In addition to the logistics of actually buying a house and then moving all of your belongings to your new place, there are some other important tasks you’ll need to do in order to finalize your move.
Update Your Mailing Address
The USPS makes this step really easy with this form that allows you to change your address and choose the specific date you want your mail to start being forwarded.
Register to Vote
Once you finish updating your address with USPS, the site will give you the option to begin updating your voter registration information as well, or you can separately do so here. Once you’ve filled out the online application, the Travis County Voter Registrar will print your application and mail it back to you with a postage paid envelope. You must sign and date the application and mail it back to Travis County Voter Registrar’s office. Once the office receives your signed application, your voter registration will be complete.
Vehicle Inspection and Registration
Once you get to Texas, you will have 30 days to register your vehicle. After you follow the vehicle registration steps, then you can apply for a Texas driver’s license.
Obtain a New Driver's License
You’ll have up to 90 days after your move to update your driver’s license, and the Texas DMV has kindly outlined the process of transferring an out of state license here. You must apply for a Texas driver’s license in person, and when doing so, surrender your out of state license.
Update Billing Address for Bank Accounts, Credit Cards
If your bank is a national bank, this step is easy and can be done online via your bank’s website. Make sure to update your billing information for each credit or debit card you have. If your current bank is a local or regional one, you’ll probably want to find a new one in Austin. Bankrate’s guide How To Switch Banks outlines the steps on how to successfully switch banks and ensure you don’t miss anything.
Change Address for Any Recurring Subscriptions and Deliveries
Go through and list all of the subscriptions and recurring deliveries you receive and update your address. And, while making the list, cancel the subscriptions that you’ll no longer need or no longer want.
Cancel or Transfer All Memberships
Imagine this: you move to a new city, get all settled in your new house, and then 3 months later realize you’ve still been paying for a gym membership in your previous city. It might seem trivial, but this scenario is quite common, so make sure you avoid it by canceling your memberships. For example, if your gym is a chain, check if there are locations in Austin. If so, inquire about transferring your membership to a different location. If there aren’t locations in Austin, you should cancel your membership and look for a new gym once you arrive. Or, maybe you’ll fall in love with exercising outdoors all around Austin that you’ll end up ditching the gym altogether.
If you’re making a big move distance-wise, like moving from another state, or if you’ve got a lot of furniture and other large items, hiring movers would be in your best interest. When looking for a moving company, vet them! Make sure they have insurance, and take note of any additional fees for gas, boxes, packing supplies, mileage, etc. If they don’t call you the day before the move, make sure to call them and double check everything so your moving day goes as smoothly as possible.
Hire a Cleaning Company
This step isn’t a necessity, but if you can swing it, it will be well-worth your money. You’ll be exhausted after packing everything up and even the thought of having to clean your now-empty house or apartment is probably exhausting. Treat yourself to this gift, and moving will be far less stressful.
Research Storage Facilities
Depending on the amount of stuff you have and the size of your new home, you might consider keeping some of your belongings in storage. Storage is especially helpful if you’ll be moving from a colder climate but still want to hang on to your skis, snow boots, and parkas without taking up too much room in your new space. That way, you’ll still have access to these items when you need them.
Donate Your Belongings
As you’re packing, a great idea is to go through and decide which items you want to keep and which ones you don’t want anymore. Rather than throwing things away, consider donating clothing and other household items to a local thrift store or donation center. You’ll be able to easily offload a lot of stuff while also helping folks who are in need of those items!
Get to Know Austin
To keep yourself going and excited throughout the moving process, make a list of all the things you want to do, see, eat, and try once you get to Austin. Having this list in advance will make it much easier to decide what you want to do once you’re here without getting overwhelmed. Check out sites like Do 512 for an events calendar listing music, art, food, drink, and more all throughout Austin. If social media is where you find lots of ideas, follow @365thingsaustin for things to do around the city every single day of the year.