As you learned in our previous blog “Moving from Small Town to Big City: The Pros and Cons (Part 1 of 2)”, moving from a small town to a big city is hard. It takes you out of your comfort zone and into a world that’s bigger, faster and full of greater expectations. Before you make the final decision to move to a big city, there are several things to consider and do first. Here are some tips to help you move from the comfort zone of a small town to the unknown of a big city and settle into your new life quickly and easily.
Research the Area
Before jumping in the moving truck and heading for the big-city lights, it’s important to research the area well. The internet will serve you well as a research aid, but you may want to take your research even further by contacting family members, friends and colleagues, and even acquaintances you may have in the city you intend to move to. Here are some things to find out:
- Which neighborhoods are friendly and safe, as well as convenient to local amenities.
- What areas to stay away from.
- If there are any activities you can attend for free
- What are the best/most affordable places/areas to shop, eat, practice your hobby, etc.
- How much they spend on groceries, utilities, gasoline, entertainment, etc. per month.
Here are some other important things to do when researching your new city:
- Review different maps to become familiar with the city, the public transit system, and other important places (hospitals, schools, etc.).
- Research available housing options, and find a place you can afford.
- Research employment options (Unless you are already employed, of course!). Don’t dismiss the idea of taking on temporary work so you are able to support yourself financially while looking for a more permanent position/career.
- Familiarize yourself with the local laws and regulations, especially parking rules and traffic regulations.
- Familiarize yourself with the etiquette and social practices in your new area.
- Find out what the weather conditions are like in your new city. Learn the average temperature each month as well as the climatic conditions you can expect during different seasons.
Plan and Secure Your Finances
Moving is costly, and moving to a big city only adds to the expenses. This is why it’s important to plan and secure your finances before you actually move. To avoid financial troubles when moving to a big city, you will need to get a realistic idea of how much money you are going to need for your relocation. Here are some ways to get your finances in order prior to your move:
- Make sure you have enough savings to cover your living expenses for at least four to six months.
- Find an affordable place to rent. There are lots of temptations in a big, new city, but don’t rent something you can’t actually afford. Your monthly rent should not exceed 25% of your disposable income. Also, do not forget you will need to pay a security deposit, utility bills and maintenance costs, so be sure to take all of these things into account.
- Review your spending habit to make sure you will have enough money for essentials – food, electricity, gas, medicines – before you spend any money on fun activities, like social events, etc.
- Compare service providers in your new city, and sign up for the best price possible.
- Hire professional moving services that are affordable. Get several free moving quotes. Compare the costs and conditions provided by different companies so you will get the best rate. Just make sure the company is reputable!
Be a Smart Packer
Packing is usually the most dreaded part of a move. It’s not only time-consuming, it is also laborious. When moving to a big city, there are several things to take into account when packing. Here are a few of them.
- Sorting. Clean out and organize your belongings to make moving easier and cheaper. If you’re used to living in a small town, your home probably had a decent amount of space. But your living space in the big city will be very limited in size. This being said, it won’t be able to hold all of your belongings. This means you will need to sort through all of your possessions, keeping only the things you truly can’t live without. The fewer items you relocate, the less stressful your move will be, and it will also leave you much more space in your new home. And don’t forget – the less you move, the cheaper the final moving cost will be, so sometimes it pays to organize.
- Clothing. Before you pack all of your clothes, it’s a good idea to take the climate of your new city into consideration. Don’t take a garment with you if you won’t ever have the chance to wear it – no matter how much you like it. This will only cause you to spend more time packing and extra money on shipping costs.
- Packing materials. Before you can pack, you will need to gather the necessary supplies. For the best protection, be sure to use quality packing materials – strong, clean boxes, heavy-duty packing tape, and so on. If you are bringing any larger furniture pieces with you, you will need to disassemble them prior to your move, and pack them safely so they will not be damaged during shipping.