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How to Temporarily Move for Work

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Your job can ask a lot of you. Sometimes your employer will ask that you relocate temporarily for an assignment. This can be an exciting experience, but it also can be complicated. Moving temporarily for work is a unique moving situation that you may face unexpectedly. Keep the following things in mind to make the best of your temporary move.

Should you agree to a temporary move for work?

When your employer asks you to move, you need to make a pretty big decision in a short period of time. Don't be afraid to ask as many questions as necessary to understand the nature of the move.
  • How long is the assignment? Temporary moves can be several weeks or several months, so make sure your employer makes it clear how long you will have to relocate so you can make appropriate housing arrangements.
  • What will your employer pay for? Most jobs will offer a "RELO package" to compensate you for your moving expenses. Exactly what this includes depends on your employer and may be negotiable. Try to think of all the possible moving expenses and attempt to get as much of them covered as your company is willing to pay for.
  • Is it necessary? Will you be laid off or fired if you refuse to move? Is your employer offering you any incentives in the form of bonuses, a raise, or promotion? If you don't like your job, it may not be worth it to agree to move for them.
After you get some clarification from your employer about the move, there are some things that you will  have to consider for yourself.
  • Do you live alone or with family? Should they come with you? Can you bear leaving them for a while?
  • Who will care for your home and/or pets while you are away? Do you have anyone who is able or willing to do that if you live alone?
  • Do you want to move out soon anyway? You can take this opportunity to make your temporary move more permanent.

What to do with your old home

Temporary moving also means that you'll be living in two homes at once. That can get complicated. Here are some things you can do to make it simpler:
  • Arrange for somebody to take care of your old home if you live alone. You probably are going to be back living there in a matter of months, so it doesn't make sense to sell it unless you plan on moving permanently.
  • You could rent your home out to tenants for your move's duration. This is a good way to make some money, but make sure that the tenants understand that the lease is only for the term of your relocation and that they will have to move out when you come back home.
  • If you are a renter yourself, you may not be able to terminate your lease for the move. See if you can sublet your apartment while you are gone. If you can't, you may have to pay rent for a home you aren't living in for a while.
  • If you do plan to move out permanently, then most of your things should go into storage. You probably won't be able to fit all of your possessions into your temporary home. You don't want to move a surplus of things into a temporary home only to move them out to a new home a short time later.

Finding a temporary home

Not all homes are compatible with temporary residencies. When searching for a home to rent temporarily, be upfront that you plan on moving out after a shirt period of time. Some units will be specifically designed to accommodate temporary moves. Here is what to look for:
  • Pre-furnished homes. You may have to leave your old furniture at home if your family is still using it, so having furniture and appliances in your work home is a big advantage.
  • Ask if your company can cover the cost of your temporary home in your RELO package.
  • Some places charge rent daily or weekly to accommodate short term residency. This ends up being more expensive than monthly rent, so if your temporary move is going to be more than a month, you should pay rent monthly if you can.

Packing for a temporary move

A lot of what you pack for a temporary move depends on how long the move is and how furnished the temporary home is.
  • Be sure to find out what is included in your temporary home so you don't bring any redundant items.
  • If you can live without something for a few months, then don't bring it with you.
  • Keep the time of the year in mind when packing clothing. If you're only going to be assigned to your temporary home during the winter months, it doesn't make sense to pack a bunch of shorts. 
  • If you are moving out of your old home permanently, then pack everything but send most of it to storage until your relocation with your job is over.

Remember the little things

Mail: You are living at a new address, so you can't just have your mail pile up at your home while you are not there. Here are some ways to solve this problem.
  • If the relocation is a short period of time, you may be able to have friends or family pick up your mail from your home and save it for you. If you trust them enough, they can inform you if anything urgent arrives.
  • If your relocation is longer than a couple of weeks, you can ask Canada Post to change your address. Your mail should then be delivered to your new temporary home.
  • You could purchase a PO box so you can access your mail at the local post office. 
Driver's license: If your move requires you to be in another province or country, your old driver's license won't work there after some time.
  • If you are in a new province for only a couple weeks, you should be allowed to use your old license.
  • You must apply in the new area for a new license to drive for longer periods of time out of province or in foreign countries.
  • Research the area's public transportation to avoid needing to drive.
Once you're settled into your temporary home, you can get to work in an exciting new environment. If you like it, maybe you can move there permanently. If you don't, it's a good thing it's only temporary.

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on September 25, 2014 - Moving Expert
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