by Luke Murray, Council of Neighbors
Relocation is your chance to have a fresh start and pursue a fulfilling career in a brand-new town. As exciting as it may be, moving can bring with it a bunch of not-so-pleasant emotions – like stress and anxiety. After all, you’re relocating to a new, unfamiliar location and taking your family with you. You have to get organized, see to everyone’s needs and hope you don’t drop the ball on something important.
Fortunately, Move-tastic! offers this mini-guide to make your career-related relocation easier, with an emphasis on reducing stress and saving time and money.
Follow a relocation checklist to reduce stress
Moving is a complex process that takes days or, more typically, weeks. In fact, the earlier you begin, the smoother it will be, and the less likely you’ll forget something important. Following a pre-move checklist can help you stay on track – and Move-tastic provides a printable one for free. Some key tasks to handle are transferring paperwork, turning off utilities, home repairs, packing, changing your address, getting insurance, and informing people of your plans. Having (and following) a checklist gives you a sense of control and reduces stress.
Create a moving budget to save money
Relocating is expensive. Fortunately, creating a budget specifically for the move allows you to anticipate expenses, save enough, avoid overspending, and find opportunities to cut back (say, by picking a cheaper transportation option or low-cost cleaning service). It’s also a good idea to create an emergency fund for last-minute expenses. Angi’s List offers solid advice on budgeting.
Figure out what your family needs from a home
Above all, your new home needs to adequately cater to your family’s needs. So, it may be a good idea to sit everyone down and figure out your must-haves and nice-to-haves. Some considerations to prioritize are location, commute time, presence (or absence) of amenities, nearby schools, nearby parks, pet-friendliness, and neighborhood safety.
Scout for a suitable place weeks in advance
Finding a suitable home, per your needs, may take weeks. You may need to approach a real estate agent, scour through listings, research the property market, and attend viewings. On average, you can expect to pay about $2,200 for a 1-bedroom rental apartment in Chicago and over $300,000 if you’re buying a home in a good neighborhood like Lincoln Park, Lake View, and West Loop. Generally you can conveniently find rentals online, filtering by price, home type, and the number of bedrooms and bathrooms. Some listings offer virtual tours, so you don’t need to visit in person. Thoroughly researching your Chicago neighborhood for the cheapest rentals can help you save money.
Hire professionals to help with your relocation
You may need to hire several professionals along the way. Some examples are cleaners, real estate agents, handymen, pet sitters, babysitters, and, of course, movers. A good moving company is worth its weight in gold – they can help you pack, keep your stuff safe, and help you get set up quickly. Avoid bad movers at all costs. You should ask for quotes and check reputations before hiring any professional.
Look after yourself and your family
As mentioned before, moving can be a stressful, life-changing event – especially for kids and pets. You may need to take special measures to make sure everyone feels well-settled and comfortable. Kids, for instance, may experience trauma, according to Family Education. Having a self-care (and family-care) routine with healthful activities, rest, and the same bedtime in both places can make the move easier.
Check with your employer
As you’re moving for work, your employer may offer a handy relocation package or relocation assistance – it’s a good idea to check with them (if you haven’t already). For example, many employers offer free accommodations or pay a relocation fee. You may be able to negotiate something with your employer if they don’t. It doesn’t hurt to check.
Are you moving your business?
Moving your business involves extra considerations like informing your stakeholders, hiring professionals to look after your business (like a registered agent), and registering your business with the local government (if applicable). For instance, you may need to register (or re-register) as an LLC at your new location. Try hiring a formation service – it’s cheaper than hiring a lawyer. You could also file the paperwork yourself. Be sure to check the state rules and regulations around LLC formation before you move forward.
Avoid these common mistakes
Moving mistakes may make you miss deadlines, cost you money, and lead to extra stress. Reader’s Digest covers some common moving mistakes: Not hiring reputable movers, procrastination, not planning for the new home, and failing to de-clutter. Trying to do it all yourself, failing to be organized, and not thinking about the tax implications are some other mistakes we see our clients making.
Early planning, leaving plenty of time to find a suitable rental home, and working with an experienced moving company will help you pull off your move successfully. If you’re moving to Chicago, let our team of professional movers take care of you! We handle everything from packing to storage, and we do our best to make it stress-free. Get a free estate from Move-tastic! here.