Even when you are moving cross-country alone, there are plenty of things to think about and consider. However, with moving your family to another state, the whole process tends to get even more complicated. After all, you have more than just your well-being to think about. So, how do I relocate with my family across the country, you ask? Our comprehensive guide has all the answers you are looking for.
How to move your family to another state worry-free? Just follow our tips
How Hard Is It to Move to a Different State With Kids?
A cross-country move is a big endeavor for all household members. However, while adults tend to rationalize the move and focus on practical aspects and relocation benefits, children usually focus on everything they’ll have to leave behind – friends, their old home, familiar environment, and so on. A decision to move is not made by them, nor can they in any way affect it, which can add to their anxiety about the move.
But that is not all! The list of relocation tasks is long, even when a person is relocating to a new city alone, but more work is added when there are kids in the picture. Therefore, know that a long-distance move with kids can get pretty challenging.
Should I Move My Family to Another State?
The answer to this question depends on your reasons for relocating. If your loved ones can prosper and there is a chance you will all be happier after the move, then it is the right choice. Improving your financial situation, providing your kids with better education possibilities and opportunities, and living in a safer environment are all good motives for you and your household members to move to a new home across the country. So, if you have a legitimate reason to relocate, you’re right to wonder – How do I move my family out of state? Follow our guidelines and secure a smooth and stress-free move.
#1 The First Step Is Learning the Child Relocation Laws
Before anything else, you must know if you have legal rights to relocate with kids. This shouldn’t be a problem if you’re married or have sole custody. However, some issues may occur if you’re divorced and share custody with the other parent.
An interstate move can raise a dispute between parents. In that case, you must have the court’s permission to move – with a judge making a decision based on the child’s best interest. Note that it’s illegal to move your children without the court’s consent. If a judge decides it would be best for them to stay, you must either transfer custody or not move at all.
Law concerning children’s relations varies between states regarding requirements, required notice, and so on. That is why you should consult an attorney with expertise in this field before proceeding with further plans.
Sometimes, you'll have to provide proof that relocation is the best decision for your child
#2 Research the New City
If you have no legal limitations, your next step should be finding the best place to call home. What is the best state to relocate to? Many different factors can affect the answers, but you must ensure that your future destination suits all of the household members. You should check the cost of living in different cities, job opportunities, amenities, climate, and general quality of life, and choose the place that offers the most.
Research is essential even if you don’t have the freedom to choose your next location (when relocating for a job, for example). Before planning a move to another city, you should learn as much as possible about it – and organize your new life accordingly.
Search for the Best Schools and Safe Neighborhoods
When relocating with school-aged kids, one of the most important parts of your research will be choosing the right school for them. The first step should be to check different school districts in the area you’re considering relocating to. Find out which ones have the best test scores and graduation rates. You can also read reviews of different schools online or simply talk to other parents. Find out which schools they send their kids to and whether or not they’re happy with them.
However, you should also consider your child’s needs – some kids do better in a smaller community, while others thrive in a larger one. Consider your child’s personality and learning style when choosing a school. Once you find your perfect match, you should register your children and transfer all the necessary school records.
Additionally, when relocating to another city, you’ll want to ensure your house is in a safe neighborhood. Research crime rates in different areas or talk to the police department. There are also various tools to help you check how safe your neighborhood is. Websites such as Neighborhood Scout can provide you with valuable information about both schools and crime in the area you are considering.
Look for New Doctors, Hospitals, and Healthcare Policies In Another State
At the same time, it’s important to ensure all your household members have access to quality healthcare. Look for new doctors and hospitals in the area, as well as different health insurance, since you’ll probably need to change it after the move. On top of that, keep essential health records up to date and easily accessible when you move so your loved ones can receive the required care in a future location.
Quality healthcare is essential so you and your loved ones can maintain your health
#3 Get the Best Cross-Country Moving Company
Studies show that relocation is one of the most stressful periods in a person’s life. Not only that, but children can often sense the anxiety and stress their parents are feeling. Getting long-distance moving services can simplify this process and make it less stressful for everyone involved. What is the easiest way to move to another state? Contact and check several cross-country moving companies, choose the one that suits you the most, and let the team help you move efficiently.
Arrange Professional Car Shipping, as Well
The more additional services you get, the more manageable the relocation will become. However, while you can opt for or against movers providing you with packing services, getting professional car shipping is basically a necessity when relocating with kids. A move like this includes a long drive, and these are not easy or safe for you or your kids. Once you consider all the benefits of car shipping, you won’t hesitate to book this cross-country moving service.
Choose a Moving Date Wisely
When wondering what the best time of year to move is, you must consider your children’s needs. Relocating during the school year can take a significant toll on them, so it would be best to choose to relocate during the summer. However, know that it is not the cheapest way to move interstate since it implies you will have to relocate during the peak of the season when the prices are the highest.
#4 Make a List of Relocation Tasks
In some ways, relocating with your loved ones doesn’t differ from any other kind of cross-country move. You’ll have a similar to-do list that needs to be completed before the relocation day comes, and it should include tasks such as:
Create a budget
Creating a relocation budget will allow you to manage your finances. There are numerous expenses associated with the move, such as relocation, housing costs, and utilities. By creating a budget, you can ensure that you do not overspend.
Pack your household goods
If you don’t want movers helping you pack, you will have to deal with all the things by yourself. It means decluttering, gathering all the packing materials, and getting to know top packing tips and tricks to protect your belongings appropriately.
Update personal information
Changing the address with USPS is easy and fast, especially if all of your household members share the same last name – all you have to do is fill out the online form. Still, there are many other important institutions you’ll have to notify about the move as well, such as banks, insurance companies, utility providers, IRS, and so on.
Deep-clean your house
When preparing a home for sale, thorough cleaning is a must. Not only does it make your home look nicer for potential buyers, but it also helps you get top dollar once you decide to sell it. If you have many things in your house or are short on time, you may want to consider hiring a professional cleaning company.
#5 Encourage Your Kids to Talk About Their Feelings
It’s normal for kids to feel sad, scared, or angry about the move. Help your kids express their feelings by talking with them. Encourage them to ask questions and share their concerns. You can also help your kids cope with relocation stress and their feelings by:
- Letting them assist with the move,
- Helping them stay in touch with friends and planning a goodbye party,
- Finding activities and clubs for them to join in your future community,
- Make sure they have a comfortable and familiar space in your future house.
Relocating and Living in a New Home Can Be Difficult for Your Young Ones
Note that relocation sometimes causes the symptoms of relocation depression. If you’ve noticed that your kids have been moody, nervous, sad, or even clingier for an extended period, talk to them about it. If symptoms become more severe, consider scheduling a therapy appointment.
Still, there are many ways to help kids deal with the move before you opt to involve a professional therapist. Take a look at the video below for some valuable advice.
#6 Don’t Forget to Take Care of Your Pet(s) During Relocation Preparations
A pet can also be one of your household members. Still, know that there are several things you need to take care of if you have a pet you plan to bring with you when you move. First, take care of all the necessary paperwork and vaccinations well in advance. Remember – there may be different requirements for bringing pets into different states.
Additionally, if you’re relocating with pets, start getting them used to a carrier a few weeks before the move – this will reduce their stress on a relocation day. Upon arrival at your future house, set up a cozy spot for your pets and let them explore their new surroundings at their own pace. Keep an eye on them for the first few days to ensure they settle well.
Relocating pets demands your time and energy - but it's all worth it in the end
#7 Make Sure Everyone Is Safe on the Relocation Day
The day of the move is stressful enough without worrying about everyone’s safety. That is why you should have a designated person in charge of keeping an eye on children and pets. They should be kept away from the action as much as possible to avoid any accidents.
Additionally, try to be aware of your surroundings all the time. If you see something dangerous, alert the person in charge or take care of it. Make sure to clear the pathways to avoid tripping hazards, so you, long-distance movers, or people helping you move don’t get injured. Also, remember to keep an eye on your belongings at all times. Keep valuables with you always, or put them in a safe place where they won’t get lost or damaged.
Ensure Everybody Has an Essential Box Packed
This should include clothes for a few days and the electronics necessary for you to survive until you start with the unpacking process. These necessities also include toiletries, important papers, medications, basic tools, and other things that you would need in an emergency, as well as comfort and entertainment items for your kids. Keep these boxes with you during the move, so you can access their contents easily if necessary.
At the same time, don’t forget to pack a pet care kit with all the essential items your pet will need during the move, such as food, water, toys, and bedding. Be sure you have your pet’s records handy in case you have to provide them to authorities at your destination.
When Moving Your Family to Another State, Get Only the Best Cross-Country Movers
Relocation is a big change for you and all of your household members, and it can be a challenging period, both physically and emotionally. Still, by getting cross-country moving services, you could partially ease the transition.
Hiring a reliable long-distance moving company will provide you with a skilled team that can take on plenty of relocation tasks from your back. This way, you will be left to deal only with a portion of relocation responsibilities. Additional assistance will also allow you to focus more on your loved ones and everything they need during this period.