California Transplant Moving Checklist


If you’re set to leave the crowded shores of California for the rainswept majesty of the Pacific Northwest, you’re making the right choice! The upper left coast is stunning and welcoming. Before you leave, though, make sure you’re ready for the transition. Life in California is pretty different from the easy-going pace of the PNW. Check out our checklist and prepare yourself for moving to the best place on Earth!

Are you ready to move to the Pacific Northwest?

  • Make sure you’ve got great rain gear. We’re not talking about umbrellas. We’re talking about sturdy, waterproof jackets. Not water resistant … waterproof. Besides, Oregonians are known for disliking umbrellas, because rain jackets are way more convenient. We get a lot of condensation in Oregon and Washington, so you want to be prepared.
  • Get the right look. Portlanders in particular are known to be hipsters. Even outside the urban center, the hipster look is widespread. So if you want to immediately fit in, make sure to invest in some flannel. But make sure it’s high-quality flannel. The days can get nippy, and you want to stay warm. If you’re a guy, try to grow a beard. Beards are everywhere in the PNW, so you’ll fit right in. Apart from that, make sure you’ve got cute boots and casual clothes. Even corporate workers in Portland don’t wear ties, so don’t show up to an interview wearing one.
  • Invest in the local sports teams. Up here on the upper left coast, we love our sports. In Portland, it’s basketball and soccer with the Blazers and the Timbers. In Seattle, we love our Sounders, Seahawks, and Mariners! So make sure you’ve got the right stylish merch to match your team. (Pro tip: Timbers gear gets you priority boarding on Alaska Airlines.)
  • Take your vitamin D. As you may have guessed from the overcast weather, folks in the PNW don’t get much sun. While the winter blues are a real thing, taking vitamin D helps you bounce back and ensures you get the nutrients you need.
  • Get ready to bike. Portland, Seattle, and the northwest in general are known for being incredibly bike-friendly. If you want to make the most of moving to the PNW, get ready to bike—and to drive around cyclists. There are plenty of awesome trails, bike lanes, and paths to enjoy. Don’t forget your helmet, either!
  • Brush up on your beer terminology. California is doing okay, but the PNW makes the best beer (and everyone knows it). Know the difference between a New England-style IPA and a West Coast-style IPA. After all, you’re moving to IPA mecca. There are lots of breweries to try when you get here, so make sure you know what you’re talking about.
  • Practice recycling. Make sure your recycling game is on point before moving to the Pacific Northwest. Portland in particular has strict recycling rules. Know the difference between your papers and compost, and you’ll be good to go.
  • Know your diet. Whether you’re gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free, or nut-free, you’ll find food in the PNW that meets your needs. Many restaurants have specialty dishes that fit these requirements. Be sure to ask when you’re out to eat, and they’ll be more than happy to accommodate. If you’re not on one of the diets, don’t be afraid to try new things in the culinary scene. The PNW is known for delicious, local, and healthy food.

If you think you’re ready, make it official by saying “goodbye” to California and moving to the great Pacific Northwest! As you’re making the transition, consider finding a secure spot in Oregon or a dry place in Washington to protect your stuff. Moving can be difficult, but Northwest Self Storage is here to help.

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