The Big Move: 12 Useful Tips for Relocating for Work

Illustration of a woman packing boxes in her apartment

Relocating for work is a great opportunity for you to further your career. But, despite it being a good step in your professional life, you might find the whole moving process to be a lot less exciting. Between moving out of your house and into a new one, you also have to juggle a new job, learn a new city and establish a new routine.  

While all these things might seem challenging, there’s no need to panic! Whether you’re halfway through a move, or you’re still contemplating it, these useful tips will help make your relocation a piece of cake.

1. Ask about Relocation Packages

Depending on the distance, relocating can be costly. In many occasions, companies cover their employees’ expenses and offer help with finding suitable accommodation. Enquiring about available relocation packages is a good idea, then, as it could help with your budget and save you from unnecessary stress. Asking your new employer for monetary assistance might seem like a sticky move, but if you’re moving long-distance, it’s a reasonable request.

Even if they can’t offer you any compensation, perhaps they could advise you on the best locations for your accommodation and direct you to a good real estate agency.

2. Create a To-Do List

Moving can be a logistical nightmare if you’re not organised. The best way to keep your cool is to have a clear outline of tasks. You may think a mental checklist will be enough, but a meticulously crafted to-do list is a must.

Even if you aren’t a list enthusiast, a physical or digital to-do list will help you keep track of your progress and ensure you don’t forget important tasks. Some of these include contacting the post office, registering your vehicle, speaking with your insurance company, liaising with your former and current landlord, and letting your utility providers know you’re moving out.

3. Have a Clean-Out

There’s no better time to get rid of things you no longer need than during a move-out. As you’re sorting through all your belongings, chances are you will come across a lot of things you didn’t even remember you owned. While packing, then, have a designated box for things you want to throw out, sell or give away. The less you have to take with you during your move, the easier your relocation will be!

4. Pack Smartly

Before jumping into a sea of bubble wrap and cardboard boxes, you need to do a little research first. Especially for long-distance moves, there are many factors to keep in mind before packing your belongings. For example, taking inventory and organising the contents and labelling each box is a good precautionary measure.

If you feel overwhelmed by the process, then it’s worth hiring professional movers to help. Not only will it take away a lot of stress, but it will also guarantee that your possessions arrive safe and well at your new home.

On another note, your boxes could take some time to arrive, so make sure you’ll have enough clothes to get you by until they do. So, an extensive packing checklist will be an excellent match for your to-do list.

5. Do Your Research

Relocating isn’t just about starting a new job and moving into a new house. You’re also moving to a completely new place.

A good way to prepare before you relocate is to learn about the community you’re moving into. In other words, find out about the city’s culture, local traditions and history. Doing the same for your company is also wise, as it will help you set realistic expectations.

The more you know about your new home, the easier it will be for you to settle in. Although it might take a while before you start calling yourself a local, you will have a solid foundation to start with.

6. Make New Contacts

Relocating can often mean leaving family and friends behind. While some see this as a fresh start, others find saying goodbye very difficult. Regardless of which group you belong to, the best thing you can do is to start building a new support network from the onset.

The way to go about this is to reach out to relatives, contact friends of friends or reconnect with old acquaintances who are local to the area. Even if it’s for a casual meetup or simple advice, establishing a new network of contacts will help you acclimate faster.

7. Find a Route

Even if you feel confident in your navigation skills, discovering the best route to work before your first day is a smart move. Presumably, you would have also checked the distance from your new house to work before signing your lease.

Depending on whether you plan on driving, walking, cycling or taking the bus to work, there are some relevant factors to think about, including the commute time, transportation links and parking options. Finding out all these in advance will help you stay on top of things in the midst of your relocation, and it will make your first day at work a lot easier.

8. Make a New Budget

Revisiting your budget and calculating your upcoming expenses will be important before your relocation. Along with moving expenses, you should consider other costs. For example, restocking your pantry, purchasing new furniture and paying the initial utility bills will probably crank up your monthly budget, which means you’ll have to be more flexible.

Another point to consider is the costs of living in your new location. You might have landed a higher-earning position, but if the cost of living in your new city is higher, your budget for amenities, groceries and transportation will be too. Therefore, make sure to factor in all these changes and adjust your monthly budget accordingly.

9. Spot New Spots

Relocating also means leaving your regular spots behind. A good way to become familiar with the area near your work and your house is by setting out to find new go-to places, including coffee shops, grocery stores, gyms and restaurants. The more time you spend exploring your new town, the more settled you’ll start feeling.

Doing a little research beforehand, however, is also a good idea, especially for essentials like pharmacies and supermarkets. Plus, knowing which is the best take-out in the neighbourhood in advance won’t hurt!

10. Test the Waters

There is a certain adjustment period you must go through before you start settling in your new home. However, in some cases, your lifestyle might not be compatible with your new neighbourhood or apartment. Signing a flexible contract, then, will be a smart move (pun intended). That way, you will be able to find a more suitable home for yourself without fuss.

It’s important, however, to allow enough time before you jump the gun and call the movers again. Once you get to know the area well, you’ll be able to find what’s available in the market and make an informed decision.

11. Think Before You Buy

Similar to the previous point, give yourself some time to settle in before making commitments. This also applies to you buying things before you’ve had a chance to move in. Although you might be tempted to splurge out on the IKEA catalogue, wait until all your things are out of their boxes first. Once that’s done, you’ll know what you actually need to buy.

On another note, if you’re not convinced your new apartment or house fits your needs, hold back on big purchases such as couches and bedframes. That way, if you decide to find another place, you won’t have additional things to move. Of course, if your new place is completely unfurnished, that might not be an option.

12. Pre-Schedule Appointments

It’s very likely that the first few weeks will be quite hectic. Not only will you have to juggle between a new job and a move-in, but you will also have to arrange certain appointments to get everything up and running. Amid all the tasks you’ll have to do, it’s wise to arrange every appointment you have prior to your arrival. These appointments will probably consist of your movers dropping off your boxes, signing your lease agreement, as well as having handymen carry out general maintenance, furniture delivery and broadband installation.

Unless you’re okay living without internet for a couple of weeks, it’s important to set up these appointments as early as possible. Not only will this allow you to settle in faster, but it will also save you from having to constantly dash out during your workday to meet these appointments.

Relocating for work is definitely worth it. Although it might have both upsides and downsides, it can be greatly beneficial for your career.

That said, there are several things that need to be taken into account during your move. Of course, thorough organisation and planning are key to ensure your relocation goes smoothly. While it might seem that there’s an endless list of tasks to do, you’ll be settled in your new job in no time!

Do you have any other relocation tips? Let us know in the comments section below!