Millions of Americans move every year, but the past year was an extraordinary year for out-of-state relocation. According to an analysis of United States Postal Service change of address requests by the National Association of Realtors, 89.3 million people moved to another state. This is an increase of 94,000 over the previous year.
Unsurprisingly, the Covid19 outbreak was influential in this trend. Whether it was due to concerns for personal well-being, a weak economy, or a change in work arrangements, people felt that a difficult out-of-state move was preferable to their current conditions. Whatever the reason, moving to another state comes with its own set of challenges. Nevertheless, in this stressful situation, a reliable, affordable secure self storage facility can be a lifesaver.
Following are guidelines to help you get ready for moving day.
Eight Weeks Before Moving Day
By this time, you’ve found your new home and selected your kids’ new schools. You’ve started sorting, discarding, and packing. It’s time to get serious.
Locate a Self Storage Facility
Prior to packing, read our Prepping for a Move blog, and take a quick look at some self-storage tips. You may want to use these tips for storage once you’ve moved. The items that you want to store at your new location should be packed and labeled separately. Your movers can take them directly to your carefully chosen self-storage facility. Once the boxes are packed, you need to keep them in a garage, basement or spare bedroom. This way they won’t be in your way before you move them to your storage unit.
If, due to closing schedules or other reasons, you’re forced to move out of your current home prior to being able to move into your new place, self storage is your lifesaver. After all, you can’t take all of your belongings to a hotel or a family member’s home. Make it a priority to get that storage unit a few weeks prior to your move out date. You can gradually fill it up as you pack, lightening the burden on the actual moving day.
Before you get to your new destination, be sure to lease a storage facility for any overflow items that may not work in your new home. You’ll be happy to have the extra space.
Locate an Interstate Moving Company
This won’t be hard. Once you make your first online inquiry, you’ll be swamped with moving advertisements and emails. Narrow your choice to three, and then get estimates. Meeting with the moving reps will give you a good sense as to whether this company will be the best fit for your needs. Obviously, the company should understand the regulations involved in moving from state to state. Whoever you choose should understand not only the monetary but the emotional value of your belongings. Check reviews, compare prices, and be sure that there is a contact within the company that is available to answer questions and keep you updated. Then, you can make your decision. Remember, the lowest price isn’t always the best choice.
Create a Budget
This will be hard. Moving is not cheap. Many companies will “overestimate” so that you have a nice surprise when it’s time to pay the bill. However, there are no guarantees, and there are extra expenses not directly related to moving company costs. It’s best to know how much you can spend and budget accordingly. Good luck with that. If you’re not good with this sort of budgeting, create a moving budget chart or spreadsheet to help you stay organized. Don’t forget to add out-of-state self storage to your budget.
Notify Your Children’s Current School
It’s time to inform your children’s current school that the kids will be moving on. In most cases school administrators will contact the new school for enrollment protocol and record-transfer procedures.
Four Weeks Before Moving Day
It’s time to think about changing your address, contacting the utility companies, and checking in with doctors and vets.
Change Your Mailing Address
You’ll want to change your address with the USPS so that your important documents and materials find you in your new home. You can do this online or at the post office. Don’t forget to inform the banks and government institutions (like the IRS and the DMV). You should also give your friends and family your address if you really want to (the longer you wait, the longer you can keep them from visiting). If you can’t move into your home right away, you can rent a PO box temporarily.
Don’t Forget Medical and Vet Records
With today’s electronic health records systems, it should be easy for your new physician to access your records. If you’re more comfortable requesting copies of your records directly from your doctor, you can do that. Incidentally, there may be a charge for this service. In any case, you will have to sign a release form to have the records transferred.
Don’t forget about Rover and FiFi. Pet laws vary from state to state so it’s a good idea to keep your pet’s registration and vaccination information with you throughout your move. In some states you can be fined for not having this information.
Contact Utility Companies
Contact your new service providers early so that you can have your utilities activated a day or two prior to moving day. Moving in by candle light is not an option, and you don’t want to be without TV and internet. Don’t forget to schedule cancellation of your current services, but wait until the day after your move. Keep in mind that you will need water and electricity, and you may need your internet. Your realtor should be able to provide you with utility phone numbers and information.
Two Weeks Before Moving Day
You need to confirm moving services, not only to verify information but to refresh your memory.
Confirm Moving Services
Call your moving company contact to verify pick-up time, moving services, and costs. Use your contract to confirm the information.
Even with your outstanding organizational skills, this will be an exhausting and emotional day. Don’t worry, you’ve got this!
The first thing you need to do is check our article, Moving Day Made Easy. Get up and get dressed early, make sure you have plenty of cash for basics and to tip the movers. Lastly, have your essentials kit packed and ready to go. Don’t forget about the boxes in self storage. Your mover should already be aware of that pickup, but it’s a good idea to double check.
Check on Your Belongings
Upon arrival at your destination, review the moving inventory and check for lost or damaged items. The movers will have a corresponding list with everything on the truck and its original condition. If everything is in order, sign the inventory sheet and request a copy. A moving company rep should sign off on the document as well. Again, this is a hectic day, and you will probably miss something. When you notice loss or damage after the movers have gone, take pictures as evidence and file a claim. Your original contact at the company will still be able to help you.
After Moving Day
It’s time to deal with legalities.
Establish Legal Residency
You need to establish a legal domicile for tax and voting purposes. Check with your state agencies, as every state has different requirements to establish legal residency.
Update Your Driver’s License and Vehicle Registration
Update this information as soon as possible. To prevent long lines, most states have online appointment scheduling available at the DMV. To apply for a driver’s license, you typically need your current license, proof of residency, and your social security card. Be sure to check your local DMV website for more information. You also need to update your vehicle’s title, registration, and license plates, and have it inspected in your new state. Don’t forget to check your auto insurance.
It’s finally time to enjoy your new home, make new friends, and explore the community. If you haven’t already, check on your new self storage facility. As you unpack your boxes, you’ll undoubtedly have additional items to store. The hard part is over – it’s time for new beginnings.