Moving Out of State Checklist

To achieve your desired success on your out of state move, you need to put quality and perfect plan in place, as well as careful preparation. You will be required to set a plan in place and stick to the plan from the beginning to the end of the process to have a smooth transition.

A recent Gallup poll shows that 33% of Americans wish they could relocate out of the country. Many challenges come with moving from one place to another irrespective of the reason behind your decision to move.

You will have to choose between hiring a moving company and renting a moving truck. Also, decide on the perfect insurance coverage for your belongings throughout the move, and as well as figuring out the expenses your new employer will be responsible for.

Moving from one state to another within the country requires serious planning and preparation to make sure you have a smooth and stress-free transition to your new place.

While moving entails a lot of excitement, moving to a new state is a tedious task, which includes packing your items, and figuring out a cheap way to move at a reasonable cost.

Fortunately, we have put together the essential steps for relocating out of state and also added some major tips to ensure you have a smooth and stress-free move. Let’s dive into it!

Moving Out of State Checklist

In this article

Out of State Moving Options

This is where your planning starts. You will be presented with two moving options in a local move – do-it-yourself or hire a moving company. Having many options to choose from after conducting much evaluation is always the best because you will be able to decide on which is perfect for you.

The only disadvantage here is that you could end up choosing the wrong option. Consider this;

Only embark on a self-move if

  • You are relocating within a short distance,
  • You are moving small household belongings that will perfectly fit in a standard rental truck,
  • None of your household items requires special packing attention that can only be handled by a professional. Items, such as pool tables, antique furniture, heavy safes, hot tubs, pianos, etc.
  • You have moving experience before i.e., you know and have all it takes to complete a self-move.
  • You have friends that will assist you in the move when needed.

If you don’t meet the above criteria, consider other options. However, note that once your long-distance move draws closer, you should understand that your choices will be reduced by the distance involved.

The best way to relocate out of state is to hire an interstate moving company. You will be able to choose the best services that suit your needs; thereby saving money on your move as professional companies will present you with a wide range of services they offer.

Aside from packing and unpacking, the best full-service movers in the country are also capable of offering disassembly and re-assembly of furniture, handling of highly prized and fragile items with custom crating, and hoisting of oversized belongings via the balconies, windows, and stairs, temporary storage for your items, etc.

Checklist for Moving Out of State: Preparation and Useful Tips

Kindly note that you will only find it easy to move out of state when you follow strictly the plans and steps you drafted out, as it will prepare you perfectly for the upcoming cross-country move.

You will then be able to reduce the stress and dangers that could occur during the move as you are fully prepared for the move in advance.

Make sure you focus on the pointers on complying with relocating out of state in seven preparatory actions to leave the state and be fully prepared for your long-distance move away from your current state.

Consider the checklist below to have a smooth move out of state:

#1 Conduct Necessary Research on your New State

It is important to conduct a series of research before you make your decision to move out of state. Figure out how much your tax will be when you get to the new state, the weather condition in the winter and summer, and as well as different categories of school for your children. Although everyone gets excited when they finally get to move to another state; however, conducting proper research to know if your decision is right is very important before you embark on the move.

#2 Have a Formal Visit to a New State and City

It is advisable to visit the new city at least once before you move in. With this, you will be able to have a good knowledge of the location, the neighborhoods, and the people. Ask for suggestions from the concierge in the hotel if you are staying there. There is also much information about your new city and state on review sites, try to lay your hands on them by conducting internet research. You can also visit local hot spots and hangouts aside from the tourism centers in the city.

Pro Tip

Go along with a guide book or head straight to the town’s visitor center for maps, brochures, and recommendations. Ensure you just whatever you can.

#3 Create a Moving Calendar

We deliberately have the creation of a moving calendar as one of our out-of-state moving checklist because of its great importance. This item should be seen as a to-do list for your out of state move. Your pre-move preparation is very important and has a great impact on how successful the entire move will be. Include every important task that comes to your mind on the moving calendar and make sure they are all relevant to your needs. Assign priorities to them base on the importance and the time frame before the moving day.

#4 Set a Moving Budget

It is important to prepare a moving budget so you will be able to keep track of your expenses and costs. Your biggest expenses, in general, should be the cost of hiring a mover; however, other expenses can be underrated but make your move more costly. Relocating to another state is not a cheap endeavor. The American Moving and Storage Association state that it would cost an average cost of $4,300 to hire professional cross country movers for an interstate relocation. Kindly note that you will be required to pay for moving truck rental or moving containers, moving materials and supplies, and as well as other expenses even when you are planning a DIY move.

Firstly, you will have to set aside the amount you are willing to spend on the entire relocation to determine your budget. The next step is to list out all necessary relocation expenses. Make sure you also add extra money for additional or unexpected expenses. If your relocation is based on a new job, make sure you find out if part or all of your expenses will be paid for by your employer.

Pro Tip

Don’t forget to budget all the essentials including hidden costs associated with out-of-state move.

#5 Search for a New Home

After making your decision to move to a new state, the next step is to start scouting for a new home in the state. You may get a much better place in the new state at a reduced cost compared to where you are staying in your current home. You may also have no choice but to downsize because of the house costs in your new state. Regardless of the situation, you must make sure you secure a home before you relocate to your new state.

Pro Tip

Endeavor to get a new home before you relocate even if you have to check online for real estate by yourself or hire a real estate agent.

#6 Take Inventory of your Household for the Move

It is important to understand that the cost of your out of state move will be determined by the distance of the new state to your current home as well as the weight of your household belongings. The only step you can reduce the cost here is to reduce the number of your household belongings as you cannot do anything to reduce the distance. Inventory all the items you have in your house to determine the current status and number of your household belongings. It is said that any items you haven’t used for over a year can be disposed of, as it is not necessary. Save some money by moving only essential items that you cannot do without.

Pro Tip

You can as well organize garage sale to raise some cash from your unwanted items. It has been proven to work.

#7 Seize the Opportunity to Purge

Before you leave your home to the new place, make sure you go through the house and remove items that you don’t plan to take along with you to your new home. There is no point in moving to Florida with your winter jacket collection or your weight bench that will occupy almost all the space on the truck as you drive your way to California. These items must be disposed of before you relocate. You will get to understand the importance once the move commences.

#8 Choose between a DIY and a Professional Move

Since you have set a budget and have an idea of the number of items you are moving, it is high time you chosen moving option – DIY or professional move. The cost and convenience are the major factors that determine if one should go for professional movers or embarking on a DIY move. You will get to know your financial strength and decide whether you can afford a professional moving company or better go for a DIY move when you have your moving budget in place.

However, the budget doesn’t determine everything. The distance of the move should also be considered, and as well as the time it will take to move from your old home to the new one. You will have to decide if you can handle the packing, loading, and unloading by yourself, or you just want to handle another part of the move. These and many other questions below are to be answered when deciding whether to hire a mover or not:

  • What does your budget say?
  • How much time is left before you start a new school or job?
  • What is the distance from your current home to your new state?
  • How many belongings are you relocating?
  • Are you traveling alone?
  • What do you feel about having strangers packing and moving your items for you?
  • Can you handle much heavy lifting?

Pro Tip

Experts do recommend professional move for out of state move due to stress involved in the process.

#9 Find a Reliable and Reputable Out of State Mover

Conduct research on cheap moving companies, moving truck rentals, or shipping companies based on your choice of moving option. These three options are the major medium of transportation when relocating from one state to another. Although each of these transport services has its benefits, their prices, they can vary greatly. Let’s look at each of them:

  • Professional Movers: With a full-service company, all of your household items will be packed, loaded, and shipped by the movers, and you are only to instruct them on where to park your items. Most people prefer to pack their belongings by themselves to save costs and also to ensure proper handling of their stuff. Determining how much a professional mover will cost you is not an easy task.

Some of these movers send their agents to your home for an in-home survey before issuing a moving quote. Moving companies do not consider mileage as a factor when calculating the cost, unlike truck and storage companies. Although professional moving companies come at a great cost, the services they provide will allow you to concentrate more on other moving issues.

Cost Saving Tip

Your move doesn’t have to be more costly and stressful than it already is. We’ve compiled for you a list of the 2022 best moving discounts and deals. There is no cause to panic if the mover of your choice is not on the list of best out of state movers, just call the company and find out if they offer any discounts for an out-of-state moves. It won’t take much of your time, and it could save you tons of money.

  • Truck Rental Companies: Not everyone can handle renting a moving truck. There are many things to be wary of when driving a large truck with no rearview mirror, increased width and length, as well as having to be careful when switching lanes and maneuvering across narrow streets. A first-time DIY-er may need some time to adjust on driving as the truck companies don’t offer any training on large truck driving.

Once someone is 25 years of age or older and has a valid driver’s license, he or she is qualified to rent a moving truck. The size of the truck, which is measured in length from 10ft to 26ft, distance, insurance, and days of use are the bases on which truck rental determines their rates.

Additional materials such as dollies for appliance (10 USD/two), furniture pads (10 USD/12) are optional. Make sure you know the exact truck size your belonging will fit in, so you don’t end up paying for unused space.

The majority of the rental trucks have towing apparatus available on them, which can be used to tow your car on the move. Also, remember to consider the costs of fuel.

  • Shipping Container Companies: Your stress will be reduced when you hire shipping services that offer home delivery service to customers. You only have to tell them where you want the container to be parked. You determine how you want the container to be packed, and then you secure it using your preferred padlock.

The shipping company will then come to pick up the container on the agreed moving date and deliver it to your new destination for you to unpack at your own pace. The container will be stored at the company’s storage center if you do not have a place of your own yet in the new state. Your belongings can be stored for a per month rate just like self-storage lockers, only that you are not allowed access to your items while in storage.

Pro Tip

Practice confirms that embarking on a long-distance do-it-yourself relocation may end up being costly because of the distance involved and the number of hidden costs associated with self-moves. In this wise, the best option is to find the most affordable way to relocate from one state to another using a reputable professional mover. Begin the process of finding a reputable out of state moving company by asking for recommendations from family and friends. The next step is to take your time to read genuine relocation reviews from verified review websites and also check ratings of the previous clients to have a clear knowledge of how a company operates.

#10 Start Packing

Most people do forget this time-taking and hectic task when getting ready to move to another state. There is a need for you to purchase some packing supplies and materials before you start packing your items in boxes, even though this task involves much carefulness and time. Below tips will help you:

  • Begin the packing as early as you can
  • Start with your storage areas before you move to the rooms that you use every day
  • Pack your large and bulky belongings, protect them and then proceed to box your smaller possessions
  • Ensure that the survival kit for moving out of state is packed so you can survive the last few days in your old home or the first few days in your new place
  • Make sure you pack your highly prized items and store them away from other belongings, also avoid entrusting them into the care of your mover.

Pro Tip

Before embarking on the packing exercise, don’t forget to the first source for enough moving boxes to avoid being short of moving materials in the middle of your packing exercise.

#11 Inform your People about your Moving Out of State

Ensure your loved ones know that you are leaving the state to another place regardless of the medium you chose. The entire moving process can take all of your leisure time, so be sure to set aside time to say goodbye to your loved ones before you finally move. You will enjoy and appreciate this later.

#12 Change your Address and cancel all Subscriptions

Our interstate moving checklist proceeds with many pre-relocation tasks that will ensure you have a hitch-free transition from your old home to your new state. Kindly note that your address will change immediately you move to your new residence, so make sure you change the address officially before the move. Go to your town’s local postal office to request and fill a change of address form or visit their official website to do it in the comfort of your home. This step will include two important things:

  • Give the new address to your family and friends, businesses, and other institutions.
  • Cancel all your current subscriptions and other paid services and make sure you transfer them to your new place if allowed.

Pro Tip

Understandably, there are many things to do before you move out of your current residence. Although many tasks could be suspended until you get to your new home such as registering your car, purchasing a new house, finding a healthcare company, etc., tasks like connecting and disconnecting utilities must be done in your old home before you move.

#13 Update your Information

The post-relocation stress can be much, but updating your information in your new home as early as possible is very important. Car loans, student loans, bank accounts, recurring bills, and credit cards can all be updated online, or via phone immediately you have a new address. Your day-to-day mail will be forwarded for about a year when you fill and submit the online change of address form. A new driver’s license, as well as vehicle registration, will be required. There are different timelines set by each state.

You can do this by visiting your local DMV. Request for a pamphlet on state driving laws immediately you get there. Make sure you conduct proper research to avoid being booked. Make sure you also update your car insurance policy after registering.

The Cheapest Method to move Out of State

You are at the right place for your search to save money as you start a journey to another state. We understand that budgeting is one of the major ways to get to your destination. And considering the cost of the interstate move, which is at an average of $2000 to $5,000 per shipment, looking for the cheapest interstate moving ways is a smart move.

Of course, the best way to save money would be if all your household possessions could fit your personal vehicle perfectly. But if your home is fully packed with belongings, there are still methods to make sure your moving costs remain lower, and you will learn everything here. Follow these cost-saving tips to locate your cheapest way to relocate to another state.

1. Save up Cash for Moving Expenses

Firstly, paying for your move-in cash is the cheapest way to relocate to another state. That will prevent you from wasting money on interest. You will accrue many debts by using your credit card to pay for unexpected costs of moving. The last way you want to start your life afresh in your new home is to get stuck with credit card payments.

So, we encourage you to plan each phase of your move and plan a moving budget. You can quickly get to completion when you find cost-saving methods such as reducing your monthly expenses by getting rid of unnecessary spending.

2. Pack with Free Supplies

This is straightforward. You can get free packing boxes almost everywhere. Check your local mall, local grocery store, and supermarket. You are likely to get more boxes here as they recycle them every night. Request to take those boxes from their hands, and you find yourself a mountain of free supplies for packing.

Regarding packing supplies, everyone enjoys the comfortable feeling that comes when popping bubble wrap. However, when packing delicate items, you can get it done safely using the padding of towels, blankets, crumpled up newspapers, and pillows. It’s a plus for you as you have to relocate those towels and pillows as well.

And you don’t necessarily need to buy a fancy label maker as you can use a permanent marker. Read our post on where to find free moving boxes.

3. Downsize, so you have Fewer Items to move

Getting junk out of your home is another way to reduce your moving expenses. There are items like broken furniture, VHS tapes, and incomplete gadgets that just need to be disposed of from your house. You may want to move with items like a football table, treadmill, and fishing boat. But note that these items are likely to increase your overall moving costs.

Pro Tip

Sell such large or bulky items and buy new ones immediately you get to your new home.

4. Get Help from your Friends

Yeah, order the very large size of pizzas to bribe your friends. Buying a few pizzas to get free help from your friends is much cheaper than hiring professional movers. Also, it will be a way to get lasting memories with your close ones. Many of your friends may only be helpful during packing and loading. But your closest friends may follow you to the other state to help you unpack. Just be ready to return the favor someday.

5. Negotiate for a Moving Package

This might be your cheapest option to move out of state. You might even be lucky to get it for free. A moving package is simply when your employer offers to take responsibility for all or part of your relocation expenses. Although this advantage is not necessary, most employers do it in a way to employ the best talent to their side. So if your move is work-related, it is important to ask your employer if there is any moving package available.

Below are some instances of what a moving package might cover: 

  • Trips to hunt for housing in your new area
  • Selling and buying of homes related costs
  • Transportation costs to relocate all your belongings while packing and unpacking.
  • Travel expenses for your overall move
  • Temporary housing

Usually, a moving package is given like reimbursement for all your relocation expenses or a lump sum. You could try to negotiate a better moving package if the given package is not satisfying to you. Conduct your own cost research and see if price-matching will be considered by your employer. Better to ask than to lose out on the benefit.

6. Do not pay for Unnecessary Insurance

You will definitely be asked many times if you want insurance for your relocation. Regardless of what the insurance will cover, whether you or your household belongings, you may be wasting money purchasing something you may already have. Simply check your auto or home insurance policies to see if there is an existing coverage of such on a move. If you have, there won’t be any need to pay for additional coverage from the movers.

7. Use Public Transportation

This alternative can only work for minimalists. Let’s assume you live in a city and you don’t own a personal car. Or you are relocating from a small studio apartment. Note, you can sell your furniture items and get a new one in the future. Then reduce the rest of your belongings down to a few numbers of moving boxes.

If you are able to do all that, then you can simply follow public transportation to your new home through a bus or train as your cheapest way to move out of state as it will cost you a few amounts of dollars.

Measure your belongings’ weight and dimensions to see if it will fit well on the train or bus. With Greyhound, for instance, you can store up to 150 pounds of shipment under the bus. However, Amtrak (in how to ship a car by train) allows shipping items of up to 500 pounds of weight.

Both transportation services have their limitations regarding shipping size, so make sure your packing is within range. You might have to consider sending your items through air or water freight if you are relocating to remote states such as Alaska or Hawaii.

8. Move-in Winter or Weekdays

Those who look for cheap flights to Paris make reservations when lesser people are flying. Moving also involves the same. Make sure your move falls into the off-season. Yes, that implies that you should arrange your relocation around the period when no one or not many people are moving, when kids are still in school, and the weather is harsh.

Also, make sure to cross out a weekend or holiday moves. However, this might make you feel uncomfortable, especially moving during harsh weather or busy business day. But it could save you tons of money from your moving expenses since there will be lesser demand for equipment.

9. Rent a Moving Container

You must have heard about the popular moving container companies such as U-Pack, PODS, or U-Box. Typically, the company leaves a huge storage unit at your home for loading within a few days. Then the company comes back to transport it to your new state for unloading. Very simple. Averagely, be ready to spend between $700 and $5,000 to rent a moving container.

This option might be cheaper than moving truck rental or hiring a full-service long-distance moving company, but not every time. So, make sure you lay your hands on price estimates (by using a moving cost calculator) to get the most reasonable alternative.

10. Rent a Cheap Moving Truck

Moving truck rental might be your cheapest option if you have a lot of furniture items and appliances to move. Moving truck rental on average costs between $50 and $2,000. Prices increase based on the distance traveled, moving truck size, so your out of state move price may be higher.

However, if the moving truck you rented comes with towing capacity, you can tow your vehicle and move everything to your new state without leaving anything behind and saving money on gas and mileage.

Since this option will save you from the cost of hiring professional moving companies, be ready to face some challenges like loading and unloading your vehicle for towing, backing up with no rear-view mirror, and closed maneuvering in parking lots. This may require some familiarization, but if you have what it takes to tackle it, you may later look back on the experience and just laugh it off.

11. Hire Affordable Movers

Even though hiring a moving company is not the cheapest way to relocate, it might be your last option if there are no friends to assist you with packing, loading, and unpacking, or your time is very fixed, and you cannot tackle the move yourself.

If your move is taking you more than 100 miles away, the average cost of hiring best interstate movers is between $2,000 and $5,000 per shipment. Check around and request for an estimate to get the most affordable and legitimate movers.


Pack, dispose, or donate your stuff. When you don’t have much time, you cannot afford to waste time loading everything. Any items you haven’t used in the past six months don’t have to arrive with you in your new home. Note, moving more things means you are paying higher for your move to another state.

Transfer your utilities, your mailing address, and your internet service. Your tax returns for your previous state, and your new state will be needed in order to partially file tax returns. You will also need to transfer your kids’ school records to another school, and any state guidelines concerning pets must be observed.

About a thousand dollars is needed for a long-distance move. The size of your household and the number of your possessions will also add to the cost. Seasonality and your moving method will also affect your overall moving costs. Make advance planning, reduce your items, and make a comparison of DIY relocation rates to rates of long-distance movers to see the amount you can save.

This question is asked by most people looking to leave their old home for another. However, there is no general answer as it is based on money, the complexity of the move, and challenges. If your move is to be done locally, a DIY move may be the best rather than moving to another part of the country. Yet, we advise you to check all your options to be sure you are making the right choice.

The best time to relocate is when you are prepared to, but talking about seasons is the best time to move house in summer. You need to know that summertime is the busiest time for movers, so advance reservations will be a wise move.

During summer months, you get great weather, which makes a move so easier. It is always easier to move during off-seasons, mainly due to more availability with the right mover. Moving right in the middle of summer, weekend, or midweek is also easier.

Mostly, moving companies usually offer three categories of protection for your belongings in the event of loss or damage.

  • Limited liability – basic coverage as necessitated by law.
  • Added valuation – enables you to get the current market value of the damaged item removing depreciation.
  • Full value – provides coverage for the cost of replacement or repair of items.

Always check your homeowner’s insurance to find out if there is any coverage on your stuff while in transit before you purchase any insurance.

Have an expert tradesman come into your home and disconnect your appliances before you relocate. Moving companies cannot be responsible for damages in the event of any issues, so make sure your appliances are disconnected and ready before your movers arrive.

Yes. You may feel like stepping in to lend them a hand, but you can only help your movers by showing them which items are to be loaded onto the moving van and leave them. They are professionals, you hired them to do a perfect job for you, so avoid micromanaging them.


Now that you know all that is required for you to pull off an out of state move, you can now sit tight and enjoy the move with enough energy to celebrate upon successful completion. Make sure you keep this checklist close to you as you get ready for the move, so you can stay organized. Have you moved out of state before? Share your experience with us in the comment box!

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