Plan For Your Move!
Moving to a new city and starting a new life might seem like a complicated endeavor, but simple planning can make all the difference.
It’s important to be organized when planning a big life change, particularly if you have a significant other, children, or pets coming with you. This quick guide to seamless relocation will help you and your family members make the most of this exciting time, get settled in you new DC apartment or home, and start living your new, exciting life.
1. Choose movers you trust.
Selecting a moving company to trust with valuable household goods is important. Some options allow you to move your own goods, dropping off a shipping container for you to fill yourself and retrieving it to deliver to your new home. Others offer full-service moving, even packing your items for you if you choose.
Either way, shop around for quotes, and have full- or partial- service companies come to your home and see your items. Some will provide a quote online without doing a walkthrough, but these firms often tack costs on later once they see your possessions.
Meeting in person beforehand minimizes the possibility for future issues, allows you to ask questions, and gives everyone involved extra peace of mind. You can gain a pretty good idea of the type of company with which you’re working just by interacting with one of its representatives.
2. Make use of Google Maps.
Once you know when you’re moving, the next step is getting to know the area. A quick search on Google Maps will show you streets, parks, businesses, restaurants, schools, nightlife, universities, gyms, nearby attractions, neighborhoods, and so much more.
While it’s just an overview, Google Maps is a great way to start getting your bearings and learn a little bit about the neighborhood you’ll soon be calling home.
3. Check out various neighborhoods and schools.
Google Maps gives you the opportunity to not only find local neighborhoods and schools, but also read reviews about them.
See images and street view virtual reality tours, get easy access to schools’ websites for more in-depth research, learn about the surrounding areas, and get a feel for what will be the best fit.
4. Check out your commute.
This tip is especially important to those relocating to DC. The time it takes to get to and from work every day might play a critical role in determining where you want to live.
Do a directions search from the neighborhoods you’re considering to your future workplace, helping to narrow down both a commute radius as well as possible transportation paths like driving, bus, light rail or train routes, and more.
5. Find easy access to fun, too.
This process also helps determine how far you are from entertainment options. Your move for work doesn’t mean you won’t have time for fun in your new home. Take time to figure out how long it takes to get to recreation, too.
Is your new job in a rural area? Plot how long it takes to get to the big city. If you’d rather spend your time in nearby mountains, canyons, shopping malls, sporting events, adventure courses, lakes, rivers, spas, classes, or pretty much anything else – map out how long it takes to get to these things after work and on weekends.
6. Look into your hobbies.
On that note, Google Maps also helps you find the best ways to get involved with your hobbies.
A quick search for local fitness clubs, yoga studios, art classes, music lessons, gymnastics classes, sports leagues, dog parks, volunteering opportunities, wine tasting, libraries and museums, community centers, and so much more will show you where you can take part in your favorite after-work or after-school activities.
7. Apartment and home shop ahead of time.
If you’re moving to DC apartment, you’ll want to find a place as soon as possible – they don’t stay on the market very long. There are plenty of apartment search sites available to help you find the perfect residence.
They allow you to select the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, pet-friendly vs. no pets allowed, parking options, washer/dryer in units, and other important community amenities. You can also see walkability scores, proximity to green spaces and shopping, and even decide on options like luxury vs. cost-effective. This will allow you to narrow your list of potential homes to just those that work for you and your family members, including the four-legged ones.
8. Take a scouting trip.
There is no substitute for boots-on-the-ground exploration when checking out a new home area, so take the trip if you have the time and money to do so.
Many employers will cover a portion of the expenses involved in such an endeavor, if for no other reason than you’ll be coming out to meet your new teammates.
Bring your family members with you, too, so they can also start exploring and get acquainted. Check out your potential new neighborhood, drive the route to work, visit and tour apartments in person, dine at local restaurants, grab coffee at a nearby coffee shop, and take in the overall sights and sounds.
9. Get started understanding future utilities, car registration, and how to get a new driver’s’ license.
Changing your permanent address is a big step. Be sure to fill out an official change of address form with the U.S. Postal Service once you have a new home. This ensures your bills, important documents, correspondence, magazines, and more get forwarded to your new home, giving you time to notify all relevant parties of the address change.
It’s easy to do a simple search to find and compare utilities like electric, water, internet, television, and other services once you know where you’ll be living. Lastly, if your move is out of state, be sure look at local government sites to understand how to change your car title/registration and driver’s license procedures. Many have a within-a-certain-timeframe requirement for you to change your plates and license over after changing your residency.
10. Keep a positive mindset.
Moving is an adventure and, like any adventure, will have positives and negatives attached.
Keeping a good attitude will help make some of the more tedious items — packing, shopping for movers, car titling, and licensing, among others — a little less draining.
Focus on the positive things — your new home, the hobbies you’ll enjoy, nature or other nearby attractions, new school and sports opportunities, etc. — to keep spirits high, be excited about your new chapter, and make sure others in your moving party stay excited, too.
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