Friday, March 15, 2013

The Big Girl's Guide to Making the Big Move

The Big Girl Chronicles:  The Big Girl’s Guide to Making the Big Move
Whether it’s due to employment opportunities, promotion, family issues or whatever the reason, relocating to another city can seem pretty overwhelming.   To make the transition as smooth as possible begin planning as early as possible.  Below are a few ideas to help you get started.

Before you get there-

ü  The earlier the better.

You’ve already discussed with your landlord or realtor that you’re planning to move and made the necessary steps to begin vacating your current dwelling.  If you’ve used a realtor to find your new place, you’ve likely already considered the following steps.  But if you’ve made preparations for your move all on your own, you may want to follow up on where you’ll be living by completing a little research.  Include in your search what communities and surrounding cities are nearby, taxes and fees that will change the cost of living, public transportation system routes and fare, differences in road safety/driving laws and all other information pertinent to becoming acquainted with you new residence. 

ü  When it comes to the children…

If you have children you should probably plan your move during the summer months to avoid any lapse in school attendance and confusion that could arise from securing transcripts and enrolling in a new school.  Consider what education system you will be moving to and school ratings.  Try to find out school bus routes and expected departure/arrival times.  Knowledge of nearby resources like libraries, afterschool programs and other kid-friendly recreational venues would also be helpful.  Do a cautionary search of the sex offender website and crime ratings to make sure you’re not walking blindly into a bad situation.   

ü  Make a checklist.

Jot down all the things that you can think of that will be necessary and helpful to make your transition a smooth one.  It might also be helpful to include a list of contacts you can call on to help with the unpacking and travel if need be.  Be thorough, because this is the list that you’ll be working from once you get started.

ü  Gather boxes and supplies early to save time.

If your move has been long expected, minimize last minute hustle and bustle by gathering your packing supplies immediately.  That includes boxes and crates, tape, labels, newspapers and other materials.  You can always ask your employer for boxes to minimize costs.  Also ask you local general store and grocery store for boxes that their dry goods were shipped in.  You never know.  They just might let you have a few. 

While you’re packing –

ü  Confirm everything.

When the time comes to begin packing, make sure your moving assistance reservations are intact.  You’ll also want to confirm dates that you’re expected and be sure your current landlord or agent is aware of your final day occupying the property and what the process is for turning in keys or completing inspections.  Being on the same page with everyone will minimize any possibilities of unexpected surprises that could delay your move or make it that much more difficult. 

ü  Label everything.

Clearly mark all boxes for handling, contents and room assignments, such as towels/kitchen, fragile/décor/LR and etc.  It would also be helpful to number your boxes and list them on a spreadsheet.  Mark one box that you’ll need as soon as you arrive and keep that one close.  It should contain toilet paper, cleaner, cleaning rags, a clock radio, candles, matches, paper plates, paper cups, napkins, cutlery, trash bags and any other items that you would probably need to use immediately upon your arrival.

ü  Record everything.

After you’ve packed and cleaned, make a recording of the condition of the residence you’re vacating to avoid mix-ups with deposits and other discrepancies.  It’s also a good idea to do the same for your new residence.

Finally, home-

ü  Call and let someone know you’re there.

Your first phone calls will probably include family, friends and your current landlord or realtor.  Gather as much help as you can unpacking the rental and getting situated in your new place.

ü  Rest

Once you’ve unpacked the truck, you’ll probably be exhausted.  Did you pack a pillow in your specially marked box?  Take some time to rest before tackling the other boxes.  Listen to some soothing music or catch up on current events via your clock radio while you get a nap.

After you’re settled –

ü  Begin your new life.

Once you’ve unpacked and gotten situated in your new place, you’ll want to become familiar with your surrounding area and community.  Pick up a newspaper to get familiar with what’s happening.  Be sure to complete notices of changes in address at your local post office for mail forwarding.  Secure voter registration at your courthouse and find your local polling location.  Learn of your local representatives and government officials.  Follow up on locations of physician offices and other places you’ll need to frequent to continue your healthcare.  Find local parks, salons, grocery stores, pharmacies, support groups, community service organizations and other resources that you’ll take advantage of as you begin your new life. 

Take advantage of your fresh start and enjoy all the excitement that moving to a new city has to offer!  Don’t forget to host that housewarming party once you’re situated!   

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