You or your spouse just landed the job of your dreams. If the new opportunity is taking you and your family out of your current town, state, across the country or beyond, the pressure is on. You've got to get all the details of the move done right in a short amount of time.
Begin your planning the day that you find out the move is a go. You might think packing your house will be simple and fast, for example, but many people are surprised at how much stuff they really have. Make your to do checklist on day one and be ready to add to it regularly.
Many employers offer a house hunting or apartment searching trip paid for by the company. Be sure and take them up on this typically free opportunity to give you some hands on time in the new geography. Ask yourself questions now such as:
- Will I be renting or buying?
- Do I know anything about the neighborhoods? Schools? Activities such as shopping, nightlife, and recreation?
- Will I need a storage unit when I arrive?
- Will I be hiring movers or moving myself? Ask for recommendations from friends of good movers, especially since local moves and interstate moves are usually billed and handled differently. If you are moving yourself, take a critical inventory and start packing unneeded items well in advance.
What do I need to do to leave my current home? Do I have specific tasks to complete with my landlord? Do I need to hire a realtor and sell my current home? Is my apartment or home ready for me to vacate?
Make a list of your utility companies to contact to shut off service when the time comes, as well as friends, family, and clients you need to notify.
Prepare Your Kids
Children need as much time as possible to adjust to the idea of moving. A move is an opportunity to involve them in the planning and get them on board with the change by creating buy-in and enthusiasm.
If moving overseas, there may be special considerations you will want to take into account for expatriating your family.
- Have your kids search the Internet for information on where you are moving and let them tell you about possible neighborhoods, schools or just fun things to do there.
- If you plan to drive to the new location, have the kids research cool things to do along the route or design postcards they can send to their friends with your new address.
- Remain positive as you discuss the move and use each conversation as an opportunity to both discuss exciting aspects as well as talk to them about any concerns.
- When you have chosen your new neighborhood, arrange for a tour of their new school.
- Once you have moved, walk the neighborhood with your children and knock on doors to help introduce them to other families nearby. You can also enroll them in a favorite activity right away to give them a chance to make new friends fast. This can be especially important if you move in summer and school is not in session.
Consider Renting First
Renting gives you the flexibility to move if it turns out the neighborhood you chose isn’t what you expect or want. It also gives you time to investigate other areas, determine if renting or buying is what you want for the long term, and make sure the new job is going to be one you want to stay with. Investigate suburbs outside the major metropolitan area to find places with the lowest crime, best quality of schools, and access to recreation. Renting also might allow you to save more money for a home purchase down the road.