Moving to Another State Checklist

Table of Contents

Moving is strenuous, especially when it is across stateliness. And when you have to do it on a short notice, you may go berserk.

How hard you claim to be a cool man, you may wish ‘had I had a move to another state checklist’. Fortunately, we have got one for you.

Our ultimate handy moving to another state checklist helps you stay organized and cover all bases to move out of the state like a pro.

With this checklist, you’ll know what to do between today and the big day, leaving plenty of time to celebrate.

Let’s get started.

8 weeks before the moving day

Print this in your mind. You need to start a minimum of 2 months in advance. This proves how seriously you need to take up the relocation mission. ‘Start early’ needs to be on the top of your checklist.

Know the state

You need to have a clear idea about the new state. Collect maximum information about the state. Research online, read books and journals, and ask your friends or relatives who stay there.

Here are a few points to note

Know your new neighborhoods

Research about the different neighborhoods there. Your research should cover schools, markets, and crime rates. Multiple sources are now available to know even the minute details about different neighborhoods. This will make picking your new neighborhood easier once you land up in the new state.

Check the job market

Knowing the job market in the new state and especially in the new city is crucial because you need to know whether you can have a decent living after moving to the new state. The package that companies offer must be adequate to meet the cost of living. This is not a big deal when your company is relocating you.

Search for a job and accommodation

You won’t always be lucky to have a job lined up as soon as you land up in the new place. This means you need to start finding one. And your friends or relatives in the new city are a great source. Try online at different sources, including LinkedIn and Glassdoor as they are known for bringing in good results. 

Make a network and this will work in your favor. It is not always possible to have a job as you reach the new state and you need to have enough savings to survive till you grab one. 

Accommodation is another factor that you need to include in your checklist while moving to another state. Try finding accommodation as you don’t need to go on a home hunt the moment you reach the new state. The accommodation can even be a studio apartment and a real estate agent can be your guide during the home hunting process. It doesn’t matter if the accommodation is smaller in size as you can find one a few weeks after you reach the new state.  

Decide your moving type

This is the time to decide your moving type. Your moving decision is crucial in many ways as it would impact the budgeting, which will ultimately reflect on your requirement for funding. You need to take a call on the moving type and the moving budget. How much is the cost that you can afford to spend? Your choice of the mode of transport will be greatly based on this. Would you like a professional moving company to handle the moving task 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 for the DIY process, you need to make arrangements; including whom to call out from your friend list and which type of truck is required.  

You need to have an idea about the time you would take to drive a truck to the new home. It is also time to decide on the moving insurance. 

Create a realistic moving budget

Having a moving budget will cut down unnecessary expenses and will help you save money. Moving is a costly affair and every mile will add up the cost. The more you travel, the costlier it will be. This makes moving the budget more vital than any other factor. While you make a budget, include every expense you expect to come in. Confirm that the moving budget is realistic as you don’t want to make a budget with low expenses involved and later crossing the line. This will lose the purpose of having a budget. 

While you make a budget, keep an additional 10% aside to handle hidden costs. Also, maintain the budget in the spreadsheet as it is easier to calculate and tweak. 

Make an inventory of items needed

The next in the line in the moving outside the state checklist is an inventory of items you need at the new home. Do you need furniture at the new home? Check with your new landlord whether the house already has items. When your new home has furniture or if you are in the same league of people who want everything to be fresh at the new home, you don’t need to pack heavy furniture or a piano or a pool table. 

Find a moving company 

When you find a professional moving company is the best bet to relocate the home, you should not waste time looking for one. Research about different movers in your area. You need a minimum of 2 months to narrow down one. While you search for moving companies, reliability and cost are two major factors. Analyze whether the moving companies fit into your budget.

You can consider moving when the volume of household items is limited or when you are moving to the neighboring state. However, if your new destination is multiple states away, DIY may not work out as 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. A professional moving company will take up the entire moving task and let you sit back and relax watching the home getting moved. 

 7 weeks before the moving day

Research the new school and notify the current school

When you’re moving with the family, you need to have the best school district in the neighbourhood. Browse on the internet for information related to the quality of both academics and non-academics. Pick the school after your research thoroughly and once you finalize the school, notify the current school to obtain copies of educational records. The current school will contact the new one for enrolment protocol and record-transfer procedures.

Declutter the home

After you decide the items you need to take to the new home, start decluttering the house. Begin with wardrobe and you’ll be surprised to see that more than half of the items at home are to be left out. Make a list of the items that you are not carrying to the new home. Sell them off through a yard sale or online stores. This will fetch you a few bucks that can be added to the moving cost. You can purge down the household stuff by offering it to charity. This will earn a tax deduction but you need to have the proper receipts. 

Check for the laws related to moving guns

Normally, you can move licensed guns to another state but you need to be sure about the state laws related to gun moving. This is because not all states interpret guns in the same way. While some states treat all guns equally, others regulate handguns more strictly than long guns. Several online materials are available to check the state gun laws and it is a good idea to reach out to state governments to verify their treatments.

While moving guns through a professional company, you need to ensure it is trained to handle firearms as they need to be packed separately in a careful manner.  

Finalize a moving company

After you realize that DIY is not a good bet for you, hiring a professional moving company is the next option. However, be careful while you hire a moving company. The professional mover must be licensed, verified, and certified. The moving company should also be experienced in moving houses of different sizes. 

As per federal law, only licensed moving companies can move homes interstate. Confirm that your moving company has a license from the US Department of Transportation for interstate moving. 

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

Before you sign a deal with a moving company, ensure there is no subcontracting in between. If they do, your household stuff may be divided among two trucks and a portion of your belongings may reach late, impacting your schedule plan. Always hire a mover with no intention to subcontract.

In addition, the mover’s track record in handling special items is also crucial. The moving company quote must be transparent and there should not be hidden costs. 

While moving to another state, a few movers will offer a specific moving quote without even seeing your belongings. Never agree to this as it won’t work out well and may end up you paying extra than the agreed quote. Always demand the mover to evaluate the volume of belongings by making a personal visit to the home. 

If you have arms to move, ask the moving company whether it is licensed to move guns to another state. Not all moving companies will handle firearms and it is important to clarify this part before you finalize the deal. 

As you discuss with the moving company, inquire about the delivery schedule. Normally, moving companies deliver between 7-14 days, based on the distance, climate, and the route taken.

Finalize the moving date

The next step is fixing the moving date. This is highly crucial as the moving date greatly influences the moving company availability, your work schedule, family concerns, and weather. The moving date directly impacts the moving cost. For example, weekends, holidays, and summer are highly packed and moving companies will have a tight schedule, leading to greater demand, less mover availability, and therefore, higher moving rates. Think about moving on a weekday in a non-peak season (winter) which will help you trim down the moving cost. 

Get all moving supplies

Now you’ve finalized the date for moving to another state. The next task is to collect all moving supplies including moving boxes and foam pouches to bubble rolls and packing tape. You need to order these items a minimum of 7 weeks in advance as it may take time to arrive. Every item needs to be ready a week before the move as you need to start packing as early as possible.

6 weeks before the moving day

Research the items your moving company won’t move

A professional moving company cannot move every item at your home for legal and non-legal issues. Though many companies claim to transport every item at home, federal law prohibits the transportation of gasoline, ammunition, guns, chemicals, ammonia, poison, nail polish, paint, fertilizers, charcoal, and live plants and pets. Specific food items are also restricted from being moved. Discuss with your moving company to know items at your home that need to pack separately and would not be carried by them.

Consider auto moving options

What do you plan to do with your car? You’ve got two ways – either sell off the car or move it to the new state. When selling off the car is not in your plan, then again there are two options left – driving the car to the new state or hiring a car moving company. Driving a car is a good option when you are moving to a neighbouring state. But if you’re moving thousands of miles away, crossing multiple states, driving is not a wise decision. An auto moving company will safely take your car but you need to hire one with immediate effect. While you hire a car moving company, confirm its reliability, efficiency, and cost factor. 

Rent a storage unit

Based on your volume of household items and the size of the new home, you may need a storage unit at the new location. As you have finalized the accommodation and decided on the items taken with you, this is the time to analyze whether you need a storage unit. The space of the storage unit will be based on your volume of belongings and the duration you would be staying at the new accommodation facility. There are many options to hire a storage unit in the new town. Rent a storage unit that fits into your budget. 

Request time off work for moving day

As a weekday is cheaper to hire a professional mover, you may need an off from the job and it is important to apply for one in advance. Inform your co-workers and within the team about your leave so that the tasks can be reassigned or reallocated among the team members. 

Hold a yard sale

As you are decided to purge the belongings, this is the time to sell off the items that you don’t need at the new home. Hold a yard or garage sale and it may take a couple of days to completely sell off the items. 

5 weeks before the moving day

Make time for friends and relatives

It is important to inform your friends, neighbors, and relatives about your decision to move to another state. And discussing the plan with them at the 11th hour is not a good idea. You need to let them know that you are moving to another state to start over at least a month before the final day. There can be homes far away from where you cannot visit due to time shortage and mailing them about your relocation is also a good gesture. Share your new home address and invite them to the new home.

Discuss the move with your children

Moving the home should not be a surprise to your child. Inform them about moving and discuss the moving plans. Take suggestions from them which will give them a feeling of involvement. In addition, children will also get the time to say goodbye to friends and teachers.

4 weeks before the moving day

Make all necessary travel arrangements

Confirm that all travel arrangements are made for the moving day. You need to book air tickets, car rental, and hotel reservations a minimum of 4 weeks before the moving day. Sometimes, a moving company will deliver household items 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

The cancellation of gym and club memberships is the next point in your checklist for moving outside the state. Normally monthly membership programs at clubs and gyms need one month’s notice and as you have confirmed the moving date, there is no point waiting further to cancel the membership. If you have the gym’s franchise in the new neighborhood, you can even transfer the membership. 

Transfer the medical records

A vital point in your checklist needs to be the transfer of all medical records. Visit your dentist or general practitioner in the town and get prints of all records that can be simply shown to the new doctor when the time arrives.

Figure out the medical insurance

If your present job provides you with health insurance, you’re lucky. Get documentation regarding your plan and locate new providers’ in-network. And if you are not fortunate to have company-sponsored insurance, you need to get the medicaid while moving to another state. Obtain coverage by applying for one on the government healthcare website.  

Address the minor repairs at home

Your home needs to be intact while transferring the keys to the landlord. This is the time to do minor repairs at home, such as plumbing issues or painting a specific area. The repair might take a couple of days.

Contact new utility companies

Check with different utility companies at your new location. As you reach the new home, you may need electricity, internet, and cable services and it is important to book them in advance. At certain homes, landlords will handle these tasks whereas in certain places you may need to do them your own.

3 weeks before the moving day

Make a strategic packing plan

The next thing on the checklist before moving to another state is packing. Remember that packing is one of the most challenging parts of moving. What you need is a robust packing plan. You should not pack everything in one go. Instead, start with packing non-essential items. You have 3 more weeks until the moving day and during this time; you may require many items at home for daily use. Do not touch them for the time being. Instead, start with 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. 

Also, label each box or pack to avoid confusion about what is inside. All packs need to be taped shut and stackable. 

Cancel the utilities and book for the utilities at the new home

Cancel your internet, electricity, and cable services by calling up the company. Often, companies may need to inform you in advance about your relocation as you might have paid in advance and the amount needs to be adjusted. 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. 

Empty the storage units

As the moving day is nearing, you need to empty the storage unit. Check your storage company’s website for guidelines on what to do when you cancel a storage unit. If the same storage company has services at the new location, you can consider availing the services at the new place as well. 

2 weeks before the moving day

Collate documents in separate folders 

While moving to another state for a start over, you should not miss out or lose important documents and files. Maintain a separate folder to keep all documents. 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.

Create a digital folder on Google Drive or Dropbox and click photos of all important documents and receipts and save them digitally. This will help in case of a loss or damage of files. 

Change the home address for all documents

As the moving date is nearing, you need to change the home address on all important documents. Almost every department now has an online presence and 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. Also, remember to change the address on shopping websites if you’ve already booked an item and are expecting it to arrive in a few days after the moving date. 

Get ready for the moving day

You would need cash for essentials on the moving day and the day after you reach the new place. You will need cash to tip your moving crew and to pay for any food you order. Arrange the cash to meet the requirements.

1 week before the moving day

Schedule a cleaning service

After you pack the belongings on a moving day, the house needs to be cleaned. Defrost the refrigerator and keep it dry and clean. Also, check for scratches on furniture and have rugs and draperies cleaned. You also need to drain water hoses, proper tanks, and oil/gas lawn mowers. Usually, people hire a professional cleaning company and it is better you book the service one week in advance.

Take photos of all electronics before unplugging them

Click photos of all electronic devices including your desktop before you unplug them. This will help you while reconnecting at the new home. Even special care should be made while packing electronic devices. 

Prepare an essential box

There should be a list of essential items ready. Do not pack these items instead carry them with you as you may need them till the last moment or while on travel. These items include toilet paper, phone chargers, scissors, power towels, pet food, dish soap, portable tool kit, mugs, plates & cutleries. 

Pack cash, jewelry, and credit cards separately

Cash, jewelry, credit cards, and keys need to be kept separately and should be carried along with you. Take care to not pack them with other belongings that are moved in a truck. 

Confirm inflammable items are not packed

No moving company will transport inflammable items. Paint, gasoline, chemicals, fireworks, ammunition, ammonia, acids, kerosene, charcoal, and fertilizers are a few inflammable items you need to pack separately. Legally, you need to hire a separate company that specializes in moving such stuff. Even plants, nail polish, and pets are not moved by companies. 

On a moving day

Confirm everything is ready before the moving crew arrives. This ensures that the process begins as per the schedule and is complete within time. If it is a DIY process, you need to keep a special time for a tea break and also should start early in the morning to accomplish the task before lunch.

Before the truck starts its trip, confirm everything is loaded and no box or item is left off. Once the items are moved, clean up the home and hand over the keys to the landlord.

After you are moved in

Once you reach the new state, confirm the delivery schedule of the moving company. Normally, good interstate moving companies run on schedule and your belongings will be delivered on time.

The moving to another state checklist does not end here. Instead, it has got a few more points.

Confirm every item is delivered

When the moving truck unloads household belongings, count the boxes and confirm everything has reached safely. Check for damages or misplacement of items. The movers will also have their sheet which lists every item they loaded onto the vehicle and its original condition.

Establish the domicile

After you’ve permanently moved to a new state, you’ll need to establish a legal domicile for tax purposes. As different states have different domicile guidelines, check your new state’s website for information on establishing a domicile.

Register the car and get a new driving license

Most US states require a new driving license and you need to apply for one within the specific time window. This needs to be the priority and check the state laws related to a driving license.

The documents for a driving license may vary from state to state, however, a driver’s license, proof of residency, proof of your social security number, and an additional form of identification are mostly common for all states.

The next in the checklist for moving to another state is vehicle registration. You need to update the car insurance policy to register your vehicle. You’ll need proof of insurance, proof of identity, and proof of residency for car registration.

Register your pet

Just as the driving license laws, each state has different pet laws. It is vital to check out the pet registration and ownership laws in your new state. Many US states require pet registration within one month of you moving there. This is mainly to ensure that animals receive their necessary Rabies shots for public safety purposes.

Take note 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

The next step is to add your name to the electoral roll. 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 another state for a new start is something we all have to do at least once in our lifetime. This moving to a different state checklist is the best buddy you can have while planning your relocation thousands of miles away. Hope this will help you next time you pack your home for good.

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