Planning

This post is helpful for those planning to stay in USA for a long term. I am a mom of 4 year old. I have lived in USA with family for quite some time and now returned for good. We have had a lot of new experiences during our move and stay that I would like to share. Hope it will make your move comfortable and easy.


Do a thorough research on the area where you are moving. You will have the name of the place/state/area where you have planned to reside. Look it up online and find out the following things:
- Cost of living: You may probably have an idea about which parts of US are more expensive than the others  and why. There are cost of living calculators available online. They take into consideration costs of housing, food, utilities, transportation and healthcare. Each state has its own tax rates and sales tax. You will now have an idea of how much have to spend and how much you can save.
- Apartments : Compare the amenities, rent and locality online and shortlist your options. You can enter the zipcode of the area to find the list of apartments on apartments.com. When you reach there, you can stay in a hotel for 2-3 days and visit the shortlisted places to finalize.
- Schools: Check the rating and reviews of the schools in your area. The website greatschools.org provides the complete information.
- Grocery: Walmart is a good place to get your basic groceries. Go to walmart.com and find a nearby store as per your zipcode and check the timings. Indian stores can also be searched online. Every store website has a Store locater option. You need to enter your zipcode to find the nearest store.
- Furniture: If you are planning to buy new furniture IKEA will be a reasonable store. They have their products online. However they charge for home delivery in case the bill amount is less than a certain amount. It can be checked with the store. For used furniture, check craigslist.org. You need to contact the person selling the item and pick up from specified place. There are also discount stores like Biglots that sell new furniture for a reasonable price. Walmart too sells furniture.
- Car: Used cars can be looked up on craigslist.org. Dealers too sell used and certified used cars. Decide on the budget and look online for cars available. Their good value of the car can be looked up on KBB.


I will provide details on each topic in further posts.



Packing:
Food: You can get the packed spices required for you everyday preparations. For example, masala powders, chilli powder, coriander,turmeric,pepper,cumin,mustard, papad and snacks. Also get some minimum kitchen items like pressure cooker, spatula, flat bottom kadhai, chapati roller, spoons, 2-3 plates, tumblers, gaskets, cooker whistles
Get everyday clothes enough for a week use. The washers and dryers are paid and so laundry is done here once a week or once in 2 weeks.
Other: Extra pair of eyeglasses, medicines, thermometer, certificates/documents

Now you are set to move!

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