The moving process can be overwhelming on its own. But if you’re relocating to a new state things can get WAY more complicated if you’re not prepared. Read on to find out the 5 most important things you need to do in order to have a successful cross-country move!
DEAL OF THE DAY: Get $150 off your move with The Wheaton Group!*
#1: Book the Best Moving Company You Can Afford
Timeline: 6-8+ weeks before your move…
Once your location is set and you’ve hopefully found the perfect home to rent or buy, it’s time to start the moving process! We’re recently written about how to have a stress-free moving day and 7 secrets to an easier move with tips from the top experts, and the one thing they have in common is this: You need to book the best moving company you can afford. This is especially true for an out-of-state move, since you’ll be relying on this company to safely transport your belongings across state lines.
My husband and I recently relocated from California to Florida, and after researching a TON of moving companies we ultimately decided to go with The Wheaton Group. (Full disclosure: We are a Wheaton partner and received discounted services for our move, however all opinions are our own.)
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The Wheaton Group—which has a network of moving companies across the country including Wheaton World Wide Moving, Bekins Van Lines, Stevens Worldwide Van Lines, Arpin Van Lines, and Clark & Reid, has been in the business for over 70 years. And even though we reached out to other big-name moving companies when searching for cross-country movers, Wheaton offered us the most competitive pricing for their services and the best timeline. While we even thought about renting a pod or driving a U-Haul ourselves, once we added up all the costs it just made sense to eliminate the worry of a DIY move and leave it to the professionals instead. We are so happy we did!
#2: Take Care of Your Utilities
Timeline: One month before your move…
As soon as your move-out date is set and your move-in date is in place, you’ll want to update both old and new utility companies. From your internet and phone to cable and power, be sure to let your current utility companies know when your last day at home is. Then, once you’ve confirmed your move-in date, set up accounts with new providers in your area. To find the best ones in your area, reach out to your real estate agent or new building manager and ask them for the names of local providers to get you started.
#3: Get Your Annual Exams Done Early
Timeline: As soon as possible…
If you can, I HIGHLY suggest getting any doctor visits out of the way before your move. That’s because once you’re in your new city, you’ll most likely have to research and book appointments with everybody from the dentist, dermatologist, and OBGYN among others to establish yourself as a new patient. However, that process can often take more time than you think. If you get things like your teeth-cleaning done before you move, you won’t have to worry about finding doctors that will take you right away if you’re overdue for an exam. Most doctors these days have a waiting list for new patients, which can be several months long. Trust us. Your teeth will thank you!
#4: Forward Your Mail
Timeline: Two weeks before your move…
You’ll want to make sure your mail follows you to your new location by submitting an official USPS change-of-address form, which you can fill out online or at your local post office.
Once that’s done, you can also go ahead and change your address with your credit card companies, cell phone provider, friends and family, as well as online shopping sites. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve ALMOST accidentally had something I bought on Amazon mailed to my OLD address!
#5: Establish Residency
Timeline: Shortly after you arrive…
One of the first things you’ll want to do after you move to your new state is to book an appointment at your local DMV to get a driver’s license. Most states require you do so within 30 days of arriving, so check your local laws.
Before your appointment, be sure to bring everything that’s required to get a license in your state, including proof of your new address, social security card, and passport. Once you have your new license you can set up new insurance, such as vehicle, health, homeowners/renters, and even a new umbrella policy or jewelry rider for your engagement ring. I was surprised to learn that we could not keep our existing umbrella policy with the previous company we had our vehicle/renters insurance with. Apparently it was a package deal! I found it easiest to consult an insurance broker in our new state to help us set-up everything we needed.
The next step when it comes to your vehicle is registering it in your new state—which often requires proof of insurance—so make sure you have that first. There’s also typically a time limit around this as well (such as registering it within 30 days of moving), so you’ll want to check your local laws.
Moving out of state can definitely be stressful, but following these steps above will help you have the smoothest experience possible! Looking for even more info? Don’t miss these 5 essential tips for a cross-country move (from a couple who just did it!). And when you’re ready to book your moving company, get $150 off your move with The Wheaton Group!*
*Applies to interstate moves only. Valid Sept. 2020 through April 2021.