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Relocating? Been there, done that! Tips and advice on making a smooth transition

With Charlotte being one of the fastest growing cities in the country there are a lot of people relocating from all over the country to work in the area. I, for example, just moved here with my family almost 9 months ago from Utah, so we literally moved across the country. I’ll be the first to admit this move was extremely HARD - harder than I ever thought it would be. I learned a lot in the process and so here are my tips and advice to all transplants to the Charlotte area.

1 - Make a list of everything you need to do - it helps keep you organized but it's always satisfying to be able to check things off and make you feel like you're accomplishing something.

2 - Get quotes! When I was working with moving companies, the first one I talked with appeared to be a great deal. At first - then when they increased prices on me right before the move date, I did more research and found another company that was much cheaper, and even better to work with. My advice would be to get 3 quotes for every job needed. Having quotes will also help in negotiating a great deal.

3 - Prioritize your needs. Whats most important to you? For me, I wanted to go as cheap as possible for our move. I did my own packing and moving into storage containers and just used a company to transport my belongings. You may or may not have the time or energy to do those things, and want a moving company that does all of that for you.

4 - Research your new area - do lots of research on the city you’re moving to. Get to know some of the things it's known for and google 'fun things to do' once you get there. Know some of the history of the area so your more familiar and you don’t feel like a “visitor”.

5 - Take your time finding your home. Whether that means renting until you find the perfect home once you get there, or going to see the area multiple times before buying. We took 3 days to find a home and though we found one, I felt kind of rushed - so my recommendation would be to take at least a week to find a home. If and when you find the home that you want to make yours, walk around the neighborhood, knock on the doors of future neighbors ask them what they like and don’t like about the neighborhood. Drive around at different times of the day to see what the comings and goings are like.

6 - If you have children your move will be a harder adjustment. Let them express their feelings whether it be sadness, or being mad or maybe its pure excitement. I came to realize that despite my children being very young the move still affected them in different ways. My daughter wouldn’t sleep at night and she would get irritable very fast. For my son, he got more quiet and wouldn’t talk much. It helped to let them express their feelings and tell them it was okay to feel that way. Don’t suppress it or try to make it better for them - let them have those feelings and let them take the time they need to work through them.

7 - Get involved! One of the hardest things for me was leaving family and friends and living in a place where I was on my own! I had always had family close by and so that part was difficult. But getting involved in your neighborhood, community, church, PTA or volunteering at your child's school will help you make friends and feel part of the city you live in.

8 - Get your kids back into the activities they were involved in in their previous town. Being a part of something familiar to them and something they love helps tremendously.

9 - Stay in communication with those you left; call, text, Facebook, write a letter - let them know about your new area and how you are doing, you won’t feel as far away if you do. Get online and find groups in your area. There is a group for everyone out there whether it be a mommy group, playdate group, adult sports group or social meet-ups, church groups, volunteer groups etc….

10 - Last but not least- have a positive attitude! Try and make the best of your new situation and make it a adventure for your book of life!

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