Traveling can sometimes mean moving out of state which, let’s be honest, most of us are not experts in. I’ve moved out of state six times in my adult life. And let me tell you, I wish I had a checklist before I packed. That’s why I put together these tips for moving out of state so you can focus on getting settled in, not hiccups along the way. Moving from one state to another is truly an exciting experience. Whether you are moving out of state for a new job or for some other reason, you get to explore a new place, meet interesting people, and get a slightly different perspective on life.
However, moving to another state can also be stressful if you don’t prepare for it properly. Therefore, there are a few things that you need to before actually making such a big change in your life.
Tips for Moving Out of State – Things to Know
Do Plenty of Research Ahead of Time When Planning to Relocate to Another State
When you decide which state and city you are moving to, make sure to do some research and find out all you can about it. Nowadays, it is incredibly easy to find out everything you need online, so it shouldn’t be too big of a hassle.
You can easily find which restaurants have the best reviews, which places are great for going out, or what kind of recreational activities the town offers. In case you are going to need a new job when you move, make sure to research companies hiring new employees in that town and send out your resume.
Another thing you can do before moving is visiting the area for a weekend and explore the place yourself. After you spend some time there, drive around the streets and talk to the locals. That way, you will be able to see how easily you can adjust to living there.
Make Sure You Have Secured Your New Home/Apartment Before You Move out of State
Before you pack all of your belongings and move out of state, make sure you know where you are going to live. Whether you are planning on buying or renting out a place to live, this is something you should do well ahead of moving. I know this doesn’t seem like something I should have to add to the list of tips for moving out of state, but you would be surprised.
The process of finding a house or apartment can last for a long time, sometimes even a couple of months. If you don’t find a place to live on time, you will practically be left homeless in an unknown city.
You can avoid this unpleasant outcome by thinking about housing in advance. Finding a new home should be your priority, so make sure to hire a real estate agent who works in that area in a timely manner.
Tell Friends and Family that You Are Moving Out of State
Since you are moving to a different state, you are probably leaving some close friends and family. Make sure to tell everyone when you will be leaving and also give them your new address so they could pay you a surprise visit.
Even though moving generally takes a lot of your time and energy, you should still set some time aside to say your goodbyes. If you want to do it with style, you could also throw a farewell party for all your loved ones before you move out of state.
Cancel All of Your Current Utilities Before You Relocate Out of State
As soon as you set a date for vacating your current residence, call your utility company. Inform them when you will be moving and cancel their services. There is no need to pay for things such as electricity, water, cable, and internet after you have moved.
If you forget to do this, you will still be receiving bills for the utilities you are not using anymore. If you are planning on using the same companies after you move, you could also set up a date for when you want your utilities to be transferred. However, if you want to switch providers, take a look at ElectricityRates.com to find better deals and start saving.
Inform the U.S. Postal Service that You Are Moving
When you move to a different state, don’t forget to bring your mail with you. When you know which address you will be moving to, contact the U.S. Postal Service to tell them when they should start forwarding your mail to a new address. This is one of the most important of my tips for moving out of state because it’s one of the ones we procrastinate the most with. It takes about 10 business days for mail to begin forwarding, you don’t want to get stuck losing mail just because you dropped the ball.
Decide Which Things Are Essential Before Packing and Purge
Most people don’t realize how many unnecessary things they own until they actually start packing. Before you start packing, make a list of all the things you will really need to bring with you.
Divide the rest into three categories:
- Throw away – these are all those things you haven’t used for ages and are probably broken or outdated.
- Donate – you don’t need these things anymore but you believe that a local charity organization could use them. These could be things such as old clothes or furniture which are still in decent condition.
- Sell – these are also the things that are still in good condition but you neither want to bring them with you or sell them. If you think you could get a good price for them, sell them online or at a garage sale. After all, you will probably need every single penny to cover your moving costs.
After you have decided which things you are bringing with you to your new home, the next step is to pack.
Pack Smartly for Your Out of State Move
Packing may seem like a simple process but you need to be smart about it. Start organizing all of your belongings at least a month in advance. Before you start packing, make sure that you have secured enough packing and moving supplies such as moving boxes and bubble wrap.
You may think otherwise but it is never too early to begin packing. Start with non-essential things such as décor items, books, out of season clothes, and electronics you don’t use so often. The last things you should pack are toiletries, kitchen items, and anything else you use on a daily basis.
Pro Tip: Pack All the Important Documents
Before you start packing, collect all important documents and put them in a separate and safe container. These documents should include birth certificates, social security cards, medical records, and so on.
In addition, it would be wise to make copies of these documents and put them in another place in case you lose the original documents.
Hire the Right Moving Company
Even though some people would rather move all their things themselves, a better way to move is with professional movers. When you are moving far away with professional movers, you shouldn’t worry about whether your belongings are going to arrive safely or on time.
By hiring professional movers, you will have someone to help you with planning and do all the heavy lifting. You can do research online about moving companies to find out which ones have the best reviews and what their prices are so you can make an informed decision.
In case of moving to another state, the best choice would be to opt for a company which specializes in out of state moves. It also makes sense to hire a local moving firm. This means if you are moving to Oakland, you can get the best rates and service if you hire Oakland movers to get the job done.
Get a New Driver’s License When You Move
When you move to a new state, you probably won’t be able to use your old driver’s license and will need a new one issued. Most states have a certain time window during which you are required to replace your license.
You can get a new driver’s license at the local Department of Motor Vehicles office. In order to do this, you will need:
- your current driver’s license
- an additional identification document
- proof of residency
- your social security number
There is also a possibility that you may not need to change your driver’s license, as this law varies from state to state. However, if you want to register to vote in your new state, you will still need to change your information at the DMV.
Moving out of state can be a nightmare, but it doesn’t have to be. Follow these tips for moving out of state and things should go pretty smoothly.