Moving out of state: what am I forgetting?
November 27, 2017 11:43 AM   Subscribe

I have lived in two towns in the same state my entire life (even during college!). I am moving out of state next month. I'm pretty organized, but low-key freaking out a little bit. What move-related things am I forgetting?

This feels like such a silly question, but here we are! I've already found the threads on packing, what to put in the "open first" box, and decluttering, but what else do I need to know before my first interstate move? I'm moving Virginia to Maryland, if that matters, so I'll be in the same (DC) metro area, but about 40 minutes away.

Things I've thought about: I have movers, I know where we're moving to, I'm renting boxes, I've gotten the paperwork in a pile for leaving the old apartment and beginning the lease in the new one, I've got the day off work for the move, I know I'll need to change my driver's license and voter registration. I have no kids, pets, or houseplants. What else should I know about or plan for that will make this process less anxiety-provoking and smoother? Are there any Maryland-specific quirks that I should be ready for?

Bonus question: how do I get settled/established/find a social group in my new town quickly? I'm keeping my same job (with a shorter commute, hooray!), but I haven't really moved between cities in about fourteen years, so my getting-oriented skills are definitely rusty.
posted by bowtiesarecool to Home & Garden (15 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
In addition to your drivers' license, register your car (and potentially pay any taxes), and let your car insurance know you've moved. If Maryland has any state certifications that Virginia doesn't have, you'll need to do those (when I moved to California I had to get my car smog checked, for example).
posted by radioamy at 11:46 AM on November 27, 2017 [4 favorites]

Fill out the online USPS change of address form.
posted by lakeroon at 11:57 AM on November 27, 2017 [4 favorites]

They'll probably help you out with this at work, but your insurance options may change. Be prepared for a change in taxation, too, though if you're not moving to Baltimore (which taxes twice, basically), you probably don't need to worry about this too much (in fact, your state taxes may even go down a little).
posted by ubiquity at 11:59 AM on November 27, 2017 [1 favorite]

Have some cash on hand to tip the movers. I always bought them lunch and/or snacks too.
posted by lakeroon at 12:00 PM on November 27, 2017 [3 favorites]

Best answer: I just did this (though not to MD). I wound up with a spreadsheet listing out all my todos, such as:

Address updates: in addition to the generic forwarding, change address with employer, banks, credit cards, investment accounts, cell phone, ez-pass, subscriptions, professional memberships, the auto-fill in your web browsers, "home" in map applications, any online merchants that have an address stored, etc...

Medical updates: move any prescriptions to a nearby pharmacy, and find a new PCP

Car stuff: buy insurance for the new state, get car registered in new state

Getting settled: finding lots of events (both personal and professional) that interest me, in the hope that I might find other people with shared interests. Also, spending a lot of time treating my new city like I'm a tourist, using tripadvisor and yelp and such to find things to try.
posted by grudgebgon at 12:03 PM on November 27, 2017 [3 favorites]

Handy when you're unpacking: make sure you know your new city's trash pick-up rules and day(s).

In addition to car insurance, update/change your home/renter's insurance.

Change your address in EZ Pass or any similar auto-pay thing.
posted by TwoStride at 12:14 PM on November 27, 2017 [1 favorite]

Sooooo many address changes for soooo many accounts. Credit cards, checking account, retirement accounts, cell phone, insurance, shopping websites (Amazon, Target, whatever) so you don't accidentally send your purchases to your old address, anything that you could potentially receive written correspondence from.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 1:23 PM on November 27, 2017 [1 favorite]

Car inspection might still be a thing in MD, so you might need to get that done before you can get MD plates.

Test out new commuting options (routes, car vs bike/bus) over your first few weeks before settling on one. Know your alternatives in case of road closures/etc.
posted by bilabial at 1:57 PM on November 27, 2017

Best answer: Leave forwarding addresses with all utilities and your old landlord to follow up with any financial stuff (i.e. I got small refunds back from the cable company and gas company plus my security deposit back from my property manager).

Keep written confirmations of all utility closures (gas company said I owed more money because they had a different cut off date than me so I showed proof of the notification I received confirming the shut off dates).

Update any magazine subscriptions and anything you get via mail. Check if you want to stop any subscriptions since lots of them now do auto-renewals. (I kept a running list of anything that physically showed up in my mail box and updated them with my new address). As far as the post office, my small town post office screwed up and had been holding a month's worth of mail before I contacted them to find out why nothing had been forwarded.

Car: Car insurance, registration, inspection, check if you need to take a drivers test.

Ask your doctor's office to give you a summary of your records and a list of current meds / dosages.

Here's something I still need to do - update my dog's micro chip emergency contact info! Also for pets - get copies of any vet records / meds. Check if your new town requires pet registrations or licenses.

Parking in your new town - my new town has weird specific parking regulations.

If you are on Facebook, look up groups that are resident specific to that town. They can be a fount of useful information if you are in need of specific local ideas and recommendations.
posted by HeyAllie at 2:11 PM on November 27, 2017

For Maryland-specific stuff - I've never lived in Maryland but I've heard that it is VERY strict about getting your car registered (and inspected? and maybe excise/car tax?) and your license transferred. So all the car stuff people are saying - don't procrastinate!
posted by mskyle at 2:29 PM on November 27, 2017

Voter registration and information about upcoming events.
posted by TrishaU at 2:33 PM on November 27, 2017

Make sure your health insurance will cover you in the new state. My mom had a nasty surprise.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 2:38 PM on November 27, 2017 [2 favorites]

Best answer: I’m moving from DC to MD! For MD, I know they have added a bunch of online options for the MVA and I know there are Express Centers/kiosks that could get driver license/car changes done more quickly. You can also update your voter registration here.

For social things, I have no pulse on MD either. I know there are some active Meet Up groups—I was in a bar in downtown Bethesda and saw a big group of professionals doing happy hour via Meet up.
posted by inevitability at 2:47 PM on November 27, 2017

Best answer: Have easy-to-prep and happy food on hand both before you move (ie. for during never-ending packing), and when you get to your new home (for never-ending unpacking!). Things like frozen meals to keep you from having to worry about starving, and save you from cooking! Cereal and milk, ice cream, wine... treat yo self because moving can be too much.
posted by Drosera at 5:05 PM on November 27, 2017

Response by poster: I marked a bunch of best answers, but thank you all so much! My to-do list has gotten longer and that makes me feel so much better, especially the heads-up about needing to get on the car stuff, pronto. I have the whole week between Christmas and New Year's off to move and go hang out at the MVA forever, so hopefully this will actually be my least-painful move ever!

And if not, I'll also be following Drosera's advice to treat yo self. We've already identified the closest corner wine shop and delivery pizza place.
posted by bowtiesarecool at 6:59 AM on November 29, 2017

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