Ok so you’ve picked the location you’d like to live in and you’ve decided whether or not to hire a broker. You understand the tips and tricks to look for when looking at an apartment and avoided the traps, and all that has led to the place that you really like the look of, awesome! You registered your interest in the place and put in an offer, which has now been accepted and you’ve signed a contract! You’ve picked your movers, you’ve setup your renter’s insurance, and you’ve even forwarded your mail… You’re getting pretty close now!
So now it’s time to make sure you notify all the correct people of your move (there are legal requirements, did you know?), pick some good value furniture (and get all the shopping out of the way), and maybe even give the place a clean!
Who to notify when you move
Now this list is by no means exhaustive but the process is exhausting. There are SO many people you need to notify of your move that you probably won’t even realize but I’ve tried to list all the ones I remembered to date and will keep it up to date as I remember more. These are ranked in terms of importance and priority:
- The US Government
- If you’re here and not a citizen, you have to notify the US Government (USCIS) when you move (you have 10 days). All the instructions here.
- The IRS
- Yep, you should probably tell the tax man where you’re going.
- Your State
- You should notify your state (for the same tax reasons as above) that you’re moving, here’s the guide for NY.
- The DMV
- Your license has your address on it, so you’re going to need to update that one (here’s the NY DMV’s guide). In order to get a new license, you do actually need to go in (annoying, I know).
- Your bank(s)
- They’re the one with all your money and they, for legal reasons, need to know where you are. Your online banking interface should have an option for it but you may have to pop in with your lease at some point.
- Your employer
- You might get paychecks sent to you but even if you don’t, HR is going to want to know where you’re at.
- If you have an insurance of any kind (which you absolutely should if you are renting or living in the US), be sure to notify them so that you don’t lose coverage. If you make a claim and your address is wrong, you don’t want to have to get into a fight about it.
- From my previous article, redirecting your mail is easy so you don’t miss anything but you also get loads of vouchers for your move (including 20% off at Bed, Bath, and Beyond)!
- Gas & Electric
- If you’re currently renting, be sure to move this service to your new place to ensure that you don’t lose coverage.
- Same as above, this one should be pretty obvious.
- One more time.
- Delivery Apps
- So this one is number 12, but realistically we all know it’s #1. Don’t make the mistake of having all your food and packages going to the wrong address. Grab a drink of your choice, sit down and go through all the apps on your phone to make sure that you’re being billed to the correct location. Important ones are Seamless, Uber Eats, Amazon, and Apple itself.
Shopping & Furniture
For those of you who are new to the US, you’re going to need to find all the stores that you go to for your regular day-to-day goods.
- IKEA is here, so you’ve got that if you feel like winding through the IKEA maze and picking up everything you can see.
- Bed, Bath & Beyond has all your sheets, bathroom goods, and kitchenware (just don’t get stuck in there, it’s bigger than you think).
- Amazon of course has everything (including their “Amazon Basics” branded stuff which is actually pretty good).
- West Elm, Crate & Barrel, CB2 and Pier 1 Imports are all lovely if you’re looking for something slightly fancier
- Article.com was a great online service I used for some nicer pieces on my place
Most importantly, be sure to install the app “Honey” (it’s free) in your browser before you start online shopping. This finds any online coupons or kickbacks that might be available to you when you go shopping online! It automatically tests out all the possible combinations and tries to save you as much money as it can. On Amazon, it will also tell you if it’s found a better deal on Amazon. My referral code is this one: https://www.joinhoney.com/ref/upg1as.
Apartments are generally quite tight for space so be wary of what you buy and asking not only whether it will fit into the apartment, but if you will be able to get it up the stairs, past the angry neighbor, and into your door. I learned quickly that doors aren’t nearly as big as you originally thought.
Also for those of you using Amazon, did you know about Amazon Smile which will donate a % of all of your purchases to charity without you having to do anything about it? Just go to https://smile.amazon.com/ and select which charity you’d like. If you’d like to do me a favor, the charity I am involved directly with is “Variety, the Children’s Charity of New York”. We do great work helping kids all over NY State and we’d love your support!
Give your new place a move-in clean
There is honestly nothing better than walking into your new apartment which has already been cleaned and is ready to go with all your shiny new stuff filling the cupboards. I’ve written about them before because I love them but I think RoomTurn is the best cleaner in NYC and they do a GREAT move-in clean to get everything spotless and ready for you (I didn’t realize just how dirty my place was until they stopped by).