On the Move: Tips for Relocating from Fairfax, Va to Washington D.C.
You might think that moving from Fairfax, VA to Washington D.C. would be an easy task, but short distance moves can be more difficult than long distances.
Most of the time this is due to a lack of planning – you’re only an hour away so it should take much less effort than a cross-country move, right?
The reality is that Washington D.C. is a completely different beast than Fairfax. As such, if you’re unfamiliar with the different neighborhoods, transport situations, and general city culture, then you can quickly find yourself out of your league.
Luckily, we’ve organized this article to give you some tips on optimizing your move to the D.C. area. We also include some useful information about the city and different transport options once you’re there. Let’s get started!
How Do I Transport All of My Belongings From Fairfax, VA to Washington D.C.?
While hiring a Uhaul and getting some friends to help you move might seem like a good option when you’re younger, it comes with some serious flaws as you get older.
For one thing, your friends likely aren’t professional movers – which means they can easily break or damage your furniture and electronics despite the best intentions. Also, most friends hate helping you move, even if they might not mention it to your face.
So, save your friendship (and the cost of some sympathy pizza and beer) by going with professional movers. Doing this saves you both time and unneeded stress during the tumultuous process of moving.
However, you need to make sure you find a moving company with the right skill level. Unfortunately, some companies can do more harm than good when transporting your furniture.
The right type of company should come with the know-how and necessary paperwork to back up their experience. We also recommend finding one with a good knowledge of the area, like Carmack Moving & Storage.
This valuable knowledge can give them insight into the best places to park, as well as recommendations on what to do around the city.
Will I Have Room for All of My Items?
There are a variety of reasons why someone might choose to rent a storage unit, but a lack of space is by far the most popular. Unfortunately, many people who move from Fairfax, VA to Washington D.C. are usually downgrading a bit in size.
As a result, many movers need to decide what they are going to do with excess furniture that won’t fit into their place. One option is to give away or donate anything you don’t need for your new place.
However, if you feel like you can’t give anything up, then we recommend going with a storage unit. But, there are some things you should keep in mind when you store things long term in units.
First, remember that the D.C. area can get very cold during the winter. In January low temperatures often dip below freezing.
As a result, you should contact a moving company like Carmack Moving & Storage, who offers temperature-controlled conditions – especially if you own any objects that are sensitive to the cold.
Also, just because you have a storage space doesn’t mean you should view it as a permanent solution. Use this time to downsize the amount of clutter you have in your life.
We also recommend moving your stuff into a storage locker well before the actual move takes place. That way you won’t have any unnecessary added stress during the relocation process.
What Are Some of the Best Neighborhoods in Washington D.C.?
Before you can even begin the moving process you need to decide where you’re going to live. When making this decision you should always factor in the location of your job to where you plan on staying.
However, the commute time isn’t everything – D.C. is a sprawling and diverse area with lots of different attractions.
In this section, we briefly go over some of the popular living areas to give you a good starting point for finding your dream neighborhood. Here’s a short list of some of our favorite areas:
- Adams Morgan – Active families will love the chic residential areas and bustling shopping scene in this neighborhood.
- Chinatown – If you don’t mind the bright lights and loud noise, then Chinatown can offer an endless array of entertainment and food options.
- Cleveland Park – Do you enjoy taking long walks? The scenic residential area and side streets surrounding Cleveland Park will provide you with a quiet environment to do so.
- Downtown — If you can handle the hustle and bustle of being in the heart of D.C.’s nightlife, business and shopping district, then Downtown was made for you.
- Eckington – This location will likely require a bit of a commute to get downtown, but the quiet neighborhood and unique architecture more than make up for it.
- Glover Park – The calm nature and lower housing cost might attract some people to this outskirt neighborhood, but keep in mind that it’s not the best option for public transport options.
- Judiciary Square – Young working types will appreciate this neighborhood’s high-rise apartments and proximity to government and business offices.
- Logan Circle – Individuals who want close access to D.C.’s restaurant, bar, and arts scene will love the vibe of Logan Circle.
- NoMa – If you prefer trendy, new neighborhoods with close access to transportation options, then make sure to consider NoMa.
- Pentagon City – If you’re in your mid-30s and have a small family, then the self-contained Pentagon City presents a great living option with close access to government buildings
- Shaw – Do you love Ethiopian food and culture? You can find that and more in one of the city’s oldest surviving neighborhoods
How Will I Get Around the City?
It should come as no surprise to anyone in Fairfax that the traffic in Washington, D.C. can quickly become nightmarish. With an average travel time of 43.6 minutes, the city holds the record for the longest commute in the United States.
As we mentioned, the right location is important for cutting down this travel time, but so is finding the right transport options.
In this section, we’ll cover the six most popular ways of commuting in D.C. so you can decide which one is best for you. If you want a more in-depth guide, then make sure to check out the city’s transportation recommendations.
The metro will likely be one of the more affordable options if you’re trying to get in and out of the city.
However, depending on where you work it can also be a viable option for traveling around the different sections. A round trip commute on the metro usually costs between three to five dollars.
Line 699 Bus
If you’re traveling outside of D.C., then the bus system can be a lengthy commute. However, we do recommend it for short travel time within sections of the city. Tickets for these types of commutes usually cost between five and eight dollars.
While driving a car might seem like an affordable method of getting around, it does come with some serious considerations. The main thing to consider is the serious lack of parking found in D.C.
Many of the parking garages are either private or incredibly expensive, so they aren’t viable options for daily use.
We only recommend driving if your employer provides you with an included parking pass – otherwise, it will be more trouble than it’s worth.
Uber or Taxis
Depending on where you’re driving to Ubers and taxis can cost between 25 and 75 dollars. While this option is a good method for occasionally getting to a lunch or meeting, the high cost doesn’t make it a good option for daily use – unless you can afford it.
Despite the heavy traffic, D.C. is relatively friendly for bicyclists. As such, if you own one and feel comfortable riding it, then this transport option can save you a ton of money. It’s also better for the environment – so that’s a plus.
However, keep in mind that riding a bicycle in the dead of winter may be a miserable experience.
If you don’t own a bicycle, then you will also need to consider the upfront cost of purchasing one and investing in a high-security lock. Bike theft in D.C. is more common than you would think.
We hope this article helped you feel more confident about relocating from Fairfax, VA to Washington D.C. If you’re still feeling nervous about the move, then let Carmack Moving & Storage take over the burden for you.
No one knows the ropes of moving around the Northern Virginia, Washington D.C., and Maryland area better than our company. On top of being licensed, bonded, and insured, we also provide great customer service.
Whether you want storage space or advice on how to move all your furniture, we can help you out. Make sure you visit our website and get a quote today.