Relocation has been proclaimed one of the most stressful life events, and the seemingly endless list of things to consider when moving to a new state plays a big part in that. Sadly, there is no magic wand that will solve all your problems with a Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo, but ensuring that you’ve made all the right choices for you and creating a checklist for moving out of state, however, can alleviate your worry by a lot.
Getting organized to move is crucial if you want your relocation to run smoothly, and it implies researching every aspect of the relocation and deliberating everything that must be done before (and after) the move. The complexity of relocating to a different state will often threaten to overwhelm you, but have no fear – all you need do is follow our tips and prepare for a stress-free move.
1. The Cost of Interstate Relocation as One of the First Things to Consider When Moving to a New State
When thinking about how to move to a new state, creating a relocation budget will be the first of your worries – you need to know how much money you have in order to make all other important relocation decisions. Keep in mind that the average cost of an interstate move amounts to around $5,000 but can go anywhere from $600 to $12,000, depending on your decisions.
Questions like whether you will opt for long-distance movers or move all by yourself or which packing materials you will use are determined primarily based on the budget at your disposal. Of course, don’t underestimate all the ways to save money for the move – if you see that you lack in the money department for what you wish to achieve and conclude that some penny-pinching is in order, be sure to watch the following video:
2. Research and Hire Reliable Cross-Country Movers
If you deem that it is all a lot of work, even with the help of friends and family, you should start exploring relocation companies. When you start researching, you’ll find that there are plenty of East Coast movers and West Coast movers that claim they can provide you with top-notch cross-country moving services. Unfortunately, this industry has its fair share of fraudsters that have more than one trick up their sleeve, which they’ll use to deceive you and get your money. In order to avoid relocation scams, ensure to follow these tips:
- Read all the reviews and recommendations you can get your hands on, including reviews posted on Better Business Bureau,
- Use the USDOT number the company provided you with to check the company’s license and insurance on FMCSA,
- Look for more than one estimate – if the quote is too high or too low, it is possible that scammers want you to be their next victim.
- Never pay in cash because cash transactions are hard to trace; also, don’t agree on large deposits.
Decide About Additional Services When Moving From One State to Another
When planning your relocation, you must decide if you are going to need additional services from the long-distance moving company. Usually, you can opt for:
- Packing services – if you decide that packing fragile items and other tricky objects isn’t exactly your cup of tea, let professional packers help you. Ask your company if it can offer the service of custom crating if you need it.
- Auto transport – some companies can offer you a discount if you hire them for both relocating and transporting cars between states.
- Storage services – in case your house won’t be ready when movers arrive with your items, storage units can become a very helpful solution.
Choose the Best Relocation Date
It’s not all the same if you decide to relocate in July or in November – note that companies are a lot busier and therefore more expensive if you hire them during the peak season. If you want to save a buck or two, know that the best time of the year to move would be off-season, from October to March. In addition to that, remember to pick a date that is not on the weekend – the reasons are all the same.
3. Calculate the Cost of Living in the New City
What factors should be considered when moving to a new city? One more of the things to do before moving out of state is exploring the cost of housing, groceries, transportation, utilities, and taxes your future city will bring. You can do this before or after determining the relocation budget. If your destination is not set in stone, deciding where to move can be a choice based on the amount of money you are willing to spend each month.
If you are relocating for financial reasons, start looking at cities like Wichita Falls (TX), Memphis (TN), or Jacksonville (FL), in which the cost of living is significantly below the national average. On the other hand, if you don’t mind relocating to more expensive cities, like Los Angeles (CA), San Francisco (CA), or NYC (NY), be sure to get familiar with your future expenses and start saving if needed.
Renting vs. Owning
When deciding on your next home, it’s important to determine if you will rent or buy a property. The choice is in close connection to your finances and preferred lifestyle (relocating to a big city usually implies apartment living and renting). During the coronavirus pandemic, many people, unfortunately, have lost their jobs and were forced to sell their houses and lower their monthly expenses by renting or relocating to a smaller home.
4. Explore Employment Opportunities (And Benefits)
If you are not relocating because of work, you’ll need to learn a thing or two on how to get a job in a different city. It would always be wisest to follow job market trends to see if there are some work positions in your field, send CVs to chosen companies, and secure a job even before the relocation. If you’re using some of the best-known job apps, such as LinkedIn, change your location prior to the move and always mention the date by when you will certainly have relocated.
However, if your reasons to move are connected to your current job, make sure to inform yourself about the financial assistance you can get from your employer. Relocation packages your company can provide you with will help with relocation costs, temporary accommodation, auto transport, and so on – it should be on the list of questions to ask your employer before the move.
Connect the Dots Between Transportation and Work
The time you’ll spend between the workplace and your future home should also be on your mind, so it would be best to research the traffic and average commute time in the chosen city. You surely wouldn’t like to relocate only to find out that you’ll spend much more time out of the house than with your family. Look for the best commute route and don’t immediately dismiss public transport as an option.
5. Education and Safety – Take Care of the Kids
No matter what your reasons to move are, safety always needs to come first, but it is especially important if you are moving out of state with a child – ensure to research the states, cities, and even neighborhoods before you decide to relocate to a certain place. Know that Maine, New Hampshire, and Idaho are considered some of the safest states in the USA, while Mississippi and Louisiana are still among the most dangerous.
Simultaneously, most parents relocating with children are concerned about their children’s education opportunities, so they look for states and cities with the best education system like New Jersey, Massachusetts, or Washington. If you’re relocating with kids, be sure to provide them with the best chances to succeed.
6. Go for a Compatibility Between the Climate and Yourself
If you have a choice, always move to a destination with your preferable climate. It’s no secret that the climate you are not very fond of can negatively impact your mood, and being in a bad mood day by day will annul all the benefits of relocation. If you prefer colder places, don’t pick states famous for the amount of sun and high temperatures they get each year, such as California and Arizona. And vice versa – if you despise the cold, don’t move to North Dakota, Alaska, and the like. If you’re moving out of state alone, it will be relatively easy to find a climate that suits you, but difficulties arise when you are not alone, and you and your family members don’t share the same preferences. Ensure to find a solution that will suit you all!
7. Learn the Art of Packing
If you don’t want help and decide against hiring long-distance moving services, you must prepare yourself properly for the packing experience that awaits. Packing is probably the most complex task you will have to deal with during the move. Remember that it needs to be thoroughly planned – from the order in which the rooms will be packed, the amount and type of supplies you will be using, to packing relocation essentials for the first few days after the relocation. If you have a last-minute move planned, don’t let it lead to you making some of the most common packing mistakes. Instead, make sure to learn some packing tips for relocating in a hurry so that everything gets to your future home whole and unharmed.
Remember that decluttering and deciding what not to pack are important parts of the pre-packing preparations – they will allow you to move efficiently and save you money and time in the long run. Most relocation companies form their prices based on your household inventory list, so bringing less stuff will guarantee fewer relocation expenses combined with fewer hours spent on packing and unpacking after the move.
8. Documents, Policies, Registrations – Know What to Change When You Move States
It’s not a coincidence that there is the word work in paperwork – it can be scary dealing with it, organizing your documents, canceling old contracts, going through some new ones, changing personal information, and so on. Unfortunately, it is all a part of the process of relocating to a different home across the country, so when you decide that it’s time to move, ensure to:
- Change or update your health insurance – you will probably need to change your provider because most of them work inside one state’s border. Use the Marketplace on the government’s HealthCare website to browse through different insurances in your future area and make your decision.
- Get a driver’s license – check the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles to learn about special requirements.
- Register your vehicle – ensure to know if the state’s administration demands you to pay a tax for registering your car.
- Register to vote – don’t let somebody else decide about your future after the relocation!
- Update your address – ensure that all your future mail has a way to find you. Also, notify your bank and loan and life insurance providers about the change.
- Change utility providers – transferring utilities will, in most cases, imply searching for different utility providers at your future location and scheduling installations.
- Get a pet license if you’re relocating with pets, and register your furry friend – it’s one of the things to do when you move to a new state if you don’t want to pay a not-so-small fee.
Will Your Benefits Be Transferred After the Move?
If you are eligible for some benefits in your old home, that doesn’t automatically mean that you’ll have them when you relocate – researching the state’s requirements for certain benefits should be on the list of things to do before relocation. Social security benefits for you or your family members should not be a problem because they don’t change between states. However, check your status if you’re on a Medicaid program, for example – eligibility for those healthcare programs varies between the states, which means that you can be a good candidate in one, but not in the other.
Is It Worth Moving to Another State?
People often wonder if relocation is worth all the relocation stress that accompanies it, and the answer is always yes if there is a possibility for your life to change for the better, in any aspect – financial, love, social, and the like. So, in order to help yourself and preserve your mental health, try to reconsider all that is listed above. And when you are at peace with all of your decisions and on the road to your next life chapter, don’t let anything stop you from achieving the goal of your relocation, no matter what it is!