a cause you believe in.
Out-Of-State v. In-State
Everything about your move depends on whether you're moving across a couple of county lines or if you're making the decision to cross state lines. State-to-state tends to be a little more expensive, because you'll want to utilize a moving service rather than trucking things back and forth in your own car. The way you pack your belongings and exactly what you choose to take with you also depends on where you're moving to. It's all about perspective—and cost.
Find the Right Neighborhood
The most important things is finding the best neighborhood for you. You can do this in one of two ways: visiting the city you plan to move to beforehand or using the internet to scope out opinions on different locations in your city. Obviously one is easier and more convenient than the other, but they both give you a good idea of what you're getting yourself into. Also, if you get your info from the internet‚ take it with a grain of salt.
Understand Your Living Arrangement
Unless you're living by yourself, figuring out the details of your new living arrangement is vital. Will you have your own room? How many bathrooms are in your living space? If you are moving by yourself, then get a feel for the apartment building to figure out how comfortable you'll be. Are your neighbors loud? How does the mail system work? These are things people don't often think of until it's too late.
Meet Your Neighbors
Being wary of strangers is completely acceptable. In fact, that's exactly what you want to do, especially when you're in a new city and don't know anybody. But making friends with at least one of your neighbors could make a world of difference in your adjustment period. No, you don't have to bake goodies and knock on doors introducing yourself. A nice smile and a "hello" as you pass each other in the halls is a great start.
Know the Rules
When we refer to rules, we're referring to any laws or policies in your new city. If you're moving to a different state, then there's a chance that some policies are different from the city you're currently in. Research can save you a lot of trouble and time dealing with government offices. A good example is that some states don't allow certain breeds of dogs. If this could pose an issue for you, you might need to make a serious change of plans.
If you have a furry companion, then moving to a new place comes with an additional set of challenges. Figuring out how pet-friendly a landlord is before you move-in is essential to staying on everyone's good side. The space you live in is only one of the challenges, though. You'll want to do your research to find out how pet-friendly nearby restaurants and shopping centers are, as well as finding where the nearest park is, to keep your pet's needs in perspective during your move.
Update Your License
One of the more tedious things about moving to a new place is changing your driver's licences. If you plan on staying in a city for a determined amount of time, then making the trek to your local Department of Motor Vehicles is worth the hassle. Different states allot certain standards of time before a resident is required to update their identification. This is an area where more specific research will come in handy.
Don't Put Things On Hold
Sometimes it can be tempting to drop everything in your daily life to focus on the move. But, that can also be draining. In order to keep yourself sane and make your move as comfortable as possible, keep your schedule as close to normal as you can. If you're used to taking pottery classes, then find a ceramics class you can transition to. If you work from home, then find a way to maintain a balance between unpacking boxes and attending meetings.
Find Your Local Convenience Store
Moving to a new city is tough enough. There are a million things to figure out, but figuring out where to buy cough medicine at 11:00 at night should not be one of things. One of the first steps you should make after moving in is finding where your local convenience story or bodega is. It'll make a huge difference when you're facing some sort of toilet paper emergency.
Talk to Store Clerks
Every person you meet is an opportunity to gather some insight into the city you just moved to. Some places will become a part of your routine while you're searching for comfort in a new place. If you happen to see a familiar face on two or three of your outings, it doesn't hurt to introduce yourself—make the transition that much easier.
Hoard the Take-Out Menus
Take-out menus are for those days you don't feel like cooking or the days you just feel like eating pho because, well, you don't know how to make pho. That's valid. Having a stash of take-out menus is a great idea to ensure you eat when you don't feel like going out. But if you order take-out and the delivery person remembers your name, then maybe your next step is the grocery store.
Find a New Job
Depending on why you're moving to a different city in the first place, a job might not be at the ready for you. Sometimes employers won't hire you until you're physically in the city you're looking to be employed in. If that's the case, prepare yourself for the interviews you'll undoubtedly go on. Keep a separate box filled with interview clothes and a folder filled with resumes. You have to make money some way to keep that new place of yours.
Keep a Cash Stash
Having a cash stash is a good idea before even thinking about moving to a new place. You can use any extra money you have lying around or save up some money from each paycheck. You don't necessarily need to keep the money in a jar, but keeping money on the side in case of an emergency is beneficial to any issues you might face down the line.
Don't Be Afraid to Explore
Exploring should be the most fun part of living in a new city. Regardless of why you moved in the first place, roaming streets you've never walked before is always an adventure. If you're unsure about where to start, then consider why you chose that city and start there. But if you are unfamiliar with the lay of the land, it's always a good idea to be cautious.
The last thing you want to do is hide away in your new apartment. Yes, you will get overwhelmed. Yes, it might feel like you have a million things you need to get done. And while that might be true, that shouldn't keep you from experiencing life outside of those four walls. It's all about balance.
Be Wary of Bringing People Home
Stranger danger is real. Being in a new city can be incredibly exciting. But, before you bring anybody to your new place, you might want to do some intense vetting. Staying safe is the name of the game when you're new to a city. So while you might think bringing that beautiful person you just met home with you for a night-cap is a good idea, be sure and be careful.
Prepare to Get Homesick
You will get homesick in some form. It could hit you all at once in the beginning or it could wash over you in doses every now and again. You're going through a transition and it might get overwhelming at times. Everyone experiences homesickness differently, though, so there's no cure-all for it. The best thing to do is call your family, get some sun, and do something that comforts you.