Congratulations! The offer you made on the new house was accepted or you’ve just signed a lease for a new place. Either way, you’re moving to a new neighborhood.
You’re probably picturing exactly how your furnishings are going to be arranged in your new place; you might even be imagining what your life will be like in your new neck of the woods.
But whether your new neighborhood is across town or across the country, there will be an adjustment period as you get used to your surroundings. So take some time before you move to research the area around your new home and familiarize yourself with it.
Below is a list of all the things you need to know before moving day. For each item on the list, make sure you know the name of the business as well as any other information you might need to know—address, phone number, website, and how to get there. If you’re moving to a new city, it might help to sketch out a rough map of the area so you can mark the various points of interest in relation to your new place.
Medical & Safety
There’s no way to plan for accidents; they can happen at any time. That’s why it’s important to be prepared for any emergencies that may arise after (or during) your move.
Identify and map out the routes to the nearest hospital and urgent care centers.
Select all appropriate physicians (primary care, pediatricians, specialists, etc.) before you move and have the family’s records sent over. Make sure you are familiar with where the office is located and what their appointment procedures are.
Have your current vet send over the records for all of your pets and make sure pets are up-to-date on all shots. (For more information on moving with pets, click here.)
Scope out the location of the nearest pharmacy or drug store. If the nearest pharmacy is not a large chain (and therefore doesn’t carry over-the-counter medicines or household staples), you’ll want to make a note of that.
“911” is the same all over the U.S., but if you’re moving outside of the country, you’ll want to research the emergency line you’ll be using overseas. (For example, you’ll be dialing “999” if you live in the U.K.) Within the United States, it’s still worthwhile to jot down the non-emergency police line for any routine questions or complaints you might have.
No move would be complete without a few emergency trips for those key essentials you forgot. Make note of the stores nearest your new house so you’ll be prepared when you need to make a quick supply run.
Scope out the closest (for emergencies) as well as the cheapest (for regular fill-ups).
Make a note of the nearest stores and shopping centers. If you have several nearby in different directions, map out where they are located and what stores are there.
It isn’t likely that you’ll feel like cooking after a long day of moving boxes (you probably won’t have much in your fridge anyway). So make sure you know which restaurants and grocery stores are close by (including a list of which ones deliver).
Gather up or print out some menus beforehand, just in case you have internet connectivity issues on moving day. Select some fast food, fast casual, or take-out options for a quick end-of-moving-day meal, and make a note of the locations of your family’s favorites for after you’ve settled down. (Check Yelp and other review sites to discover new favorites to check out!)
Check out the location of your favorites as well as which are closest and which have the best sales. Most grocery chains are regional, so if you’re making a long-distance move, do some research on which of the grocery store chains in your new neighborhood are most like the ones you’re familiar with.
Once you’ve moved and officially started putting roots down in your new neighborhood, you’ll want to know the basics of getting around in your new city.
Identify the major interstates and roads that criss-cross your town, as well as what areas of interest they lead to.
If you’ll be moving to a bustling downtown area (like a high-rise in New York City, for example), you may not have a designated parking spot outside your building. If you decide to keep your car anyway, make sure you have plans for parking your vehicle nearby.
Best routes to work
There’s a lot to do at home, but you’ll have to return to work soon enough. Map out the quickest way to get to work, but don’t forget to look at some alternate routes. You never know when bad traffic is going to mess with your morning commute.
If you don’t own a vehicle, make yourself familiar with all of your options regarding bus and subway lines.
Trash and Recycling
It isn’t glamorous, but you’ll have to know pretty quick what to do with all of your trash. (Those cardboard boxes have to go somewhere!)
When is the trash picked up? When is the recycling picked up? When is yard trash picked up?
Are you responsible for buying your own bins or will the city provide them for you? What items will not be picked up (and how should they be disposed of)?
For those items that are too big to set out by the curb, you’ll likely have to bring them down to the dump yourself. You should dispose of such bigger items before your move, but it’s helpful knowledge to have for later.
After you’ve taken some time to get settled in, now’s the time to get out and start enjoying your new neighborhood! Moving can be a long and stressful process, so it’s a good idea take the family somewhere fun to relax.
If you have young kids, they may have already started asking you where they will play in the new neighborhood. If your subdivision doesn’t have a playground, find out if there is a public park nearby where you can bring the kids after school and on weekends. (Bonus points if you can locate a public pool.)
If space is limited in your new home (or if your dog simply loves meeting new friends), you’ll want to find a spot where Max and Fido can run around and burn off some energy.
Once you have proof of residency in a new county (usually a driver’s license or a piece of mail will do), get the family signed up for library cards. Most libraries now offer audio books, DVDs, CDs, and classes (for children and adults) in addition to books. Just make sure you’re fully aware of due dates and late fee amounts.
Everybody loves escaping to the big screen (especially when your home is a cardboard box-filled disaster area). Knowing where the nearest movie theater is can save the most stressful day.
Whether your new home is a fixer-upper or newly constructed, you’ll need to have something repaired or updated sooner or later. Angie’s List is a good resource, or you can ask your new neighbors what companies they recommend.
No matter what state your home is in, make sure you have companies set up to take care of the regular maintenance and upkeep in your home. Examples include landscapers, pool service companies, and pest control.
You never know when something is going to break, so it’s a good idea to be prepared with a list of highly recommended repair companies before you need them. (Plumbers, electricians, appliance repair, HVAC technicians, etc.)
Give yourself a pat on the back! You’ve completed your move and are well on your way to becoming a real “local” in your new neighborhood. One other important step before your move is selecting a moving company. The moving crew at Cento Family Moving & Storage has years of experience moving across town and across the country, and we can help you, too! Call us today for a free quote.