Moving home is always stressful, but when you’re moving to an entirely new state, it can even feel like moving to another country. Every state has its own laws, regulations, and even traditions, making an out of state move seem almost impossibly complicated. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be as stressful as you might be fearing. Relocation always exposes you to potential headaches, but the following checklist should help you through the process with minimal stress. While disruption is inevitable, your responses to it don’t have to be. If you’re in the process of moving to a brand new state, then here’s everything that you need to do in order to make the process as seamless and stress-free as possible.

The Importance of Research

This should always be your first step. Luckily, you can do plenty of research online in Charleston about your new state without ever leaving your home. The internet is a goldmine of information, so take your time and look at both official and personal websites about what it’s like to live in your new state. Remember to research the essentials such as:

  • Public transport
  • Work opportunities
  • Cost of living
  • Local schools
  • Availability of medical professionals

Once you have the essentials researched, remember to look at leisure activities as well.

If you have the time, always pay at least one visit to your new state. There’s nothing better than having feet on the ground in your new area. Explore as much as you can in the real world, and you’ll have a much clearer idea of what to expect when you complete your move to or from Charleston.

Organize Your Home

Always have a destination organized before you start packing. If you don’t have a home already organized then that should be your next priority. Get in contact with local realtors rather than relying on message boards and housing forums. Moving to a new state is a huge step, and you don’t want to arrive at your new home in Charleston only to find that the owner has changed their mind. Find a local expert who is aware of the local housing market. This will cut down on the time you spend looking at possible homes, leaving you more time to prepare what you need to get ready.

Choosing the right movers

Never rely on friends and family to help you move. This hard and fast rule is even more relevant when you’re moving long distance. Check reviews of the most popular removals companies in your Charleston area and discuss the costs of your move with them. Get recommendations from friends and family who have recently moved, but always check the additional online reviews before you contact them. Professional removal companies in Charleston will be licensed, so check that they have the right Department of Transportation paperwork before you sign any moving contracts. Make sure that you get quotes from at least three removal companies before you commit to your final choice.

Prep your Paperwork

There are going to be a huge number of official documents that you need to keep secure and close during your move. Keep all of your paperwork close to hand in a secure and labeled box. These documents will include:

  • Your social security details.
  • Birth certificates for you and every member of your household.
  • All tax forms and documents.
  • The school records of your children.

The more secure your official documents are, the less likely that you will hit stumbling blocks throughout your move. Make sure that you have copies of your new lease as well, in order to avoid confusion when you arrive at your new home.

Updating accounts and services

Basic accounts will either have to be closed down completely or transferred to your new state. Your priorities are going to be:

  • Bank accounts
  • Your cable provider
  • Utility providers
  • Any direct debits you have set up for local Charleston services
  • Deliveries such as produce, magazines, or newspapers

Make sure that you have your driver’s license and social security details close to hand as you make these arrangements. Often, it’s a good idea to have an available budget in case of cancellation fees or unpaid bills.

Your Driving License

If you drive, then you’re going to need to transfer your license to your new state. There are time limits that will need to be adhered to, and these will depend on the individual state. You will have to visit the DMV to make this transfer, so don’t forget your current driving license, your proof of residency, your social security details, as well as an extra type of ID like your birth certificate.

Consider a Sale

Moving your possessions across the country is going to be expensive. You can reduce that cost by getting rid of non-essentials. Lighten the load by selling whatever you don’t need, and you might even make enough money to help you pay for the move itself. Consider either a garage sale or sell online. Craigslist, eBay, and even Facebook have made it easier than ever to sell your unwanted possessions, so don’t feel obligated to transport everything that you own across state lines.

Pack like a Pro

Packing is going to be your single biggest and most exhausting task when moving. There are hundreds of resources for those people hoping to pack the right way, but the advice boils down to the following:

  • Pack by room – Don’t mix and match kitchen utensils with your pillows and blankets.
  • Label every box – This will make it easier to make sure the right box is unloaded into the right room, saving you time and effort when it comes to unpacking.
  • Have an ‘essentials’ box – It’s exhausting to travel, and it’s horrific to spend all day traveling across state lines only to get to your new home and not be able to find the home luxuries. Make sure that you have toilet paper, a kettle, and some snacks in an easily identifiable box so that you don’t have to stop everything to run to the shops.

It’s a good idea to use a packing calculator in advance so that you have some idea of how many boxes you’re going to need. Pack non-essentials first, and only start packing the items that you use every day when moving day gets closer.

Remember your Mail

One of the last things to do before you pile into the car and head off to your new life is to inform USPS of your change of Charleston address. You can do this online and specify your moving date. That way, any mail sent to your old address will be forwarded, meaning that you will not miss out on any important packages or post.

While moving to a new state is an exciting time, it can also be time-consuming to arrange. Set aside your fears and focus on the practical elements. By working your way through this checklist, your move will come much more quickly, and you may be relaxing in your new home, in a new state, before you know it.