From Italy to New Mexico: 5 Tips for Relocating
Dear Relocating Readers,
Moving can be stressful and difficult. I know how you feel. I myself have just moved from the lovely country of Italy to the beautiful desert state of New Mexico. The last couple of months have been full of changes including a new job, new house, new car, new friends, new plans, different weather etc. and all of the associated paperwork. Here are a few helpful tips from my experience:
- Sort through your belongings before you have to pack them up, then donate or sell whatever you don’t need. I’ve become more accustomed to relocations since I joined the Air Force almost four years ago. All in all, it’s been a good experience and really helped me learn that it is so much easier to pack up your stuff if you don’t have a ton of extra crap weighing you down which is why I’ve continually aspired to simplify my life by minimizing my possessions. It always makes the moving process easier.
- Contact a future coworker. If you already have a job lined up, try to reach out to someone and get some information such as what exactly you will be doing on a daily basis, what your work environment is like, and what type of area the town is in. In the past four years, I’ve gone from Texas to Turkey to Italy and finally to New Mexico and before I moved to each new location I made it a point to get in touch with someone in my future place of work. This was always really helpful to me and took a huge weight off of my shoulders. It’s like getting insider information.
- Research the local housing/rental market so you know what to expect. I thought about renting an apartment in New Mexico, but after surveying the local area, I decided to take the leap and buy my own house. Luck was on my side, as I found a cute little two bedroom/two bath fixer upper in a nice neighborhood with a great price tag. It’s quite a project, although completely cosmetic so far and I have my plan of action for the renovations ready to go. I’ve already had a landscaper out to measure and give me a quote on getting the backyard fence redone and my next venture will be the bathrooms. I’ll be posting pictures on my Instagram account @erikaslifeadventures, so stay tuned for that! It’s also good to set aside some money for your next place, at least $2500.
- Ask your local contact if they’ve heard of anyone selling a vehicle within your price range. Having reliable transportation is a must for settling in to a new place if you want to get to all of your meetings and appointments on time. I was car-less for a little over two weeks, which may not sound too bad to some people but it can be a huge pain when you’re trying to get lots of little errands done and settle in to a new area. I’d been trying to find something used that was cheaper but I was nervous about getting ripped off and buying a lemon. I finally said ‘screw it’ and went to a dealership. If I knew my way around cars, I definitely would not have done that but unfortunately at this point in my life I’m clueless and I knew that even though a dealership would be a lot more expensive, I would be sure to get a reliable vehicle.
- Find a local lifeline. Before you move to a new area, find out if you know anyone in the local area that can help you out during your transition. Luckily for me, I didn’t move to NM without any lifelines. I was fortunate enough to have a local friend that I’d met while stationed in Italy. She was kind enough to show me around the town of Clovis and introduce me to a few of her other friends. If you don’t know anyone in the area, join a local club or group on www.meetup.com. It can be a great way to make new friends and get helpful information.
- Get your paperwork organized. It’s best to have all of your important documents in one place when you’re moving so set aside some time to sort through everything and make it easily accessible. The last thing you want to happen is to realize you can’t find an important document that you need. I keep everything in one binder and I regularly go through it to update documents or shred unnecessary ones. I also keep my ‘life binder’ with me when I travel to be sure that nothing gets lost or damaged. If you have children, you may want to create separate binders for each of them, especially if you have a lot of documentation.
If you’re currently in transition to relocate to a new place, I hope you’ll find something useful in these tips I’ve presented here and good luck!