Let us be truthful. Relocation is a hard task. Whether you are a recent graduate, working professional, or moving with the family, relocating to a new state can be tedious or overwhelming. Having a handy moving checklist will help to make the moving process smoother as possible.
To help you, we’ve got a checklist compiling the most important points. We hope this will be beneficial the next time you plan to pack your bags cross-country.
Here is Checklist for Moving to another state
- Know the schools and neighborhoods
When you move with the family, the education of your children is crucial. While making a checklist about moving outside the state, understanding the best neighborhoods and the availability of good schools should top the list. Knowing the neighborhoods is not a big task as there are multiple options available online. You can confirm the rankings of different neighborhoods in the city and decide where to rent or buy a home. Confirm that your new city has quality educational institutions, including schools and colleges.
- Check the job market
This is crucial for fresh graduates or those looking for better professional options. Before you pack up your bags, confirm the city and its surrounding areas are economically booming and the job hunt won’t be a challenge. Check average salary ranges in your industry to confirm that they are adequate for your cost of living. This may not be a priority if your company is relocating you.
- Look for a job and accomodation
Having a job lined up when you arrive in a new state can give you a great feeling but it is not always possible. So how do you find a job at the new place? The easiest way is to reach out to friends and family living in the new area. Searching for jobs online, including at LinkedIn and Glassdoor can give good results. Create a good network and this will work in your favor. You may not grab a job just as you land at the new place but this will save your time and would help fetch one a few weeks. And it is important that you have some amount in your account to meet up the expenses for this period.
Similarly, finding accommodation at the new place is also crucial. Find one in advance as you don’t want to get on a home hunt just after you reach the new city. A real estate agent should be able to guide you in your house-hunting process. The one home you find may be smaller in size but settle for it as you’ve got a place to sleep for some weeks. You can hunt for a better accommodation once you are settled in.
- Craft a master plan for moving outside the state
There should be a proper master plan of how you’ll organize the move. You’ll need to figure out how much you intend to spend and what is the maximum amount you can afford to spend. What’s your take on the mode of moving transport? Would you like to assign the process to a professional moving company or would you wish to rent a truck and handle the process yourself? Or are you comfortable moving your belongings in your car alone? This will work out only when you have a limited volume of belongings.
If you are confident that the DIY process is your best bet, you need to make arrangements, including whom to call out from your friend list and which type of truck is needed.
Understand how much time it would take to reach the new home if you are driving the truck yourself. You also need to decide whether you need moving insurance or not. If you are hiring a professional moving company to relocate the home interstate, the company would provide insurance but picking the type of policy is your call.
- Prepare a realistic moving budget
Moving cost is a big factor where you may get stumbled during the relocation process. It is better to have a moving budget ready in advance. The cost would be based on the distance, the volume of belongings, and the additional services involved. You need to decide how much you are willing to spend on the entire process. And when you have the budget in mind, it would be easier to decide on services. Once you’ve got the moving budget, you can pick a moving package fitting to it. and when you make a budget, it needs to be realistic.
- Make an inventory of items you need
The next thing on your moving outside the state checklist needs to be the making of an inventory. Decide whether you need to pack furniture or other such items to the new home. You can check with your new landlord whether the house already has items or not. Some people prefer everything to be fresh at the new home. They can give up the stress of packing heavy furniture or an aquarium and make the relocation process simpler.
- Pare down your belongings
What will you do with those items that you are not taking to the new home? Make a list of every item that you are going to pack and a separate list of items you decide to leave back. This will include the dishes and photo frames as well. Give them away to the needy and it may surprise you that the lesser your volume of household items, the cheaper the moving cost would be. Keep only those things that are highly necessary and the rest can be pared down either by selling off or through donating as charity. Hold a garage sale or sell through different online sources and the amount you earn can be used for moving purposes. Offering the stuff as a charity will earn a tax deduction but you need to have the proper receipts.
- Decide between a professional mover and DIY
Pick between a professional moving company and a DIY process. This is an important point in your checklist for moving outside the state and you need to decide a minimum 2 months in advance. The cost and reliability are two vital factors that decide a professional moving company. See how much professional movers are charging to cover the distance and analyze the services involved. Also check whether the cost matches your budget.
If you have a limited volume of belongings and your new home is just at the next state, DIY may work out but driving a truck through multiple states involves huge expenses when you consider the fuel cost, stress, and other expenses on the road. In addition, packing, loading, and unloading the large volume of household items are also highly challenging. Just assign the task to a professional moving company and sit back on a moving day to relax watching the home getting moved.
- Understand your moving company
When you realize that DIY is not your cup of tea, a professional moving company is a next option. However, be sure you are picking the right moving company. This means the mover should be licensed, verified, and certified. In addition, it also needs to be experienced in moving homes of different sizes.
Licensing and certification are crucial as the federal law demands a license from the US Department of Transportation for interstate moving. Every moving company must have a unique USDOT number and it is crucial you confirm its track record before assigning the moving task.
Before you assign a moving company the task to relocate your home:
- Check the FMCSA website using the USDOT number of the company
- Verify its online presence
- Read customer reviews
- Check business certifications
- Analyze its professionalism
Confirm with the moving company whether it plans to subcontract your move to another company during the trip. If they do, your belongings may be divided among two trucks and a portion of your belongings may reach late, impacting your schedule plan. It is better to assign the task to a mover with no intention to subcontract.
Your moving company’s track record as well as the expertise in handling special items needs to be verified to avoid later confusion. In addition, ensure the moving company quote is transparent and there exist no hidden costs.
However, when a moving company gives you a quote without seeing your belongings, you need to realize it won’t work out well and may end up you paying extra than the agreed quote. A moving company quote is prepared only after the complete household belongings are evaluated.
Similarly, you need to know the time a moving company would take to deliver the household items to the new address. Usually, the delivery happens between 7-14 days, based on the distance, climate, and the route taken. Check to know more about moving service companies.
- Finalize the moving date
It is now time to decide the moving day. While you decide the moving date, consider the moving company availability, your work schedule, family concerns, and weather. To your surprise, the moving date directly impacts the moving cost. Those moving on weekends, holidays, or during the summer will likely run into greater demand, less mover availability, and therefore, higher moving rates. Instead, moving on a weekday, in a non-peak season (winter) can result in low moving costs.
- Get all moving supplies
As you’ve decided the moving company and the date, it is time to collect all moving supplies including moving boxes and foam pouches to bubble rolls and packing tape. You need to order moving supplies at least a month in advance as you need to start packing as early as possible.
- Research the items your moving company won’t move
Not all items at your home will be moved by a professional mover. Though for every moving company, the list would be different, there are many common items that a mover cannot legally transport. These items include gasoline, ammunition, guns, chemicals, ammonia, poison, nail polish, paint, fertilizers, charcoal, and live plants and pets. There are restrictions on specific food items as well. Discuss with your moving company to know items at your home that need to pack separately and would not be carried by them.
- Finalize a school for your kid
As you’ll be now familiar with the good schools in the new town, decide on a school for your child as he/she can start the school immediately when you relocate. While you finalize the school, consider factors including distance from your new home, safety, and options for non-academics.
- Decide whether to sell or move the car
You need to decide whether you’ll be taking the car to the new state or would be selling it. When you have the plan to sell off the car, you need to start the process early, a minimum 2 months in advance. The process of looking for potential buyers, finding a buyer, agreeing on terms, and other formalities may take time and you need to consider the time span while making the checklist for moving outside the state.
- Consider auto moving options
When selling off the car is not in your plan, you’ve got two options left – driving the car to the new state or hiring a car moving company. Driving a car would work out when you are moving to the next state. But when your new home is about thousands of miles away, driving it won’t be a wise decision. Instead, consider an auto moving company which will safely transport your car. While you hire an auto moving company, you need to follow the same process you did for home moving. Know more about auto moving.
- Make a strategic packing plan
Packing is the next thing on the checklist before moving to another state. Do not assume packing to be an easy process but it needs a proper strategy. You need a packing plan. Do not start packing everything at one go. Instead, start with non-essential items. You may not require a few items for the next few weeks and start packing them first. These may include books, home décor, and electronics. Essential items such as kitchen utensils, cutleries, cooking items, and toiletries should be packed at last as you may require them till the moving day.
Label each box or pack to avoid confusion about what is inside. All packs need to be taped shut and stackable.
- Pack cash, jewelry, and credit cards separately
Do not pack cash, jewellery, and credit cards along with household stuff that is moved in a truck. They should be separately packed and need to be carried with you. Even keys should not be packed with household items though there is no restriction on them.
- Confirm inflammable items are not packed
It is important to pack all inflammable items separately as moving companies wont transport them. Pait, gasoline, chemicals, fireworks, ammunition, ammonia, acids, kerosine, charcoal, and fertilizers are a few inflammable items you need to pack separately. It is not just inflammable items but even plants, nail polish, and pets will not be moved by companies. And they should not be clubbed with items you intend to move through moving trucks.
- Collate documents and keep separate folders
During the moving process, the most crucial task is to not misplace or lose important documents and files. To avoid this mishap, have a separate folder. Take some time to specially pack the documents and files into folders and ensure they are properly placed. There would be birth certificates, passports, insurance documents, Social Security cards, deeds, titles, medical records, and pet documents, and collating them in one place is important. Specially mark the folders to confirm they will not be lost or misplaced.
Making a digital folder on Google Drive or Dropbox is also a great idea. Take pictures of all important documents and receipts and save them digitally as this may help you in case of a loss or damage.
- Make necessary travel arrangements
Confirm that all travel arrangements are made for the moving day. Get the air tickets, car rental, and hotel reservation a minimum 2 weeks before the moving day. Often, household items arrive at your home only after a week and you may need essentials including clothes and other items. Make arrangements for them as well.
- Cancel or transfer all memberships
Mark in your checklist for moving outside the state about club and gym membership cancellations. As you’re moving out of the city, you won’t need the usual gym membership anymore and it is better to cancel it as soon as possible. You can also transfer the membership in case the gym has a franchise in your new neighborhood. This also goes for community clubs. Note that many monthly membership programs need at least one month’s notice before cancelling an account.
- Notify schools of the move and transfer records
When you are moving to another state with your children, you must notify the school about the move and collect or transfer all academic records as you may require them at the new place. The important records include recommendation letters, medical records, and evidence of immunization. Ask the new school for a list of any textbooks needed as well as extracurriculars offered by the school.
- Cancel the utilities and book for the utilities at the new home
Moving out of the state checklist includes the cancellation of all utilities at home. As you are moving out of the home, cancel your internet, electricity, and cable services. If you are moving from a rented home, this won’t be a big deal as the landlord will be taking care of these services.
You need to confirm that these services at the new home are intact. At certain rented homes, the landlord will be handling these tasks but at certain places, you may need to do them on your own.
- Arrange for an off on the moving day
As moving will be cheaper on weekdays, you would need a work-off on a moving day. Apply for a work-off from the office at least 2 weeks before the moving day.
- Change the home address for all documents
One of the important tasks during the moving process is to change the home address on all important documents. As almost every department has an online presence, it is easier to change addresses online. You’ll also need to let your friends and family know, as well as banks, government institutions (like the IRS and DMV), and any other interested parties. If you’ve already booked an item on an online shopping site and are expecting it to arrive in a few days after the date, change the address on the shopping site as well.
- Transfer the medical records
Medical records might not be in your mind while you plan the move but it is vital while you relocate to a new state. Plan the transfer of all health records to make the process easier. Visit your dentist or general practitioner in the town and get prints of all records so that you can simply provide them to your new doctor when the time comes.
- Address the minor repairs at home
Your checklist for moving out of the state needs to include minor repairs at home, such as plumbing issues or painting a specific area. This is important when you are moving out of an apartment.
- Book for a cleaning service
As you pack everything on the final day, the house should be left clean and tidy. Mark on the checklist for moving outside the state to defrost the refrigerator and keep it dry and clean. Check for scratches on furniture and have rugs and draperies cleaned. You also need to drain water hoses, proper tanks, and oil/gas lawnmowers. Normally, people call up a professional cleaning company and it is better you book the service in advance.
- Take photos of all electronics before unplugging them
Before you unplug the electronics click their photos as this will help you while reconnecting at the new home. Even special care should be made while packing electronic devices.
- Empty the storage unit
The next in the checklist before moving out of the state is emptying the storage unit. As you are moving to the new home hundreds of miles away, you won’t need the storage unit at the present location and you can empty it. Check your storage company’s website for guidelines on what to do when you cancel a storage unit. Similarly, you can also hire one at the new destination. Your moving company may help you find one. Check to know and hire storage units.
- Discuss the move with the children
The moving decision should not be a surprise to your children. Let them know in advance. Include your child in moving-related decisions and this will make him more responsible. In addition, your kid will also get time to say goodbye to friends and teachers.
- Let your friends and neighbors know you are moving
Before the moving date arrives, meet up with your friends, neighbors, and relatives and discuss your moving decision. When you are in shortage of time, mailing them about your relocation is also a good gesture. Share your new home address and invite them to the new home.
- Prepare an essential box
It is important to have a list of items that you need to carry along with while moving. You’ll not pack them as you may require these items till the last moment at home or while on travel. These items include toilet paper, phone chargers, scissors, power towels, pet food, dish soap, portable tool kit, mugs, plates & cutleries.
- Establish the domicile
When you are permanently moving to a new state, you’ll need to establish a legal domicile for tax purposes. As different states have different domicile guidelines, it is better to check each state’s website for information on establishing a domicile.
- Register the car and get a new driving license
As most US states need a new driving license and you are expected to apply for one within the specific time window, applying for one needs to be the priority. Check the state laws related to a driving license. Though the documents required for a driving license may vary from state to state, a driver’s license, proof of residency, proof of your social security number, and an additional form of identification are most commonly required.
The next in the checklist for moving to another state is vehicle registration. For that, you would need to update the car insurance policy. You’ll need proof of insurance, proof of identity, and proof of residency for car registration.
- Register your pet
As pet laws vary in each state, check out the pet registration and ownership laws in the state you’re moving to. Many states require you to register the pets within one month of you moving there. This is mainly to ensure that animals receive their necessary Rabies shots for public safety purposes.
Always remember to keep the pet information throughout the move as you may need to show the vaccination or registration info to officials, failing which may invite fine.
- Register to vote
After you reach the new state, adding up the name in the electoral roll is important. Normally, you’ve got many ways to register to vote, including in-person voter registration, mail-in registration, and online registration. Use one of the ways to be a proud voter of the state within the first few months of moving. Moving to a new state is the beginning of a new chapter in life. Now you’ve got a checklist of things to do when moving to another state. Hope this will help you relocate smoothly.