When Donna Stokes accepted a job in a new city, she was immediately excited about the new, higher-paying position, but it also gave her a certain amount of anxiety over everything that needed to be done.
For starters, she and her husband owned a house near Little Rock, Arkansas, and needed to sell it, as well as find a new place to live in Dallas, Texas. That meant coordinating a major move while trying to sell a home and managing the stress of taking on a high-level position with a new company. To avoid being overwhelmed, they took it one step at a time.
“We got a rental house and just moved a few essentials that would make it feel like home,” Stokes says. “We moved just a couch, leather chair, and bookcase, plus the things we needed to make it feel like home — like a cozy braided rug and a painting of a forest scene my parents had given me. Those things both had fun family memories associated with them, so they helped me relax and feel at home.”
Stokes is one of millions of people who relocate to a new city or state each year. The global, mobile nature of our modern world has made relocation easier and more acceptable, and according to the American Moving & Storage Association, about 35.1 million people move every year. Of those, 10 percent are moving for a new job.
When moving for a job, you’re managing two different types of stress: the excitement (and anxiety) of a new position as well as the thrill (and fear) of moving to a new city. Even when it’s a move you’re excited to make, it creates a certain amount of stress.
If you’re looking at relocation for a job, there are five ways to make it easier:
1. Look for Company Support
Many companies help with the cost of moving for a new job, whether you’re a new hire who is joining the company or an established employee who is taking a position in another location. If such services weren’t discussed when the job offer was made, you shouldn’t be afraid to bring them up.
One way to approach it is to calculate the expenses you expect to incur as part of the move, and then approach the employer to see what kind of relocation reimbursement it provides. If they do offer reimbursement, double check to see if you need to use a specific professional moving company in order to qualify. Also ask for help with the cost of temporary housing while you look for a permanent place to live.
2. Don’t Rush into Housing
Chances are good you will have plenty of housing options to consider in your new city, so allow yourself time to research what’s available. Look at such things as safety and walkability, how close it is to your job, and what kind of public transportation is available.
If you’re looking at commuting, check to see how long it would take to commute to work and back home in rush-hour traffic. That can make a big difference in how much you enjoy living there. If you have a family (or plan to start one soon), look at what kind of schools are available and how many parks are in the area.
Many experts recommend taking the approach that worked for Stokes: Rent when you first move to a new city so you can have time to learn the area and decide what neighborhood is right for you. Programs like CORT’s relocation services can help with finding the right place to live.
3. Get (and Stay) Organized
Organization is key to a low-stress move. Start by sorting through your things and deciding what you’re going to keep, what you’re going to toss, and what you’re going to donate to charity.
Make checklists of what needs to be done, and create a calendar of when it needs to be done. Marking items off the list will give you a sense of satisfaction, help keep you on track, and ensure you remember to complete all the details, no matter how big or how small.
4. Find Your Tribe
One of the hardest parts of moving to a new city is not knowing anyone. In your current job, you have friends and co-workers who you’re familiar with and maybe like. A move means starting over, but it doesn’t have to be a lonely experience.
Making friends with people at work typically happens over time, but you can start cultivating friendships outside of work by joining a gym, attending community events, and volunteering.
5. Make It Feel Like Home
Creating a living space that you like is crucial. After all, you want to feel like you’re truly coming home. Decorating it in a style that makes you feel happy and welcome can turn it from a living space into a home.
“If you’re not happy with the way your home feels you when get home every night, you’re not going to enjoy living there,” says Seattle interior designer Rebecca West, founder of Seriously.Happy.Homes. “You want to find things that make you happy when you walk in the door. It needs to reflect your personal style.”
One way to achieve that is through using CORT Furniture Rental to create the look you want. If you don’t want to commit to buying new furniture right when you move to your new city, but you still want a home that shows your personal taste and style, CORT can provide pieces by the room, or for the whole house.