There has been so much change for everyone this last year and half and my little family has not been an exception to that. But I've learned that change (although difficult) eventually leads to the most wonderful outcome. Once you get through the grit of it, where you end up always seems to make sense and there is this new feeling of gratitude that didn't exist before.
Shortly after having our son Kailo, which was beautifully life altering in and of itself, COVID hit. I had just returned to work for two short weeks when the stay at home order was put in place. My husband and I were staying with my mom at the time and had a firm goal of moving out around the time our son turned six months. Leaving California was always a far fetched fantasy that my husband and I always talked about but never EVER took seriously. But as we started to research our next move, we peeked at Arizona just for kicks a giggles, what we found was mind blowing! We could have the largest space we've ever lived in (equally as nice) for even less than the cost we had ever paid in California. The thought of moving to a whole new state still seamed insane so we continued about our lives looking for something in California. But the seed had been planted and anything we came across we compared to Arizona and soon enough, we couldn't un-think the idea of uprooting our lives for a brighter future, so we did!
This move was the scariest decision we've ever made but through it all, we've grown in all sort of directions and truly could not be any happier.
Here is a step-by-step in what it took for us to move our lives from California to Arizona from start to finish:
Ask family and friends who are familiar with you desired location for feedback and recommendations on anything they know of the area or even where to live. This was HUGE for us since neither my husband and I had ever been to Arizona. The internet has so much information that it's easy to get lost. By asking people who you trust that know the area, you can get an idea of where to research for your big move.
Research everything and anything that comes to mind. Once we decided Gilbert/Chandler area is where we'd probably want to settle down, Google and Zillow were our best friend! Google Maps street view tool is also a great resource because it is a virtual representation which basically lets you roam the streets of just about anywhere from home. Every time we found a protentional apartment, I inserted the address into Google Maps and would basically tour the area to make sure it's somewhere we could see ourselves living.
Find essentials nearby. By essentials, I mean familiar places you know would be comforting in an unfamiliar setting. For me this was Target, Trader Joe's, Costco, Nordstrom, In-N-Out, Chipotle, Starbucks etc. When we found our potential home, I used Google Maps to see how far each of this places were from us. I know that a yummy In-N-Out burger always makes me happy so I wanted to be sure that there was one nearby.
Visit if you can. Once we had an idea of where we wanted to move, we rented a car and drove out early one morning to get a feel for what our lives could look like in Arizona. Since this was early COVID, we decided to make it a one day round trip but thinking back, I wish we could have made a little weekend out of it.
Social Media Research is amazing! I utilized Instagram as a major resource to help with the move by finding Arizona bloggers, businesses, and location searches to better familiarize myself with the lifestyle and start building a list of places that I wanted to go.
Figure out your move method and how you will get all of your belongings from point A to point B. Once we signed our lease for our place in Arizona, I was on the phone getting quotes from movers and in the end we went with PODS. I found PODS to be by far the most affordable option and we couldn't be happier with the service. They drop off the container for you to fill up with your belongings, they pick it back up and then drop it off at your desired location. PODS even has a list of third party movers to help with the packing and unpacking of your container which we also utilized.
Get your affairs in order before the big move day. Along side getting all your stuff to your new home, there are a few other details to consider. This includes changing your address to your new one with important institutions, making sure your car is serviced if your driving like we did to your new home, getting work situated etc. Essentially, affairs that can be tended to prior to moving to help make the transition as smooth as possible.
Hit the road! But before you do, make sure you say goodbye to family and friends. Although you will still see your loved ones occasionally, it won't be as easy anymore so it's special to create one last memory before you can make ones in your new home state.
There is something so exhilarating about moving to a new surrounding and although it was a big leap for us, we don't regret it one bit. It has pushed us out of our comfort zone and forced us to experience change that will forever be apart us. If you've been thinking about moving for any reason at all, I hope our story encourages you to take your leap and these tips serve as a roadmap to your new destination!