How to Relocate Successfully

Nov. 19, 2009

I work with people every day who are in the process of a major relocation. It could be a husband whose wife has a new job opportunity that can’t be passed up, a son that is moving away to college or even a couple that has retired and is ready to move into their final home. No matter what the case, relocation is not easy on a family. However, there are some things you can do to make a major move as comfortable as possible.


• One of the simplest tips to ease your transition is to plan ahead! Spend as much time as you can prior to the move thinking about what you hope to accomplish during this new chapter of your life. Do you need to create new professional contacts? What is there to do from a social aspect? Is there a large contingent of retirees to connect with?


• If you’re moving due to a new job opportunity, spend time on the official city Web site, subscribe to local magazines and the city and community newspapers even before moving so you are aware of local news and networking events. If you have children, investigate your new neighborhood’s demographics as well as the local schools to make sure it is the right place for your kids.


• Relocation can be a very expensive process and can get out of hand if you’re not keeping accurate records of how much you’re spending and what you’re spending it on. To keep your finances on track, make sure to keep in close contact with your accountant or whoever handles your monthly bills and checkbook balancing. These records will also come in handy come tax time for a valuable write off. Also, don’t forget to make sure you’ve checked to see if anyone is willing to cover some of your overhead moving costs - you never know what you can negotiate with a new employer or home owner trying to sell their home.


• Consider the pros of using a mobile storage unit as opposed to a moving service or driving your own truck or trailer. A mobile storage unit offers up a lot of additional perks including the ability to take your time moving or the option of storing it somewhere while you relocate and find a new home.


• Now that you’re almost ready to move, get in touch with local groups you may be interested in joining or are already affiliated with in your current city (i.e. churches, philanthropic groups, clubs) and be sure to send a change of address card to all your friends and family (and to the Post Office!).


• Once you’ve relocated – Make Yourself at Home! Make it a point to say hello to your neighbors and don’t be afraid to meet new people while you are at the local hardware store or grocery. Take your dog out for a walk regularly and spark conversations with anyone and everyone.


• More importantly than anything else, no matter what your life situation, make sure you are relocating for the right reasons. Relocation always occurs as the result of a major life change and you need to make sure you are ready and willing to accept all the little things that are about to come your way.


Janelle Larson is the owner of UNITS Mobile Storage in Milwaukee, WI. She is an expert on relocation and the ins and out of this tough life change. To contact Janelle, call 414-476-8648 or visit


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