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A Guide to How to Plan a Move to Another City

Posted in How-to,Moving Essentials,Planning the Move on April 6, 2021

Whether you are a fresh graduate college student, or you decided to move because of a great job opportunity, or you have any other reason to move to another place, you should arrange it in advance and be prepared for every scenario. Here is the ultimate guide on how to plan a move to another city and have a stressless relocation experience.

How Do I Prepare to Move to a Different City?

Whatever are your reasons to move, whether you’re moving for love or you’re looking for a new work opportunity and want to get a job in a new city, there are plenty of things to do before the relocation starts.

Planning a move to a new city includes many details you have to consider thoroughly before making any definitive decisions. Although you sometimes might feel overwhelmed about your relocation process, everything will be much easier to bear, physically, mentally, and emotionally if you know how to organize your move.

If you’re asking yourself how can I plan a move to another city, here is the answer. The best way to prepare for locally-based or long-distance moving is to do it steadily and progressively. There is no need for a rush, but there is no time for procrastination, too.

Couple is planning the relocation and making a to-do list
One of the most effective ways to prepare for relocation is to plan everything in advance

How to Plan a Move to Another City – Steps to Moving to a New City

No matter if you’re relocating to another town, area, or you’ll undertake a cross-country moving, the steps of relocating to another place are the same. The only difference is when it comes to moving cross country, which implies some regulations defined by law. In this case, you should take care of all your documents, or even visas. However, the relocation pattern is almost the same for the majority of relocation processes, and here is what you should do before deciding to move to another location.

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Research the Area

One of the most important decisions you will make is about the area and neighborhood to live in. The first thing you should definitely consider is checking the safety of the neighborhood in terms of crime rates.

Other important issues to resolve and take into consideration while picking the neighborhood are:

  • What are the working opportunities and the job market in a specific area?
  • How much time will you need to reach your work?
  • What are the transportation options?
  • What is the parking availability?
  • How far is the closest green area, such as a park?
  • What type of housing is available?
  • What is the general vibe and demographics of a particular neighborhood?


If you’re relocating with children, then researching schools and education opportunities within an area is another factor to consider when choosing where to live.

Research the Costs of Living

When it comes to research of living costs, it is recommended to list literally all the expenses that could possibly incur. Check what the amount on monthly utility bills is, what the tax policy is, and if you’re relocating with children, then check all the expenses associated with school and daycare. This way, you would know exactly how much money should you save before moving to a new city.

Find an Apartment or House

Once you’ve decided upon the location of living, it is the right time to find an apartment or house within a preferred neighborhood.

Finding permanent accommodation is not an easy task, and you should be ready to check a considerable number of properties in order to find what you are looking for. There are literally hundreds of house-hunting tips that could help you shorten the process, however, there are some indispensable details you should pay attention to when deciding what property will be your home. The creation of this list will ease the comparison since there will be some common factors like:

  • Size of the property,
  • Number of bedrooms,
  • Number of bathrooms,
  • Amenities like pool, balcony, gym, or security,
  • Location,
  • Price of the property.


So, before getting a tour of the property, make sure to create a checklist that contains all these factors and use it to note everything according to the existing situation.

Neighborhood aerial photo
Research in detail the area, housing options, and living costs

Apply for Apartment

After you’ve finished with apartment tours, try to narrow the choice of potential properties that could become your home. Again, remember to consider all the logistics issues mentioned above, as well as all fixed monthly expenses, such as how much money you will have to spend each month on paying the rent,. Once you check all the details, it is the right moment for the next step – applying for an apartment and finding your next home.

Here is the data you’re generally required to provide when filling the application:

  • Proof of your income – if you’re employed, submitting a pay stub would be enough to prove the amount of your income. In case you are still searching for employment, then use the bank statements to prove you have sufficient savings on your bank account, or use the offers of the companies that you are negotiating the conditions.
  • Social security number or driver’s license number – this is the data landlords usually use to check the creditworthiness and background of applicants.


Finally, there are references from previous landlords – providing positive references from previous landlords, stating how responsible you are in apartment maintenance, paying bills and the rent, will be the best recommendation for you as the tenant. In case you’re renting an apartment for the first time, then make sure to provide all the references from the previous companies you worked for, and ask the landlord if there is any special recommendation letter you can provide from your family members or teachers.

Find a Roommate

Since rents and housing options in some cities can exceed your budget limits, you should consider finding a roommate. And if you’re wondering how to find one, here is the answer. There are multiple applications that match the parties in this process, Facebook groups, and the network of your acquaintances that could potentially help you find a roommate. Although this is a temporary option, it will be more than useful when you are still looking for a job and should be focused on the financial aspect.

Start Preparing for Moving

We’ve just come to the most demanding part of relocation – packing. And this part will highlight all your organizational skills.

The very first step is to make a household inventory list, and include all the moving essentials in it. And the best way to do that is organizing the decluttering of the house, which will reveal all the unnecessary items you should donate, give away, or sell in a garage sale. This is how you will make sure to pack everything more efficiently and include the belongings you really need in your new apartment checklist.

The inventory list is a type of plan that provides you with an opportunity to track how the packing process is progressing. And, it can also initiate questions (like how to pack pots and pans, or “should I do the move-out cleaning“) we bet you’ve never asked yourself before.

Packing Hacks

One of the best ways to organize relocation to another place is to pack household items in time. In case you need some additional packing tips or want to know the best ways to pack clothes, or how to pack shoes, and what is the best packing paper for moving, check out the video below. You’ll find a bunch of useful pieces of advice!

How Much Money Do You Need to Move to Another City?

Budgeting is a crucial part of every relocation since it defines the amount of money you will have to spend in order to relocate. And the list of costs isn’t short at all. Finding out what is the cheapest way to move out of state and a properly set relocating budget can signify how much money you should save before relocating to a new place and how to direct your finances. This is especially important if you’re relocating to another city without a job.

The amount of money to consider having before relocating into your home should cover all your expenses in the next three months. And of course, you should include the cost of the relocation process itself, such as hiring long-distance movers and choosing cross country moving services that will be of vital help in performing the relocation itself. Whether you choose packing services or need car-shipping service, don’t forget to list all the costs associated with them in your budget and make a final calculation of how much do movers cost. Such a detailed budget will help you ask your cross-country movers some essential questions that will enable you to avoid any misunderstandings or moving scams.

Additional details you should include in your budget plan are the apartment application fee, apartment security deposit, and the list of furniture and appliances you will need to equip your apartment fully.

Calculator, counting the costs
Don’t forget to include even the tiniest details in your relocation budget

What Is the First Thing to Do When Moving to a New City?

Once you’ve moved to another area and unpacked all your belongings, it is the right time to start exploring the city and meeting new friends.

One of the first things to do after relocating is organizing your free time, meaning dedicating it to your hobbies, interests, and habits, such as working out in the gym, singing in the choir, or volunteering for charities. This free time section can also imply exploring the place in terms of sights and all tourist attractions such as museums or natural parks. This way, you will meet people who will help you fit into community life easier.

Since the adjustment process to new environments is always complex, especially if you’re moving across the country, you should consider asking your friends and family members to visit you. This could be a great way to familiarize yourself with your surroundings and maintain your relationships with them while dealing with your nostalgic feelings.

Happy, smiled friends in the restaurant
Exploring the environment, meeting people, and maintaining the relationship with old ones is something you should focus on

What 3 US Cities Will Pay You To Move There?

Since the cost of living in major cities continues to increase, many young people ready to work are starting to look for some more affordable cities to live in, where the quality of life will be even better than in metropolitan cities.

The need of young, well-educated people for employment and beneficial living conditions, three US cities have established a program of financial incentives for relocations of young professionals and their families:

  • Newton, Iowa – provides its to-be citizens with $10,000 in cash for house buyers and builders, plus a welcome package of $3,000.
  • North Platte, Nebraska – it has an agreement with local employers that imply $5,000 for newly employed workers. This amount can be used for covering the cost of relocation, student loans, or paying deposits.
  • Tulsa, Oklahoma – this city offers a program of incentives for remote workers, which provides up to $10,000 to its full-remote citizens.


However, if you’re relocating to another state alone and still search for such beneficial conditions, check all the propositions in detail before you determine to move there. Also, research what the job market is and how to get a job before you move because you don’t want to go miles away from your hometown unprepared in any way. Making a list of all the companies you would love to work for, sending a resume and cover letter can be a possible path to your dream workplace. Don’t hesitate to apply for work this way!

Buildings in Tulsa, Oklahoma
Did you know that there are actually US cities that will pay you to live there?

Feel Ready to Step into New City?

Now you are provided with all essential elements one plan of relocation to another place should contain, you can start writing down your own, creating a definite strategy for relocation. This way, you will always know what you should do next, how a specific project is progressing, and what the finances are. Once you list all the details, including the tiniest ones, the relocation process will be easily manageable, and you’ll enjoy this life chapter even more!

Julie Grace

Originally from The Golden City, Julie has explored the ins and outs of moving and has written all the tips down.

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