First of all, congratulations on your move!
San Jose’s been a hot job market for years, drawing in millions of people from all over the world in a variety of tech roles and the booming economy that supports Silicon Valley. Silicon Valley is one of the United States most expensive areas to live in. Because of this, many people often associate moving to San Jose with high costs, too.
Housing is expensive, and so are many of the other things that come along with living in America’s most high-tech city. That’s why it’s so important to plan, get organized, and familiarize yourself with the area to make things go as smoothly as possible. Thankfully, there are a lot of resources, both paid and free, available to make your move easy. Here are 9 resources you can use to help plan your move to San Jose.
Planning Your Move to San Jose
Establish a Moving Budget
As we’ve already mentioned, the cost of living in the San Jose area is higher than average. Even for those with high paying jobs, a lot of folks get sticker shock when they first arrive or start looking at housing options. The more work you do on the front-end of your move to keep spending in check and avoid unexpected expenses, the more you can budget for living expenses once you’ve settled in.
A good rule of thumb is to have around a month’s worth of savings built up specifically for your move. That should be in addition to the 3-6 months of expenses you should have saved up in an emergency fund. That extra month will cover things like security deposits, buying spices and other supplies for your home, and any extra ridesharing trips you have to take to the store while you get set up.
Your Housing Search
Looking for housing is easier than ever with the online tools available. Zillow, Redfin, and a host of other apartment and housing websites can help you in your search for somewhere to live. You can set up alerts that can be emailed to you according to your desired parameters and start narrowing your choices before you arrive.
Getting Organized for the Move
Everyone knows packing up is a pain. What we like to do, though, is approach packing from a positive angle. Packing can be a great sorting of “things”, where you decide what comes with you and what doesn’t make the cut. People moving get so overwhelmed by the amount of stuff they have, to the point where they hate moving! Make your packing mindset a positive one. Take the things you cherish, get rid of stuff you’re not sure about.
Become a Master of Making Lists
Packing lists are your friend. They’ll keep you accountable for what you need and what you don’t. Your mind is going to be so full of all the things you have to do that it will also prevent you from forgetting key items or tasks before your move. A sample packing list can include things like:
- Kitchen supplies
- Bathroom Supplies
- Decorations for each room
- Batteries and other accessories you’ll need
The lists also act as an inventory, so you know what you’re bringing along during your move to San Jose. It’s a great way to measure your progress as you unpack and get settled into your new place.
Get Approval from Your Building
If you’re new to apartment complex living, you’ll quickly find out that there’s an entire etiquette built around moving in and out. First of all, if you’re in an apartment complex or townhouse community, there’s likely a tenant group on social media you can join. Hop on and let them know if when and where the move will be and if a moving truck is involved. Leave your phone number in case anyone needs to get a blocked car out.
You may also need to schedule your move with your building to arrange for an elevator or loading dock area, so just call or email ahead to ensure things go off without a hitch. The last thing you want is to have your move stalled because of some technicality that was overlooked.
Get a Self-Storage Unit
If you’re not sure you want to donate or throw away everything not coming with you, rent a short-term storage unit to hold things while you make up your mind. Then you can make the move without worrying about how everything will fit. It can also save you money by not having to rent as large of a moving truck. People who use self-storage units to bridge their move are less stressed and can do a better job of separating possessions.
Getting to San Jose
Take Advantage of Digital Tools
Decades ago, when people moved to San Jose, they had to take out a map or stop at gas stations to ask for directions. That may look romantic in films, but not knowing where you are going can be incredibly frustrating, especially if you’re keeping to a schedule. Use these tools to help you get where you’re going:
- Google Maps
- Apple Maps
These tools will help you get where you’re going faster and avoid things like accidents and even speeding tickets. The detail level in mapping and navigation apps is impressive these days, and they’ll be useful to you while you get used to your new home as well. Whether you want to find a peaceful trail for an evening walk or are looking for some new go-to eating spots, these apps will guide you in the right direction.
Back It Up with a Paper Map
If you’re traveling across a few states to get to San Jose, chances are you may be going through at least some unfamiliar territory on your journey. Your move might take you through high mountain passes, dense forests, or sparsely populated rural areas where cell phone reception is spotty at best.
So, if you’re relying on your phone to help you navigate to your new home, consider bringing along a good old-fashioned paper map just in case. Your local AAA office is an excellent resource. They’ve been supplying motorists with paper maps of thousands of places in the U.S. for over a hundred years, and still offer their maps today.
Welcome to San Jose!
Get to Know Your New Neighborhood
Now that you’re in your new place, phew! In between unpacking all those boxes and finally getting organized, find some time to get out and discover what’s around you. After all, that’s most of the fun of moving to a new city, state, or country. You open yourself to new experiences and meeting new people. Here are some places to look for information on your new area:
- The San Jose Chamber of Commerce website has a huge amount of helpful data on everything from recommended plumbers to restaurants and public transportation options to get you started.
- Walkscore is another great tool for people who want to learn about an area. It’s got info on eating and drinking spots, home listings, and more, and assigns a score relative to other areas when it comes to transport, entertainment, and other categories.
- Regional Publications exist in San Jose that highlight the arts, sports, the outdoors, and other fun things to do. You can subscribe to newsletter email lists, join likeminded people on sites like Meetup, and check out different places on sites like TripAdvisor.
Using Public Resources
Moving to a high cost of living area doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot on every aspect of your life. The high number of successful companies in the area has been a boon to a lot of public services in the area that are free to use.
One great resource is the public library system. If it’s been a while since you’ve been to a public library, many things have changed for the better! San Jose Public Library has tremendous resources for young and old, and you can even check out things electronically that will save you money and time. The public library system also hosts a lot of different community events and is a great way to get involved after you’ve arrived.
At Snell Mini Storage, we’ve helped hundreds of people with their move to San Jose. Call us today to learn more about our facility and how we can help you stick to your moving budget with the right size storage unit at a fair price.