Tips for Moving—Start Your Moving Process Right

Real Estate - June 26, 2023
Mother and son packing moving boxes.

Getting ready to move into a new state or even across the country? You’ve got your moving checklist full of items to pack, last-minute things to do, and where to gas up as you travel. But even moving to a new house in the same town is a big ordeal. So moving out of state involves far more than you might first imagine!

Knowing how to plan to move out of state requires more than a quick note on your phone. The moving process is complex from start to finish. That’s why we have gathered all the tips for moving you could ever need: tips for moving out of state, tips for moving across the country, and even just tips for moving into a new apartment. Stick around to gain helpful insight on how to move into your next home!

Packing your possessions

Let’s start with the basics. No matter how far you are moving, you need a solid plan of action, including a house or apartment move-out checklist, when it comes to packing. Here are a few pointers to help you pack like pro:

Eat, donate, or otherwise get rid of perishable or unwanted items.

Even if you are just moving down the street, packing food is tedious. Make it easier on yourself by eating or composting food in your fridge. Go through your pantry and donate canned or dry goods that you haven’t used in a while. The same goes for everything else in your house. Now is the best time for a purge of any items that you haven’t used recently or that you know you don’t need anymore. For extra cash, you could take them to your local thrift shop!

Label, label, label.Woman working on her house moving checklist.

Whether a certain box holds 3 items or 30, write the items on the sides of the box. Mark down which rooms the items go in. If something is fragile, write that in big letters so you or whoever is carrying the box will know not to toss it in the corner.

Layer your boxes.

When possible, tuck smaller boxes inside bigger boxes. If you have a few little cardboard boxes and one big plastic bin, you can save space and effort by stowing them all together for the move.

Make bulky items smaller.

Think about your furniture, lamps, area rugs, and other big belongings. If you can disassemble the bedframe or take a few screws out of the desk so the legs come off, do it! Break down your large lamps by removing the shades and bulbs and wrapping cords around the base. Roll your rugs up tight.

Use your resources. (It saves money.)

Wondering how to protect your delicate items without spending money on bubble wrap? Wrap them in towels, old shirts, socks and other soft items laying around your house. Use old, beat-up boxes as padding around furniture. Layer blankets or cloths between stacked items so they don’t scratch each other. Suddenly, your clothing and linen closets are treasure troves of moving material!

Keep your essential items separate.

Some things simply can’t be packed until the last minute, such as your moving clothes, last-minute meals and dishes, makeup, and toothbrush. Keep your essentials in a separate bag that you can live out of until it comes time to unpack later.

Moving house tips

You’ve gotten all your possessions packed, your boxes labeled, and your essentials stowed away. Great! Now it’s time for the next step—getting your stuff from one place to the other. Let’s start small and talk about tips for moving locally into a new rental house or apartment. Sounds simple, right? But it requires a lot of forethought.

Contact your landlords.Mother and daughter admiring a framed photo they are packing into a moving box.

Hopefully, you have already alerted your current landlord that you won’t be renewing your lease. Stay in touch with them and let them know a more certain moving date too. You’ll need to work with your landlord on how and when to give them the keys, as well as completing other tasks to ensure that your old place is all tidied up and ready for you to leave.

You also want to contact your new landlord to get some important questions answered. Ask how and when you can receive the keys, what the parking arrangements are, and how rent payments will work. It’s also a good time to get clarification on any special accommodations you may need, like handicap access, elevator use, etc.

Check out all the details.

What will the utilities be like in your new rental space? Which bills are you paying, and which bills is your future landlord paying? How is the new neighborhood? Look into proximity to good schools, gyms, churches, public transportation and more. Also, consider doing a quick sex offender search to learn of any potential red flags in the new area and creating a moving checklist.

Decide if you need hired movers.

If you think you can handle the driving, lifting, and carrying all by yourself, that’s great! But sometimes, professional movers make life a lot easier by doing the heavy lifting for you. Maybe you have large, delicate furniture that can’t be disassembled. Hired movers know how to transport those items carefully to keep them safe.

Tips for moving out of state for the first time

Know what you are moving to.

Long-distance moves require planning for weeks or months ahead of time. Make sure you have prepared beforehand by taking care of these important details:

  1. Have a job lined up and ready to start soon after arriving.
  2. Research the neighborhood you are moving to.
  3. Create a budget for the move, including hotels, gas stations, road-trip meals, and more.
  4. Plan an itinerary for your journey.
  5. If friends, family, or hired movers are helping, work with them to create a plan of action.

Know the legal things to do when moving to a new state.

Here is a list of the legal documents you may need to update when you move to a new state. Look it over and check off any items you need to take care of soon:

  • Professional licenses can be tricky. Your new state may require you to update your licenses if you are a medical professional, teacher, lawyer, real estate agent, etc. Some states may even require you to apply for a new license.
  • Your driver’s license and vehicle registration must reflect your new state of residence.
  • You should register to vote in your new state right away, so you’ll be prepared for the next election season.
  • Forward all your mail to your new address. Start as soon as possible—maybe even before you move, just to ensure that it’s all going to the new place.
  • Insurance is important! Make sure your various insurance providers know where you are moving to. If necessary, find other providers in your new state.
  • Tell your bank, investment companies, credit card companies and other financial institutions about your move.
  •  Educate yourself on the tax laws in your new state.
  • Consider updating or creating your Will as you make this big life change.

Check out this Consumer Rights and Responsibilities Handbook if you are moving out of state.

Tips for moving—take legal advice with you!Woman checking items off her apartment moving checklist

No matter how far or near you are moving, it is a complicated process that can easily get more difficult as time goes on. Legal issues can pop up in a second and last for days, weeks or even months if you don’t know how to resolve them yourself. But with all the hassle of moving, who wants to schedule expensive, time-consuming appointments with a lawyer for advice?

Let LegalShield do some of the legal heavy lifting for you.

LegalShield is ready to help make your moving process easier! For an affordable monthly membership that updates automatically, you can access an entire LegalShield provider law firm. Our lawyers are dedicated to LegalShield members. Our membership offers:

  • Get consultation on an unlimited number of personal legal matters.
  • Receive your LegalShield provider law firm’s help reviewing personal legal documents (starting at up to 15 pages or less), making a phone call or write a letter on your behalf, and more.
  • Access a simple Will questionnaire on the LegalShield mobile app to make creating or updating your Will easier than ever.
  • Upload speeding tickets on the app so your lawyer can promptly view and assist with the issue.
  • Got a legal emergency? You have 24/7 emergency access for covered personal legal issues.
  • Personal legal services that are not provided by the contract are available at a discount off your provider lawyer’s standard hourly rate.
  • You can cancel your LegalShield Membership anytime.

Do you need to find out if you should get renters insurance before your big move or have any unanswered personal legal questions? Speak to a provider lawyer near you through LegalShield’s network of professionals with your personal legal plan.

Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc. (“PPLSI”) provides access to legal services offered by a network of provider law firms to PPLSI members through membership-based participation. Neither PPLSI nor its officers, employees or sales associates directly or indirectly provide legal services, representation, or advice. The information available in this blog is meant to provide general information and is not intended to provide legal advice, render an opinion, or provide any specific recommendations. The blog post is not a substitute for competent legal counsel from a licensed professional lawyer in the state or province where your legal issues exist, and the reader is strongly encouraged to seek legal counsel for your specific legal matter. Information contained in the blog may be provided by authors who could be a third-party paid contributor. All information by authors is accepted in good faith, however, PPLSI makes no representation or warranty of any kind, express or implied, regarding the accuracy, adequacy, validity, reliability, availability, or completeness of such information.