How to Plan a Move to Another City When Relocating for the First Time

Posted How-to / September 23, 2021
Milly Andrews

Born and raised in Portland, Milly has had a lot of experience moving and writing about the relocation process.

Relocation is one of the most stressful life events, but one that people usually repeat more than a few times in their lifetime. As a beginner, there is so much you have to learn on how to plan a move to another city. If not, there is no doubt that this emotional rollercoaster will overwhelm and overpower you. So, don’t approach this tremendous event lightly. Follow our guidelines and come to the other side as a winner.

How can I plan a move to another city is a question many first-timers ask themselves. No matter the circumstances, just remember the next words – relocating to another state checklist. There are many steps to moving to a new city, with countless tasks and deadlines. Luckily for you, we got you covered. Take a look at the steps below, make your personalized relocation to-do list, and organize a move according to your needs.

Prepare for “The Talk” With Your Loved Ones

Relocation is a hard pill to swallow not only for you but for your parents and friends. Those who raised you will have problems accepting that their baby is all grown up now. All they will think about is you, alone, in a big, evil world, without them to protect you. It doesn’t really matter if you are 18 or 28, those feelings will remain the same. So, the best thing you can fight it with is to present your intentions and goals to them. If they see that you have all figured out, they will be more likely to support you. And their support can be a significant factor when dealing with anxiety about relocation.

Moreover, you are moving away from friends as well as your parents. Your close friends will also try to be happy for you but will miss you fiercely. It’s not easy losing a shoulder to cry on or a perfect wingman. So, when planning a move to a new city, convince them that long-distance friendships can work and that you’ll continue to be a part of their lives. And later, be sure to keep your promise.

Make a Few Important Adult Decisions

Yup, it is scary but inevitable in the process of growing up. In the case of relocation, the first thing you must determine is your relocation budget. Every other decision will be connected to it. Choosing a long-distance moving company, creating a new apartment checklist, and the like can and will depend on the money you have (or don’t have.) So, take the calculator in your hands and start planning. Keep in mind that the relocation expenses checklist should include:

  • Cost of transport (if you move by yourself,)
  • Cost of travel accommodations,
  • Cost of long-distance moving services (if you decide you could use assistance,)
  • Apartment deposit,
  • Monthly rent and bills (for first few months,)
  • Insurances costs.

That’s a lot of money, especially if you are used to your parents taking care of the home budget and bills. So, don’t feel ashamed to ask for their financial help, if needed. You can also search for the best ways to save on relocation costs and look for the cheapest way to move out of state. Lack of money at the beginning of your new life is a perfectly normal occurrence. We’ve all been there. But don’t worry, it will get better.

Decision About Cross-Country Movers as One of the Most Important

If you opt to get cross-country moving services instead of relocating yourself, know that your trouble doesn’t end there. You should avoid possible relocation scams by choosing the most reliable company you can. There are few good ways on how to check if a relocation company is legitimate:

  • Look for the company’s reviews and recommendations,
  • Organize various estimates,
  • Check company’s status on BBB,
  • Check the company’s license and insurance on FMCSA by using the DOT number.

Keep in mind that hiring trustworthy and reputable long-distance movers can save your nerves by reducing the amount of relocation stress you’ll experience. That is why you must plan on searching for the right ones. Only when you are sure that you find the finest, contact the company’s representatives, and book your move.


Do Your Homework and Research Different Places Thoroughly

High school might be over, but there is still homework that needs to be done. No matter if you still have to decide where to live or it’s already chosen. The more you know about the place, the better. Crucial things you must focus your attention on are:

  • Cost of living – it’s not all sunshine and roses when moving to a big city from a small town. Housing prices combined with transportation, groceries, and utility expenses can be more than your wallet can currently handle. Find out if that’s the case and save money to move there, if necessary.
  • Transportation preferences and options – to research every hidden gem in your current home, you have to find the most suitable way to travel around it. Look for possible routes, calculate your commuting time, and figure auto if auto shipping services are needed during the move.
  • Different neighborhoods – even if you don’t have a choice about choosing the location, you’ll have one when it comes to its areas. See which of them offer amenities you desire, check crime rates and get familiar with the community.
  • Work opportunities – every destination has its own jobs in demand. If you are relocating without a job, ensure to do research the job market, too.
  • Private and public schools – if you are relocating to another home with kids, research the city’s educational system so you can choose the best option for your children.

Choose a Destination Where You Can Flourish

Any “Where should I move” quiz is a good start when you want to chase your dream but don’t know where. After it, think about the crucial elements of your dream – is it a better work position, good college, or something else? Look for cities that could offer you the best of what you search. If you want to develop your career, seek the best cities for young professionals. If you wish to relocate from an apartment to a house and start a family, look for great family-friendly towns. Remember, you must not get lazy now. Do your homework right, and it will bring you greater success later on.

Secure Your Survival in a New World

You can’t live in another state without having a roof over your head and a job that pays for it. So, you must think about how to secure them. Many millennials move to big cities, where renting is more common than owning a house. If you are one of them, finding out what you need to rent an apartment is in order. In addition to that, it would be nice to visit the apartment before signing the lease. It may look beautiful in the photo, but it has some issues and disadvantages you can’t tell from the picture alone. For example, maybe it’s located in a very busy street, which will result in unbearable noise all day long. After you find the most suitable one, contact the landlord and get a deal. Remember that some landlords seek proof of your financial status, so have it ready after the move.

As for the work, it is always better to find a job in another state before relocating there. It’s not too early to apply for positions even before the relocation date. Update your CV, write cover letters and cross your fingers that some company will contact you. The important thing to remember is to have at least an approximate date ready when going through interviews. It will show the interviewers that you are relocating to another home no matter the outcome. Of course, if you can secure a recommendation or two, it will be a huge plus.

Finding a Roommate – Yes or No?

Living with a stranger could end up as a success or disaster. If you want a good outcome, check reliable roommate searching websites and meet with people before you strike a deal. If you play your cards right, you could even afford to live in a city’s center, save up money and make a lifelong friend. However, remember to be careful – not all people are good and honest. If you are not relocating with a person you know, ensure to watch the following video. It has all the advice you could use on how to find the right roommate.

YouTube video

Learn How to Pack Your Items Right

If you don’t want to get packing services, all this hard work will be on your shoulders. The first thing you should do is go through all of your things and decide what to get rid of. Remember that the less stuff you bring with you, the cheaper the relocation will be. If you are relocating to an already furnished home, your packing list shouldn’t be that different from the college packing list. However, the number of things you’ll need for your first apartment will be completely different if that is not the case. Whichever your situation is, stuff like clothes, electronics, documents, and alike will become your relocation essentials, so don’t forget to pack them.

You should also consider the time needed for packing items you will relocate. The key is not to start too soon and too late. In the first case, you’ll pack things you need, and in the second, you’ll have to speed everything up, which will result in you making many relocation mistakes. Also, after you plan the starting date carefully, don’t forget to gather all the packing material needed. Boxes, packing paper, bubble wraps, labels – get everything you’ll use and search for great packing tips that will help you relocate your belongings undamaged.

How to Plan a Move to Another City – Setting Roots in Different Surroundings

Relocation-related tasks won’t end up after the date of the move. If you wish to stay, you must establish and organize your life in a different place. That includes:

  • Getting different doctors and dentists, as well as updating your health insurance. Know that not all healthcare providers have nationwide coverage. See if you must choose another one,
  • Changing your address,
  • Updating your driver’s license and registering your car,
  • Getting a pet license, if you are relocating with pets,
  • Registering to vote,
  • Getting your utilities (gas, water, cable, internet) set.

Join Different Groups and Make Friends in New City

Continuing with your hobbies will make you adjust faster. So, join a local gym, book club, or yoga class and maintain the routine you had before. Simultaneously, those are places where you’ll find people who share your interests. That is why it’s an excellent way to start making friends. And no matter if you are an extrovert or a lone-wolf, having at least one person in your corner when going through such a big transit could mean a lot.

Don’t Forget to Prepare Mentally Before Moving

Relocating for the first time will be a very emotional experience, especially if it’s long-distance instead of local moving. However, the better you prepare for it, the less negative consequences of relocation you’ll feel. Anticipate all negative feelings you’ll have, such as missing family and friends, but focus on the benefits of relocation. After all, it is a big world out there, and all that greatness awaits you. You just need to dare.

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