6 Tips for Moving to a New City Alone

a lady sat with moving boxes all around her
*Collaborative Post

Nothing feels quite as liberating as moving to a new city alone. Think about all the opportunities for personal growth, the freedom to explore, the chance to make new friends, and the ability to discover yourself in completely new ways. Besides, you’ll finally live and shape your new life as you see fit.

Challenges of Moving Out

Despite all the potential for adventure and growth, transitioning to a new city can be incredibly daunting and nerve-wracking, especially if you’re moving from a coastal town to a landlocked one. For instance, let’s assume you’re moving to Phoenix from San Diego. You’re used to warm but relatively mild weather and being surrounded by the ocean. But Phoenix is landlocked and has a much more extreme climate. Besides, as a San Diegan, you’ll likely experience culture shock in Phoenix. And while you may be uprooting your life and starting fresh, your loved ones won’t be there to hold your hand. It means it will be you against the many tasks and challenges associated with relocating to a new city. 

If you’re overwhelmed by moving alone and starting over, here are six tips to ensure you hit the ground running in your new city.

1)     Hire Professional Movers for an Easy Move

If someone tells you to move independently, it’s likely they haven’t gone through a move themselves. Moving can be time-consuming and stressful due to all the packing, loading, unloading, and unpacking. Hiring professional movers is the best way to save time and energy and ensure your valuables reach their destination safely.

However, you should carefully vet and pick a reliable, local company with an experience in the new city you’re moving to. For example, if you’re moving to Phoenix from San Diego, consider hiring a company specializing in moving from San Diego to Phoenix for hassle-free and stress-free relocation. Many people move to Phoenix to avoid the cold and snowy weather. The city has about 300 sunny days each year, which makes it easy to enjoy life. However, the temperature can reach 100 degrees Fahrenheit for a third of the year and be very hot in the summer. In addition to its warm weather and sunshine, Phoenix has some of the best outdoor activities for those who love exploring nature. And, with a population of over 1.625 million, it has many amenities big cities offer.

2)     Find A Place to Live Before You Move

It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that finding a place to live will be a cakewalk since you’re moving solo and don’t need a big house, unlike someone relocating with a family. But it’s further from the truth.

First, you’ll need to decide between renting or buying a place. It all depends on your budget, length of stay, and immediate needs.

Whether renting or buying a place, starting the home search process as early as possible is the most important thing. It will give you plenty of time to compare options and weigh your choices carefully.

How to go about it?

Well, scour the Internet for rental listings and contact real estate agents who can show you suitable properties. You can also look into short-term rental options if you’re low on cash or don’t want to commit immediately.

3)     Create a Financial Plan and Start Saving Up Money

Starting over in a new city will require a solid financial foundation. So, create a budget as soon as possible and ensure you have enough savings to support yourself for at least 3-4 months.

Minimizing expenses and prioritizing what’s most important to you will be vital in building your savings. For instance, consider second-hand furniture and other household items. Or take advantage of deals and discounts when buying new clothes or accessories.  

In addition to budgeting, set up an emergency fund to cover unexpected costs. You can open a separate bank account and save money monthly to ensure you’re prepared for any contingency.

4)     Declutter and Pack Smart

Even if you live a minimalistic lifestyle, chances are you have accumulated much stuff you don’t need anymore. It could be anything from old clothes and books to furniture and appliances.

The best way to avoid moving unnecessary stuff and reduce the cost of your move is to declutter before you pack. Go through all the items and decide what you want to keep, donate or give away.

If you cannot decide what to keep, use the “3-month rule”. Ask yourself if you have used the item in the last three months. If not, it’s a clear sign that you don’t need it.

Once you have decluttered, the next step is to pack smartly. Start as soon as possible, and group items in labeled boxes according to their purpose. For instance, you can have a “kitchen” box, a “bathroom” box, and a “study” box. Use quality moving supplies for packing to ensure everything stays safe during the move.

5)     Make Connections

Although you’re moving solo, you don’t have to stay alone. Establishing a social network in your new city is a part of the transition and will help you feel less lonely and more at home.

What you can do:

  • Research the city’s social activities, such as meetup groups and volunteer opportunities.
  • Attend local events to meet new people. 
  • Go to a local café or restaurant and strike up conversations with other people.
  • Connect with people from your hometown who have moved to the same city.

Of course, making friends and having a supportive network take time and patience. But the more you put yourself out there, the easier it will be to connect with people in your new city.

6)     Set a Time Table for the First Few Days

Settling in a new city, and that too, alone, will be hard, and it won’t happen overnight. So, to make the transition smoother, devise a plan of action for the first few days.

For instance, list essential tasks like setting up utilities, organizing your home, and applying for a driver’s license at the DMV. When creating the plan, remember to include fun activities like visiting top attractions and exploring the local cuisine to get a taste of your new city.

You can also list all the people you need to notify about your relocation, like family and friends, employers, banks, credit card companies, etc. It’ll help you track who you’ve already informed and who remains.


Whether you’re moving alone to a new city in your 20s for college or post-grad studies, or you’re 30 or a bit older and relocating for work or personal reasons, the transition can be overwhelming. But with preparation and planning, you can make it an enjoyable and successful experience.

Declutter your home, pack smartly, and look for a place to live before you move. You should also budget carefully and set up an emergency fund to handle unexpected costs. Hiring a reliable moving company and planning the first few days after the move also take some of the stress out of the move. Lastly, make connections and establish a social network in your new city. Soon, the unknown city will become familiar, and you’ll feel at home.

*This is a collaborative post. For further information please refer to my disclosure page.

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