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5 Things to Know When Moving to Portland

January 18th, 2017 - 1:17 PM

Life in Portland, OR

Preparing to move to the most populated city in Oregon? With its casual lifestyle and continuous growth, Portland attracts newcomers on a daily basis. And whether you’re going there for family, work, an education or any other  reason, you may be wondering how to get there or what to expect when you arrive. To help make your transition to the city easier, we’ve done some research and found five things every new Portlander should know when moving to the City of Roses.  

moving to portland oregon

5 things you should know before moving to Portland

1.       It rains often

If you’ve had the chance to visit Portland before moving day, you’ve probably noticed the lush green plant life that exists because of the frequent precipitation that falls in the city. Portland isn’t known for downpours of rain, but rather a steady, daily drizzle for at least nine months of the year (especially from November to February). If you want to avoid moving in the rain, your best bet is during the summer season. However, if precipitation is in the forecast, use these tips to protect yourself and your belongings:

  • Dress for the weather. Wear a rain jacket to stay dry, rain boots for traction on slippery surfaces and gloves for a good grip on wet items.
  • Watch for lightning. Don’t unload items (especially metal appliances) from the moving equipment when lightening is nearby.
  • Cover your belongings. To reduce the chance of water-damaged items, cover your furniture, mattresses and appliances in furniture covers, moving blankets, plastic stretch wrap or tarp. Keep clothing from getting wet by tying a trash bag around items before placing them in wardrobe boxes.
  • Protect your new home. Prevent mud and water from harming wood floors or staining the carpet by laying down old rugs, towels or tarp. If your new home has a garage, shed or covered porch, consider placing boxes and furniture there and then having towels on hand to dry off everything before taking it inside.

2.      Portlanders use diverse transportation modes to get around

Because Portland is such a big city, you might feel nervous trying to find your way around. But, both federal and local tax dollars have gone into making Portland easily accessible via public transportation. The most common transportation is still a personal car, but if you’d rather not drive then just use TriMet® — a network system of rails and buses that connect Portland and its surrounding suburbs. Or if you’re a fan of fresh air and exercise, try biking.  According to the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT), “7.2% of commuters go by bike. This is the highest percentage of bike commuters for a large American city and means more than 17,000 workers in Portland choose to bicycle.”

3.      There’s no sales tax

One of the perks of living in Oregon is that there’s no sales tax. So, if you need or want to buy new furniture, décor or appliances, it’s a good idea to wait until you get there. Not having to pay sales tax can help save a lot of money, especially when buying higher-priced items. Waiting to purchase new items can also help save money in moving costs no matter what type of service you use (either one that charges by space or one that charges by weight). If you get rid of old furniture and other things you don’t want or need, and then wait to buy replacement items in Portland, you’ll be packing less in the moving equipment. Packing less can save on both space and weight, so you’ll be able to save in transportation costs no matter what moving company you use.  

4.      Housing is scarce

With costs exceeding the national average by 44 percent, housing doesn’t come cheap in Portland. And because it’s the most populated city in the state, finding available housing is a challenge. The best thing to do after deciding to move to Portland is to start searching for a place to live as soon as possible. If you can’t visit beforehand, look at recent listings on real estate sites like Estately®Zillow® and realtor.com®.  You may even consider looking for housing in the suburbs of Hillsboro, Newberg, Vancouver, Sherwood or Camas.

5.      Parking permits may be required

Relocating to a big city often causes issues when trying to find somewhere to park moving equipment. Fortunately, the PBOT is accustomed to providing parking space for moving trucks, trailers or containers — all you have to do is fill out a simple application form online or in person at their office. The PBOT requires at least five business days’ advance notice so that they have time to receive, review and approve your application. Learn more about how to reserve parking for a residential move in Portland.  

Moving to Portland with U-Pack

If you’re in the early stages of planning your move to Portland and are looking for an easy and cost-efficient way to move, try U-Pack! A long-distance move with U-Pack works like this:

  • We bring a moving trailer or container to your current place
  • You have three business days to load it
  • We pick it up and drive it to your new home
  • You have three business days to unload it
  • We pick up the empty equipment 

For Portland residences that don’t allow moving equipment to stay on the property for three days, U-Pack offers alternative delivery options such as:

Live load. Depending on the weather, the time of year and your location, we can sometimes do what we call a “live load” where the driver simply waits while you unload the truck.

Same day. You can also do a “same day” where we drop the trailer off at your new place in the morning and then come pick it up later that same day after it’s emptied.

Terminal unload. Big cities like Portland have areas with one-way streets, crowded curbs and narrow roads. In cases like this, many of our customers decide to unload their items at the local terminal. This is a great option that saves you money because you don’t have to pay for door delivery.

Contact a U-Pack representative at 800-413-4799 to see which option works best for your location.

Ready to start planning your move?  

Begin planning your move to Portland by getting a free U-Pack moving quote online. And if you have any questions about moving to the City of Roses, just leave a comment below. We’re always happy to help!