Moving to Portland
Moving to Portland, you will soon realize that the people of Portland are very passionate about their bicycles, parks, food trucks, beer, books and being green. The minute you visit Portland you get the feeling that the people there genuinely care, and they enjoy working together to make their little part of the world a better place.
Scheduling: Moving to Portland means booking your rental truck in advance. Your move will cost you about the same during any season of year, Sunday through Saturday, and the earlier you reserve it the more peace of mind you’ll have as the big day approaches.
Rain: Moving to Portland in the fall or winter? Be prepared to get wet. Though Portland may not get as much rain as New York City (37.07 inches of annual rainfall compared to New York City’s 49.69 inches), November through January is the wettest time of the year. Expect a lot of rain, and throw down no-slip mats for you and the movers.
Traffic: As with any big city, Portland’s traffic isn’t great. Check Portland traffic prior to moving to be sure you miss the major commute times and accident/event backup. Fridays, sunny days and days before big travel weekends like Labor Day, Memorial Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas tend to be busiest. The Portland Trail Blazers and Portland Timbers games downtown will mean congested roadways.
Keeping Cool: If you are sensitive to heat, check ahead of time if the place you’re renting or buying has air conditioning, as not all places do. Turn that sucker on ASAP if it’s hot out—it’ll make lugging in boxes that much easier. The weather in Portland is fairly temperate, but there is a small window in July where the weather can get extremely hot and humid.
Address Change: About a week before you move, be sure to change your address online or at your local Post Office. Whichever way you choose, changing your address with USPS means your mail will arrive at your new home when you do. USPS forwards all first-class mail for one year and magazines and periodicals for 60 days. An added benefit is that you’ll receive over $500 in exclusive offers and coupons available only to moving consumers like you.
Permits: Before pulling up to the curb, investigate a “temporary use of street” parking permit from the Portland city government. Visit the online Portland transportation and parking website to learn more.
Bikes: Don’t back up that moving truck without watching for bikers! Portland is one of the most bike-friendly cities in the US—rated number two in the nation by Bicycling.com. Portland uses multi-colored marking on the street surface to designate bike lanes and public transportation.
Parking: Keep a stash of quarters in your car or moving truck for parking meters. Also be sure to avoid street cleaning or trash pick-up times.
Check out our downloadable planners and checklists.
If you haven’t spent any time in Portland, you may have only heard that it is full of hipsters and food trucks. To be fair, there are a lot of hipsters and even more food trucks, but the diversity of Portland is what makes it great. Portland is broken up into five geographical sections made up of 95 officially recognized neighborhoods. That is a lot to choose from and might make it a little harder to find the perfect place for you, but it will be well worth the time spent exploring a few extra neighborhoods when you are relaxing in your new home.
Getting around Portland is surprisingly easy for a city of its size. Sure, there are the typical traffic jams and slow going if you drive a car, but Portland is known as a bicycle-friendly city and is very walkable. Portland rates as the twelfth most walkable city in America.
As far as mass transit goes, Portlanders have many options: the TriMet, the MAX light rail, the Westside express service and the Portland Street Car. Portland Mass Trans is top notch, and will always get you where you need to go.
After moving to Portland, you may find it difficult and intimidating to navigate at first, but just remember that the streets are laid out in a grid and that the streets in the downtown area run alphabetically and numerically.
Portland International Airport (PDX) will be your most convenient air-travel hub after moving to Portland.
The Portland Metropolitan area is home to notable companies such as Nike, Stumptown Coffee Roasters, Voodoo Donuts, Survey Monkey, Keen, MacTarnahan’s Brewing Company, Bridgeport Brewing Company, Rogue Ales and Deschutes Brewery (please note, that’s a lot of good beer!).
Stumptown has long been considered the best coffee in the Pacific Northwest (sorry, Seattle). Not only do they have great coffee, they also have great salaries and benefits. They’ll even help you out with your music career.
If you’re moving to Portland, one of the first things you’ll want to do as you settle in is get the 411 on local news stories and all the hot spots in the city. This is easily accomplished by taking a look at the various print publications and local TV channels available throughout Portland.
The Oregonian was founded in 1850 and lays claim to being the longest-running newspaper on the west coast. In addition to its long, unbroken run, it’s also got an enviable circulation that makes it not only the most widely read newspaper in Portland, but the entire state. As a result of its growing number of daily readers, the paper is officially ranked in the top 20 biggest daily publications in the country. The Oregonian is published seven days a week, reaching a maximum circulation on Sundays of more than 375,000 readers, and contains local and world news, sports, arts and entertainment, and business and jobs listings. It has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize five times.
Offering an alternative take on the reporting of local news, politics, business and culture, the Willamette Week hits newsstands every Wednesday and is the most widely circulated local publication in all of Portland. Winner of a Pulitzer Prize in 2005, the paper’s roots date back to 1974. Over the years, it’s grown in size and reputation and now attracts more than 80,000 weekly readers. The Willamette Week is a primary source of information for Portland residents, offering insight into the local music, art, theater, dining and nightlife scenes.
Focusing on local news and entertainment with a spiritual touch, the New Connexion is released twice monthly and boasts a readership greater than 40,000. With a primary emphasis on “conscious living,” the newspaper regularly publishes articles on health, healing and spirituality, and it promotes local classes and workshops available to the public.
The Portland Observer
Committed to cultural diversity, The Portland Observer has been in operation since 1969 and regularly publishes articles on education, health, politics, arts and entertainment. Published once per week, the paper has a circulation of 27,000 and can be found on newsstands throughout Portland and the surrounding area.
PQ (ProudQueer) is the leading monthly publication in Portland for the LGBT community. It is a monthly print and daily online newspaper committed to representing LGBTQ communities in all their diversity.
Local TV and News Channels
To keep abreast of breaking news and to stay on top of international and world headlines, aim your TV dial to these local Portland channels, which also act as affiliates for all of the major networks:
- KATU TV 2 (ABC affiliate)
- KGW TV 8 (NBC affiliate)
- KOIN TV 6 (CBS affiliate)
- KOPB TV 10 (PBS affiliate)
- KPTV TV 12 (Fox affiliate)
When moving to Portland, you will enjoy an oceanic climate. Portland has, on average, 68 days of sunshine each year. The winters are cloudy and the average high/low temperatures on one day vary by roughly 10 degrees.
The relatively dry summers are gorgeous and average 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures can, however, reach into the 90s during July and August.
Portland Public School district is working toward making it easier for families to find the right for school for them. They are taking a wait-and-see approach to easing cross-district transfers, which means it may be easier to get your child in the school of your dreams. This section of the Portland School District website lists the 90 or so elementary, secondary and high schools in Portland. Here you will also find each school’s student-to-teacher ratio, unofficial API rank and diversity rank. The 2014-2015 School District report card is also available for Portland Public Schools, which includes any and all info you might need for elementary, junior high or high schools to help you choose your new neighborhood.
Eighteen of the 90 schools in the Portland area received a top ranking of 10 by Greatschools.com:
- Winterhaven Elementary School
- West Tualatin Elementary School
- Fisher’s Landing Elementary School
- Richmond Elementary School
- Forest Park Elementary School
- Alameda Elementary School
- Findley Elementary School
- Montclair Elementary School
- Duniway Elementary School
- East–West Sylvan Middle School
- Riverdale Grade School
- Stoller Middle School
- Lincoln High School
- Riverdale High School
- Vancouver Arts & Academies School
- Arts & Community Mag Academy
- Milwaukie Academy of the Arts
Portland, like many cities, has an extensive network of online resources you can utilize to take care of important tasks such as voter registration, tax information and city permits needed for tree trimming and construction. Some online Portland resources can be found at the following sites:
- For tree trimming and removal permits, visit Portland’s wensite.
- For building permits, visit Portland’s Building and Development.
- For tax and IRS information, visit IRS.gov.
- For voter registration and information, visit OR.us.
- Trash, recycling and other utilities information can be found at PortlandOnline.com/bps.
- You will need to apply for a new Driver’s License within 30 days of moving to Portland. Find out where by visiting Oregon.gov.