For many Mavens, moving is a frequent reality. We get into residency programs across the country, accept NP positions states away or simply decide its time for a change and head somewhere new. I recently decided to move to the west coast after living my entire life on the east coast. Inspired by the many amazing Mavens around me, some of whom have taken jobs in New Zealand, done locums around the country or picked a random state and decided to set up shop, I figured I could use a challenge, so why not try out California.
Now we all know that the process of moving sucks. Packing, finding movers, changing addresses… its all pretty miserable and the thought of it can be quite daunting. I’m now 4 months out from my recent east coast departure and I have settled in quite nicely but there have certainly been hurdles and lessons learned along the way. So from one Maven to another, here are a few tips to give your next big change the best chance at success.
1. Start fresh
One of the biggest headaches with any move is finding movers and packing. A cross-country move easily turns that headache into a subarachnoid hemorrhage of sorts and can quickly stress even the most level headed person out. I tried to get rid of as much as possible prior to moving but my stubbornness and love for West Elm led me to keep most of my recent large furniture purchases. And my punishment for that decision… the most horrendous experience with a moving company ever imagined. With way to little space in this post to go into detail, just know that the beautiful reclaimed wood dining table with ivory leather chairs and bench was certainly not worth all of the trouble. So here’s my suggestion. Donate, sell and just get rid of as much as you possibly can. Price out the cost of shipping a few boxes to your new destination vs just paying the fees for checked bags on the airplane. Purge all of the clothing items that you probably should have gotten rid of 4years ago and use your upcoming move as an opportunity to explore the malls in your new locale. And every new home needs its own style, so if the budget permits, leave the old entertainment center behind and get a new one.
2. Tell a friend to tell a friend
No matter where you go, a good group of friends is an absolutely essential part of settling and enjoying your new home. Prior to your move, let friends know that you will be leaving and ask them to put you in touch with good people in your new location. Both married and single Mavens need a good group of people to grab a drink with or meet for dinner, and when the recommendations come from people you already know and trust, your chances of creating a solid network are improved.
3. Live in the Mix
This one is especially important for the single Mavens but I think finding a vibrant neighborhood to live in is an essential part of any move. For some, cost and proximity to work can be a limiting factor but here is where those new friend recommendations come in. Ask around, search online for “walkable neighborhoods”, etc, or plan to spend a month or two doing an airbnb neighborhood hop in your new city so that you can see what fits you best. Even if you’re a parent and good school districts are at the top of your priority list, a vibrant neighborhood, where you can quickly decompress at a local coffee shop or wine bar, is essential.
4. Schedule Visitors
About 2 months into my move, I entertained my first set of visitors. Not only did the idea of planning an itinerary for them encourage me to explore new places, knowing that my BFF and cousin would be in town soon enough gave me something to look forward to on my most home sick days. I absolutely love to entertain, so even after settling into my new digs, I look forward to having visitors from home that remind me that no matter how far away you move, the people who love you most know no distance.
5. Get Online
No judgement here people but online dating is a great way to explore a new city. Not only is your profile super easy to create (just say “I’m new to the area and looking to make new connections!” and press send), but first dates are a perfect opportunity to find the hot dinner/drink/coffee spots in your new city since your date will know the area and likely make suggestions. And with your expectations of online dating set on something other than finding the love of your life with every date, you may be more excited about single life and pleasantly surprised when that special someone shows up. Meetup.com is also an awesome way to meet like-minded people or to try that adventurous activity you would have never done before.
6. Be a Tourist
Quite simply, being alone or bored in the first few weeks of moving to a new city really sucks. So plan ahead and fill your weekend with activities. Sites like Tripadvisor.com and TimeOut.com for your area are great ways to search for the most popular attractions and events going on around you. Bring along a friend or plan to go alone and kick up a conversation with someone you meet.
7. Diversify…say yes!
I think this is as much a tip for life as it is for moving. A diverse group of friends and acquaintances really opens your mind up to the many lifestyle possibilities that make us such amazingly interesting, creative and unique people. So when new neighbors suggests you all attend a free concert in the park, just say yes!
8. Get back home for the holidays
Holidays, birthdays and other special occasions are times where being around the ones you love are your ultimate priority and for many, being alone for the holidays can bring on some seriously depressed moods. While you may be new to the job and pretty low on the totem pole, perhaps consider picking the most important occasion to you and offering to work on another holiday in exchange for that time off. Or schedule your visitors around this special time so that you have the comforts of home in your new place.
What are your tips for a seamless move?