Moving Out of State Checklist
There comes a point in every man and woman’s life when it’s time to cut the apron strings and make your own way in the world. Whether you are heading to college or starting your first “real job” after graduation, it is an exciting, exhilarating… and terrifying moment to move in to your own place. But face it, you must.
As if moving wasn’t stressful enough on its own, moving out of state can be even more complicated. That’s why, at Heers Management, we’ve put together this handy checklist of things you need to get done before you move out of state to minimize last-minute delays.
So let’s get started:
- Find a New Apartment: Search local property management sites and other rental sites to find apartments for rent in your desired location. Make sure you read about nearby schools as well as bus routes and other important information to determine which apartments are best suited to your needs. Fly out and do a tour before you sign a new lease.
- Talk to Your Boss: If you’re relocating for your job, this should be easy. Either way, you’ll need a few days off to manage the move, and you’ll want to give yourself enough padding to recover and settle in before you head in to your new office.
- Sort and Pack: Unlike local moves where you can make extra trips in your car, moving out of state requires a whole different kind of organization and packing. Now is the time to make the tough calls on what to keep and what to throw out or donate. Make sure you color code or mark your boxes so they can go into the right rooms before you even open them up on the other end.
- Shop for a Moving Company: If you plan on hiring a moving company to handle your move, you’ll want to get on the phone sooner rather than later. Ask anyone how to move out of state and they’re sure to tell you that a moving company is money well spent, but you have to call ahead to get on the schedule or they could be all booked up.
- Contact Your New Property Manager: Some apartment complexes in Phoenix and Las Vegas have special requirements for moving day. They may limit the hours during the day that you can be moving to avoid disturbing neighbors. They may also have special instructions for truck parking and more.
- Plan Your Route: If you’re going long distance, you’ll want to plan for hotel stays and fuel. Make sure you get plenty of rest along the way.
- Make Sure Your Vehicles are Ready: When’s the last time you had an oil change or checked your tires? Avoid disasters during the move by making sure that your vehicles are in move-ready condition.
- Research Schools: The earlier you start planning the move for your kids, the smoother their transition will be. Make sure you go to your old school district and fill out un-enrollment paperwork so they can send your child’s files ahead to their next school.
- Back Up Your Files: You never know what’s going to happen when you embark upon an interstate move. Back up important documents and tax returns to the cloud just in case.
- Create a Travel Bag: Keep your toiletries and personal items from getting buried in a box. Creating a separate travel bag in advance will ensure you have enough to survive 24-48 hours while the rest of your belongings are being transported.
- Sort Out Your Insurance: We always recommend having renters insurance. Call ahead and get quotes and cancel your existing policy.
- Disassemble Furniture: Once you’ve reached the last few days before moving, you can begin disassembling furniture. The best way to keep from losing hardware is to place it in a Ziploc bag and clearly label the bag, as well as taping the bag directly to the piece of furniture it belongs with.
- Make Arrangements for Kids and Pets: You want everyone to make it through the move safely. Call a family member to watch the kids or hire a babysitter. Make sure that there is somewhere safe for the pets to go, both for their safety and to reduce anxiety during the move.
- Forward Your Mail: You will have bills left over from your old apartment, so you want them to be forwarded to your new place. The good news is you can have your mail forwarded through the USPS website in less than five minutes.
- Take Care of Your Ongoing Accounts: Credit cards, gym memberships, magazine subscriptions and more can be transferred to your new address. Set aside time to take care of all these phone calls at once so you won’t have to update them on the fly after you’ve moved.
- Get Some Cash: You’ll need cash to tip your movers, but it’s also good to have a little bit of cash on hand just in case you end up in a sticky situation. You never know when a gas station’s card reader is going to be down.
- Make Sure You Have ID Paperwork: When you go to get your new driver’s license you’ll need to have your birth certificate, old ID and possibly any marriage or divorce paperwork to show your name change. Many states have a penalty if you don’t switch your license over promptly, so you can’t afford to wait until you dig these papers out of a box.
- Get Internet and Cable Set Up: Depending on who services the internet at your location there may be a two- or three-week wait to get your service installed. Call ahead, find out about their service options and get your install scheduled so you won’t have to wait or have a technician trying to move through the house with boxes stacked everywhere.
- Create an Envelope for Receipts: Did you know that moving expenses may be tax deductible? Keep all of your receipts for movers, fuel, and other expenses along the way so you will have them at the end of the year.
- Check the Weather: In the days leading up to your move you’ll want to check the weather forecast along your route. There are a lot of ways that the weather can delay you. If you plan ahead, you can avoid most storms or get to good stopping points before the weather hits.
- Clean Out the Fridge and Pantry: Give away nonperishables and all of the frozen foods that won’t make it through the move. If you wait until the last day you’ll end up throwing away plenty of perfectly good food.
- Prepare for Final Inspection: Clean the rest of your apartment and patch any holes. Make sure everything is ready for the new family to move in. Take pictures of everything to prove the condition you left the apartment in.
- Have Extra Keys Made: The first couple of days at your new apartment will likely be full of misplaced items and confusion. Make an extra key or two just in case you can’t remember where you just set yours down.
- Arrive Early: You definitely want to be at your new apartment before your moving team arrives. You’ll need to be there to let them in and accept the delivery.
- Clean First: In a perfect world, your new apartment will be perfectly clean before you move in. However, it’s always good to vacuum once before you start moving furniture and boxes in.
- Take More Pictures: Do a quick inspection of your new apartment and take pictures of its condition when you take possession. Make sure you save these for when you move out.
- Wake Up Early: Moving day has arrived. Make sure you’re up and ready when the movers arrive, and have things staged to simplify the loading process. Make sure you have cold drinks and snacks on hand to keep morale up throughout the day.
Moving across state lines is becoming increasingly popular as moving companies have made the process simpler for everyone.
Whether you’re headed to college or moving for a new job, this checklist will get you through the planning stages leading right up to moving day. Don’t forget to stay hydrated and get plenty of rest during your move, and contact your moving company early in the process!
If you’re moving to Phoenix, Arizona or Las Vegas, Nevada, contact Heers Management. We’d be happy to show you our great apartment complexes in either city.