Moving to a new city, state, or country is exciting. You’ll meet new people, experience a new way of life, and get the chance to reinvent yourself.
Starting fresh can also be daunting. Even if you feel that your current location is holding you back from becoming your best self, a big move can cause extra stress and knock down your confidence.
Whether you are moving for a new job or to get away from a bad situation, a change of scenery can help you reconsider your life goals and give you renewed purpose. But before you pack your bags and set off, there are a few steps you should take to ensure your new move goes as smoothly as possible.
Choosing a Location
Once you’ve decided to make a move, you need to find a location that will support you and your life goals. Finding the right location can spark a period of growth and joy as you learn to appreciate life in a new home.
There are a few considerations to account for when moving to start a new life. First and foremost, you need to account for your financial situation and your chance of finding a job when you move. It’s crucial to quit your job at the right time so you don’t lose your income at a critical juncture.
Beyond financial restrictions, you may want to consider factors like:
- Typical weather and climate in the new area
- Proximity to facilities and amenities
- Distance from your existing support network
- Values and like-minded people
This shortlist will help you cut down on a lot of potential places to live. Cross off any dealbreakers like poor weather or misalignment of values. You can then rank your remaining candidates based on your top priorities, like meeting like-minded people or living in a city with great nightlife.
It’s worth bearing in mind that some moves will promote more internal growth than others. For example, if you move to a new country, you may have to learn a new language and adapt to different customs. Sometimes a major shakeup like this can be just what you need to discover a new facet of your identity.
The Moving Checklist
There’s a lot to remember before you make a big move. Ensuring everything goes smoothly takes plenty of forethought and planning — even if the decision to move was a spontaneous one.
Start assembling your moving checklist well before you move. Make a moving folder with insurance records, receipts, and other important information that you need to keep safe. You can start getting mover parking permits at this time and should schedule some time off work.
You’ll want to start changing your bank details and decluttering your house a few weeks before the big day. Living out of boxes is frustrating, but it’s far better than packing in a panic. Remember to let the post office know you’re moving and give them a forwarding address.
The day before you move, you should clean out your fridge and freezer and put your important documents in a safe bag for transport. Break down the last of your furniture and try your best to get to bed early that night. Even if you’re excited, a full night’s sleep will give you the endurance you need to see the move through.
Planning a Long Distance Move
You’ve chosen your location and are ready to set sail, hit the highway, or board a plane. But before you move, it’s worth planning the trip itself to ensure that you hit the ground running when you arrive at your new home. This is particularly important if you’re planning a long-distance move and can’t make a quick return trip to pick up items you accidentally left behind.
When planning a long-distance move, you should set a clear budget for your moving expenditures. Moving services, packing supplies, storage, and travel costs can escalate quickly. Keep a tight budget on non-essentials to ensure you don’t drop a small fortune on the move itself.
If you’re moving across states, you might be tempted to drive the distance yourself. However, flying may end up being the most cost-effective method in the long run. Driving across states can put thousands of miles of wear and tear on your car. This may lead to repair work being needed earlier than you expected. If possible, consider shipping your car instead of driving to keep the miles off while you travel in comfort.
Avoiding Previous Missteps
If you’re moving to reinvent yourself, you may have made a few mistakes in your life. Give yourself a break when moving and embrace this new opportunity with an open mind and a positive attitude.
As you start to settle in, intentionally make plans to break up the monotony of life and explore your new home further. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut if you visit the same restaurants or do the same leisure activities. Push your boundaries by joining a club, visiting a new cafe, or taking a staycation in your new home.
Moving somewhere new is a great way to reinvent yourself and start learning more about who you are, as well as who you want to be. You can make the big move a success by choosing the right location and planning well in advance. Avoid falling into previous habits by pushing your boundaries and finding a support network through clubs or community groups.
Guest Author Bio
Jori Hamilton is a writer and journalist from the Pacific Northwest who covers social justice issues, healthcare, and politics. You can follow her work on twitter @HamiltonJori, and through her portfolio at Writer Jori Hamilton.