How to Move Alone to a New City

Moving by yourself to a new city can be one of two things: a terrifying ordeal or the adventure of a lifetime! But a big move by yourself doesn’t have to be stressful. In fact, with a little preparation and some positive perspective, it might just be the fresh start you’ve been waiting for.

If you’re planning to relocate by yourself, here are four tips to help you make the most of your move and adapt in your new city.

1. Get organized.

A one-person relocation sounds simple, but can still take a lot of work. You might feel overwhelmed if you take everything on all at once, so in order to get started effectively, make a list and plan out your move. Create your ideal timeline, and set weekly goals to keep you on track with your official moving date. Breaking up your move into manageable steps with a moving checklist will also help you focus your time and keep your stress levels low.

new-city-sidewalk
Photo by Linh Nguyen/Flickr

Another tip? The more organized you pack, the quicker it is to unpack. Taking a little extra time to label all your boxes is helpful, both during the move and after. Labels let everyone involved in the move know exactly what’s in each box. This way, fragile things get treated as such, and boxes are put in the rooms they’re relevant to.

Finally, before leaving your old home, walk through to double check that you’ve packed everything you need. It might not be easy — or even feasible — to make multiple trips between cities for forgotten belongings.

2. Budget your move.

Moving can get expensive, as there are a lot of costs that add up quickly. When you’re setting a budget, considering all aspects of a move — including the pros and cons of hiring movers or doing it yourself — is critical. Depending on how much you’re bringing to your new home and how long the drive will be, hiring movers may be more affordable than you think. And even if a DIY move is a little cheaper, the freedom of knowing you won’t have to move everything you own up two flights of stairs alone may well be worth the cost of hiring help. Either way, look at what you can afford and then research your options to see what the best fit is for you financially.

new-city-busy-street
Photo by Mike G/Flickr

While you’re budgeting, you’ll also want to consider any expenses that might pop up after the move. If you aren’t going to be working right away, make sure you have enough saved up to get by for a few months until you feel more established in your new city — and don’t forget to account for the cost of living in a different city. Having financial security when a lot of other changes are happening will help you hit the ground running in your new home.

3. Explore the city on your own.

There are so many opportunities that come with moving to a new place where no one knows you, so be confident and comfortable enough to do things on your own. Go out to lunch or to a movie, and relish the newness of the city. Even though living in a different place can be hard at first, you are going to adapt more quickly than you think.

new-city-cafe-coffee-shop
Photo by Tanenhaus/Flickr

Don’t underestimate the importance of self care, either. By packing up and starting from scratch, you have done what a lot of people are too scared to do, and you should take some time to reward yourself for it. Find a coffee shop or neighborhood park that you love, and go there often. Having a solid hangout spot to go relax at will help you feel like you can get out of your apartment while still just winding down.

4. Meet new people.

Building a new social circle can be intimidating, but having a reliable group of friends and contacts will help you really feel settled after your move. Making friends in a new city will take one part bravery, one part action, and one part creativity to be successful. If you’re living with roommates, make an effort past small talk and really get to know them. You can branch out beyond your roommates, too — try using Instagram, Facebook, or other social media channels to connect with new people.

new-city-yoga-class
Photo by Rafael Montilla/Flickr

In addition to social networking, consider doing something you feel passionate about to help you meet others who love the same things you do. If photography is your thing, attending an InstaMeet would allow you to meet people who are also interested in photography. If you love yoga, sign up for a weekly class at a local studio – be sure to arrive early and stay a few minutes late so you can chat with other attendees. Not only will these activities build your confidence and help you develop a routine, but you’ll also get to meet people who share your interests. The more people you get out and meet, the more at home you are going to feel in your new city.

Overall, the process of moving to a new city alone will have a few ups and downs, but the end result will be as great as you choose to make it. So don’t get bogged down in the little worries during the process. Focus on feeling at home in your new city, and owning your individual strengths — heck, you just moved all by yourself!

About the author

Michelle has moved her three kids from Florida to Michigan to Arizona, before settling in Utah. She has moved her elderly parents twice and is an expert at keeping everyone sane during long moves. Contact her at michelle.moore@imove.com.

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