Moving to a new city is an exciting (and sometimes intimidating) experience. Not only are you starting a new job, but you are uprooting your life and moving to a new home in an often unfamiliar area.
You can avoid being overwhelmed by planning out each step of the way and putting together a strategy for what to do when you land in your new hometown.
Staying organized and keeping to-do lists is one of the keys to a successful move, according to an article from Forbes. So start by listing out the accounts you need to close and open with the move and where you need to update your address.
If you pay your utility bills online, you can usually fill out an online form to close the accounts effective on the date of your move. This includes power, gas, trash, water, and phone/internet services.
Also, remember to update your address with any banks and credit card companies and set up a change of address for mail forwarding with the United States Postal Service.
Some companies offer relocation assistance if you are moving for a job. If your new employer offers assistance, take them up on it.
Assistance can include reimbursement or payment for moving expenses which may include a moving truck, car shipping, flights, and hotels.
Some companies also have relationships with major moving companies, which can take the stress out of shopping around and finding a mover.
Create a Budget
If you are moving to a big city like New York, Chicago, or San Francisco, your expenses might be a lot higher than they were before, particularly if this is your first job after college.
Check out budgeting tools like Mint or Personal Capital to help you track your expenses automatically. Remember that you will pay around 25% of your new salary for taxes, depending on your income level and where you live, so budget accordingly for housing, food, transportation, and other needs.
You can use this tool from CNN Money to calculate your cost of living based on salary and location.
Get to Know Your New City
It is easy to be a homebody or feel down about a new city right after a move, but it is more fun to skip the drama and get out and explore! Research the city ahead of time to help you get through the first 30 days. Looking for local traditions, hot spots, crime rates by neighborhood, and which areas are the most desirable to live are important before you arrive, according to lifestyle site First 30 Days.
Don't forget to scope out important amenities like grocery stores, restaurants, bars, gyms, and dry cleaners when you are picking an area to live. And be sure to check out your public transportation options—these transportation apps from Mashable.com can assist you in finding everything from routes and schedules to public parking.
Meet New People
Being lonely in a new city is rough, so get out and make some new friends. There are many ways to meet new people when you move, no matter your age or lifestyle. Here are some popular options:
- Meetup groups
- Young professional networking events
- Mommy and Me or parent groups
- Religious organizations
- Sports leagues
- The gym (classes or pickup games)
- Your new co-workers
Most people are warm and welcoming to newcomers if you are willing to put yourself out there, so use the above resources to find a social scene with people who share the same interests as you.
Get Ready for Your First Day
Before your first day, reach out to your new boss if you don't understand what is expected of you. Where should you go when you arrive at the office? What time are they expecting you to be there? What is the dress code? Where can you park?
These are important questions to get out of the way to ensure a lower stress start to your new job. If you have time, drive by the office the day before you start to learn the route and ensure you don't get lost and flustered on day one.
Don't Forget Health Insurance
Some employers offer healthcare from day one, but other employer-sponsored coverage does not start until you have been on board for 30, 60, or 90 days. If you need coverage to fill the gap until your new insurance kicks in, look for a short-term medical policy to get you by.
Then, get to work impressing your new boss and making a great life for yourself in your new city.