I'm kind of an expert at moving. From the time I was born, to this very day, I've moved 15 times (number 16 coming soon). 10 of which have been in the last eight years, from the time I was a freshman in high school, to an adult at the ripe old age of 23. So I can vividly remember the packing, the throwing away, the unpacking, the new schools, new friends, new neighborhoods, cities, all of it. I think that I'm naturally pretty good at the whole, "bloom where you're planted" thing, but I have learned a few things over the years that have definitely helped with life and all of the crazy transitions it can throw at you. Below are some of my personal tips for any moving situation, whether it be across country, or to a neighboring town.
1. Get Rid of the Junk: If you haven't touched it in at least 6 months, there's a good chance that you're never going to use it again. Save yourself the packing effort and get rid of it. Unless it's tax documents... keep those because then you'll want to buy a house and realize that you don't have every tax paper from the last three years and then you'll have to call the IRS and wait for them for three weeks, and then the house you wanted will be sold to someone else already. (Not speaking from any sort of experience at all on that one...)
2. Map Out Your Future Home Before You Get There: People make fun of me because I plan for everything. But I think it's a good thing in this case, and then once you get there, you kind of have a semi-idea of where things are. I love to use Neighborhood Scout, it tells you where the best and worst neighborhoods are in every city, the crime rates for the city as a whole and per neighborhood, school ratings, appreciation rates... It's basically a planners dream. Then once you pick out your dream neighborhood you can head over to Hot Pads and find your future home... this is an almost daily activity for me with our recent job hunt.
3. Get Involved in Your Community, Fast: For me I'm glad that I'm a member of this church. It has congregations all over the world, so no matter where I live, I'll always have instant friends that way. If church isn't your thing, join a gym, volunteer, get to know your neighbors, build relationships with co-workers... the faster you get involved the easier it will be.
4. Just Be Yourself: Definitely don't lie and tell people you're color blind, have your drivers license if you don't, and a million and one lies that will spiral out because of two lies you told on the first day of school in 10th grade... was that TMI of my fatal downfall in high school? Pretty sure everyone hated me by 12th grade (with good reason)... Just be yourself it's always a million times easier.
5. ABF Moving Pods: We did this when we moved from Utah to NC and it was infinitely easier, and cheaper, than driving a moving truck. Plus they put a huge pod in front of your house, you load it up, they pick it up, and ship it to the front of your new house. So easy!
6. Unpack as Fast as You Can: This may be a no brainer, but the sooner everything is unpacked, the sooner it feels like home. One apartment that we lived in while in Provo, UT, we pretty much lived out of boxes that were in our dining room for 5 months... and it was miserable. (Although I was pregnant, finishing my dental assisting certification, doing full time hours in the clinic on top of another full time job, while Derek was working and doing school... so it was a miserable 5 months in general I guess)
There you have it, my amazing (or not so amazing), words of wisdom with moving. What has made moving easier for you?