Moving is never easy, and when you are handling everything yourself, it can be quite the burden. Money worries, time management and the fear of relocating to a new place alone can wreak havoc on your peace of mind -- especially if you're moving as a single. If you are planning a solo move in the near future, read on for some tips to make the transition with ease.
If you are relocating on only one income, you may have to be frugal with your move. You will also need to enlist some assistance to make moving while single easier. And after you move in, it's important to meet new friends and date, so you don't feel alienated.
Before you move, figure out your budget
Planning a detailed moving budget will help you keep track of your finances and determine how much you can afford to spend on your move.
Are you extremely busy and forced to move on short notice? You may need full-service movers to pack all of your belongings, load the truck, transport your shipment to your destination and then unload in your new home. If you have a more open schedule, you may opt for a DIY option. There some things you want to take into consideration when it comes to how you'll be moving:
- Driving a rental truck? If you are driving a rental truck for your solo move, it's important to exercise caution and always drive slowly and carefully. Be aware of weight and overhead clearance restrictions.
TIP: Rental trucks are conspicuous when stopping at gas stations, rest stops and hotels, so the truck is always securely locked to avoid theft and park in well-lit areas.
- Has your car been serviced? If you are driving your personal vehicle when moving, take care of basic maintenance. Check wiper and fluid levels, tire treads, air pressure and the battery. Get an oil change and tune up. Fill your gas tank. Ensure you have all necessary emergency supplies in your vehicle, such as road flares, a spare tire and an ice scraper if traveling during the winter.
- Have you planned a route? Map out your route before hitting the road and look over it in advance so you are familiar. Stick to main roads and highways whenever possible. Even if you're using a GPS device or smartphone app, always keep a printed copy of directions in your vehicle as well. Set a schedule for driving and map out planned stops for food, sleep and fuel. Avoid stopping at rest stations that are desolate, especially at night.
- Did you hide your valuables? Whether you are moving in your personal vehicle or rental truck, keep valuables tucked neatly out of sight. Don't leave your laptop, tablet or jewelry case in plain view on the passenger seat. Keep these items disguised, concealed under other items and stowed away in the backseat (out of sight for anyone outside the vehicle, peering in the window).
- Did you drive during the day? Hit the road first thing in the morning to get as much driving done as possible during daylight hours. Visibility is better, and gas stations/rest stops are more populated. Check into your hotel before dark and get back on the road as soon as the sun comes up the next day.
- Are you aware of your surroundings? Being self-aware is often the best protection when traveling alone. Always scan your surroundings before getting out of your vehicle. Never text/talk on the phone after getting out and walking to the rest stop, hotel or service station. Keep in contact with a friend or family member on the road and notify them of your whereabouts each time you stop.
Make a list of all of the expenses you will have before, during and after your move. These can include final bills in your old home (utilities, rent), cost of required moving services (full-service movers, moving labor, truck rentals, auto transport), travel costs (gas, food, hotel stays), and costs associated with your new home (security deposits, rent, mortgage payments, repairs).
Adding up all of these costs will help give you an idea of what you can expect to pay for your move and whether it is financially feasible for you.
During your move, get the help you need
Moving is a complicated process with numerous tasks involved. The ideal option would be to hire professional movers that can pack and transport your belongings correctly to limit damage during transit. However, if hiring full service movers is not in your budget, there are other ways to get help.
- Hire moving labor to aid you in packing, loading, driving, unloading or unpacking. Rather than hiring a costly company to take care of everything, you can hire labor to simply load your rented moving truck or portable storage unit, or packers to properly and carefully box up your belongings.
- Ask friends and family for help. While they might not have the skill and know-how of professional movers, their assistance is free. Moving is stressful, and having your loved ones around you will be a huge relief. If you have children or pets, friends and family can also be handy babysitters during your relocation.
- Use proper packing methods. Make sure not to over-pack your boxes. Mix heavy items with lighter ones to keep weight manageable. You should be able to lift all boxes without straining and don't pack anything too heavy to handle alone. Always remember to follow proper lifting and carrying methods for heavy boxes and items. Bend at the knees, not the waist, and keep the object you are carrying close to your body at all times.
After your move, meet new people
Once you have unpacked your last item and are settled into your new home or apartment, you will be ready to have fun. You're single, right? It's a perfect time to take advantage of a new life in a new city and discover what it has to offer.
Moving to a new city alone can seem frightening or alienating at first, but it is also an exciting and enriching experience.
- Socialize at work. You may have relocated to your city in pursuit of a career, and a new job can be a great way to meet people and make friends. While beginning a new relationship at your brand-new place of employment may not be the wisest idea, socializing with your co-workers can certainly make dating easier. Maybe you can snag a date at the bar when you go out for post-work happy hour drinks or meet their friends during other office social gatherings.
- Go online. Many people shy away from the idea of online dating, but an online dating profile can facilitate meeting singles in your area. A fancy dinner can be intimidating as a first date. Since you are already out of your element, keep it casual with a situation where you can be comfortable and relax -- like a coffee shop or museum.
- Join a club or class. Getting involved and staying active will keep you out of the house and surround you with people that share your interests. Join a gym, take a cooking class or volunteer at a local charitable organization. This is a great way to make new friends, because you will already have something in common. Who knows... a romance may even blossom.