Moving is more than just changing locations - it’s changing your whole life. Likewise, a moving checklist should include more than packing boxes, scheduling movers, and cleaning - it should also include ways to prepare yourself both mentally and emotionally for this substantial life change.

Schedule time with your friends and family

Most of the time, the hardest part about moving is saying goodbye to your friends and family in your current city. While it’s important to do all of the other items on the list, the most important thing to do is to set aside ample time to spend with your family and friends.

Organizing a farewell party is a great way to say good-bye to everyone at once, but it’s crucial to schedule one-on-one time with your closest friends and family members to make sure they know how much they mean to you and how much you’ll miss them. Prioritizing time together will not only show them your appreciation and love for them, but it will also help you become emotionally ready for your new city; it may take a while for you to become comfortable with new friends in the new city, so it’s beneficial to surround yourself with close friends and family before you are separated from them.

Purge as you pack

If you’ve seen the new Netflix show featuring Marie Kondo, author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, you know what this means: it’s time to utilize the “KonMari Method” and purge. Regardless of whether your new house has more or less room than your current living situation, packing can be overwhelming; the less stuff you have to pack, the less overwhelming it’ll be!

Depending on the items you want to discard, you can plan a garage sale, sell things online through means such as Facebook Marketplace, or donate to a local charity. As you say goodbye to these items, remember that they will bring joy to someone else’s life; furthermore, having less belongings when moving will provide you with more room to find the right items to fit your new home perfectly.

Enjoy all of your local favorites

Chances are you’ve found your favorites in your current city. From restaurants to parks to shops, there are local places that make you feel at home and always bring a smile to your face. Carve out time to visit these places before you leave; order your favorite meal, read a book under your favorite tree, and hike your favorite trail, all while taking the time to appreciate the greatness that you found in this city. As you enjoy these places, remember that you didn’t always know about them; recognize that when you move, you will have the opportunity to discover more new places that could be one day be added to your list of favorites.

Say little goodbyes

It may seem overwhelming to say goodbye to your entire city all at once on moving day; instead, consider saying little goodbyes throughout the weeks leading up to your move. As you experience your local favorites for the last time as a true local, say goodbye to each place that has meant so much to you. This doesn’t have to be done alone - you can take a final walk around the neighborhood with your family and share your memories from each area, or go to trivia night with your friends one more time and reminisce on your early days as a trivia team. Although it may seem easier to say one final goodbye to everything, saying little goodbyes leading up to the move will help you to better process the move and the changes that are about to occur; this will help you be emotionally and mentally prepared for the significant upcoming life adjustment.

Finish your bucket list

As a local resident, it’s easy to look at big tourist attractions and tell yourself that you’ll go see it one day- well, if you haven’t been to some of those important sites, today is that ‘one day’! How would you feel if you left New York without ever going to Times Square, or if you left Paris without ever seeing the Eiffel Tower? You never want to look back on this city with regret, so act now and do all of the things you’ve promised yourself you would do! Write up a list and then make concrete plans to ensure that you can check these important (and fun!) things off your list.

Hold onto the memories

While walking through your house or driving around your city during your last weeks before the move, you may think that you’ll always remember the way everything looked, but it’s easy to forget these things overtime. Details will become blurry as you try to reminisce on your first apartment or the beautiful trees on your daily running trail. Documenting these special places through pictures and videos will help you keep the memories alive forever, and it will be easier to say goodbye knowing that you can always take a trip down memory lane with these mementos. Furthermore, it will allow you to share these memories with others years from now. For especially meaningful places, consider special preservation techniques such as creating a commentary video tour of your home or a photo album with captions of your favorite memories underneath each photo.

Remember the ‘Why’

Write a list of reasons why you’re moving or save a picture that reminds you of one of those reasons, whether it be a new house, a new job opportunity, or a new way of life. Then, when you start to feel overwhelmed by your moving checklist or when you’re questioning why you’re moving amidst stressful feelings, you can look at that list or that photo for assurance. Focusing on the positive aspects of the move and the reasons why you decided to move will make the difficult moments and emotions more bearable; being optimistic about what awaits you in the new city will help make saying goodbye a little bit easier.

It’s important to recognize that it may be difficult to adjust to a new city at first, but if you give it a chance, you can eventually come to love it as much as you love your current city. Never forget that goodbyes and moves are not permanent - you can always go back!