Moving From San Diego to Columbus OH: A Comprehensive Guide

Moving From San Diego to Columbus OH: A Comprehensive Guide

Jun 27, 2024

Columbus, Ohio, USA skyline on the Scioto River.
Columbus, Ohio, USA skyline on the Scioto River.

Most people, especially those outside of Ohio, would recognize Columbus as the host for Ohio State Buckeyes. While the city has a deep passion for college football, it’s much more than that. And when you’re moving in from San Diego to Columbus, you must know what to expect in your new home.

In this comprehensive give, we will explain what Columbus, OH, is like, the key differences between San Diego and Columbus, and how to make a successful move.

Start with LOCALIZED Research

A new city comes with many unknowns. You wouldn’t know the streets, the people, the weather, the political environment, among other things. Therefore, it’s always best to start with research.

But not just research at the city level. Columbus is the largest city in Ohio, both in terms of area and population and any generalization of it will fall flat. Instead, you need to research at the neighborhood level.

So start with research on the city but boil it down to different neighborhoods. There are upscale neighborhoods like Dublin and New Albany, which are different from less affluent ones like Victorian Village and Canal Winchester. Consider factors like proximity to work or amenities, safety ratings, housing options (apartments, houses, condos), and overall vibe (family-friendly, young professionals, etc.).

By thoroughly researching these aspects, you’ll gain a comprehensive understanding of your new home and feel much more prepared for your move.

Calculate the Cost-of-Living Differences

Two young entrepreneurs businesspeople discussion new project startup while sitting in coffee shop.
Two young entrepreneurs businesspeople discussion new project startup while sitting in coffee shop. Man and woman working remotely using laptop. Male female freelancers working together. Digital nomad

Moving between cities and states will inevitably affect your expenses, depending on the cost-of-living differences between the two locations. That’s what you need to calculate as part of your moving research.

The latest figures on the average cost of living in San Diego for a family of 4, excluding rent, is $4,744 per month. Given that the average rent in San Diego is around $3,000 per month, the cost of living in the city is among the highest in America.

In comparison, Columbus fairs better and has a median cost of living 8% lower than the national average. Most of the expenses like housing, utilities, transportation and goods and services are on the lower side. However, it’d largely depend on the neighborhood you select. Therefore, spend some time figuring out the specific details. 

Prepare a Moving Checklist

Moving to a new location often accompanies stress and panic. To eliminate both, you’d need a moving checklist.

A checklist keeps all the tasks organized and helps you prioritize what needs to be done first. It should include everything from minor chores like arranging snacks to significant tasks like hiring a reputed moving company. Here’s a detailed moving checklist you can use for your move. Add or delete items as you see fit. But make sure to include as many items as possible so you don’t miss out on any.

Package Belongings in Advance (at least a few days)

Call it human nature, but people often leave packaging for the last few days. In most cases, they underestimate the time it takes to package all the stuff, even for smaller homes.

Here’s a tentative timeframe on how to approach packaging items:

This is a flexible schedule; adjust it based on your specific needs and the size of your home:

8-12 Weeks Before

  • Declutter and downsize ruthlessly. Donate, sell, or recycle unwanted items.
  • Pack seasonal items and out-of-season clothing you won’t need in Columbus right away (winter gear, in this case).
  • Pack décor, books, and other non-essential items.

4-8 Weeks Before

  • Pack kitchen items you rarely use (special occasion dishes, appliances you don’t use daily).
  • Pack linens, towels, and extra bedding.
  • Pack important documents in a clearly labeled box to keep them safe and easily accessible during the move.

2-4 Weeks Before:

  • Pack the remaining belongings in your home, and categorize and label boxes clearly.
  • Pack a designated “essentials” box with toiletries, medications, change of clothes, and anything you’ll need readily upon arrival in Columbus.

Last Week

Pack remaining miscellaneous items and clean out cabinets and drawers.

Disassemble furniture (if needed) and keep track of hardware.

Packaging early allows you to focus on other moving logistics and goodbyes in San Diego. So, roll up your sleeves and start packing those boxes!

Declutter and Downsize

Young caucasian woman smiling confident packing books package at new home
Young caucasian woman smiling confident packing books package at new home

Shifting base is a great opportunity to get rid of things you no longer need and make way for things you always desired. As mentioned above, you should start the decluttering project 8-12 weeks prior to leaving for Columbus.

But how do you go about downsizing? The Spruce offers four techniques that you can employ:

  1. 12/12/12 Rule – Here, you find 12 items to be thrown away, 12 to be donated, and 12 to be returned to their original home.
  2. 20/20 Rule – Here, you discard any item that you can replace for $20 and under 20 minutes.
  3. 80/20 Rule – Drawing from the Pareto principle, it states that we use 20% of items 80% of the time. So identify the other 80% and either discard them or store them in boxes.
  4. Five-Second Rule – Take any item and recall the last time you used it within 5 seconds. If you can’t, discard it.

These are some of the ways to make the process of what to discard and what to retain.

Get Paperwork Done Before Leaving San Diego

It’s crucial to get all your paperwork in order before leaving for San Diego. Having everything sorted beforehand allows you to hit the ground running in San Diego and focus on settling into your new life.

Key paperwork to tackle before leaving are rental agreements (both at your San Diego home and the new Columbus home), change of address, utilities and services, medical records, insurance, and subscriptions.

As a tip, create a moving binder or folder to keep all important documents and paperwork organized and easily accessible throughout the moving process.

Make the Move

You’re all done, and now it’s time to make the move to Columbus, your new home. As a good moving practice, book your tickets and arrange the move of goods in advance. Hire a reputed moving agency that has the expertise in moving between the two states.

What to Expect in Columbus, Ohio?

Young, embraced couple enjoying the fantastic mountain and valley panorama
Young, embraced couple enjoying the fantastic mountain and valley panorama, taking a break on a viewpoint after a hike on a sunny summer day

While both San Diego and Columbus are major cities in the US, they are more different than they are similar. Here are some notable differences:

  • Be prepared for all four seasons! Columbus has a continental climate with hot, humid summers and cold, snowy winters.
  • Lakes, lakes, and more lakes. Columbus has a more typical Midwestern landscape with rolling hills, farmland, and the Great Lakes nearby. San Diego, on the other hand, was more about beaches and sunshine.
  • Columbus also offers a more traditional Midwestern culture with a strong emphasis on community and family.
  • Columbus is home to seasonal outdoor activities like skiing, snowboarding, hiking, and enjoying fall foliage. There’s also a vibrant arts and culture scene to explore.
  • Columbus is a foodie heaven. The city was almost renamed “Flavortown” as an honor to Guy Fieri. The city has a vibrant cuisine culture as well as the availability of diverse food.

Get, Set, Move

An orange Allied moving truck is parked with a city skyline, including the Willis Tower, in the background on a clear day

Moving from San Diego to Columbus is a lot of work. But if you put in the effort, you’ll realize it’s well worth it. Columbus is continually improving and offers a great alternative to California’s expensive lifestyle.

When you’re ready to move from San Diego to Columbus, OH, trust Atlas Allied for your intrastate moving needs. Since 1925, we’ve provided top-notch, full-service moving solutions to ensure a seamless transition. Whether you need to assist seniors in moving or are planning a long-distance residential move, our comprehensive solutions are designed to meet your needs and ensure a successful relocation. Contact us today to learn more.

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