Relocation: The 101
There are plenty of reasons why people decide to relocate. A change in careers, family circumstances, and financial stability are just a few of the reasons why someone might be looking at moving to a different part of the county, another state – or even the other side of the world!
Although finding a new place to live, wherever it is, can be an exciting time, it can also be incredibly stressful. It is very rarely a simple decision to make, whatever the reason for it, but making sure everyone is on-board and happy will help make the transition an awful lot smoother.
There are a number of factors, both practical and personal to think about when you are thinking about relocating, and a whole number of questions you should ask yourself before taking the big leap into the unknown.
Before you make what could be one of the most significant decisions you ever have to think about, it is important to do your research and make sure it is the right thing for your family and you. Some of the essential questions that you need to ask yourself may include:
- What is the job market like, if you have not already secured a job in the new location?
- Will you be renting or buying your new home?
- What is the education system like, if you have children, and are they able to enroll in a school easily?
- How affordable is property in the new area, and what are the general costs of living?
- Are you and your family able to pursue your interests and hobbies in the new area?
- What are the public transport links like in the area?
- What are the crime rates for the location
- Is it close to local amenities such as doctors and hospitals and shops?
We always recommend that you go and spend some time in the new location to get a real sense of the area. It is a lot better to spend a couple of weeks or so scoping out the place and giving it a whirl than uprooting your whole life and then realizing you have made an enormous mistake if it just is not for you! It does happen – people read about all how lovely an area is and think it will work for them, and for some reason, it just does not.
It is a good idea to sit down and make a list of the pros and cons of relocating. These may include:
- New adventures/new start: One of the most exciting things about moving to a totally different place is that it is a whole new adventure for the family getting to know your new neighborhood. You have the opportunity to try out new shopping centers, restaurants, and things to do. It has been shown that exploring is good for the soul – and relocating is the perfect opportunity to embrace this with your whole heart.
- New challenges: A relocation usually means a new job, and this means having to make new friends and learn new skills, both of which can be incredibly daunting but positive experiences. You may have to learn new languages and get used to different customs and ways of life, depending on where you move, and have the opportunity to try new leisure activities and hobbies to really challenge yourself on both a professional and a personal level.
- Missing family and friends: Of course, this is one of the downsides to relocating, and is often one of the reasons people decide to stay put where they are. Thankfully, because of technology these days – Whatsapp, social media, Skype and the like – it is easier than it ever has been to keep in touch – no more waiting for letters or crackly and expensive long-distance phone calls. However, you do need to take into consideration whether you can get back easily and quickly if a family member was taken ill or if you want to visit over Christmas and other holidays. Relocation can be an incredibly lonely experience, so keeping some family ties is essential, and getting involved within the local community as soon as possible to make new friends is pretty important as well.
- The costs of moving: Unless you are fortunate enough for a company to pay your relocation costs, then moving house – even within the same town- is extremely expensive. You have not only got the cost of a new home to think about, but moving all of your belongings, school fees, uniforms, the cost of being out of work for a while, quarantine fees for pets, car transport and perhaps the cost of new furniture or decoration for your new house. Make sure you write every cost down and budget for them, no matter how small or insignificant they may seem so that you have no nasty surprises when it comes to paying out.
- The added stress- this is all of the above things rolled into one. Moving house, wherever it is to, is one of the most stressful things you can go through. You have to find somewhere new to live, pack up your old house and unpack at the new one, registering at doctors and dentists and finding places at schools for children, which can all be very stressful. Add in missing your family and friends and any financial worries, and it can be a really tough time.
Preparing for the move
We have covered what you need to think about; now we will take a brief look at how, if you do decide to move, you make it easier on yourself.
Make a plan
Before you even begin, create a plan for how you will be organizing your big move. Decide on the maximum amount you plan to spend on your move and who will be helping you with the packing and unpacking. The main thing here is to stick to the big plans first so that you don’t get overwhelmed by the little details of your relocation.
Make sure that the new home is ready for you to move into
There is nothing worse than having no electricity or water on your move-in day. Make sure to transfer all your home services and utilities ahead so that you can rest after a tiring day of unloading and unpacking.
Put aside an emergency bag for your essentials.
In case your belongings arrive later than expected, having an emergency bag with you will ensure that you still have access to what you need. This should include a change of clothes, equipment to make a sandwich and a drink and any essential medications.
Hire a removal service
You should know by now that a cross country move is a difficult job that you cannot adequately handle on your own, and is better left to professionals. Do your research on reliable and legitimate removal companies. Check that they have up-to-date registration, motor vehicle insurance, worker’s compensation insurance, liability insurance
If you are still in doubt, you can always check customer reviews to ensure that they are a recognized and trusted business.
Make an inventory and minimize the number of items to be moved
The number of household items that you plan to take with you will have the most significant impact on your moving costs. Use a “keep, donate, or throw out” approach when sorting through your household items. Once you have decided what to take with you, you can then donate, sell, or place in long-term storage those other items you can’t bring with you.
Consider reducing your belongings further by taking only those things that you will use in the near future.
Make sure to ask your removal company whether they will subcontract your move to a different company. If they will, your household items may be placed in separate trucks. This means that your belongings may arrive at different times at your new place. Also, find out how your goods will be moved (e.g., via the road or the rail).
Make sure that you understand your delivery spread
If this is your first cross-country move, you’ll probably think that the moving truck will arrive at your new home early. That’s not how it works. A standard practice in the industry is to give you a delivery spread spanning a few days between when your goods are collected and when you can expect your belongings to arrive.
Relocating to another state requires much planning and coordination with your removal service. Doing your research in advance will also help you get the right mindset to prepare efficiently for your big move. However, more than anything, the key to a happy interstate move is not to let stress and worry get the better of you.
Relocation can be the next big adventure in your life but ensuring you have the best information and resources will help you make the right decision for a happy and secure future.