Relocating or Downsizing to Another State?

Relocating to a new home

Top Tips to Make Sure the Move is Stress-Free.

Downsizing for any reason can be a taxing endeavor. There are a number of steps in the process that, if not completed in the right order, can end up causing more stress than necessary. In fact, knowing which steps to take and in which order is one of the informational sessions we present at each one of our Upside of Downsizing conferences.

Sometimes downsizing involves moving, and not just from one residence to another, or from one town to another in your home state. It can involve relocating to an entirely new state, which adds another column of items to your “to do” list.

Top Tip #1 – Know Your Surroundings

Presumably, if you are moving to another state, it is because it is an area you have visited in the past or have knowledge about, which contributed to your decision to make the move. Some seniors and boomers move to a new city or state to be closer to family and friends, or because they’ve discovered a retirement community in the area that greatly appeals to them. For these individuals, they will likely have the help needed to familiarize themselves with their new home.

If you are relocating to a new community, however, without spending much time in it first, it is critical to visit the area and get to know your surroundings. Take a few days to visit the area and view it from the eyes of a tourist. Note where all of the necessities are: grocery stores, pharmacies, doctor’s offices and hospitals and entertainment venues (restaurants, theaters, etc.). Make sure everything you are likely to need is available within a reasonable distance from where you will be living.

Top Tip #2 – Public Transportation

As we age, and are unable to drive either by choice or necessity, having access to reliable and affordable public transportation becomes an important consideration in any move. In our last blog, we discussed a variety of transportation options available to seniors and boomers, including trains and buses, subways and ride-hailing services (Uber and Lyft) to name a few.

If you are relocating to a major metropolitan area, chances are, you will have one – if not all – of these options available to you. Likewise, if you plan to relocate to a retirement community, many of them now offer residents transportation for weekly shopping trips and other appointments.

Check out last week’s blog to see how each of these options works.

Top Tip #3 – Organizing and Packing

When you’re just moving across town, it can be much easier to organize, pack and transport items from one home to another. But it can be quite another story when you’re moving to another state. Forget something, and it’s a whole lot harder to get it to your new location later.

As with any other downsizing, it’s crucial to organize your items before you begin packing. Make three piles: keep, discard and donate. Make sure an item is truly something you can’t live without before you include it in your keep pile.

When you’re ready to pack up the items that will be going with you, make sure you follow these tips for packing in an efficient manner and making moving day a success.

Top Tip #4 – Change Everything Over

When relocating across town, most folks have little to worry about short of changing over their address with the postal service and other vital government agencies. However, when you’re moving to a new state, there are a lot of other things to which you must attend. Here’s a list of some of the things you will need to address in the days leading up to your move, and immediately afterwards:

  • Obtain copies of your medical records from your current healthcare providers, including prescriptions. Ask your healthcare providers if they have recommendations for colleagues in the area to which you’re moving who will be able to provide the same level of service.
  • Cancel all of your current subscriptions to utilities and other services prior to moving day. If you do not have access to a cell phone, it is important to make sure your home phone is in working order until you are ready to move in case of emergency. You may also want to consider purchasing a “pay-as-you-go” mobile phone to be used during this time.
  • If you are taking your vehicle with you, and plan to drive it, have it inspected and serviced before making the trip. When you arrive at your new location, in addition to obtaining a new driver’s license for your new state of residence, you also will need to find out the registration requirements for your vehicles.
  • Notify tax collection agencies in your current city of residence of your move. You will likely need to provide proof that you are moving out of the area before they will remove you from the tax rolls. This is a very important step, so make sure you do it! Failure to remove yourself from the tax rolls could result in you being sent for delinquent tax collection for an area in which you no longer live.
  • Make sure all important documents – taxes, medical records, etc. – are packed in a secure location so they make it safely during the move. If you plan to drive your own vehicle to your new location, it may be advisable to keep important documents on your person, rather than in a moving truck.

Have tips to make an out-of-state move successful or a story to share about relocating out of state? We’d love to hear about them in the comments.

Mary Spann

Mary Spann

Mary Spann is the founder and president of Upside of Downsizing®. In addition to her 26 years in construction, interior design, and home staging, Mary also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work, making her uniquely qualified to assist with the downsizing process. Mary learned the key components of construction and interior design at an early age. Her father was a prominent custom home builder in Minnesota and Texas, and her mother was a successful interior designer and a real estate broker.
Mary Spann

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