March 15, 2019

Tips for a Low Stress Relocation

Maybe you've been hoping to move for years... or maybe your company has suddenly offered you a promotion that requires a move across the country. Whatever your reason for relocating, these tips will help you make the best decisions about the moving process, with the least amount of stress in each phase of the relocation process.


1. Do reconnaissance:
If at all possible, visit the area where you are considering relocating. You can research climate and demographics online, but visiting the location in person will allow you to really experience the atmosphere and community of the area. A reconnaissance trip can serve many purposes:
  • To introduce the family to the area
  • To scope out local neighborhoods, restaurants, parks, and museums
  • To test out your potential commutes
  • To talk to locals and find out how they feel about where they live
  • To meet with a real estate agent and visit houses if you’re ready to shop
Decide on the purposes of your trip before you go, and if you need a home away from home for a lengthier stay, contact us ! We’d love to be your hosts and local guides!

2. Choose a neighborhood that is right for you:
So you’re relocating to Southern California… but do you want to live in a charming beach town or an inland gated community? A spacious suburb or a more urban environment? SoCal’s many neighborhoods offer a wealth of possibilities that may seem overwhelming at a distance, but when you have a chance to visit, you’ll find the locale that clicks with you.

Make a list of things that are important to you, and then prioritize them. Your list might include things like:
  • Good school districts
  • Certain grocery stores, gas stations, and other shopping and services nearby
  • Walkability
  • Driveability, parking, and traffic patterns
  • Open spaces like parks
  • Proximity to the ocean, or to the mountains
  • A more quiet, or more active neighborhood
Your list may change after your reconnaissance visit, but it’s a good idea to start with some priorities in mind! If you’re having a hard time deciding on a neighborhood, why not give it a test run? Stay in one of our furnished rentals and see if San Clemente or Huntington Beach starts to feel like home!


3.  Make a Packing Plan:
If you have the time, plan out your packing in advance. Decide which rarely used items can be packed in advance, and which need to be packed last minute. Then, create a timeline, designating different packing tasks for each day (or week). This will help keep packing from being overwhelming and will help with unpacking later when you can unpack your boxes in reverse – most used items first, least used items last.

4. Downsize
Moving is a great time to downsize the stuff you have. You’re going through all of your things anyway, so take this opportunity to donate or sell any items that you don’t need, like, or use. This will make packing and unpacking so much easier, and allow you to start life in your new location with a lot less clutter!

5. Label, label, label
Whether you are able to pack strategically, or end up packing in a rush, make sure to label your boxes! Label the boxes with an assigned room AND the box’s contents. This will make it easier both to unload boxes, and to unpack them. Be more specific than you think is necessary so you can find what you’re looking for later. This will spare you a lot of frustration and keep you from needing to buy a new pizza cutter or thermometer or throw pillows, or whatever else you aren’t able to find.

Buying and Selling

6. Take easy steps to beautify your house:
Little changes can go a long way towards making your house stand out as a home people want to buy. Since you’re packing and streamlining anyway, take some time to declutter your counters, closets and shelves. Take a look at your light fixtures, and decorative accents. Are there any dark corners? Any dingy throw pillows or tattered magazines? Change them out for fresh, bright, décor. A light, welcoming look, will help potential buyers imagine themselves settling in, and little tweaks can go a long way.

7. Work with experts
Moving can be overwhelming, especially if you’re moving to another state or even another region. Find an expert real estate agent near your current home who knows the local market and can help you set a competitive price for your home and sell quickly. Also find a real estate agent to partner with to find a new home in your new location. They will have insight into the local area and local market, and can help you narrow down your options and make a smart purchase without having to stress.

8. Don’t get stuck with two mortgages
Finding a new home you love is exciting, but it’s risky to buy before you have sold your previous home. You could get stuck with two mortgages, and that’s not a financial burden you want to be taking on when you’re already adjusting to so many new things. Have a backup plan if your house doesn’t sell as quickly as you hoped. Do you have family in the local area you can stay with? Or maybe you’ll plan to stay in a furnished rental for a month or so.

Settling in:

9. Unpack one room at a time, one box at a time.
Finish one box at a time so you can clear the empty boxes away. If you’ve labeled boxes according to room, contents, and maybe even priority, you’ll have an easy time knowing what to unpack first. Maybe you’ll want to unpack some decorations like family photos to make your new house feel like home. If you have kids you might want to unpack their rooms first so that they feel comfortable. You will probably want to get bedding out quickly, so you’ll be all ready for your first night at home. It’s up to you. Decide which items are a priority for you and your family, then break down those boxes and get them out of the way. Wow! That mountain of boxes is already shrinking!

10. Take your time
You don’t have to visit every place, meet every neighbor, your first day at your new home. Make a list of places you would like to go, including libraries, beaches, farmer’s markets, even local theme parks. You might also want to brainstorm places where you could meet new friends, like clubs, camps, lessons, churches, and other community organizations. After you’ve written these things down, mark a couple off of your list each week. Before long you’ll be local experts and you’ll know your way around town!

Planning a relocation to Southern California? Get to know our local area:
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