How to Move to a New State
Moving can be quite exciting, whether just down the street, to a new town, or out of state. However, it can also be a major stressor wondering where to start and what to expect. When it comes to moving to a new state, there are generally two types of people: those who jump right in and those who take enough time to plan, prepare and avoid unnecessary hitches and stresses during the process. If you are reading this, you are definitely in the second category. You understand that different states are guided by a specific set of rules, features, traditions, and a way of life that might make the moving and settling process quite hectic. Fortunately, this article will guide you through preparing, determining what to take to your new home, choosing the right mover, the cost involved, and everything else.
Research about Your New State
Maybe you are sure about exactly where you want to move and settle, or perhaps you need to evaluate and narrow down your options. Whichever the case, it is crucial that you awaken your inner detective, conduct thorough research, and do enough due diligence to ensure that your expectations align with reality. Some crucial factors to consider include crime rates and safety, weather, commuting options and times, the cost of living, and schools if you have school-going kids.
After the meticulous evaluation, you can complete your research by visiting your top contender and experiencing what it would be like to move and live in that state. Take the time to explore the area, talk to the locals and get a general feeling of how it would be settling and living there. You might also want to reach out to a local real estate agent to guide you on which neighborhoods are the best so that you can spend more time exploring them. You can also get professional insights on moving into the area while you're at it.
Consideration for a Hassle-Free Move
Evaluate the Costs and Have a Budget
Moving to a different state involves plenty of work and can be costly. Your move can cost between $1,000 and up to $10,000+ depending on the size of your belongings and the distance involved. If you are moving for work purposes, you might want to find out if your company offers its employees relocation packages. This is not a set rule that companies must follow, but some offer such perks to lure top-notch employees worldwide. If you receive this package, find out how much it will cover, making it easy for you to budget the rest of the process.
If you are moving for pleasure, all costs are on you. You must have a list of all the moving costs you need to factor in, set a budget, and stick with it. Some of the costs you need to factor in include but are not limited to:
- Base moving costs: Your long-distance movers will provide you with a cost estimate that includes the fuel, labor, and additional charges for special services such as packaging and rearranging. Be sure to consult several companies and compare and choose the best rates. However, remember that the lowest rates do not automatically translate to the best services.
- Moving Insurance: Most long-distance movers offer valuation coverage which refers to the level of liability they are able and willing to take care of property damage and loss. However, this is not insurance, and it might be wise to purchase moving insurance for additional protection.
Tips on Planning for an Interstate Move
Hire Reputable Long Distance Movers
Choosing a long-distance moving company can make or break your interstate move. While hiring professional movers will definitely up the price tag, it will take the weight off your shoulders and simplify the entire moving process. After all, moving across long distances is quite a back-breaking task, so passing the responsibility to the experts offers much relief. Even better, you will have enough time to focus on other essential aspects of the moving day activities. You must do more digging to ensure that you have the best moving partners to whom you can entrust your valuable possessions. Some of the factors you should consider when choosing the right moving company include:
Recommendations from Friends and Family
You most likely know some friends, workmates, or family members who have moved recently and hired local moving companies. You can contact them and find out about their experience with the previous movers and whether they would recommend them to you.
Check Out the Company’s Reviews
Once you have several recommended companies in mind, visit their websites, learn more about their operations and, most importantly, check out the reviews and feedback from previous clients. This will give you a clearer idea of how they deliver their services, how they handle their clients, and other numerous variables you most likely would not have known about.
Go for Licensed and Insured Companies
Any legit long-distance moving company must have a valid U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) number. That way, you can always know how to find them and follow up if anything goes wrong during the transit. It is also crucial that you hire an insured and bonded company to ensure that your property is protected.
Packing your property might take longer than you expect, so it is wise to start early. You can start with the rooms you use least and use them to store the already packed boxes. You can then proceed to the rooms you mostly use, including the bathroom and kitchen, and pack them last. Moving also gives you a perfect reason to de-clutter and eliminate the things you have been holding onto but never used. You can sell them, donate them to charity, gift them to friends and family, and dispose of the unusable ones. It is also a good idea to defrost your freezer 24-48 hours before the move to prevent it from defrosting during transit. Remember to label your boxes and set aside the delicate properties that require extra care. Also, have a moving day survival kit containing keys, toiletries, medicine, pet food, charges, and everything else you might need in your new home.
Organize your Utilities
Before the move, it is best to register with essential utility providers of your new home, such as broadband providers. You might also want to get your mail redirected. When moving from your old home, take photos of the last electricity, gas, and water readings if you were on a meter. We recommend taking pictures of these utility readings once you get to your new home.
Checklist of Post Move Items
Update Professional and Driving Licenses
Different states have various professional licensing laws and transfer policies. Whether you are a nurse, doctor, lawyer, or realtor, every state requires you to transfer your old work and driving license and get new ones within a specified period after establishing residence. Don’t just wait until the license expires, as this might complicate the process and cost you much more.
Contact your current insurance agent and find out whether you will need to transfer your home and car insurance policies to your new state. The state gives you about 30-90 days to obtain a new registration license and insurance for your car. Remember not to cancel your old car or home insurance policy before setting up and receiving a new one.
Your healthcare insurance might not work in the new state. If your company offers healthcare insurance, check out the new policy, understand your deductibles, and find out what is covered. Even with your old healthcare insurance, you will still need to find a new hospital and doctor. If self-employed, remember to report your move to the health insurance marketplace and explore other options in the new state. Also, get copies of your prescriptions and medical history.
Let’s face it. Moving to a new state can be hectic. However, planning, setting a budget, planning for the utilities in your new home, and finding a moving partner like North American Van Lines can guarantee an easy and enjoyable interstate moving process.