It’s official – we now live in San Francisco! The process to get here was a bit of a rollercoaster at times. There is no rulebook, no checklist on how to move lock, stock and barrel. Here are 10 things to consider in advance of moving to help with the twists and turns:
#1 Do a recce trip
Don’t miss the opportunity to check out your new hometown if you can. We took a trip out to the Bay Area in November. It was great to walk the streets, see how the neighbourhoods feel, imagine ourselves having coffee or going for a walk on a Sunday. Travelling in winter was helpful too; we saw the city far from her best and still decided to move.
#2 Sort your paperwork
Hunt down crucial paperwork such as birth certificates, marriage licences, old addresses, expired passports (complete with previous visas and visits to the US) and check that your passports don’t expire soon. It’s also worth getting your travel history together, as you may need this to apply for a visa.
#3 Check the notice period on contracts
Luckily, the lease on our flat had run its course, so we only had a one month notice period. As soon as we had a confirmed moving date, we gave our landlord as much notice as possible. The same goes for insurance companies, phone contracts, TV and internet providers etc.
#4 Start researching neighbourhoods
Even if it’s too early to commit to an apartment, you can spend some time researching the different neighbourhoods online. Things like commuting, village feel, walkability and proximity to the water and parks were all things we considered. It’s also helpful to take a look at some real estate websites and check rental prices in your chosen destination. Keep in mind your destination city might be a very different size to the one you are leaving!
#5 Do a spring clean
This was one of our very first tasks – and it felt so good! Spring cleaning our basement helped us to get a grip on how much stuff we had accumulated over the last few years. It was also helpful to get a quote for a full moving service; this really helped us to weigh up whether it was worth moving items or not. We found and booked a moving date with a shipping company as soon as we could.
#6 Work out your budget
Check out the cost of living of your destination city. Consider things like healthcare, groceries, commuting, rent, education, salaries, entertainment etc. Don’t forget to factor in the different tax rates and exchange rates (especially important if you travel or want to fly home regularly)!
#7 Plan a trip home
Dublin is home for both of us, so we wanted to plan a trip to see our friends and families there before we moved. Bear in mind that your passports may be with the embassy for a while, so factor this into any dates for trips.
#8 Compile a list of regular subscriptions and mail
Compile a list of regular subscriptions; things like the gym, Spotify, magazine subscriptions, Birchbox etc. We also created a list of companies to contact regarding change of address. We kept an eye on any post that we received; this gave us a comprehensive list when the time came to notify them all of a change of address.
#9 Schedule those last few weeks
Orchestrate the last few weeks carefully to avoid scheduling errors; you don’t want your moving company to arrive first thing in the morning after your leaving party! Selling furniture is a great way to save on shipping costs, but needs to be planned so you don’t end up sleeping on the floor. Also, make sure you let people know your moving date and book all those goodbye coffees and dinner dates; you don’t want to run out of time!
#10 Plan that leaving party!
Having lived in London for a few years, we are accustomed to planning our weekends a couple of months in advance. If you want all of your nearest and dearest in one room – get that date in people’s diaries ASAP!
Bonus #11 Enjoy the adventure!
This is a really exciting time, with so many new things to look forward to over the coming weeks and months. New people, new environment, new activities, new weather, new job, new home. No matter the reason for your move, keep a positive outlook and it will all fall into place.
Have you thought of anymore? Leave your tips below!