Moving is hard enough as it is. Finding a new home you can get into before you have to be out of your old home, packing everything up, changing all those addresses, physically getting there, and then setting up your new home is an exhausting process. You might dread moving day, even if you're just going around the block or across town.
However, what if your family is changing states? That involves a whole new level of detail, some of which has to do with changing states and some of which has to do with physically getting from one state to the next. Hopefully, you put a lot of planning into the process, but no matter how well-organized you are, there are still 10 last-minute reminders and things you need to check on. Keep reading to learn what they are:
1) Is The Car Ready?
For all your attention in packing up a moving truck or arranging one, be sure that your passenger vehicle or vehicles are ready to roll too. Have the oil changed and fresh filters put in, and take advantage of any complimentary or cheap seasonal inspection packages that make sure you don't have any maintenance issues present that need to be taken care of. Fill the tank, and then start imagining the car full of your family. You might have some things you want to pack in the car instead of the moving truck, like personal valuables, dishes, electronics, and other breakables. However, don't pack so much that everyone can't ride in comfort and safety. You don't want someone buried in boxes or fragile items falling over them because you have to slam on the brakes on the highway.
2) Are The Passengers Ready?
Everyone should have their personal essentials with them, such as keys, wallets, phones, and chargers. They also should have a go-bag with personal toiletries and a few changes of clothes to use while between homes and before unpacking into the new one. Given the change in states, make sure everyone is dressed right for where you're headed. The weather might be very different than you are used to.
3) Do You Need To Stay The Night Somewhere?
Going from New Hampshire to Vermont isn't going to be an overnight trip. Moving from Colorado to California is going to take at least two days, if not more. Figure out how many nights you need to be in hotels, have ideas on where to stay, and be sure you have a budget ready for those stays plus meals on the road.
4) Is Your Insurance Ready?
You've got to make sure your car insurance is going to cover the entire trip and your family as you get to know your new city and state. Your policy may change in particular coverage details as well as premium amounts. For that matter, start off by making sure that your carrier is even active in your new state, as not all policy providers operate in all 50 states. Then, start looking into your health insurance too.
5) Are Schools Lined Up?
Even if one or more adults have jobs lined up and waiting for them, what about the kids in the family? Unless you're moving during summer vacation, you need to be sure there are schools lined up for them to start going to as soon as they are there. That is, unless the district you are moving into has year-round school without a summer vacation. You'll learn quite a bit of new and different ways of doing things if you cross enough states.
6) Is Your Budget Ready?
Switching states is going to make itself felt quite dramatically on your normal monthly budget. Your income is likely to change a lot, especially if one or more adults in the family don't have work lined up yet in the new state. The costs of living are likely to be at least a little different, if not a lot, affecting the other side of your budget too. Also, look over your expenditures for things like gym memberships that might not be available anymore if it's a local or regional chain you can't keep participating at.
7) How Long Do You Have On Documents?
Once you get to your new state, you're only going to be allowed to use older documents for so long. Your driver's license will have to be updated, and your out-of-state personal checks might not be welcome in local businesses at all. And certainly don’t forget to change your address online.
8) Is The New Home Ready?
Don't back out of your driveway only to cross a few states and find out that some contractor had a last-minute accident and you can't move in just yet. For that matter, is there going to be electricity, heat, or air conditioning available immediately? Spending your first few days in a new home without utilities is uncomfortable at best and dangerous at worst.
9) Do You Know How To Get There?
If you're like many drivers, you've gotten used to mounting your phone and following the navigation, which is still good, so long as you get a signal. However, you might not always. Also, you might find attractions along the way that are worth getting off the shortest route a bit.
10) Will There Be Peace In The Car?
Hopefully, you've logged miles on the road before with your family and know what a production it can be to get everyone in, together, and down the road. You might even be able to estimate how long it will take to actually get the mileage done. Be sure kids have plenty of entertainment in the car and also breaks enough to stretch their legs. Familiar elements of your old home might be crucial to them since they don't understand that they've left home only to go home.
This checklist of 10 last-minute reminders your family should know before moving from one state to the next is hardly able to cover everything you probably need to handle, but it should serve as a good reference to identify everything else that might apply to your own move and circumstances.