Your Post-Moving Checklist

Every last box is off the moving truck, and most of them are even unpacked. You’ve called the utility companies and gotten all the proper accounts in your name. All the hard stuff is over, right? Most of it, yes, but you still need to do a few things. Moving doesn’t stop when you start getting mail at your new place. Here are three other tasks to take care of within a month or so of moving.

Find New Doctors, Dentists, and Service Professionals

You moved in September. A month before that, you went to the dentist and had your teeth cleaned, so it’s tempting to think that now you have five whole months before you have to start calling dentists. Similarly, if you had your annual physical and check-up at the doctor a couple months ago, you can wait 10 months to start doing any research on physicians in your area, right? Wrong.

The longer you wait, the less leeway you have in case something goes wrong. You shouldn’t assume that nothing abnormal will happen between now and the next time you’re due for a checkup. If you wake up one day with an abscessed tooth, you don’t want to be cold-calling dentists for the first time and trying to get an emergency appointment. With doctors, the situation can be even more dire, because the United States is experiencing a shortage of primary care doctors. Even if you do find a suitable doctor’s office immediately, they might not have any openings for another six months.

While you’re at it, don’t neglect to research the people who will act as your house doctors in case you need repairs. If your oven goes on the fritz two weeks after you move to Hawaii, do you know where to find a service that focuses on appliance repair in Honolulu? What about a plumber or roofer? Call now to get yourself on the list of established customers.

Update Your License and Registration

You generally have a little leeway if you’re moving within the state rather than to a new state. Let’s use Washington state as an example. If you’re moving from Spokane to Seattle, you can go online to change your address. If you want a new driver’s license with that address, you’ll have to pay a small fee and wait for it to get mailed to you, but otherwise, it’s not a big hassle.

But if you’re moving from Portland to Seattle? That means you’re crossing state lines, and you need an entirely new driver’s license. Some people think that every state gives you 30 days  to update your information, but states such as Washington and California give you only 10 days. That means you need to go to the nearest licensing office and wait in line. Don’t forget to get new plates for your car while you’re at it. For one thing, it’s the law. For another thing, having out-of-state plates might make you a target for police officers looking to make a traffic stop.

Meet the Neighbors

The days where you moved in and immediately got a visit from neighbors bearing food are pretty much over. Sure, the people on your block will probably be aware of your presence, because moving trucks are hard to ignore, but we tend to be more socially isolated nowadays. You can fix that by going over and introducing yourself.

What if you don’t know what to say? Ask them how long they’ve lived here. Ask them what they think of the city. Feel free to be as vague or specific as you want. If you just moved to the Southern college town of Athens, you can ask them about things to do in Athens, GA, or you can talk about how good the University of Georgia’s football team will be this year. As long as approach them to try to make a genuine connection, you’re doing fine. It doesn’t have to be something deep; you can work your way up to more if you feel like it.

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