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8 Tips for Moving to Another State

Moving is no easy task, regardless of distance, but crossing state lines can be particularly challenging. If you've decided to make a new state home, make the transition less stressful by following these eight tips.

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Address Change = Tax Change

Okay, first things first: As soon as you know your new address, let the U.S. Postal Service know. While you’re at it, inform utility companies, your bank and credit card companies and anyone else that communicates with you via U.S. Mail. Plus, here are 10 things you should know about property taxes.

Change of address has critical ramifications because it establishes a legal domicile (permanent residency) in your new state and prevents your old state from thinking you lived there when you didn’t. Filing taxes when you move to a new state may sound complicated, but it’s really quite simple, especially if you establish residency right away. Check out this great article from Wallace Plese + Dreyer, an accounting firm, for full details. Plus, every homeowner should know these 13 tax secrets.

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Throw a Big Ol’ Going Away Party

While organizing a party may be the last thing you want to do in the midst of moving stress, it’s the best way to bid farewell and collectively inform folks about where you’re going. Too often you think you’ll have time to say adieu to everyone you care about, but often time runs out.

Gather your friends, colleagues and neighbors at your empty house, a local brewery or a park — whatever is easiest and most affordable. If you haven’t already sold or donated all of your unwanted things, set up a table of giveaways for party goers. Add a Recommendations Bowl where people can answer questions about the town you’re moving to: What restaurants should I check out? Best advice for moving to a new city? Will you come and visit me?

Before people leave, give them a stamped envelope and a card with your new address. They can enter your address in their contacts and you’ll get some snail mail! This DIY photo booth is perfect for preserving party memories.

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Have a Moving Sale

Packing is one of the biggest tasks when planning a move. Make things easier by getting rid of things you don’t need anymore, or things you can easily replace once you get to where you’re going. Need help organizing a moving/garage sale? Here are our tips for success.

Plus, save yourself some hassle by avoiding these 10 moving mistakes.

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Rely on Networks, Not the Internet

Nearly every city wants more residents, so they, along with local government and non-profit organizations, will be posting all the reasons why you should move to their city. While this can be helpful, it can also be extremely biased.

Instead of basing your decision entirely on the city’s marketing, rely more heavily on your own network. Reach out to your personal connections on Facebook and professional ones on LinkedIn. Start spreading your idea of where you might move to your networks, and chances are they’ll connect you to someone who can give you the straight skinny. Networks can also be your best source for finding the best moving company, Realtor and dentist in your new city.

If you decide to DIY your move, follow these 14 tips for moving furniture.

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Get All Your Licenses in Order

When you move, there are lots of things to think about beyond what you’re packing and where you’ll be living. To begin with, your driver’s license and auto registration need to be updated shortly after you move. (Motorcyclists need to do the same.)

Check out this list from The Zebra to figure out where you can change them, what documentation is needed, and when the changes need to be made by. This differs from state to state and could be as short as 10 days, so be sure you’re in the know. Here’s how to budget your move like a pro with this master list.

Also, inform your auto insurance company of the move. Your rates may change and you’ll need proof of insurance to get the new registration for your car.

Are you a pet owner? If so, be sure you’re following the certification requirements for moving your pet to a new state. Here’s how to make your move less stressful for your pet.

If your job requires certification or licensure, investigate what it takes to transfer to a new state. And if you hire movers, be sure that they can legally cart your belongings to a different state by checking if they’re registered with the U.S. Department of Transportation.

It’s a lot to figure out. Trust us: Getting it out of the way early will save you hassle down the road.

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Visit Before You Move

You can see what your new city looks like via Google Street View, and you can research school districts via GreatSchools or SchoolDigger.com, but you can’t experience the vibe unless you go there.

If you’re financially able, plan to spend at least a long weekend in your new neighborhood. Walk around during the day and at night to get a first-hand feel for the place. Notice the difference between a weekday and a weekend. Drive around other neighborhoods. Drop in to a yoga class and check out local coffee shops. Chat with local residents you meet along the way. A barista, cashier or restaurant patron may offer insights you can’t find online.

However, if time and budget make an in-person visit impractical, ask your social media and LinkedIn connections for recommendations. Any insider knowledge is better than collecting assumptions online.

Add your visit to this master timeline for moving.

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Negotiate Relocation Assistance with Your Company

 

If you’re moving because of a job relocation, some employers will help pay for the move. No matter what, prepare to negotiate for what you need because there typically isn’t a one-size-fits-all relocation package.

Ask employees and the Human Resources department at your new job what the company typically offers. Then make a list of what you would like help with. Packing? Unpacking? Rental assistance? Spouse employment services? When you make your official request to your new boss or HR, do it in writing and keep it simple and clear. Follow these handy hints to make moving a breeze.

Keep in mind that if you pay moving costs yourself, it’s tax-deductible. If the company covers the moving costs, it’s not. Here are the 10 best ways to save money during a move.

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Make New Connections Early

Let’s be honest: Moving is hard. It’s often referred to as one of the top 10 most stressful life events, and it’s not just the planning and paying for a move. You’re uprooting your life. You’re probably moving to a place where you don’t know many people, and you may feel a little lonely.

The best way to cope is to start making connections right away. Harvard researchers found that those who “survive stress the best are the ones who actually increase their social investments in the middle of stress, which is the opposite of what most of us do.”

So if you don’t have any friends in the area, ask your network (in person and on social media) for connections. Sign up for a gym or fitness studio before you move, join a group on Meetup.com, or volunteer at a local non-profit. Give yourself a goal to meet at least one person each week for the first month after your move, because the more people you get to know, the more you’ll feel right at home yourself. Be everyone’s favorite neighbor by doing these 15 things.

And when someone new moves in next to you, welcome them in one of these 10 thoughtful ways.

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Hannah Louise
I help people tell stories, whether that's about themselves, their company, or their product. Every project I take on has one priority: make sure the audience connects with the content. I've fine-tuned this skill over the past decade by creating content for audiences from C-suites to new hires in organizations large and small. I launched my career as a generational keynote speaker (think dispelling myths about Millennials/Xers/Boomers) and worked my way to being a principal of a consulting firm and published author by writing, presenting, and editing books, blogs, white papers, and research analysis. I bring my values of collaboration, humility, and research-driven strategies to everything I do. I'm also a cat owner, coffee enthusiast, and new home owner (you know, your stereotypical Millennial traits.)