How to Stay Organized When Moving Out of State

Moving out of state is a stressful process. However, there are many things you can do to stay organized and make the process go as smoothly as possible.

Research Moving Companies

Start researching moving companies as soon as you can; it typically takes more time for movers to accommodate a long distance move vs. a local move. Rather than getting a quote over the phone, Real Simple suggests having a representative come out to your home to give you a more accurate estimate, also known as an in-home estimate. According to the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration), an interstate moving company is legally obligated to provide you with an in-home quote if you live within 50 miles of their office. Make sure to request your quote in writing and that it lists a USDOT (U.S. Department of Transportation) number. The number on your moving truck should match the number provided in the estimate.

Create a Moving Binder

Keep all of your moving estimates, receipts, and a list of everything you’re moving in this binder.

Purge and Donate

Moving out of state can be expensive, so you’ll want to minimize how much you bring with you. Throw away or donate the things you don’t want or need anymore. Donate gently used items to charity, and get a receipt for the items you donate from the organization you give them to. Make a list of everything you donate so that you can claim a tax deduction when you file your taxes.

Research New Institutions

You’ll need a new doctor, and if you have children, you’ll have to enroll them in a new school. You may also need to select a new bank. Research all of your options, and ask for referrals. Collect all the paperwork you’ll need, such as school records and medical records, and pack them into your valuables box.

Change of Address

Good Housekeeping recommends making a list of all the places you’ll need to notify about your address change, such as the post office, credit card companies, bank, and utility company. Don’t forget to change your address on all of your online accounts as well.

Choose Your Mover

Approximately one month before you move, choose which moving company you’ll use. Get all of the details, including costs and your move date in writing.


Start packing the items you use most infrequently first, such as your waffle iron. Note items of value; these may need additional insurance from your moving company. Write down any items you have that are valued at more than $100 per pound, such as your desktop computer.


As you pack each box, write down all of its contents on your inventory. Label each box with a number and its designated location. Be sure to write the box’s number on your inventory so that you know exactly what the box contains. To make it easier to find your boxes, place color-coded labels on them. Use yellow labels for boxes that go into your kitchen, green labels for boxes that go into your bedroom, and red labels for living room boxes.

Separate Your Valuables

Put valuable items, such as your jewelry and important documents, such as your social security card and birth certificate, into a special box that you will transport to your new home yourself.

Pack an Essentials Box

This moving company Houston, TX suggests designating a box for essential items you’ll need right away. Include enough clothes for each family member for a few days, hygiene essentials, such as toothbrushes and toothpaste, paper plates and utensils, and medication. If you have pets, be sure to pack their medication, food, food and water bowls, a few toys, and their favorite bed or blanket into the essentials box as well. You may want to transport this box to your new location yourself so that you can easily keep track of it.

Making an out-of-state move is stressful. Using the tips listed here can help you stay organized during your move and make the process go as smoothly as possible.

Tips for Safely Parking a Moving Truck Overnight

You’re all packed for that long ride to a new home. Excitement is in the air as you turn over the engine on your rented moving truck. However, the drive is going to take longer than just one day. You need at least one night to rest and finish up the drive on the next day. Parking at the hotel creates a dilemma because the truck will be visible to anyone nearby. Thieves might get the wrong idea and break into your rental. Be as safe as possible by following a few tips about rental-truck parking. Your move will be a smooth one as a result.

1. Keep it Close

U-Haul suggests that the moving truck should always be close in proximity to your family. When you arrive at the hotel, look for your room and an adjacent parking space. Try to make these areas as close together as possible. Thieves don’t want to be near any people when they break into vehicles. Your proximity is key to avoiding any theft.

2. Choose Well-Lit Areas

Every hotel has both dark and well-lit areas in the parking lot. Along with being close to the parking spot, also choose an area with a lot of light, reports Moving Insider. Pick a space that has an overhead light on for the entire night. Some lights are motion-sensing types, however. Avoid these fixtures because there are too many periods of darkness to be safe.

3. Try a Wall

Back up against a wall so that thieves cannot open the rear door, suggests moving companies SF. This safety tactic is probably the most effective type. If there’s no other access point to your belongings, the entire truck would have to be stolen. There’s too much effort to this crime so thieves will typically skip your vehicle altogether.

4. Look for a Tree

If you don’t have a nearby wall to use, Home Advisor suggests a tree defense. Pull up beside a tree with a strong trunk. It may not block the entire door, but it stops thieves from pulling large items from the truck.

5. Employ Padlocks and Safety Chains

It goes without saying that the truck should be locked overnight. Go a few steps further and add your padlock, suggests Penske Truck Rental. If your moving vehicle is a trailer being hauled by a separate car, use safety chains to bind them together. Thieves won’t want to bother with these challenging obstacles.

6. Consider a Lookout

You’re following every safety guideline, but you’re still concerned about your belongings. Try an old-fashioned strategy by assigning lookouts for the night. Every family member can take two hours out of the night to watch the vehicle from a window.

Always opt for the insurance on the rental truck before you head out on your adventure. The insurance covers any damage to the vehicle. Also, verify the details of your homeowner’s insurance. Some policies cover theft on your items, including when they’re located in a moving truck. Covering yourself with insurance policies will give you peace of mind as you make the trip out to your new home.

How to Decide What Size Storage Unit You Need Before Moving Day

Moving day is almost upon you, and you know one thing for sure: The new place isn’t big enough to hold all of your stuff. You’re going to have to rent a storage unit. This isn’t surprising — nearly 10 percent of Americans require additional space for storing and protecting their belongings. But what size unit will you need? Read on for information about the standard industry options, and which one might be right for you.

5×5 — Closet

This is a popular choice if your new dwelling is roughly the same size as your last, but you need storage for a few household items and pieces of furniture that don’t quite fit the new space. Its compact size makes it easy to return for items you might need once you’re settled in.

5×10 — Walk-In Closet

If you’re downsizing to a home with fewer bedrooms, this size unit should comfortably hold the contents of the lost room. According to Cheap Movers San Diego (, this is good option for those who plan to return to a larger dwelling in the next year or so.

10×10 — Small Bedroom

With the help of a savvy and efficient packing job, this unit can be used to store the contents of an entire 2-bedroom house or apartment. Young adventurers who are moving house only temporarily would be happiest with this choice.

10×15 — Average Bedroom

According to, this unit will comfortably hold the contents of a 2-3 bedroom house, making it perfect for anyone whose new home is already fully furnished. If you’re downsizing to this degree but aren’t quite ready to part with all your things, consider renting this size unit.

10×20 — 1-Car Garage

If you need to store a vehicle or a boat, then this is the option for you. The unit will shelter and protect your investment until you’re ready to return. Alternatively, it can be used to store the contents of an entire 3-4 bedroom house easily.

10×30 — Extra-Large Bedroom

The largest among the standard industry options, this unit will hold a car and a boat as well as all of the furnishings from a smaller 3-bedroom or average 2-bedroom home. The ideal choice for anyone who is undergoing a significant life change or planning extensive travel, and intends to store their belongings for five years or more.

Whichever size you choose, remember to pack efficiently and stack objects neatly — when it comes time to retrieve your belongings, you’ll be glad you took this extra step. If possible, use color-coding on your boxes to make it easier to locate certain items later on. Proper preparation and planning are the keys to a successful move.

If you have additional inquiries or concerns — especially those that relate to your chosen area — websites such as Storage Seeker can help you make a decision. Best of luck on your new adventure!

Tips for Packing and Loading Large Household Appliances for a Move

There are many different areas to address when preparing for a move. Transporting large appliances can be especially tricky because of their bulky size and extra parts. Get your large appliances safely moved into your new home with these expert tips.

1. Read Appliance Manuals

A good place to start when preparing to move a washer and dryer or other large appliances is to read each of their manuals. In them, you should find detailed instructions on how to safely prepare your appliance for a move. If you have misplaced the appliance manual, or the instructions for moving it are not listed, don’t fret. Most manuals can be downloaded from the manufacturer’s website or other online appliance manual communities.

2. Prepare the Appliances

Once you have gathered all of the necessary information regarding the appliances you are looking to move, it is time to prepare them for transporting. Preparations often include:

  • unplugging the appliance in advance
  • cleaning the appliance
  • removing drawers and storage shelves
  • unfastening hoses and bolts

The refrigerator often requires the most care during a move because the freezer needs to be defrosted in advance and food should be removed and transferred to a cooler for safe keeping. Additionally, if any of your appliances are connected to a gas line Imperial Movers suggests having a professional come to your home to safely disconnect the line.

3. Storing Parts

Large appliances often have several cords, hoses, bolts, and shelves attached to them. To ensure the appliance works properly and to avoid unwanted additional costs, storing these parts securely during a move is crucial. The best way to keep them in order is to store the parts inside of the appliance or taping the parts to the back of the appliance. If this isn’t possible, label each part with which appliance it goes to and packs it in a box that is reserved specifically for appliance parts.

Place the box towards the front of the moving truck so that it is easily accessible. Appliances should be set up promptly upon entering a new home, so having it readily available will make that a much easier goal to achieve.

4. Protect Appliances During Transport

To avoid damaging appliances during a move:

  • secure doors with packaging tape
  • wrap them in moving blankets
  • utilize appliance rollers or furniture sliders
  • secure appliances to the dolly with furniture straps

Take care when moving heavy appliances so as not to injure yourself. Always lift them with at least two people, and use a furniture dolly whenever possible.

Once you have safely transported the appliances to your new home, make setting them up a top priority. The refrigerator should be the first appliance installed since it takes 24 hours for the internal temperature to regulate and safely store food. Large appliances are a vital part of the home, so handling them with care during a move is important to keep them running efficiently.