Are you taking on an opportunity to move across states to a big city? If you’ve spent the last few years of your life in a small town, you know what you love about it. Being able to bike downtown, seeing your neighbors at the hardware store, quiet nights, the stars over the hills in the evening, and the quiet pace of life. Now, it’s time to head to the big city, though.
Maybe you’ve taken a job, or you’re simply looking for a change. Perhaps you want your kids to grow up with culture and diversity, or maybe you’re moving to be closer to the family.
No matter what the case may be, getting used to metropolitan life is an adjustment. Luckily, we’ve got expert advice on making this transition simpler.
Here’s your guide:
Big City or Small Town? The Pros and Cons of Each
There are definite perks and drawbacks of living in a small town and a metro area. Here’s a breakdown of each:
- Lower cost of living
- Fewer people (which means fewer lines, less waiting, less traffic, etc.)
- A real community feel
- Potential increase in walkability and green space
- Generally higher vacancy rates, which means properties are easier to find
- Quiet pace of life
- Shorter commutes
- Low crime
- Less competition for jobs, resources, and goods
- Lack of diversity
- Fewer opportunities
- Less to do
Living in a City
- Ample access to culture and attractions
- Lots to do
- Plenty of new experiences and venues to visit
- Lots of jobs and opportunities
- Faster pace of life – ideal for professionals and high-achievers
- Public transit
- A higher cost of living
- Longer commutes and more traffic
- Higher crime rates
- Communities are harder to find
Getting Acclimated to City Life
You’ve signed the lease and packed your truck and boxes. All that’s left is getting used to city life. Here are a few tips to help you enjoy the transition:
Subscribe to an Events Calendar
It can be tough to keep up with everything that’s going on in a city. All the events are one of the most exciting things about city life, though. Subscribing to an events calendar is an excellent way to keep your thumb on the pulse of your neighborhood.
Library and community center websites are both great places to find a current events calendar.
Meet Your Neighbors
You get a real sense of community in low-population areas. That same community exists in the city, though – you just have to look for it! Once you’re settled in, be proactive about meeting your neighbors. The more connections you make, the more quickly you’ll hit your stride and find your flock in the city.
What better way to learn about a new place than to wander around for a while and get lost? Dedicate a day to exploring your new city. Take a walking tour and see the sights, pop into stores that catch your eye, and grab a bite to eat at that Persian place down the street. You’ll know your way around in no time!
Learn to Use Public Transit
Public transit is central to city life, but it can be tough to wrap your head around. With this in mind, take some time to learn the metro and bus systems. The first step is to get a public transit map of your new city. On it, identify the closest subway to your home and a few ways to get to it, via the map. You may also want to find the nearest stops to parks, tourist attractions, and the library. Bonus points if you see you can ride public transit to your new job!
Driving in the City
If you’re used to living in a small town, learning to drive in your new city can feel like a real production. Here are a few tips to help you get the hang of things:
- Avoid rush hour at first. Rush hour in a major city entails bumper-to-bumper traffic, bicyclists, pedestrians, and lots of aggressive maneuvers. If possible, avoid all of this at first. If you can get familiar with your city when traffic loads are lower, the introduction to driving there will be far less stressful.
- Stay in the right lane. The right lane of a large metropolitan area is where you’ll find slower, more attentive drivers, and easier access to exits.
- Learn bicycle laws. Bicyclists are an integral part of road laws in major cities. Familiarize yourself with your state’s bike laws, and abide by them always.
- Take a course. Depending on where you live, you may be able to find city-specific driver’s ed or defensive driving courses for adults. Check your local DMV and community offices for more information.
3 Space-Saving Hacks
Have to leave some things behind when you move to the city? No worries. These space-saving hacks will make sure you’re not compromising on style or quality of life:
1. Invest in Multipurpose Furniture
Can’t take that Cal-King bed with you to your new apartment? No problem. Sell it and invest in a piece of furniture that serves several purposes. A bed frame with built-in shelving, for example, or a platform frame that can accommodate boxes beneath is an excellent addition to your new space.
2. Use All Available Space
In a small city apartment, you can’t afford to let spaces like the inside of doors or walls go unused. With this in mind, purchase items that will help you use all your available space. Coat hooks are ideal, as are additions like pot hangers, 3M hooks, floating shelves, and virtually anything else that makes it possible to hang, stack, or store things on your walls or other sneaky spaces.
3. Make a Floor Plan
Before you start selling off your furniture, make sure you measure and create a floor plan for your new home. There are a few smart reasons for this. The first is that having a floor plan in place allows you to make design choices without actually being in your new apartment. This, in turn, makes moving in a snap. Secondly, drawing up a floor plan allows you to purchase furniture that you know will fit, rather than guessing.
Welcome to Big City Life
Moving to the city offers many outstanding benefits, and taking advantage of them is a great experience. Follow these tips to streamline your transition and enjoy the process even more.
Are you facing a move to the city? Contact Colonial Van Lines for a free quote today!