Don’t Let Moving Out of State Overwhelm You!

Moving out of state can be a source of deep anxiety and frustration, but it doesn’t have to be.

With the proper planning and attitude, moving state to state can be just another series of chores that, if handled bit by bit on a daily basis, can go by without incident or a sense of antagonism.

Why you’re moving may also play a big part in how you move too. Your answer to “what to do when moving to another state” could be very different from someone else’s. If you’re leaving Massachusetts for California to pursue a career as a surfer-actor-winemaker, you can probably take as much time as you need for that transition and can leave a lot of your winter gear behind. But if you’re leaving Florida for Illinois because you have to take over a dying relative’s estate and business, you’ll be in more of a hurry and will need to pick up those winter essentials right away. Whatever the case, all of these steps will still apply to you, but you will have to decide the pace at which to move.

First things first…pick a day to move.

Surprisingly it’s sometimes the hardest part, the equivalent of writing that first page in a new novel or tackling that first mile on a long run. Once you get over that hump, the rest will follow more easily. Without that as a goal, you are more likely to keep putting off other essential tasks until it’s too late to do anything but rush headlong through it all — and there’s no better way to lose things or wind up paying too much.

You can’t take it (all) with you

But you can take a lot of it! Depending on the amount of space you’re moving from and to, you’ll probably have to leave some things behind. Pick a designated spot or even a room in your home for placing items that won’t be coming with you, and every day place one or two more things in that area. What can you live without? And what do you absolutely need with you?

Frequency of use, emotional value, price, size…all of these are factors to consider. You may wind up having to weigh practicality against sentimentality a great deal, but don’t let that delay you from making those hard choices. Make them and never look back, or you may wind up second-guessing all of your stay-or-go choices!

Categorical imperative

As with items you aren’t taking with you, you’ll need to pick a space where you can easily get to the things that will be going with you. Before you even think about getting boxes, you should categorize all your belongings and leave them in corresponding areas. For example Cooking, Bathroom, Books, Pet Supplies, Computers, TV and other electronics, etc.

Pack early, pack smart

Don’t wait until the day before the move to pack. Do it little by little to avoid that overwhelming sense of futility. Pack either by category or by room — it doesn’t matter — just keep packing once you start. Even if you don’t do any other packing until the day of the move except for one item a day, that will be one item per day less than what you would have had to pack.

Also, depending on your “from” and “to,” you’ll need to either make space for some new items or decide if you’ll be leaving behind even more of your things. Climate will be the biggest factor in this regard. For example: Cold-country clothes are bulkier than warm-state clothes, but in a warmer area you’ll also be doing more sweating. So you may need to keep a larger supply of “backup” outfits until your body fully acclimates to the heat and pares down its sweating.

Four walls and a roof won’t rent themselves!

If you know you’ll be moving out of state but don’t know exactly where you’ll be residing yet, make that your next order of business. Chances are you won’t be able to afford the multi-week, state to state moving expedition that it usually takes to secure a new home, but that’s fine. There are numerous online resources that will do that legwork for you, providing you with a wide array of statistics as well as up-to-date images of properties.

Googlemaps’ Street View, while not necessarily useful in property searches, can help fill in the picture with snapshots of what your potential new “hood” is like.

Pick a moving company or beg your buds

Someone has to help you move, and it’s either going to be a professional moving company or a group of your closest friends, at least if the state you’re moving to is near your current state. If the former, however, take some time to ask around and see if your friends have found one company or another particularly dependable. Narrow the choice down to no more than three movers and get estimates of the cost from all three.

If your friends will be helping, make sure to have a meal (or two) ready to feed them all, and keep them hydrated. Accidents happen when people are tired (from lack of food) or their minds are on other things (like how thirsty they are).

Notify, notify, notify

Once you know where you’ll be living (and by when), tell everyone who needs to know. That includes loved ones, businesses and government agencies. First, fill out a change of address form with the post office. That will ensure most of your mail heads 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 utilities company (also notify them when they can shut off services), financial and credit institutions, the HR department of your employer, the IRS, friends and relatives, your doctor and pharmacy.

A “new you” state of mind

So you’re no longer moving out of state… you’ve moved. Your new home may seem like a house made of boxes right now, but before you get lost in unpacking there are a few more pressing matters you may want to deal with.

You’ll likely need a new driver’s license, registration, vehicle tags and insurance — if your new home is not mass-transit friendly. Alternately, you may need to get a subway/train/bus pass and take some time to learn your way around that system.
Pick up a few necessities at the grocery and hardware stores.

And even more importantly, find out where the nearest hospital, fire station and police station are.

No less important than any of these other items, however, will be your need to stay in contact with others, from loved ones to emergency services. With Vonage, though, you can eliminate this concern altogether and keep your home number from the state you just left, same area code and all! No need to change numbers then share that info through annoying updates, texts and emails.

All you need to do is pack up your home phone and your Vonage Box™ for the big move, then plug your internet service and your phone into the back of the Vonage Box…and ta-da, your new phone number is your old phone number!

If your state to state moving is going to be a lengthy trip, though, to a state where you have few if any new contacts, you may want to take Vonage up on the offer to include a new local number on your home phone, in addition to your old local number. Whether folks call you on your original or new number, they’ll always get you at local rates.

View and print our full moving checklist here.

And if you aren’t yet a Vonage customer but are moving out of state soon…

Sign up with us and we can transfer your number within 10 business days, and you’ll be able to take your old number with you!

Learn more about moving with Vonage and how you can keep your number when you switch phone service to Vonage.