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Moving Because of Work? How to Prepare for a Corporate Relocation
03-14-2022 | Armbruster

Moving Because of Work? How to Prepare for a Corporate Relocation

Nearly 8 million Americans move every year due to their job. Most of these are long-distance corporate relocations that require a lot of planning and preparation. Where do you even start? Keep reading for the lowdown on what to do when moving because of work. 

Ask Yourself: Is This the Right Move for Me?

Before you even start the moving process, be sure to think through what this move means in the context of your life. 

Moving for a better work opportunity can be an adventure. New city, new people, new experiences. Heck, you may even like the weather better! 

On the other hand, you leave a lot behind when you move. Whatever life you’ve carved out for yourself in your current home won’t be the same. If you have a spouse and kids, you have to think about their wishes, too. 

Ask yourself these questions to help decide if this is the move for you:

After I figure out all the costs (see below), does this move put me in a better financial situation?

Am I excited about moving to a new location?

How will my commute be?

What is the cost of living where I’m moving? 

How are the schools in my new area?

Am I sacrificing time with important people by making this move? 

What are my long-term career prospects if I make this move?

Will my company help my partner/spouse find a job in the new location?

If I’m not happy in my new locale, can I easily come back?

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Negotiating Your Relocation Package

Once you decide to move, it’s time to get busy.

First, you must hammer out the details of your move with your company. Many companies offer a relocation package for company moves. 

It’s okay to negotiate the terms of your relocation package. You don’t want to leave money on the table. Sometimes a company doesn’t cover an expense simply because no one ever asked! 

Make sure you’re clear on whether you’ll be covered for these expenses.

Moving costs — including packing, unpacking, and taking apart/assembling furniture

Realtors’ fees and home staging services

Home inspections and closing costs

Cost of breaking a lease

A house-hunting trip in your new location

Travel expenses

Shipping your automobile

Shipping and storage of belongings

Temporary housing, if needed

Ask how your relocation package is structured. Some companies give you cash for the move. Some companies reimburse for expenses, which means you need to have the money yourself to pay upfront and keep track of all your receipts. Other companies have their own people handle all aspects of the move and pay for services directly. 

Get your relocation package in writing. If the package is offered verbally, send an email detailing the conversation. That way, both sides have clear expectations, and nobody is surprised later.

Buying or Selling Work with a Realtor

No matter how well you plan out your move, there will be extra work that nobody else can do for you. Don’t add buying or selling your home without a real estate agent to your list. 

Real estate agents know the local market. They know how to price your home, maximize your return on it, and sell it quickly. The same is true on the other end. A local realtor will know the landscape of your new location. They can guide you to a home in the neighborhoods and price range you want. 

After you work out all these details, you’re ready for the nitty gritty of moving.

Get To Know Your Move Manager

Managers help coordinate all aspects of your move. Your move manager, or coordinator, may be affiliated with your moving company or your employer.

Move managers are professionals that know what needs to happen with your move and when. They will help you with scheduling important dates. They’ll keep you on track and help solve any problems that arise with your move. They will answer any questions you have about your move. 

Most importantly, move managers will make your whole move much less stressful. 

Packing and Downsizing Belongings

If you’re lucky, your company includes packing services with your relocation package. If not, it’s never too early to start the packing process. That doesn’t have to be all bad.

Some people look at packing and moving in a positive light. They see it as a time to reevaluate their priorities and cut down on their belongings. Will I ever play this old trumpet again? Is it time to let go of love letters from old flames? Can someone else appreciate this collection?

Paring down your belongings can make you feel lighter and like you’re getting a fresh start. 

You can start the process in any number of ways, but two methods stand out. One is to start packing stuff you know for sure you’re taking with you. 

The trick with this method is that you can’t pack what you use regularly. That leaves seasonal clothing and stuff that you normally keep somewhat packed away — scrapbooks, photos, sentimental items. You’ll feel a sense of accomplishment when you see some boxes packed. It’s also reassuring to know what’s coming with you, especially if you’re emotionally attached to your stuff.

The second method is to start with stuff you know you’re not keeping. For this, use the tried and true four-box sorting system: donate, sell, trash, recycle. This can rapidly reduce the amount of stuff you have to pack. Once you’ve sorted, get those boxes out of the house as soon as you can. You’ll have less stuff tripping you up during the rest of your move.

Tame the Paper (and Digital) Tiger

Moving requires a lot of paperwork. That paperwork may not actually be in paper form. A lot will probably be online. Whether it’s on paper or online, you’re still going to have to fill out forms and keep track of important documents as part of your move.

Here are a few things you need to remember when dealing with paperwork. These are either tasks that need to be done or documents you need to have handy during your move. 

Shutting off and turning on utilities

Filling out a change of address with the post office

Getting a new license if you’re moving to a different state

Making an inventory of belongings

Finding new doctors and/or health insurance

Changing pharmacies (pick up any refills before you go)

Updating home and auto insurance policies

Anything to do with home sales or rental agreements

First day/night checklist

Paperwork from moving company — contract, inventory of belongings, bill of lading

In the face of all this, don’t forget about your new best friend. Your move manager can help you stay on top of your documentation. They’ve been through it many times before. 

Be sure to check out our two-month moving planner for more moving tips!

Have a work-related move coming up? Contact us to learn more about our moving services or schedule a virtual home survey today.

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