Common Relocation Mistakes to Avoid When Moving to a New City



Hey there, future city-slicker!  So, you’re gearing up for a big move to a new city—how exciting! You’ll be joining the roughly 41 million others who decided to do the same thing. But before you start daydreaming about your chic downtown apartment or that cute little café around the corner, let’s get real for a sec. Moving to a new city is an adventure, but it’s also a maze of logistics, budgets, and cardboard boxes—lots and lots of cardboard boxes. 📦

The last thing you want is to make a rookie mistake that could turn your exciting relocation into a stressful ordeal. But don’t sweat it; we’ve got your back! In this post, we’re diving into some of the most common mistakes people make when relocating, and we’ll arm you with all the tips and tricks to dodge them like a pro.

Ready to make your move a whole lot smoother? Let’s dive in! 🚚


Mistake 1: Not Researching the New City Enough

Hold on, cowboy! 🤠 Before you ride off into the sunset toward your new city, have you done your homework? We’re not talking about a quick Google search and a glance at some pretty skyline pics. Nope, we’re talking deep-dive research!



Why it Matters

Think about it: You wouldn’t marry someone after just one date, right? (Okay, some people might, but that’s a story for another blog post!) The point is, getting to know your new city is a bit like entering a long-term relationship. You need to know what you’re committing to. From the neighborhood vibes to the closest grocery store, a little research goes a long way in helping you feel at home, faster.

Tips for Research

  1. Online Communities: Places like Reddit or local Facebook groups can be gold mines for insider info. Just remember to take some opinions with a grain of salt!
  2. Cost-of-Living Calculators: Don’t let your new city surprise you with sneaky expenses. Use online tools to compare the cost of living to your current location.
  3. Crime Rates: Safety first, folks! Websites and apps offer up-to-date crime stats by neighborhood. Make sure you’re comfortable with what you find.
  4. Local Amenities: Look up public transport, parks, shops, and other amenities. Knowing your neighborhood will help you feel more at home when you arrive.

You see, a little research not only helps you avoid surprises but also helps you make more informed decisions. Who knows? Your dream neighborhood might be a few blocks away from the one you initially set your sights on.


Mistake 2: Failing to Budget Properly

Alright, let’s talk dollars and cents—because nothing spoils the fun of a new adventure faster than realizing you’re flat broke. 😬 Sure, you’ve budgeted for the big stuff like rent and moving costs, but what about those sneaky expenses that creep up on you?



Why It’s a Big Deal

Imagine this: You’ve just moved in, and you’re feeling great. You decide to order some takeout, only to find out your new city’s food delivery is pricier than you’re used to. Or maybe you find that your utility costs have skyrocketed. Minor? Maybe. But these little costs add up and can put a damper on your settling-in experience.

Commonly Overlooked Costs

  • Security Deposits: Not just for your apartment, but maybe also for utilities.
  • Parking Permits: In some cities, parking can cost you an arm and a leg.
  • Pet Fees: Fido’s move might come with its own set of costs.
  • Storage Costs: You might need a place to stash your stuff while you’re getting settled. (Hey, we can help with that! 😊)

Budgeting Tips

  1. Itemize Expenses: Make a list, check it twice. Get down to the nitty-gritty details.
  2. Emergency Fund: Always good to have a safety net for unexpected costs.
  3. Use Budgeting Apps: Budgeting apps can help you keep track of your spending in real-time.

So, before you roll into town like you’ve won the lottery, make sure you’ve got a grip on your budget. It’s way better to be pleasantly surprised by your financial situation than the other way around.


Mistake 3: Procrastinating on the Moving Process

Okay, we get it. Netflix is calling your name, and sorting through a mountain of stuff sounds about as fun as a root canal. 🦷 But listen up, serial procrastinators: time flies when you’re about to relocate, and not in a “wow, I’m having so much fun” kind of way.



Why You Should Care

Last-minute scrambles are stressful, period. You might end up throwing things in boxes willy-nilly, forgetting important items, or—worst of all—finding that all the reputable moving companies are fully booked. Trust us; you don’t want to be stuck moving your grandma’s antique dresser in the back of your friend’s sketchy van.

Your Ideal Moving Timeline

  • Two Months Out: Start decluttering. Decide what comes with you and what doesn’t.
  • Six Weeks Out: Get your moving quotes and lock in a mover.
  • One Month Out: Begin packing up non-essential items.
  • Two Weeks Out: Notify companies and people about your address change.
  • One Week Out: Pack up most of your belongings, leaving only essentials for the last week.

Don’t Forget!

  • Moving Supplies: Stock up on boxes, tape, bubble wrap, and markers well in advance.
  • Day-of Essentials: Create a day-of moving box filled with essentials like snacks, chargers, and toiletries so you’re not digging through boxes later.

So, let’s cut to the chase: Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can pack today. Your future self, now sipping a latte in your new dream city, will thank you.


Mistake 4: Skimping on the Moving Company

Hey, we’re all about saving a few bucks where we can—after all, who isn’t? But let’s be crystal clear: cutting corners on your moving company is like buying sushi from a gas station. It might seem like a good idea at the time, but boy, could you regret it later! 🍣



The High Cost of Going Cheap

Think it won’t happen to you? Tell that to folks who’ve ended up with broken heirlooms, lost boxes, or—yikes—a moving truck that never arrives. You’re not just moving “stuff”; you’re moving your life. That deserves more than just the cheapest option on the block.

Tips for Finding a Reputable Moving Company

  1. Read Reviews: And not just the 5-star ones. See what issues people are commonly reporting and weigh them against the positives.
  2. Check Credentials: Make sure the company is licensed and insured. A legit company will have a U.S. DOT number.
  3. Get Multiple Estimates: One quote is never enough. Get at least three, and make sure they do an in-home or virtual assessment for accuracy.
  4. Ask the Right Questions: Find out about hidden fees, cancellation policies, and what kind of insurance coverage they offer.

Red Flags 🚩

  • Extremely low estimates
  • Companies that only accept cash
  • No physical address or bad website

Look, we know that budgeting for a move is all kinds of tricky, but this is one area where you don’t want to roll the dice. So, take a little extra time to vet your moving company—it’s worth the peace of mind!


Mistake 5: Forgetting to Declutter Before the Move

Alright, raise your hand if you’ve got a drawer of random cables, a closet full of clothes you haven’t worn in years, or a garage that’s slowly turning into a “storage” space. 🙋‍♀️🙋‍♂️ Yeah, we thought so. Now imagine hauling all that clutter to your new pad. Not a pretty picture, is it?



The Cost of Clutter

Let’s get real: Moving is priced by weight and distance. The more you bring, the more you pay. It’s that simple. Why spend hard-earned cash moving stuff you don’t need, use, or even like? Plus, clutter can turn your fresh start into a hot mess real quick.

Tips for a Pre-Move Declutter Session

  1. The Three Piles Method: Create three piles—Keep, Donate, Toss. Be ruthless!
  2. Start Early: Don’t wait till the last minute. Start a couple of weeks before moving day.
  3. Virtual Yard Sale: Sell some items online. It’s a great way to make a few extra bucks.
  4. Consider Temporary Storage: If you can’t part with some items but don’t need them immediately, consider using a self-storage unit.

Areas to Focus On

  • Clothing: If you haven’t worn it in a year, you probably don’t need it.
  • Kitchen Gadgets: How many coffee makers does one person need?
  • Sentimental Items: Photos and keepsakes are great, but if it’s stored in a box in the attic, how important is it really?

So, before you pack up your life, take a little time to declutter. Your wallet will thank you, your movers will thank you, and heck, you’ll be thanking yourself when you’re chilling in your new, clutter-free home.


Mistake 6: Neglecting to Plan for Your Arrival

So, you’ve got your moving truck booked, your stuff packed, and your road trip playlist ready to go. 🎵 You’re all set, right? Not so fast! What’s the plan for when you actually get to your new city? “Winging it” sounds cool until you’re circling the block at midnight, trying to figure out where to park a 16-foot moving truck.

Why Planning is Key

Let’s face it, arriving in a new city can be overwhelming. And that’s without the added stress of figuring out logistics on the fly. A smooth landing can set the tone for your whole experience in your new locale.

Arrival Checklist

  1. Book Temporary Accommodation: If your new place isn’t ready yet, make sure you’ve got somewhere to crash.
  2. Scout Parking Options: Know where you can safely and legally park your moving truck or vehicle.
  3. Know Your Move-In Policies: Some apartments have specific move-in hours or require advance notice.
  4. Local Services: Pinpoint the nearest grocery stores, pharmacies, and emergency services.

Pro Tips

  • Pack an “Arrival Kit”: Essentials like toiletries, a change of clothes, and some snacks can be a lifesaver.
  • Check the Weather: Don’t get caught in a rainstorm because you didn’t plan for it.
  • Confirm Appointments: If you’ve got people helping you move in, double-check your timelines with them.

Bottom line: A little foresight can go a long way. Spend some time thinking about your arrival and save yourself from unnecessary headaches. After all, you’ve got a whole new city to explore—better to hit the ground running, right?


Conclusion: Knowledge is Power (and Peace of Mind)

Alright, folks, there you have it—the most common pitfalls people tumble into when relocating to a new city. If this list seems overwhelming, don’t sweat it. Remember, the whole point of this guide is to arm you with the info you need to sidestep these mistakes like a pro. 🕺💃

Moving to a new city is an adventure, full of exciting opportunities and experiences just waiting to happen. But even the best adventures are more enjoyable when you’re prepared. Think of this list as your trusty roadmap, steering you clear of bumps and detours along the way.

And hey, if you find you need a little extra storage space during your big move, you know who to call. 😉 After all, we’re all about making life’s transitions as smooth as possible.

So go ahead, make that move. And as you do, remember: The best is yet to come!

About the Author: Derek Hines

About the Author: Derek Hines

Digital Marketing Specialist

Derek is originally from the great state of Wisconsin (go Badgers), but is slowly becoming a Pacific Northwesterner. As part of the Digital Marketing team, he writes extensively on storage, moving and life for West Coast Self-Storage, based in Everett, Washington.