There are many reasons why you may be choosing to move to a new state. Maybe you just got offered a new job, or you want to be closer to family, or maybe you simply want to try living somewhere new. Whatever your reasoning, making the move between states may seem complex and even overwhelming at times. However, it doesn’t have to be so overwhelming. By taking just a few simple measures before and after you move, you can make the entire process much simpler and easier. Read on to view a checklist for moving to a new state, as well as 7 things to do after moving to a new state.
Moving to a New State Checklist
Top 17 Must-Know Tips Before Moving Out of State
- Visit Beforehand. Getting in at least one low-stakes visit before the move can help you to get a feel for what life there is going to be like. You’ll already be disoriented from the move; there’s nothing more head-spinning than showing up in a new place and trying to figure everything out in the moment. Take a vacation and get the feel for your new city ahead of time. Try to scope out coffee shops, restaurants, parks, and other fun things to do beforehand. You may also want to use this time to find more information on some more important services, such as doctors, schools, or religious institutions. If you can’t visit in person, try using Google Street View to walk up and down the streets and at least see where things are.
- Ask About Relocation Assistance. If you’re moving to a new state because of a job relocation, many employers offer something called “relocation assistance.” This is financial assistance offered by your boss or company to help cover moving fees, visits beforehand, the cost of storage facilities, or other services you may require in order to relocate your family. It is always worth asking about, because it could end up saving you a significant amount of money in the long term, and the worst they could say is that they don’t offer it.
- If You’re Not Moving for a Job, Find One. It is incredibly important to have a job already lined up for you for when you get there. You don’t want to arrive at your new place only to discover that you’re unable to secure work. Many apartments won’t even allow you to rent unless you can provide some proof of income. There are a multitude of methods to find and secure a paid position. Find available work in your area quickly with a service such as Indeed or Glassdoor.
- Research Schools. Some cities have zoning laws regarding which kids from which neighborhoods get to go to which schools. It’s important to figure out what type of school you are looking for before moving to a neighborhood and being caught off guard by a lack of options. Many people will often choose the neighborhood they live in based on the schools that are available to them. Check out GreatSchools to find more information regarding school ratings.
- Hire a Moving Service. You want your move to be fast, easy, and stress free. There are already lots of anxieties surrounding moving to a new state, so why add more? Hiring a moving service may cost more money, but save you a lot of time, hassle, and headache. One great moving service that specializes in long distance moving is Earth Relocation. They can provide moving services to states all the way across the country – or even the world. At the very least, unless you plan to fit all of your belongings in one to two vehicles, you will need to secure a rental truck or moving van in order to transport all of your things.
- Create a Moving Budget. Moving anywhere is not cheap, and moving to a new state is definitely not cheap. You’ll want to create a budget specifically for your move. If you’re unfamiliar with budgeting, it’s a helpful tip to have to maintain your financial health, and moving is a great way to start fresh. First, you’ll want to draw up a list of all the expenses you know you’re going to incur during your move. Next, figure out how much you’re capable of spending without breaking the bank. If your expenses exceed what you’re capable of spending, you’ll want to look for ways to cut back. Then draw up a list of unnecessary – but helpful – expenses, and determine which of those you’re willing to pay for if you have the extra cash.
- Check Out Crime Rates. It’s not always possible to choose your neighborhood based on its crime rate, but if you do get to have some say in where you live, then you may want to check out the crime ratings of various areas before deciding on a place. Even if it’s not possible, you should still look into it so that you’ll be aware of the situation you’re moving into ahead of time. This way, you’ll be able to take proactive steps to keep yourself and your family safe, such as investing in a home security system or downgrading your car.
- Acquire Housing. You’ll need a place for those moving trucks to go! Most people recommend that you rent or lease an apartment for at least the first six months of your time there, unless you know for certain that you want to be there for the long term. One helpful thing you can do is hire a realtor to specifically guide you to places within your price range that have the features you’re looking for. Your realtor can act as a guide in your search for an apartment or home.
- Figure Out Transportation. Different places may utilize varying forms of transportation: for example, depending on the place, taking the bus or subway, driving, walking, or even riding a bicycle may be the norm. Find out beforehand what the fastest, cheapest, and easiest way to get around your new city is.
- Set a Date to Make the Move. Along with planning for the move, you’ll want to decide on a date to actually make the move. This is the day that you’ll schedule the moving company to come into your home, load up your belongings, and transport them to your new home. This means that this should be your target date for having all of your things packed up and your old house prepped and ready to go for its new owners. However, you’ll want to pick your moving date carefully; rates and availability for moving companies may change depending on the date you choose. Moving and rental rates may be much more expensive and harder to obtain on holidays, weekends, and over the summer. Although you’ll want to take your own schedule and availability into account and do what’s best for you, this is something to keep in mind if you’re on a tight budget.
- Purchase Moving Supplies. Now that you’re all prepped and ready to go, you’ll need to start packing! And to start packing, you’ll need to purchase moving supplies. This may include boxes, bubble wrap, packing tape, or other tools you’ll need to get everything broken down and packed away safely. If you haven’t been saving all your used boxes this whole time, you can get recycled boxes from friends or hit up retail stores for any extras they may have. There are also online calculators for figuring out how much packing equipment you’ll need for all the items you own. If you’ll need a lot, you may want to order it in bulk to be delivered well ahead of your moving date, to ensure you’ll be able to have everything packed up in time. The packing process may take you longer than you’d think, especially if you also have to work or manage other responsibilities.
- See if you will need to transfer your professional license. If you’re a teacher, doctor, or work in some other profession that requires a special license or certificate, you’ll need to see if you’ll still be qualified to practice in your new state. Some states may require you to return to school or pass a test in order to transfer your license to that state. You’ll want to look into this before your move.
- Prepare an emergency bag. Because movers generally arrive within a specified time frame, you won’t know if all your stuff will be there by the time you need them. Pack a small bag of must-have items that you can live out of for a few days before your moving truck arrives.
- Purge your belongings. Are you upsizing your living space? If so, you may need to purchase more furniture or items to fill your space and decorate it, in order to make it cozy and not feel so overwhelming. Are you downsizing? You may need to purge some of your current belongings in order to maintain a suitable living space. It is actually more helpful to purge your items before you move in order to save on moving costs, and then acquire new stuff when you arrive. A totally fresh start.
- Contact the post office and have them forward all your mail to your new address. This is a no-brainer, and speaks for yourself. You don’t want your bills, Christmas cards, and bank statements showing up at someone else’s house. Additionally, you’ll want to give your new address to friends and family back home.
- Keep sentimental or valuable items with you. Not only will they provide comfort, but you will be able to ensure that the items that are most precious to you stay within your care and your sight.
- Spend time with people you love who will stay behind. Even though you may be getting caught up in the business of moving and the excitement of your new life ahead of you, it’s important to spend time with those you love in your current state before you go. You’ll miss them when you’re gone, and you don’t want to regret missing out on these last few weeks at home.
7 Things to Do After Moving to a New State
Once you’ve moved into your new place, there are some additional factors you’ll want to keep in mind. Here are 7 things to do after moving to a new state.
- Research Your Neighborhood. Once you’ve chosen a place to live, you’ll want to conduct some research on your neighborhood. What is nearby? What’s the general climate of your neighborhood – is it kid-friendly? Are the residents mostly older or younger? Is it easy to walk, or is it walking distance from amenities such as parks, restaurants, or other necessary spaces? How close is it to the major parts of the city?
- Find a New PCP. You’ll want to find a new primary care physician as soon as possible when moving to a new state. Once you make a decision, you can contact your current PCP and have them fax over all your health records. If you have kids, you’ll want to find a reputable pediatrician as well. Do research, ask for references, and don’t be afraid to ask neighbors and new coworkers for referrals. Additionally, make sure you will have access to a specialist if you have specialized issues, including chronic ailments or psychiatric needs. You may also want to find a dentist before moving as well.
- Register Car & Transfer Driver’s License. One often overlooked step that is still very much a necessity is to register your car and transfer your driver’s license to the state that you’re moving to. You can do both of these things in person at the DMV. You’ll need to keep track of the timeline, as many states have a deadline that you’ll have to do these things by, and every one of them is different; some are as short as within 10 days after the transfer of your residence. You will also need to purchase car insurance in your state, as every state has different car insurance requirements. Before beginning, you should call the local DMV to find out more about all the requirements necessary to complete this process.
- Update Your Voter Registration. Although you don’t technically have to update your voter registration immediately after moving to a new place, it’s advised that you do take care of this before it’s too late. Many states cut off voting registration in the weeks preceding an election, and you don’t want to get cut out of participating in an election because you put off changing your voter registration. You can only be registered to vote in one state, so you’ll want to take care of this at some point. You can register in person, by mail, or, in some states, online.
- Change the Locks. This is something that’s not as talked about as all of the legal matters generally are, but if you are purchasing a home, one of the first things you will want to do is change all of the locks. You never know who was given a key by the previous owners, and you want to make sure that the only people who have access to your home are you and the people who you choose to give a key to. Additionally, now is a great time to ensure all of your home safety measures are up to date. Consider getting a fire safety inspection as well, making sure your smoke detector batteries are changed, installing a carbon monoxide detector (if there isn’t one already) and a security system, and coming up with a safety plan in the event of natural disasters.
- Furnish Your New Place. Walk through your new living space and make a checklist of all the items you don’t have, and then take a trip to the local store to make your new place more homey. You may also choose to forego many of your moving costs and sell the majority of your furniture and purchase new furniture when you get there. Regardless of what you choose to do, it’s important to plan ahead.
- Meet Your New Neighbors. Once you arrive in your new location, one of the first things you’ll want to do is make friends. And what easier way to do that than to first meet your neighbors? Befriending local people can prove to be one of the most valuable assets you can have when moving to a new state. They can show you around town, or introduce you to local places that you never would have found otherwise. They can also give you fantastic referrals regarding local schools, doctors, therapists, veterinarians, or even local events. Additionally, they can help reduce the loneliness that inevitably comes from moving to an entirely new place.
What Do I Need to Do When Moving to a New State?
When moving to a new state, you’ll want to take some specific steps both before and after the move. You’ll want to do extensive planning and budgeting, so that you’re prepared every step of the way. You’ll also most likely want to hire movers, who will make the moving process much easier and more streamlined. You will want to make sure you take care of legal matters, such as registering your vehicle, updating your voter registration, and transferring your certifications as soon as possible.
What is it Like Moving to a New State?
There are a few pros and cons to moving to a new state. For starters, you may feel lonely in the beginning. However, a fresh start may be the perfect way to branch out, make new friends, and meet people you otherwise wouldn’t have met before. Moving to a new state can introduce you to new cultures, and it overall makes you a stronger person, as you have overcome challenges that may have felt insurmountable at the beginning.
Is It Hard to Move to a New State?
It is not hard to move to a new state, per se, but it can be a complex and time-consuming process. That’s why it is important to plan extensively, and start early. It may also be helpful to do stress and time-saving activities such as visiting with friends, hiring movers, and purchasing new furniture when you arrive instead of trying to ship your things. There’s also a lot of information that is important to be aware of and to keep in mind, as well.
In conclusion, moving to a new state may seem overwhelming and scary. But it doesn’t have to be. With a good amount of planning and prep, the move itself can be a stress-free breeze. There are several things that everyone will have to do when moving to a new state, including obtaining housing and a job, registering your vehicle and updating your license, changing your voter registration, and finding a new doctor. There are also things you can do that aren’t exactly necessary but can make your part much easier, such as researching where you want to live and hiring a moving service. Ultimately, it will be up to you to determine what is best for you and your family.