Moving is hard.
Moving is especially hard when you’re moving to a new city or state/province. We have moved almost every year in the 9 years that we have been married. Two of those moves were to another province (I’m from Canada in case you wanted to know). I hope these tips I have learned along the way will make moving a little easier for you.
Planning Your Move
How to Make Your Move Easier
Before we moved to our new city, I really had no idea what to expect. I had never been there before, so being able to take a tour via google maps made it so much easier to envision where we were going. My kids also LOVED being able to see where they would go to school, our new house, and all the parks and playgrounds that awaited our arrival.
Look up fun things to do in your new city.
I looked into what programs were offered at the recreation centres. I looked up nearby parks and nature trails… restaurants, shopping malls, libraries, churches, schools… I researched it all. Before we even moved I had a list of places I wanted to check out when we got there.
I found a local mom group on facebook where I could ask questions and meet people before we had even moved (some groups won’t allow you to join until you have an actual address in the city you are moving to). This was probably the best resource for me. You can get lots of good advice and referrals to Dr’s, dentists, good restaurants, mom groups in the area etc.
Check out the City/County website.
There’s lots of good info that you will need to know, from garbage collection to utility account set up to dog licences and public transit.
Research the cost of living.
Don’t assume that everything will cost the same. The housing costs were nearly double what we were used to paying in our old city, but some of the other expenses like gas and car insurance were much cheaper. It helps to know what you’re getting into so you can save up for any extra expenses. Moving expenses such as changing your address on your drivers license, out of state/province vehicle inspections, utility set up fees, forwarding mail, and switching your phone number are some of the things that will cost you money.
The Emotional Side to Moving
Besides the physical planning and preparing for a big move, there is a lot of emotions that go on. From the excitement and anticipation of starting fresh and meeting new people, to the fear and trepidation of starting fresh and meeting new people. And adding kids to the mix is a whole other ball game.
How to involve kids
At the time that we moved, our two kids were 3 and 5. We made sure to talk a lot about what to expect. We told them that we wouldn’t be able to see our friends and family as much, but we would be able to talk to them on Facetime or send them letters in the mail.
My kids absolutely LOVE sending letters and pictures to their grandparents. We will often Facetime with them so they can see each other opening their mail. It’s almost like being there in person!
The days leading up to moving get harder and harder as you see the people you love, knowing that it will be a long time before you see them again. We decided that the easiest way to say goodbye was to have a big going away party the night before the big move. We were able to say our goodbyes all at once, and then look forward to our new adventure beginning the next day!
How to help Kids say goodbye
- An idea that a friend gave me is to take pictures of your kids with their best friends and put them in a picture frame. Give one to the friend and one for your child as a special keepsake they can look back on.
- Make a scrapbook with pictures of all their friends and family. Have their friends write a little note beside their picture.
- Buy cards or postcards for your child to send in the mail once you get to your new home. Don’t forget to get friends/family’s mailing addresses!
- Get excited about your new city! Talk about all the fun things you will get to do in your new city, and help them pick out extra-curricular activities where they can meet new friends.
- Talk about their new school. Most schools have a website you can look at with older kids to find out what sorts of programs they offer.
- Have the kids help plan out their new room. Which room in the house will be theirs? Where will they put all their toys? Giving them a sense of control in the process can really help them to adjust a little easier.
Dealing with your own Emotions
Our latest move was about a fourteen-hour drive (plus a ferry) away from the place that we grew up. We left most of our friends and family behind to move somewhere where we hardly knew anyone. During the last year, and the time leading up to our move, I have learned a lot.
Moving is hard.
Whether you’re moving down the street, or across the country, moving is hard work (physically and emotionally) and it takes a lot of preparation and planning. I’ve made it a little easier for you with this free printable checklist.
Being away from family sucks.
We left both our parents, and most of our siblings behind when we moved. Yes, it’s awesome that we have Facetime and Facebook etc. to keep in touch. But seeing what everyone is doing on holidays, and being away when babies are born, missing graduations, birthdays, weekend summer BBQ’s… it just plain sucks.
Being away from family allows you to grow.
I know I already said that being away from family is hard. And yes I miss them like crazy most days. But what I have learned from it is worth it!
I’ve learned that I have what it takes. I am enough. This is a process that started far before moving, but our move has solidified that in my heart. I have mentioned before that I am a Christian. I believe that God created me in His image. Although I screw up and fall short on a daily basis, that does not change how God sees me. He loves me the same every day, no matter how badly I screw up. I don’t use that as an excuse to do as I please, but it brings me hope and encouragement that I am loved no matter what.
Being away from my family has caused me to cling to my heavenly Father far more than I ever had to before. He knows my heart more than anyone, and I can rest in Him knowing that He is in control and has a plan for my life. Even though I wish I could live closer to my family, I know that God has brought me to this place for a reason. That in itself is worth it to me.
As scary as moving to a new city is, it can also be just as exciting! I hope that these tips help you in planning your move.
Do you have any other tips that helped you in moving to a new city? Leave your ideas in the comments below.