August 24, 2021 Posted in Moving Essentials
Milly Andrews

Born and raised in Portland, Milly has had a lot of experience moving and writing about the relocation process.

The Ultimate Checklist: Moving Out for the First Time

Whether you’ve already moved or not, everyone knows that the relocation process demands a very high level of organizational skills. Having your moving out for the first time list in front of you, however, could do wonders and help you plan this life-changing and exciting event. And considering that an average American relocates more than ten times over a lifetime, it could be of use to you even later in your life.

A girl playing with her dog, listening to music, and packing for moving cross country overlay
Memorize our checklist and learn everything that needs to be done before, during, and after your first relocation

Whether you are relocating for a relationship, committed to a job that requires relocation, or just wanting a fresh start while relocating to another state alone, ensure that all of the items on this list for moving out for the first time are crossed. It is the only way that you could mark the first relocation as a complete success.

Choosing Where to Move As the Initial Item on Your Moving Out for the First Time List

Probably the most severe of all relocation mistakes you could make is not thinking enough about the location of your new home. Sure, you could play the Where Should I Move Quiz when you get the relocation idea, but from there on, you really should put your mind to the research. Because there is nothing worse than choosing the city that doesn’t fit well with your preferable lifestyle. A bonus tip: if choosing large cities, invest yourself in exploring different neighborhoods, their amenities, public transportation, and make sure to find out whether a neighborhood is safe for you.

If possible, you should always plan a visit to several different cities to decide which vibe goes along with yours the best. The more a place suits your preferences and needs, the greater is the possibility of fast adjustment to a new city and the lesser chance of going through severe relocation depression. Whether you are going to move to the suburbs or opt for relocating to a big city depends on your current lifestyle, but also future plans – ensure to think of them when deciding where to live.

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Thoroughly researching places could be of great help for your decision

Informing Your Loved Ones About the Move

Your relocation could be something your family is used to when you move for a third or fourth time, but it would still be beneficial to find a proper technique of telling your parents you are relocating out of state. If you don’t, the whole process could become a yelling and crying fest – after all, they need to deal with their baby going far away from them.

 It’s vital that you understand their point of view and try to make them see yours – explain all the benefits of relocation and assure them that you’re going to see each other more than once a year. Telling your friends about your move, on the other hand, should be less of a problem, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t expect some tears and love declarations, too. Don’t forget to organize a goodbye party and bring a little joy to everyone.

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It would be good to organize a party before your move

Looking For Appropriate Job Opportunities

When moving cross country, it’s always best to have a secured job before the move – it could help you deal with relocation stress that is bound to be present during each move, but especially during your first one. Thanks to modern technology, this task may be a lot easier than you think – be present in the online world and explore work opportunities from afar.

Try to go through as many online interviews as you can, so you could get a preferable work position before the relocation. And even if you end up relocating without a job,  this way you’ll be aware of the job market you should expect after the move.

If you could use some help in learning how to find a job in a different state, don’t miss watching the following video:

Learning the Difficulties of Proper Budgeting

A big part of the anxiety about relocation is worrying about money, or more precisely, questioning if you are going to have enough. Making a relocation budget should be one of the first steps on your relocation to-do list because it will affect your other relocation choices. For example, depending on the budget at your disposal, you are going to decide if you want to find the cheapest way to move out of state or enjoy the comfort of hiring a cross-country moving company to help you. The same goes for packing supplies, transporting a car cross-country, a new house shopping checklist.

If you want to reduce the costs when relocating, be sure to:

Keep in mind that the relocation budget also refers to money needed to cover the cost of living, like renting or housing costs, utility bills, price of groceries, and so on. That is why when dealing with the budget, aside from opening a savings account, you should research statistics about the cost of living in the preferable city – you don’t want to move back home with a tail between your legs because you couldn’t manage your money properly.

Renting or Buying a Home – How to Decide?

Both renting and house-hunting have pros and cons, but for young adults renting option is the preferable one for more than one reason. Firstly, younger generations often move to urban areas, where this is the most common housing option, and secondly, and more importantly, it’s financially easier to handle than buying a place at such a young age. It’s not all about the rent – most of the repairs are commonly handled by your landlord. However, there will probably be some requirements you will need to meet, so ensure to know precisely what you need to rent an apartment.

Is Getting a Roommate a Good Idea?

Even if it’s a more affordable option, in some of the most developed cities in the States, renting an apartment alone is hard to handle. This is why many people choose to get roommates until they save enough money. If you are not already relocating with your boyfriend or girlfriend, ask your friends for recommendations, join online groups, and research roommate websites, such as Roomi. Just ensure to be safe and know all important questions to ask roommates before you choose your apartment buddy.

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When choosing roommates, be sure to pick a person you are compatible with

Creating a Doable Relocation Plan

When you are done with all the researching and calculating, you will have to make a relocation strategy. That means that you have to decide whether you’ll hire cross-country moving services or opt for a DIY option and then organize your move according to that. For example, if your reasons to move implied going away for college, hiring long-distance movers may not be necessary. However, when you want to move your whole life and all of your household things, you should consider the peace of mind and stress-free relocation that hiring movers could provide you with.

Choosing a Reliable Long-Distance Moving Company

If you pick this option, ensure to read all of the recommendations for relocation companies and do your research on them so you could avoid relocation scams. It would also be good to:

  • Check company’s license and USDOT number
  • Demand in-home or virtual estimate (the latter are more common now when people are relocating during coronavirus pandemics)
  • Read online reviews
  • Check company’s status on BBB as well as FMCSA
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Packing All Your Life in Boxes

If you don’t want to hire professional packing services, be prepared for packing DIY style – this task will occupy most of your hours during the relocation. If you are having a last-minute move and have to pack quickly, remember to check relocation hacks and find out about different packing tips and tricks so that you move efficiently and enable everything to run smoothly.

When deciding about packing materials, make sure to supply yourself with:

So you could always track your things and ease the unpacking after the move for yourself, it would be best to create a household inventory list (note that a photo inventory would be preferable). And as the price of your move is often determined by the weight of your inventory, ensure to know what to get rid of when relocating as well as where you could donate unwanted items.

The Importance of Relocation Day Essentials

One of the best relocation day tips we could provide you with is to remember to pack your relocation essentials separately from the rest of your inventory and bring them with you during the trip between homes. You should pack a bag that will contain essentials such as medications, documents, toiletries, food for every family member, including your furry friends if you are relocating with pets, electronics, and alike. However, it is also important not to forget those items you need to function properly the first few days, like essential kitchen utensils, towels, bedding, and so on – secure a box for them, too.

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Living without your essentials, even for a little bit, is almost impossible

Updating Your Personal Information

Organizing important documents before the relocation is also one of the tasks that await you, but also the one that could also help you realize who you need to notify about your move. After you change your address on USPS, ensure that it is also going to be changed on your insurance, bank, and loans contracts, as well as your driver’s license. Keep in mind also that relocating to another state also means two new registration processes – you should register your car in a different state and use your civil right by registering to vote.

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Inform everyone of the address where you will be living

Furnishing and Decorating Your Apartment – Learn Everything You’ll Need for the New Beginning

With your first relocation, you are bound to have much fewer items to move than for the next ones. This is especially important if we’re talking about college packing lists or even relocating together with your partner because most of your old house objects belong to your parents. It could be excellent news considering relocation expenses, but if you’re not going to live in a dorm, one of the things to do after a relocation must be shopping for your place.

Kitchen, Bedroom, Living Room – Create a Checklist of Things to Buy For Your New Place

The most crucial thing to remember when renting your first place is prioritizing things you should buy and be practical. For example, a comfortable mattress could be considered necessary, but that fancy coffee maker or beautiful painting you saw a few days ago is not. Go through each room in your apartment and make a list of things that you must get as soon as possible, but also a list for those you really would like to have around. As soon as you feel financially stable, treat yourself.

The thing you should also consider when renting an apartment is the size of it – your first move usually means relocating to a smaller home, so ensure that you have some creative storage ideas in your pocket, just in case.

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Use creative storage solutions for small apartments

Getting Familiar With All the Housing Chores

Relocating to a different home means your parents are no longer there to pick up where you’re slacking – becoming a real responsible adult and learning all the proper ways of cleaning, doing laundry, and cooking is a must. If you’re the one laughing about this item on a checklist because you were doing it for years, ensure to communicate with your friends – research how many of them know how to operate a washing machine. You will be stunned.

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Remember that all your house chores will be on you

Preparing Emotionally – The Most Important Item on Your First Time Moving Out List

Relocation a few blocks away could mean going out of your comfort zone, but keep in mind that a cross-country move will pull the rug under your feet – you’ll be far away from everything that feels safe and familiar and forced to gradually learn how to become more independent and self-reliant. If you fail to prepare yourself, you’ll end up not adjusting as well as you would wish and thinking that the whole experience might be a mistake, even if everything else says otherwise. So you don’t be in a stew for long after the relocation, do everything you can to mentally prepare yourself for a change, and focus on all the good your relocation is bringing – it will be worth it.


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