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Moving to another state can cause deep anxiety and frustration, but it doesn’t have to be.

With the right attitude and planning, moving to another state can be another series of tasks that, if handled slowly each day, can go without incidents.

The reason for your move can also be an important factor in the way you move. Your answer to “what to do when you move to another state” may be very different from someone else’s. If you’re moving from Massachusetts to California to find a job as a surfer, actor, or winemaker, it will probably take as long as you need to transition and you can forget about a lot of winter clothes. But if you move from Florida to Illinois because you have to take care of the estate and business of a loved one who is about to pass away, you will be in a hurry and you will have to choose those essential winter clothes immediately. Whatever the case, all of these steps will apply to you, but you will have to decide the rate at which you want to move.

First things first … choose a day to move in.
Surprisingly, it’s sometimes the hardest part, the equivalent of writing that first page of a new novel or driving that first mile of a long journey. Once you fix that, the rest will follow more easily. Without that as a goal, chances are you’ll keep putting off those essential tasks until it’s too late and you have to rush to get them done, and there is no better way to lose things or end up paying too much.

You can’t take everything with you
But you can take a lot! Depending on how much space you are going to have, you will probably have to put things down. Pick a certain spot or even a room in your house to place items that you won’t take with you, and add one or two more items to that area every day. What is not expendable for you? And what do you absolutely need with you?

Frequency of use, emotional value, price, size …  Are all factors to consider. You may have to compare functionality and sentimentality a great deal, but don’t let that delay you in making those difficult choices. Make them and don’t look back, or you may end up guessing at all the choices of what you wear or leave!

Organize by category
Regarding the items you carry, you will need to choose a space where you can easily access them. Before even thinking about getting boxes, you should categorize all your belongings and leave them in the appropriate areas. For example, Kitchen, Bathroom, Books, Pet supplies, Computers, TV and other electronics, etc.

Pack early, pack smart
Don’t wait until the day before you move in to pack. Go slowly to avoid that overwhelming feeling of worthlessness. Pack by category or room, it doesn’t matter, just keep packing once you start. Even if you don’t pack anything else until move-in day except one item per day, that will be one item per day less than you should have had to pack.

Also, depending on where you are moving to, you will need to make room for some new items or decide whether to leave even more stuff. The weather will be the most important factor in this regard. For example garments from cold climate, countries are bulkier than garments from warm states, but in a warmer area, you will also sweat more. So you may need to keep a larger supply of “backup” garments until your body fully acclimates to the heat and you sweat less.

Four walls and a roof do not rent alone!
If you know you’re moving out of state but still don’t know exactly where you’ll live, make that your next assignment. Odds are, you won’t have time for the multi-week move-out expedition that usually takes to get a new home, but that’s okay. There are many resources online that will do that groundwork for you, giving you a wide variety of up-to-date property images and statistics.

Street View from Google maps, although not necessarily useful in property searches, can help to have a panorama with photos of what your possible new “house” looks like.

Choose a moving company or ask your friends
Someone has to help you with the move, and it will be a professional moving company or a group of your best friends, at least if the state you are moving to is close to your current state. However, if the former takes a little time to find out and see if your friends have found a particularly reliable company or another, filter the choice to more than three moving companies and get cost estimates for all three.

If your friends will help you, make sure you have a meal (or two) ready for them and keep them hydrated.

Notify, notify and notify
Once you know where you will live (and when), tell everyone who needs to know. That includes your loved ones, businesses, and government agencies. First, fill out an address change form with the mail. That will ensure that all your emails are sent to the right place, but there are always exceptions to the rule. To avoid this problem, send your change of address to all interested parties, including your utility company (also notify when services may be cut off), financial and credit institutions, your employer’s HR department, Internal Revenue Service, friends, family, your doctor, and pharmacy.

A “new” state of mind
You don’t move to another state anymore … you’ve already moved. Your new home may look like a house made out of boxes now, but before you get lost in unpacking, there are a few more important issues you may want to address.

You will probably need a new driver’s license, registration, vehicle tags, and insurance, if not a lot of transportation goes through your house. Alternatively, you may need to get a subway/train/bus pass and take some time to get to know that system.

Pick out some must-have items at your grocery and hardware store. Most importantly, find out the location of the nearest hospital, fire station, and police station.

For more information contact us.

We are John D. Moving.