The New City Checklist

Moving is a challenge, and relocation to an unfamiliar place can be daunting, but there are some important things you can do before you leave — and just as you arrive — that will help reduce stress.

You might be moving from a Cincinnati apartment, for example, where rent prices are on the decline to a more expensive apartment in a bigger city like Chicago, or you may be making a cross-country move from you New York City micro-apartment to a Hollywood Hills home. Either way, you’ll have to handle your business before and after the move to a new city.

Finish Your Old Business First

Before you make the move, clean up these loose ends from your soon-to-be-former residence:

  • Make sure your landlord has inspected your apartment so that you can do what’s necessary to get your security deposit returned. This can be very difficult to do long-distance if you’ve already moved.
  • Same with utilities: get them shut off, and check to ensure that any old service providers have your new address—or correct email—so that you will receive any bills and notices. It is also important to return cable boxes and remotes; these companies love to charge big bucks for unreturned equipment.
  • Forward your snail mail and change your permanent address. Some important stuff is still delivered by mail so ask your landlord to please forward any mail or packages that may still come to your old residence.
  • Pay any parking tickets including those from universities. If you ever need your college transcripts, unpaid tickets could put a hold on your account.
  • Double-check to make sure that Dollar Shave Club types of monthly deliveries will go to your new address, not your old one.
  • Store the stuff you aren’t bringing with you on the move in a safe place. Find a great storage company that will provide you with peace of mind as you park your belongings there.

There’s always something that will still need your attention after you have left, but by following the above suggestions, you can minimize the hassle.

Before You Get There

Don’t wait until you get to your new apartment to set everything up. While some things may have to wait, some can be done preemptively:

  • Decide on an Internet provider and make the appointment for them to set things up. If you wait until you arrive, you may be without service for days.
  • Get electric, gas and water set up in your name. This can definitively be done before you arrive.
  • Again, change your snail mail address. You can do this online.
  • If you want your lease looked at by a lawyer, get this done well before you move. Don’t wait until you get there to negotiate any clauses you are uncomfortable with.
  • If you an account with a national bank like Bank of America, for example, make sure they have offices in your new city. Don’t assume that they do.
  • If you need to switch banks, do it online before you have to move.
  • If you are driving, get your car serviced before you leave.

When You Arrive

You’ve made it! Now, make sure that everything works and is in good condition:

  • Open the door and check the Wi-Fi. If it’s not working, call your provider first.
  • Your landlord should give you an apartment condition form. Fill it out carefully, and note any problems, dings, scratches, stains, etc. A good record of your place’s initial condition is paramount, and will help you avoid security deposit issues later.
  • Is this fridge cold?
  • Does the AC work?
  • Are there any traces of bugs or mice?
  • If anything is not as would like it, call the landlord ASAP.

Finally, take a walk or drive around your neighborhood. Find the C-store, the closest gas station, the grocery store, CVS or Walgreens and any other stores you need to frequent.

Sure, you may not feel really comfortable for a few days or even weeks, but by paying attention to the above important points, you will make your move easier and less stressful.

All in all, handling your business on both ends of your move can help you start your new life in a new place with a worry-free mindset. You’ve likely spent hours or days agonizing over the rent vs. buy decision (especially if you’re a young professional), or perhaps what new apartment building to lease at in your new city. But there’s nothing to worry about now!

Use this new city checklist and set yourself up for a successful move. And if you need ample storage on your way in or out of town, check out options on SpareFoot.

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