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Moving to a New Location During the Pandemic

The Neighbor 2020 – 2021 American Migration Report shows that 35 percent of Americans moved in 2020 and 56 percent plan to move in 2021. Only 13 percent directly said they are seeking better safety amid the Covid-19 pandemic, but other reasons that they cited are also related to the pandemic. For instance, almost half or 47 percent said they are moving to areas with more affordable cost of living, 19 percent are seeking more work flexibility, and 16 percent are looking for new job opportunities. Almost a third or 30 percent are doing so to move closer to family.

Half of the respondents will be moving to have more living and outdoor space to work from home, have their children study from home, do their workouts from home, and have more storage areas. Of those living in large cities, 40 percent will move to a suburban, small town, or rural community.

A study by United Van Lines moving company from March to October 2020 shows that Idaho garnered 70 percent of inbound migration with people citing its low cost of living as their reason for moving there. Other states that gained higher than 60 percent of inbound migration were South Carolina, Oregon, South Dakota, and Arizona. On the other hand, New Jersey and other major metropolitan areas like New York City and Chicago had high percentages of outbound migration during the pandemic.

If you are among those who are moving or planning to move this year, you must prepare early with a list of reminders to yourself.

What to Do Before Moving

You need to plan how much moving will cost you in total and then prepare a contingency fund for emergencies. All these must not deplete your savings because you will still need a safety net after you move. If you are moving to find a job, make sure you have enough savings to live on while you are job hunting.

To be able to compute your costs, you must know where you will be living. Will you be buying a house or renting an apartment? If you are getting a mortgage, compute all the expenses in getting a loan. If you will be renting, know how much you need to prepare as a deposit and the first month’s rent.

It would be best to have your living arrangements settled in advance. Make a thorough inspection of the place you will buy or rent. Talk to the previous owner or the landlord to have the place ready for you to move in at a specified date. This includes the installation of necessary utilities such as air conditioning, heating, Internet service, and other needs. For instance, find out if your new locality has hard or soft water. If it has hard water, you will need a water softener system and repair service.

Measure each room in the house and note down the placement of doors and windows. You will need this to plan the arrangement of your belongings and to determine what you will bring or leave behind.

To keep moving costs down, pack only what you need. Consider the measurements of your new place and what will fit. Sell or give away the things you will be leaving behind. When packing, mark your boxes so that you know what box goes to what part of the house when unpacking.

Your movers will most likely arrive a few days or up to two weeks behind you, so you need to pack a suitcase of clothes and other necessities to last you at least a week. It is also prudent to hand-carry your jewelry and most important documents. If you are moving as part of your job, find out if your employer will be shouldering your moving expenses.

Choose a moving company carefully by checking if it is accredited by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Find its Better Business Bureau rating and search for recommendations from its previous clients. A cheaper alternative is to rent a truck from U-Haul, Budget, Enterprise, or Penske and drive your belongings by yourself.

Do not forget to cancel any local memberships. Inform USPS online of your new address and the date you want them to begin forwarding your mail. Whether you are currently renting or are selling your current home, you need the help of professional cleaning services to do a thorough general cleaning. Finally, say your goodbyes to people that matter. If you have separate groups of friends, plan early to be able to set aside time for each group.

What to Do Upon Arrival

If you are moving to a new state, check the requirements for transferring your driver’s license. Some states require you to get your new driver’s license with a certain time from your arrival. You will also need this to be able to register to vote.

Wait until all your belongings arrive and put everything in place before you plan on buying anything new. You do not want to buy something that will not fit into your space.

If you are not familiar with your new area, take time to walk around and soak in the atmosphere. Get to know your neighbors and the locals’ favorite hangouts.

Moving to a new location during the pandemic can be the start of a better life. Enjoy your new locale.

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