Moving from one state to another is a complex and painstaking process. This is the time when many people lose track of things, break valuable items, or struggle to stay within their budget.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. With a little preparation and planning, an interstate move can be a piece of cake. Keep reading for our in-depth guide for how to move to another state.
Plan for a Job
You may or may not have a job lined up in your new state. For a lot of people, a job is the reason that you are moving in the first place.
If that’s the case, coordinate with your supervisor regarding start-time and training requirements. For some jobs that require licenses, you may have to get recertified in your new state. This is something you should be aware of and allow enough time for.
Ask your new job if they can help with moving expenses. The fact of the matter is, moving is a costly endeavor. And many companies will pay you a relocation fee if you ask.
But it may also be that you do not have a job lined up. If that’s the case, you should consider a couple of things before moving.
First, what kind of job will you be applying for in your new state? Is there a market for that job with lots of opportunities?
Furthermore, can you begin the application process before you actually move? This can help you get a jump on getting a job and reduce the amount of time you go without a paycheck.
If you are moving without a job lined up, try to save at least two months’ worth of expenses before you move. You may get a job right away, but it might take longer than you’d like. If you have some money saved as a cushion, you’ll be alright.
Often when people move to a new state, they already have a city picked out. But that is only half of the battle. When you are planning for an interstate move, you should do ample research to make sure you will end up in a neighborhood that suits your needs.
For example, you should pick a neighborhood that would facilitate an easy commute to the job you anticipate having. Are there bus lines? Is there a place you can park your car?
What about schools? If you have school-aged children, make sure you find a home in a school district that you like.
A good way to determine a good neighborhood for you and your family is to write down everything you’d need to do in a week. Then imagine what that week would look like from a home in the neighborhood you are researching. If it all seems feasible, maybe this is the neighborhood for you.
Google Maps is a very helpful tool for neighborhood research. It can help you see what your commutes would look like. Plus, you can use satellite view to get down in the neighborhood and explore.
Once you narrow down your neighborhood search, you can easily find a home to rent or buy.
Find a Home
When you are planning a move, you need to find a new place to live. There are a lot of different ways to find a home before you move. However, it is not advised to close on a home before you have been able to see it and order an inspection.
Finding a home can be difficult from far away, whether you are renting or buying. Fortunately, there are a lot of resources out there that can help you. With the right help, finding local luxury homes is a piece of cake.
Make a Moving Plan
Once you know where you are moving to, you can make a moving plan. The first thing you have to do is figure out how much money you can afford to spend on moving costs. This budget will help you determine what services you can hire.
When you conduct an interstate move, you can either hire a moving company or pack the vehicle yourself. There are pros and cons to each.
If you hire a moving company, determine how much it will cost. Does it work with your budget?
Next, read reviews. Did other people have a good experience with the moving company or was it not worth the price?
Ultimately, not every company facilitates interstate moves. Go over the details of the situation with your prospective moving company to make sure they are up to the task. A little more flexibility on their end is worth extra money.
But you can also rent a vehicle and do the move yourself. For shorter drives that you can do in a day or so, this may be preferable. But again, make sure the vehicle you rent stays within budget.
Once you know how you are getting from Point A to Point B, it’s time to start packing. But as you’ve probably figured out, not everything will fit on the truck. So first, you need to rid yourself of clutter.
Over the years, you may have accumulated a lot of things that are not essential to take with you. So before an interstate move, you need to rid yourself of all of those things. Whether it’s an extra document lying around or a big couch that you aren’t attached to, it needs to go.
Start this process early. It takes time to get rid of things effectively. Overfilling your trash can around moving day can get you fines from the city, so it is better to space out the purging over a few months.
If there are items you can donate, try to keep the donation receipts and take them with you when you move. Those receipts will benefit you during the next tax season.
But you don’t have to lose money on everything you’re getting rid of. You can sell couches, lamps, armchairs, etc. on places like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace.
But again, make sure to spread this process out over a few months so it doesn’t become a stressful last-minute endeavor.
Packing may seem like the most intuitive part of this whole process. And yet, this is often where the biggest catastrophes happen. To avoid losing or breaking items, here are a few recommendations to help you with packing.
Begin early and organize by room or by theme. Whatever you choose, be consistent. Then label each box clearly.
As you pack, write a master list of what is inside every single box. When you move to your new place and need a specific item, a master list will keep you from having to dig through every box until you find what you are looking for.
Use blankets, rags, and tape around breakable items.
Keep a purse or handbag with essential documents. These are things like birth certificates, passports, home deeds, etc.
Don’t pack these items. Keep them close to your person at all times.
Update Your Accounts and Addresses
When you move to another state, you’ll need to update all of your accounts and addresses. Some of these you should do before you move, and others should wait until after you arrive at your new destination. But they should all be changed by the time you’ve been in your new home for a month.
It can be hard to remember all of the things you need to change. It often helps if you go through your bank statement and look at recurring charges. Many of these are things you’ll have to switch once you get to your new home.
It may help to make a moving checklist. Here is a list of accounts and addresses you may need to change:
- Forward your mail
- Cancel and restart internet service
- Cancel and restart electric and utilities
- Go to the DMV in your new state and get a new license
- Change your voter registration
All of these and more are key things you need to switch proactively if you want to have a peaceful move.
How to Move to Another State
And now, you’re off! Figuring out how to move to another state can be a slog, but with a good moving plan, it doesn’t have to be hard. The above guide should be enough to get you going in the right direction.
If you need more advice about moving, houses, or home buying, check out our Real Estate section and keep reading.
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