Are you planning to move from a small town to a big city? We’ve compiled 11 tips that will help manage your nerves and plan ahead.
To be able to overcome the culture shock you may face and build a fun and successful new life for yourself in the big city, you need to be well prepared.
It will be hard at times, and maybe you will want to give up and return to the small-town life that was simple and predictable, but it’s all part of the learning experience that will ultimately lead to growth.
To help you figure out if this is the right move for you, we’ve compiled a list of 11 tips to help make the move from a small town to a big city that bit easier.
1. Do Your Research!
This is probably pretty self-explanatory. So you have decided that you want to move to a big city. But how much do you actually know about this city? If the answer is not much, then you need to do some research. These days with a quick Google search you can find out anything you need to know about a city.
You’ll probably be able to find a ton of local blogs, websites, social media accounts, and tourism guides where you can get to understanding what life is like in your potential city.
2. Reach Out to Friends/Family
Along with online research, it’s also important to ask people who you may know in the city what their thoughts are. They don’t have to be super close family/friends you can reach out to acquaintances, friends of friends, or even someone you know from Instagram.
This way you can chat and ask questions about which neighborhoods are the best to live in, where the best restaurants are, and what the general vibe is like in the city.
Hearing a first-person view of someone’s experience in a city can be a great way to understand the things that just can’t be found on the internet.
3. Assess Your Finances
In order to avoid strain on your finances when moving to a big city, you need to assess what you have and get a realistic idea of how much you’re going to need for your relocation.
You should try and aim to have enough savings to cover living expenses in the big city for at least four to six months. When looking for places to rent, make sure the monthly rent does not exceed 25% of your income. Other things to consider in the housing budget are a security deposit, utility bills and maintenance costs.
There are a lot more things to go do and see in a bustling city compared to a small town so remember to factor in extra money for entertainment and social events.
4. Secure a Job Before You Go
While you could be super spontaneous and up and move without securing a job first and tell yourself “I’ll figure it out!”, this is not advisable as that makes everything harder than it needs to be.
Be proactive and try and start the process a few months before moving by looking at local online job boards and LinkedIn. Reach out to companies that you’re interested in working for by sending them your resumé, portfolio, and cover letter.
These days, since working from home is favored, most interviews are over Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or Skype so you can find plenty of opportunities to interview online rather than in person.
If you don’t trust yourself to secure a job before the big move, at least try and start the process by researching the job market before moving. Because moving to a city tends to be expensive and having something lined up before you move can help ease the financial burden.
5. Find a Place to Live
Finding a place to live before you move is basically essential. Even if you don’t secure a job before moving, at least make sure that you have a place to reside. Hopefully, you will have figured out what neighborhoods you’re interested in living in and what the average rent is in this neighborhood.
Depending on the city and your budget, certain neighborhoods could be quite difficult to find apartments in. Have a look on Facebook groups or roommate websites to see if there are available rooms in apartments.
Is the landlord asking for an in-person viewing before the lease can be signed? Ask the family member/acquaintance in the area to view it for you. This way you can ensure that you’re getting a good deal before committing to a lease.
Also try and make sure that you think about a back-up plan if anything should fall through, such as staying in an Airbnb, etc. This can get expensive, fast. So try to resort to this only out of necessity.
6. Get Organized
So now that you have all the wheels in motion, it’s time to get the logistics organized. Ask yourself what needs to be organized?
Whether you opt for a moving company to move all of your stuff or you plan to hire a rental truck and drive it yourself, there’s a lot to think about.
If you still live at home with your parents, it’s best to leave some items in their house (if they allow it) as you won’t need everything in your new city apartment.
If you don’t have that option, another option is to place your items in storage. This could be a good idea if you want to hold onto larger items without having to sell/donate them.
7. Sell Your Car
Owning a car in a big city can turn a 10-minute drive into an hour-long excursion. Not to mention the traffic congestion, parking problems, pedestrians, construction work, and inflated gas prices that also occur in the city.
It’s understandable that selling your car is not a feasible situation for everyone but it can be a freeing experience. Embracing public transport can do wonders for your budget and social skills.
8. Start Packing
Packing your things for moving is arguably the most laborious task when organizing a residential move. If you’re moving to a big city, you need to consider some things when packing your household items and personal possessions.
Aim to pare down your belongings to make your move easier and cheaper. Your living space in the big city will be much smaller and you won’t be able to accommodate all your stuff.
You’ll have to de-clutter your belongings and the fewer items you bring with you, the more breathing space you will have in your new apartment. This will help lower your moving costs.
Keep in mind that buying certain new items for your new home will be much more expensive in the big city. So be careful when deciding what exactly to take with you.
When packing clothing items, take into account the weather conditions in your new area and do not take any garments you won’t have a chance to wear, no matter how much you like them.
Source quality packing materials and boxes to put your items in. Disassemble large furniture pieces you’ve decided to bring along and pack them safely.
9. Be Vigilant
Once you arrive in the big city, remember to be vigilant. Be wary of pickpocketing when you’re in crowded places and as a general rule, don’t walk alone at night.
In a small town, it’s easy to be extremely trusting of strangers since there will often be nothing to worry about.
However, in the big city, it’s not always this way. So trust your instincts and have your wits about you.
10. Meet New People
Moving to a big city alone can be an extremely lonely experience for some people. So try your best to put yourself out there, no matter how difficult it may be. Join a local club, organization, sports team, or any group where you can meet people who have the same interests as you do.
Don’t be afraid to use social networking sites to connect with people and be willing to try new experiences every time you have the chance to.
11. Give It Time
A move from a small town to a big city can be overwhelming and lonely in the beginning. It’s important to give yourself time as you adjust, adapt, and assimilate to a new way of living and thinking.
Keep in touch with your friends and family members back in your old town. You may feel vulnerable at times but the excitement of starting a new life can make it worth it! Remember to have fun, get out there, and try not to get discouraged during those first few uncertain weeks/months.
This move may be hard at times but remember the reasons why you wanted to leave your small-town life for the big, bustling city in the first place. With the unlimited potential of new opportunities awaiting you in the city, there is still a lot to consider before leaving your hometown for a new way of living.
We hope these 11 tips help you evaluate whether this move is right for you, and make it a little bit easier to put the wheels in motion. Happy Moving!