Making the Most of Your Move

They say that moving is the third most stressful event that can happen in a person’s life, right after divorce and death.

Even though I much prefer moving to those other exciting options, having moved six times in the past two years, I can definitely empathize with everyone out there who’s looking to relocate.

My most recent move was from New York, where I’d been living for about a year, to San Francisco. My inclination, when talking about it and writing about it, is to slip a “back” in front of the “to San Francisco,” because when I made the decision to move here, it felt completely like a return.

After graduating from Berkeley a couple of years ago, I’ve returned to the Bay Area often, usually making a pit stop to see my college friends on my way from SFO to Sacramento, where my parents live. These visits back have always been lovely, and when New York’s rough edges started grating on me, I felt like an idiot for having given up this compost-friendly, laid back, sandal-wearing city by the Bay.

But, the thing about moving is that even when you think you know what you’re getting into, you don’t. No matter how many times you’ve visited a city, bargained with a mattress salesman (they’re worse than used car salesmen, I swear), or assembled and then Craigslisted your IKEA furniture , it’s really, really hard to make a seamless transition from the old to the new.

That said, there are a few things that might help a little.

In terms of shipping, DHL saved my life. If you have a lot that you’re bringing with you, this obviously isn’t practical, but for those of you who can stuff everything into a few boxes, DHL has the most reasonable rates I’ve found. They pick them up from your place for a nominal fee and let you print out shipping labels online, which makes for a pretty painless shipping experience.

Yelp. There are a ton of sites out there that can help you figure out the best places to hang out in your new city when you don’t yet have people to make your plans for you. Citysearch is pretty popular, and I know Menupages is particularly good in NYC, but Yelp is by far my personal favorite. It helped me pass as a New Yorker when I first moved there and helped me find a great vegetarian restaurant in Nashville where I didn’t realize they existed.

1800mattress. Not always the lowest prices, but at least they give you a fallback number to bargain with, so that other stores can tell you that they’re giving you deals that will put them out of business while still ripping you off.

Your parents. More specifically, your mom. Seriously, at any age, there’s no one in this world who is as willing to help you pack boxes and send you food when you haven’t yet stocked your kitchen (as if I actually cook after that..). Don’t take them for granted, and don’t be too stubborn to let them help.

Any other tips for moving out and settling in? Have you found MyNewPlace a helpful resource in your move? Let us know in the comments.

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