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Searching for a job can often be one of the most stressful and difficult times for any of us. The countless hours parsing job boards, the interviews, the follow-ups… it all makes for a hectic time. Then it comes, the offer, and you’re ecstatic to accept and begin the next journey in your career, but there is a catch: You have to, relocate. For some, that’s an easy thing to do, but for many others, like myself, it almost left more questions than answers.

I had lived in Ohio all my life (Check It: Growing Up Small) and just accepted a position in Charleston, SC. Once the initial offer excitement wore off, my mind, and my wife’s, instantly started racing. Things like: Where are we going to live? What places will we shop at? Are some areas better than others? were now things that moved to our “uncertain” list.

Over the course of the next month we scoured apartments, housing websites, and asked for recommendations. We researched the city even more in depth than we previously had, so that helped too.

Now that I have finally settled in, I wanted to share my top three tips when it comes to relocating…

1) Start Early, It Happens Fast!

If I could do it all over again, I would have returned home after my initial visit with Catch and started packing right away. I don’t think many of us realize how much stuff we actually accumulate until we go to move, especially if we’ve been in our current home for a while.

You will need to determine the best options for packing (boxes, crates, wrapping materials, etc.), begin getting rid of anything that’s not going to come with you on your move, and start to coordinate the logistics of your move. Make the decision if you will make the move yourself or hire a moving company, and note the pros and cons of each (my wife and I chose to move ourselves). Once moving day arrives, be sure to have plenty of hands ready to help and allow for extra time in packing, organizing, and the occasional water break!

2) Research, Location, Research, Location

Moving to a new location really leaves a lot of questions on where your next home will be. In Charleston for example, we could have lived in Charleston, North Charleston, Summerville, Daniel Island, Mount Pleasant, Isle of Palms, West Ashley, James Island, Johns Island… I think you get the point. Narrow down your search to places that make sense to your cost of living, work location, and what you prefer in an area. Then research until Google is tired of pulling up search results. Pull up multiple homes or apartment sites, learn the stores and locations of each area, and the traffic patterns for each of those areas (you’ll thank me later for this one).

Finally, I would recommend taking an additional trip to the city you’re moving to in order to check out each of the areas. Talk to the people there, ask for recommendations, and really try to get a feel for different aspects of each place!

3) Allow Time

Over your entire move, from packing the moving truck to unloading it and everything in between, give yourself time to breath throughout the process and know there will be delays. Give yourself extra travel time for travel, moving trucks often don’t zip around as fast as you’re probably accustomed to and there could be inclement weather or traffic along the way.

One of the best things we did was actually planning out multiple stops and not rushing the drive. We arrived refreshed and ready to unload everything. However, If you’re moving someplace like Charleston or a warm climate, check the weather. The day we moved it was roughly 97 degrees out and we quickly wore out in the heat. Plan ahead, you’ll appreciate it in the long run!

Whether you’re making a cross country move or to a new city in the same state, I hope the above tips will provide a framework for your next move and make it as smooth as possible. Start as early as you can and really do your research into the different locations and areas of your new home. This is an exciting time in your life and a new place full of adventure lies ahead of you, take the time to enjoy the process.

What tips do you have for anyone going through the relocation process? Leave them in the comments below!