When's really the right time to move?
This is a question everyone asks but no one can ever really answer. Moving is such a personal experience that there's no one-size-fits-all way to think about it. And there's no one best time.
You might hear that it's time to move when you just feel it's time. And we'll talk all about instinct in this blog. But there are also a ton of practical things to think about that can really inform your decision.
No matter how long you've been in your current apartment, it's always productive to look ahead to what's next.
Here are the main factors to keep in mind when considering whether now's the time for you.
Moving often comes down to space.
If you're feeling cramped at home, everything else starts to feel more and more difficult. Having enough space to unwind and feel comfortable in is crucial to building a balanced life.
And although feeling cramped can often lead to thoughts of wanting to move, it's important to remember that that isn't the only option. We've written extensively about storage units and how convenient they can be, for example. Donating extra belongings is always a terrific way to start fresh if you're feeling cramped, too.
Essentially, if your current space just doesn't feel like enough anymore, reflect upon whether that situation can be resolved. Consider why it's suddenly feeling more cramped and work on a plan from there.
Staying rational and thoughtful is the key to any major project. If you decide to move in a haze of frustration because your current place suddenly feels too small, you're setting yourself up for even more stress down the line.
But if you've been in your place for a couple of years and genuinely know that you're going to want more space and not a storage unit, then by all means start looking for available places!
We all know how important the financial side of moving is. In an ideal world, we'd all be able to find places that offer a balance of comfort and affordability. But sometimes that just isn't so easy. And in a market like this, we often see clients settling for the first available spot, even if it's way out of their price range.
Unpleasant though it tends to be, keeping money in the front of your mind during the reflection process is essential. Have you just landed a job that'll allow you to upgrade to a more spacious studio? Or have you just lost a gig that'll mean you'll have to downsize and get a roommate? Whichever direction you're headed, though, don't let money guide absolutely everything.
If you've landed that new job, for example, don't act irrationally and suddenly overextend yourself. If you do that, you're setting yourself up for the downsizing route. And if you're running into financial difficulty, consider whether moving is an absolute must, or whether that new urgency can actually be a productive motivator to stay in your new place and get a better one in the future. Could sticking it out in that area by using up some savings actually be the best option in the long run?
Whatever your situation is, try to think of money in a really rational way. Don't let it make your emotions, whether happy or sad, dictate major life decisions.
Where you are in your career is a major factor in the reflection process.
If there's a new company in Boston you're dying to work for, seizing that opportunity and moving there can be an amazing choice. But if you're considering moving somewhere random out of a sense of cramped urgency, keep in mind that you might not be able to keep your current job when you get there. In other words: are the opportunities better where you currently are or somewhere else? And will moving there really make a difference in being able to reach your ultimate goals?
If you're an aspiring actor, for example, heading to Hollywood can be tempting. But if you're currently in New York and have an affordable, comfortable living situation, consider whether there's a way to achieve your dreams in a way you never thought of before. Could you start auditioning for Off-Broadway plays instead of cosmetic commercials, for example? And could that actually be an even more exciting opportunity than the ones offered far away in the more conventional capital of entertainment?
And if you're working at a consulting firm in DC and hating it and wanting to move, consider whether you really hate the place or just the job. Bad work experiences can often create bad memories of a place, but is there a way to reinvent your path without uprooting yourself and severing the relationships you've built?
Also consider the pros and cons of moving to an entirely new state versus a new neighborhood. If you're living uptown in New York and not loving it, for example, consider moving downtown before leaving completely. That way, you'll be able to balance your current work situation with a new home situation.
It all goes back to rationality here. Is moving for a potential opportunity right for you, or is finding new opportunities in a new area of your current city the right choice?
It all comes down to you, and we'll be here to help when you've made your decision!
If you know you can afford to act instinctively, definitely let that gut feeling have a say.
Whether you've been in your place for one year or three, an instinctive desire to move can often mean you've never truly loved the place you're currently in and want to seize an opportunity for change. It can also mean, though, that you've simply finished a chapter of your life and are ready for the next one.
Again, don't let that sudden feeling of wanting to move dictate everything. Because depending on your finances and job opportunities, moving might just not be feasible at the moment.
If you choose to wait for a little while at least, which we recommend, that instinctive feeling might go away. And you'll be glad you didn't change everything on an unrealistic whim. But if it sticks around, you'll know you're ready to take the leap.
Instinct should be the final kicker of a decision, not the guide. Practicality should lead you to the point where instinct can roam free and take over in a productive way. Sometimes practicality can prevent the leap into a new chapter, which can be detrimental in the long run.
So embrace your instinct when it's time. But remember to use it wisely.
If the stars seem to align, and you know now's the time for all the right, rational reasons, reach out!
We'll be here to provide packing materials and make your move endlessly easier.
Check out the rest of our blog for more tips and ideas, too.