What You Need to Know About Relocating

by Ashley Wirgau

You’re contemplating a move, but not just any move. Oh no, not you! Your go-big-or-go-home outlook won’t let you just mosey on down the street where the grass grows a little greener. You’ve got something grander in mind. You’ve set your sights farther than a cross-town transfer. You’re going all-out relocation mode!

A new city, a new state, somewhere fresh and unencumbered by the life you’ve been living. You’ve found a place where you can reinvent yourself, be that person you’ve always imagined yourself to be - but before you cast that final farewell to your current zip code and the 1.0 version of yourself, here are a few things to keep in mind:

This isn’t going to be easy so set your expectations accordingly.

It will all work out in the end (yes, it will!) but any move, any change of such magnitude, is stressful, so be gentle with yourself and flexible with others. These things require ample coordination and typically a few third-parties - realtors, lenders, movers, family members who know just the right place and will text you non-stop until you concede. Do your best to take it all in stride, and you’ll be basking in the glow of the light at the end of the tunnel before you know it.

Avoid buying blind if at all possible.

When tackling a long-distance relocation, it can sometimes be difficult to spend a good chunk of time in your new town prior to the actual move, especially when unforeseen job changes or some of life’s other little surprises have led you to make the decision. But if you have any availability to explore your newfound city prior to your permanent arrival, do so. Walk the city’s neighborhoods to see which feels like home. Take time to drive the routes from your new workplace to these areas during rush hour traffic and ask yourself if you can survive the trek should you happen to forget your coffee on the kitchen counter. Check out the local schools, shopping centers, public spaces and recreation areas, and don’t be afraid to talk to the people you encounter to get the 411. These smiling strangers are about to be your new neighbors.

Downsizing is your friend but it’s one of those friendships you really have to work at.

It can be a little awkward at first and you might fumble through the initial encounter, but the process will pay off in the end. Even if you aren’t going down in square footage, downsizing the sheer quantity of your stuff is a good idea prior to any move. Who wants to pack their long-forgotten belongings into a truck and transport them cross country just to toss them in the trash when they get there? And seriously, whatever convinced you to buy that flamingo lamp anyways? Do the right thing and ditch it before the moving truck starts rolling.

There are two kinds of people in this world: those who hire movers and those who regret not hiring movers.

Just kidding – some folks are built for the organizational elements and heavy work load of a long-distance move, but for those whose strengths lie elsewhere, it’s time to weigh your sanity against those hard-earned dollars. Hiring professional movers definitely isn’t free, but neither is the doctor bill when you throw your back out dragging your king-size bedframe up a flight of stairs. Use a moving cost estimator to gauge if the added convenience outweighs the cost. How many bedframes do you have again?

Get the Kleenex ready it’s going to be a tear-jerker.

Even if you knew you weren’t in your forever home, relocating can be a sensitive subject that tends to sneak up on you somewhere between the “sold” sign on your front lawn and the farewell party. When it finally hits, be sure to have some tissues handy and remind yourself that this beautiful village of neighbors and friends isn’t going anywhere. You know where your tribe lives, and they’ll be there waiting each time you visit your old stomping ground. Plus, you get to build a whole new flock where you are going. You did such a great job the first time; you’re bound to find some good eggs on your next go round!

Relocating is involved, and it is hard, but like any good challenge, it invites you to explore your strengths and overcome those pesky weaknesses. On top of that, a fresh start in a different community means you can leave that outdated version of yourself behind, so get ready to introduce your new neighbors, new house and new town to the new you!



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