Relocating to Grand Rapids, Michigan?  One of our own just moved from Chicago to Grand Rapids with two little kids so this article helps capture what she recently researched and found helpful.  It’s not always easy to pick up your life and move it to a new city so this article compiles a list of relocation resources to ease the process and help you settle into your new home.  Grand Rapids, MI is an incredible “big, little” city.  What we mean by that relocating moving grand rapids michiganoxymoron, is you will find that Grand Rapids can offer you a lot of what you will find in a big city, but still have a small city feel to it.  In fact, Forbes Magazine rates Grand Rapids as one of the best cities to raise a family in.  Check out the topics below to help get your move started with a little ease.        

Job search

First and most important, if you don’t have a job already, you can visit Hello West Michigan.  The site is a talent attraction and retention initiative in West Michigan.  They work to connect people who are looking to move back to the region, looking to stay, or looking to relocate to the region with our member employers.  All you have to do is join the candidate database where over 59 companies recruit from.  The job opportunities include many different fields; manufacturing, design, IT, engineering, healthcare, retail, supply chain, marketing and many more.  Once you join someone from the team will contact you.  It’s just that easy.       

Grand Rapids Schools

We've written a couple blog posts on the reviews of elementary schools in Grand Rapids and middle schools in Grand Rapids. If you have kids, you can look forward to excellent school districts.  In fact districts such as Ada School District and East Grand Rapids School District rank at the top in the entire state of Michigan.  GRPS (Grand Rapids Public School District) has recently taken some initiative to revamp their district by providing amazing opportunities such as Zoo Middle School or Public Museum School.

Daycare

If you are in need of child care for your younger kids, check out great start to quality.  This site is to help parents find the best early learning settings for their children and also helps providers improve the care and education they give to children.  The site uses more than 40 different program indicators across five categories to measure quality.  While Michigan requires that childcare providers have their state license, great start to quality goes above and beyond by providing a star rating and reviews from parents who have used their services.  If you are looking to move soon, make sure you get on wait lists or call to make sure there is availability.  Most places are booked ahead of time.    

Experience GR

Experience GR is an incredible information source for West Michigan and Grand Rapids.  The site has so much to offer from things to do, neighborhood information, to places to eat, and so much more.  It is a great resource for anyone new to Grand Rapids or even to those who've lived a while and are just looking for what’s going on around town.

GR kids

As mentioned earlier, Grand Rapids is voted best place to raise a family.  It's only fitting that there is a site, GR Kids that is fully dedicated as a resource of anything that involves kids.  Here you'll find information on anything from local restaurants to where kids eat free to finding childcare in Grand Rapids.

Right place

Right place is a guide that provides all sorts of facts and data about living in West Michigan.  Similar to Experience GR you will find information on arts, culture, and entertainment, but you will also find more data driven information.  Also, if you are looking to relocate your business, Right place and Chamber of Commerce can help. 

Beer City

Now let’s talk beer.  Did you know that Grand Rapids is also known as Beer City, USA?  Not long ago we wrote a blog of all the breweries located in West Michigan and included a detailed map to plan a brewery tour. If you love beer then you will be happy to know that Grand Rapids will exceed expectations!  You can now get your Beer City Brewsader Passport.  The journey requires 8 visits out of the 23 breweries on the list.  After you visit your 8 and collect your passport stamps you will be given a Brewsader t-shirt to commemorate your adventure.  If you are not a beer person there is also a lot of great places to go out and grab a cocktail.  Check out experience GR for a list of great restaurants and bars.    

Moving checklist

  •  Nail down a move date or pin point a date
  •  Get estimates from at least 3 different moving companies
  •  Grab a folder and keep all your moving papers together
  •  Purge or have a garage sale
  •  Get moving supplies for house, pets, cars or other large items that need to be transported
  •  Start packing
  •  Start researching your new community and transfer records
    •  Get referrals or check out doctors, schools, daycares, gyms for availability
  •  Contact your insurance company to see what changes need to be made
  •  Notify companies of your move (old and new): electric, water, gas, telephone, cable, satellite, internet,  sewer, trash
  •  Notify accounts of your move: bank, credit cards, auto company, magazines, gym 
  •  Take off work for the move
  •  Fill any prescriptions
  •  Change address thru the U.S. Post Office
  •  Finish packing and set aside a bag/box of clothes for the move with toiletries
  •  Tell friends and family
  •  Change address on driver’s license.  If leaving state, apply for a new one
  •  Enjoy move day AND your new home

Happy Moving!  Give us a shout with any questions.