Like a lot of big things that happen when you become an adult, relocating can be boring, frustrating, and draining. You’ll question every decision you make until you don’t care anymore. Prepare for the worst, and handle it the best way possibly by planning smart and preparing accordingly. When done right, the process of moving to a new house and can actually be kind of fun.
1. Find the best insurance
Not many people know about it, but you can actually buy relocation insurance — and it makes sense why. Moving, storing, and transporting things can get complicated and expensive. Just ask any business owner. Should the worst happen, having relocation insurance provides you a cushion to fall back on.
You should also reevaluate your current car and health insurance options. Most states require that your car to be insured in the same state where it’s registered in, and your registration usually needs to match your address. With health insurance, it’s a bit more complicated. Larger employers with established locations all around the country will usually have the same insurance company. But if you have insurance through the individual market, you’ll have to buy a new plan.
When shopping, always remember that cheapest doesn’t always mean best. It’s pointless to purchase a new insurance plan if it doesn’t provide the kind of coverage suited for you. Read some reviews and ask family or friends what they use.
2. Make some appointments
The natural follow-up to making sure you’re covered on insurance options, like health, is to actual use those resources. If you’re switching to a new primary care physician who’s geographically closer to you, make an appointment. Even if you don’t feel sick or need a check-up, that’s good to establish a relationship with them so they at least know you exist.
This advice also applies to therapists, mechanics, nail salons, barbers — anyone who’ll be providing a service to you needs to be vetted by you in person. If they aren’t a good fit, start looking elsewhere as soon as possible. The last thing you want is to put off getting a haircut until a day before your big project meeting and then finding out the five-star rated hair stylist you were looking forward to isn’t as good as reviewers said they’d be.
Another reason making appointments with service providers when you relocate is important is because it helps you acclimate to the community. You’re a new face in town, and no one likes strangers. Show your face around, smile, get to know the cashiers and dog-walkers and they’ll be more willing to help you out or offer some good advice.
3. Negotiate and find deals
If you’re relocating for work, be sure to ask and negotiate for relocation benefits. You’re not new to the company anymore. You are a valuable employee. And you are uprooting your life for the benefit of your employer. Bigger companies will likely broach the subject with you, offering to cover moving expenses, intermediate housing, maybe even a local guide. But even with a smaller employer, there are quite a few items up in the air for negotiation, including temporary, paid storage space while you look for a long-term housing, and a bonus or stipend.
Once you’ve arrived it’s important to familiarize yourself with supermarkets, restaurants, shopping complexes, and other places nearby you’re destined to spend some money. Compare restaurant costs before choosing, shop at affordable shopping centers known for good sales, and check out your city’s Groupon things to do page.
4. Don’t overthink packing
You’ve put things in a box before. You’ve probably not lived in the same residence for all your life. You’ve seen that episode of Friends. You know how to pivot.
So don’t overthink packing. You’ll see dozens of guides that can help you with packing, but they’ll mostly tell you the same thing repeatedly. As long as you avoid waiting to the last minute, overstuffing a box, and have some directions on where you’re going before you start driving away, you’ll be fine.
You can also avoid the entire drama of packing by hiring a moving company to manage the packing (and unpacking) adventure for you. Any price you pay is a price to ease your worries, and that’s priceless.
5. Spreadsheets are your friend
Spreadsheets may sound lame, but they are about to become your very best friend. Need help budgeting? Put it in a spreadsheet. Have to consolidate a list of new contacts of local plumbers, mechanics, doctors, accountants, etc.? Put it in a spreadsheet. Comparing and ranking potential apartments, roommates, grocery stores, pizzerias, escape room teams? Put it all in a spreadsheet.
Lacing spreadsheets into your daily life is one of the most adult and responsible things you can do, and it’s never more useful than when you’re relocating.