Top 15 Things You Should Do When You Move to a New City

Moving is one of the most stressful times in your life, especially if you decided to move to a new city or a new state altogether.

Regardless of whether you are just in the next town over of you have moved all the way across the country, adjusting to a new city takes time and patience. Now that the stress of actually moving is over, it is time to focus on settling in your new abode.

There are plenty of logistical steps you must take right away after moving, such as setting up new accounts and learning local ordinances. However, moving to a different city also presents many fun and exciting opportunities to meet new people, try new food and explore new terrain. After relocating to a new city, learn the 15 most important steps to take for a smooth and stress-free transition below.

1. Plan Your Commute and Do a Test Run

More than likely, you already had a job lined up in your new city before you moved there. While everything may be squared away with your employment, it is crucial to learn the lay of the land so you can get to work on time.

Determine what your best commute option is, whether that be driving to work, walking, biking, taking the bus or utilizing other forms of public transportation. After you have a plan in place, make sure to do a test run to determine how long the trip takes. For a more accurate estimate, do the dry run during rush hour or whichever time you would normally start your commute.

2. Set Up New Accounts

Getting internet and utilities is one of the first things you should check off your list when you settle into a new city. It is a good idea to arrange the set-up to take place when you have plans to do things around the house or apartment, as this allows you to avoid taking time off work.

Given that you will generally only have one service provider to choose from, it is easy to arrange your utilities first. When it comes to internet and cable options, be sure to check which providers cover your area.

There may be only one or two to choose from, but when there are multiple options, be sure to check reviews. Getting stuck in a contract with a disreputable provider can make for a difficult first year.

3. Make a New Budget

You may end up paying a drastically different amount for common necessities in your new city. Food and entertainment, for example, can be far more expensive in some cities compared to others.

Be sure to budget in your new utility and internet expenses, as well as the new amount that you will be paying for a mortgage or rent. With a sound budget in place, you will have more peace of mind knowing how much you can spend when exploring your new city and getting settled.

4. Set Up Insurance

As soon as you move, it is important to set up renter’s insurance and notify your car insurance provider of your new residence. In some cases, you can stick with the same insurance company and simply switch your plan to a local agent. Other times, it may be necessary to find a new insurance agency altogether.

5. Learn About Local Regulations

Local ordinances, such as parking regulations and other similar rules, can vary greatly from one city to the next. Be sure you check out where you can park and at what times in order to avoid unwanted tickets.

If you are moving to a different region, be aware that there may be seasonal restrictions on top of other regulations. For example, areas that get snow in the winter tend to limit parking on one side of the street following a storm so that plows can clear the streets.

6. Get Registered

Chances are, you will be in a different voting district when you move to a new city. Make sure you get registered so that you can vote in any upcoming elections. If you have moved to a new state, be sure to register your car and get a new driver’s license as well.

Related Article: Five Mistakes to Avoid on Move-in Day

Lastly, register your pets with your city to comply with any local laws for pet ownership. If your pets’ vaccines are out-of-date, you may need to visit the vet before you can get your pets registered.

7. Save Your Moving Receipts

If you are relocating to a new city for work, you may be able to deduct some of your moving expenses when filing your annual taxes. Not only that, some workplaces will reimburse you for the cost to move if you have relocated for work.

8. Find New Health Care Providers

Moving to a new city oftentimes means you need to find a new doctor. You may even need to switch your health insurance if you have moved out of your current plan’s coverage area.

In any case, it is helpful to get your medical records transferred to your new health care provider if you will be visiting a different network of hospitals.

9. Make a List of Emergency Contacts

Write down the emergency and non-emergency phone numbers for local fire, police and medical services. You may have had these numbers memorized where you used to live, but it is important to have them easily accessible in case you ever need to call for assistance.

10. Meet Your Neighbors

Moving away from friends and family can be extremely tough, which is why it is so important to make more connections in your new city. Knowing the neighbors is important in case of emergencies, as you can reach out to them for guidance or assistance. More than that, neighbors can also provide helpful suggestions for places to eat, shop or find entertainment.

11. Scope Out Food Choices

Finding a local grocery store that carries your favorite foods is one of the most important steps to take once you have started getting settled. It is helpful to visit multiple stores in the area to see where you can get the best prices rather than just patronizing to the first store you come to. While you are out and about, keep an eye out for your favorite restaurants as well as local establishments that you want to try.

12. Explore Your New City

One of the best parts of moving somewhere new is that you get to experience a different local culture. Finding your way around a new place can be intimidating, but it is important to force yourself to get out as soon as you have the time or energy to start doing activities after the move.

If you never challenge yourself to try new things in the area, it is easy to fall into a comfortable routine where you only try the things that you are familiar with.

13. Get a Library Card

Libraries are not as popular as they once were, but there are many benefits to signing up for a library card in your new city. First, libraries offer free and endless entertainment, allowing you to check out movies, music and other media in addition to books.

Second, libraries are great places to learn about community events. Most establishments will have a community bulletin board where you can discover fun and unique opportunities in your new city.

14. Find Ways to Keep Up Your Hobbies

If you moved to a new city alone, the best way to find new friends is to get involved with a local interest group. Finding like-minded people is easy to do by joining clubs or patronizing stores that cater to your hobbies.

15. Stay in Touch with Friends and Family

Unfortunately, one of the most common side effects of moving is depression. Once you are separated from friends and family, it is easy to feel disconnected and out-of-sorts.

While it is great to find new friends and interest groups in your new city, make sure you keep in touch with your old friends and keep your family updated on your new life. Hopefully, you have already changed your mailing address so that you can receive mail at your new place.

If you have yet to give your address out to your old network, make sure everyone has it so they can stay in touch through the mail as well.

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