Planning for a Relocation
If you were offered a substantial raise, you’d probably never think about turning it down. But what if the only way you could get that raise would be to take a position with one of your company’s offices that is thousands of miles away? How do you know if relocating is right for you and your family?
Several thousand job transfers take place in this country annually. Relocating to a new town can be emotionally upsetting for the entire family. Because of this, many employers are now offering counseling to their employees.
Before deciding to relocate, find out if your employer offers a paid relocation package. This will help ease the burden of moving expenses. Talk to your company’s human resources department about what costs are covered. If you can, have your company pay for a trip to the new location, so you and your family have an opportunity to visit before you decide.
You will also want to research housing trends, taxes, school districts, crime rates and recreational activities in the area. Your human resources department should be able to provide you with some information, but you may want to do more in-depth research on your own.
Helpful Relocating Tips
If your upcoming relocation has you feeling a bit overwhelmed, there are ways to make the transition easier. One way to ease your mind during the process is to make a list of everything that needs to be done. The following are some helpful tips for a successful relocation:
- Make a separate calendar for your moving tasks. Use it to develop an eight-week plan. This is the minimum planning time needed for a stress-free relocation.
- Obtain a floor plan of your new home. Based on the size of the new place, decide what you will take with you and what you will have to leave behind.
- Start cleaning out junk drawers, linen closets, the basement and attic. Don’t pack and move things that you don’t use.
- Start a file with all your moving information such as receipts and important contact numbers.
- Ask your friends for referrals of reliable moving companies, and then call for estimates.
- Start collecting boxes and begin packing nonessential items.
- Subscribe to the local newspaper in your new town. This is a good way to become familiar with the community before you arrive.
- Contact utility companies, the post office and others to inform them of the move and provide them with your new address.
- Call the visitor and tourism center in your new area to request maps and other important information.
- A few days before the move, pack a first-night kit to take with you in the car. Suggested items include a coffeemaker, flashlight, blankets, pillows, towels, toiletries, pans, easy-to-cook canned food, a can opener, paper plates, trash bags and toilet paper.
- On the day of the move, pack essentials in your car. These items may include such things as the dog’s leash and food, the first-night kit mentioned above, your child’s favorite toys, prescription medicine, and other items you cannot be without.
Easing Your Children’s Fears
If you’re relocating to a new city, you should try to make the transition as smooth as possible for your children. The best thing you can do is to keep them informed. Even if you think they don’t care or won’t fully understand the details, keep them as informed as possible so they feel secure about the situation.
The greatest fear preschool children typically have is that they will somehow be left behind. If you need to leave your children for a short time to search for your new home or to orient yourself to the new location, reassure them that you will be back. It may help if you bring them back something from the new location. Consider assigning them a task to complete before you return, such as packing some of their toys in boxes. This will help them feel involved in the move.
Elementary children may fear how the move will disrupt their everyday lives. Take pictures of the new location and of spots that you know they will enjoy, such as parks and pizza parlors.
Teenagers may be worried about fitting in and making new friends at their new school. To help ease their fears, find out as much as you can about the high school they will be attending. Make special note of the local trends, sports teams and school clubs.
Once you’re settled into your new home, visit the school that each child will attend and schedule a meeting with the teachers before their first day of school. Once your children start to make new friends, encourage them to bring their new classmates home to visit.