Moving Out of State Checklist
Moving to a new home is always a challenge. When you decide to move out of state, moving gets even more complicated. It’s important to prepare yourself for the move by researching what you’ll need to know and do in the weeks and months leading up to it. Getting a head start on things like research on your new town or city, cross-state moving companies, and how to budget for a move will give you the knowledge and resources you need to have a successful move. To help you plan for your move, we’ve created a moving out of state checklist with all things you need to prepare for and consider in the months ahead.
Before You Buy Your House:
Visit your new city and familiarize yourself w/ neighborhoods
Before buying your home, take some time to familiarize yourself with your new city. Explore different neighborhoods and get the feel for where you would like to live. Take note of things like traffic, walkability, and how close things like grocery stores and restaurants are.
Research schools in the area
If you have children or plan to, do some research into schools in the area. If your children will be attending public school, make sure to look for houses in the neighborhoods associated with the ones you like.
Find a reputable realtor who knows the area well – ask for recommendations on things like storage companies, moving companies, and cleaning services.
When you are ready to start looking for your home, find a realtor who knows the area inside and out and can help you make the best decision on a house. Realtors are a great resource for recommendations when it comes to things like local moving companies, storage facilities, and cleaning services.
When visiting, ask hotel concierge or Airbnb host for top spots in the area
Nobody knows your new city quite like the locals. When you go to visit, ask your hotel concierge or Airbnb host for their favorite spots. You’ll likely find some great places that are less touristy.
2 Months Before Moving:
Create a budget
Before you begin any other moving preparations, you need to create a budget. Knowing what you intend to spend on the move drive many of your decisions down the line.
Develop a moving binder with all important documents and information
To help keep your move organized, create a binder where you will store all important moving documents and information. This can either be a digital folder on your computer or a physical binder. You’ll put your budget, any contracts, schedules, and other information here.
Book all necessary appointments (eye doctor, well visits, dentist, etc)
It may take you some time in your new city or town to find doctors, dentists, etc. that you like and trust. If you are able to, schedule an appointment with all necessary medical professionals before you move. This way, you can ease your way into finding someone new after your move.
Begin researching moving companies and receiving quotes
Start looking into various moving companies and receiving quotes. Make sure the moving companies you are reaching out to are trustworthy and reliable. Check their online reviews, as well as their accreditations and BBB standings. While it makes sense to want to save money on a mover, be wary of any quotes that seem too good to be true – they usually are.
Look into flights and set up a price tracker
If you’ll be flying to your new home, begin looking into booking your flight. If you use Google Flights, you can set a price tracker for the date you plan to fly and will be emailed when prices increase or drop to help you get the best deal on your flight.
1 Month Before Moving:
Declutter your home
The best way to save money on moving costs is to get rid of unnecessary items. Go through your home and get rid of items you don’t need or can easily replace when you arrive at your new residence. For an easy, stress-free decluttering plan, try the 30 bags in 30 days decluttering challenge.
Buy plane tickets
Now that you’ve been tracking flight prices for about a month, it’s time to commit. If you haven’t already snagged a good price, get ready to book within the next few weeks.
Schedule babysitter & housing for pets
Moving day can be a very stressful time for children and pets. Check the availability of your babysitter and wherever you take your pets to make sure they are taken care of during the move.
Transfer & schedule shut-off for utilities
Forgetting to shut off utilities can rack up some seriously unnecessary bills. Make sure to reach out to all utility companies and either transfer utilities to your new home, or give them your move-out date so they can discontinue service entirely.
Purchase all moving & packing supplies
Avoid last-minute packing by purchasing all the moving and packing supplies you will need well in advance. Make sure to buy a variety of box sizes, plenty of packing tape, sharpies, and bubble wrap or packing paper.
Compile all important documents
If you don’t already have all the important documents in one place, begin compiling them. Place them aside and keep them with you when you are moving so that they do not get misplaced, lost, or damaged.
Confirm with the moving company
1 month before moving, call your moving company and confirm all details to make sure you are locked in and ready to go.
Schedule cleaning service at old & new home
If there is room in your budget, schedule a cleaning service to come and clean your home after you move out. You may also want to hire one to clean your new home before moving in to save yourself the stress in the days after you move in.
Call & schedule set-up with new utility companies
If you are not transferring your utility companies over to your new home, begin your research. Look into options and begin calling around to schedule your start date with new companies.
2 Weeks Before Moving:
Stop buying groceries and begin to empty fridge and pantry
Now that you are only 2 weeks out from your move, start to use up all of the food in your fridge and pantry. You should only be purchasing the essentials from this point on. All unused food will end up needing to be thrown away, so get creative with ways to use everything up.
Set up trash & recycling at the new home
Look into trash and recycling services at your new home and get them set up. You’ll have a lot of boxes and trash to get rid of in the first few weeks, so this is an essential step.
Begin to pack up your home
If you haven’t started yet, dedicate your time to packing up your house. Start with nonessentials like décor and seasonal items and work from there. Leave essentials like kitchen items and toiletries for last.
Prepare children & pets for the move
The process of packing up your home and moving to a new and unfamiliar place may be tough for your children and pets. We’ve created guides for how to move with kids, how to move with cats, and how to move with dogs. If you have a younger child, you also may want to purchase some children’s books about moving to help introduce the topic to them. It’s important to study up on how to approach moving to limit stress on everyone in your house.
Transfer renter’s insurance
If you are currently renting your home and will be renting in your new state, reach out to your insurance company. Notify them of the move and fill out any necessary paperwork so that you are covered for when you arrive at your new residence.
Reserve your storage unit
If you will be using a storage unit in your new or current city, make sure to reserve it at least a few weeks ahead of time. Visit the property to speak with a manager who will go through sizes, climate and non-climate controlled options, and pricing. When choosing a storage facility, you want to look for places with positive reviews, security measures, and indoor or climate-controlled options.
Plan your route
Make sure you’re ready for the treck to your new home by planning out your route. If it’s a very long trip to your new home, you may want to look into towns or attractions on the way to stop and refresh. Turn the route into another fun journey you can look back on and remember.
Set up mail forwarding through USPS
Setting up mail forwarding is incredibly easy. You simply go to USPS.com and input your current address and your new address and when forwarding should begin. For a small fee, USPS will forward any mail going to your old home to your new one for a brief period of time.
After Your Move:
Update your driver’s license
Now that you’re in a new state, you’ll need to update your driver’s license. All states vary on their requirement for how soon after moving you will need to get your license changed. Be aware that you will most likely need to bring your current license, another form of ID, proof of residence, and a payment method.
Update your voter registration
In addition to your driver’s license, you should also update your voter registration. This will make sure you’re eligible to vote in local, state, and national elections.
Update any documents for your car
You will need to update your plates, tags, and auto insurance within 30 days of moving to your new home. Keep this in mind while creating your budget, as these updates will result in additional costs.
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