Moving to Another State: Stress-Free Moving Checklist

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May 14, 2024
Moving to Another State: Stress-Free Moving Checklist

Image Source: Canva

A new chapter in the book of your life is about to begin, and this time, it's probably hundreds to thousands of miles away.

What would take a few days to weeks of planning for an intrastate move will require weeks to months of preparation for relocating across states. Before you drown yourself, stress thinking about what to do, creating a personal moving to another state checklist will ease the process for you.

How do you create such a checklist? What's important and what isn't for such a long-distance move?

Let's create a stress-free guide highlighting all the essential things you need to do while planning an out-of-state relocation.

Plan and Make A Budget for the Move

Whether you plan on DIY-ing your interstate move or hiring professional moving companies to handle the job, it will cost you.

The exact budget to plan for such a move depends on many factors. For instance, how far from your current state are you moving? What's the size of your household and its contents?

On average, moving between states can cost between $2,200 and $4,400 when hiring professionals. If you think relocating with your belongings by yourself is way cheaper, you might want to reconsider. Remember, you will need to rent a truck or container to move your properties, which isn't cheap.

Pro Tip:

Make a reasonable budget for the move, and remember that you'll have a lot more spending to do: housing and utility costs, taxes, and groceries.

Figure Out Your Employment Status

As you plan and create a suitable budget to fund your move, consider your survival in the new state.

If you are moving to another state because of an employment opportunity, it's a bit easier for you. Check in with your new employer and see if they offer relocation benefits that can help cover some or all parts of your relocation expenses.

On the other hand, for those without a job waiting for them, now's the time to start scanning the web and newspapers for employment in the area. You don't want to relocate interstate without a job plan.

Even though you have saved enough to keep you secure for months on arrival, you still need to begin a job search. Moreover, if you're keeping your normal job, ensure your current workplace is okay with you moving further away from the office.

Visit and Tour the New State

This is one part of your moving out-of-state checklist where it will begin to seem stressful.

The truth is that you have to visit your new state before relocating. There's a lot you will need to know about how life in the place works and what your living conditions might look like. Perhaps you don't have a lot of free time for such a visit, this is where thorough, in-depth online research needs to begin!

On your visit or research journey about your new state, there are some things you need to study and watch out for.

  • Pick a city and find a house

It's not enough to simply say you're moving to a new state. What about the city? What precise neighborhood? Not all cities in your new state will be suitable for you, and you need to know this.

Have a particular city in mind, preferably close to your new job, if you already have employment. Then, go deeper in your search and find a suitable neighborhood that's safe, good on your budget, and has everything you need.

  • Learn about the cost of living

A common mistake folks make is relocating without a plan for the future; they are all about "living in the moment." Once you're relocating between cities or states, understand that the living costs automatically change.

Think about:

  • New mortgage rates
  • House rent
  • Monthly utilities costs
  • Taxes
  • Transportation and groceries

For instance, moving from Florida to Massachusetts is a huge bump in living costs. You have to plan and watch how you spend your earnings, especially if it won't be experiencing a significant rise to match the living standards in your new state.

  • Check for schools

Are you a parent or have little school-aged children relocating with you? Just as you prioritize job or house hunting on your list, you need to add school searching to it.

It could be a private or public school; whichever, you need to find one that is good and close to your chosen neighborhood. Check your new city's school grading system and find out which academic facility is best within the area.

  • Find the nearest healthcare facility

Whether you're as healthy as a horse or have any underlying ailments, ensure the neighborhood or city of your choice has a renowned medical facility with reputable hands.

Relocating without considering your health should be the last thing you want to do. It puts you and those moving with you at serious risk should any unexpected medical issues arise.

Image Source: Canva

Research the Best Interstate Moving Companies

Advisably, once it's a long-distance relocation, your go-to option for how to move to another state should be hiring pro movers. It makes moving less of a hassle and simplifies your entire relocation a lot.

The next step is to know how to find the best moving company for out-of-state moves. While it might seem like another stress, it can turn out to be quite easy.

Check that whatever moving company you're considering has all the proper licensing, especially one from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Next, you can check the Better Business Bureau for the company's accreditation and look up reviews about their services.


Before relocating, ensure that you get at least 3 quotes from different moving companies. Pick the one with the best offering services for your budget.

Organize and Pack

While your moving to another state checklist might be coming to an end, organizing and packing your properties is an entirely different list of things to do.

Physically, this part can be draining. There's a lot to do and plenty of areas to cover; however, let's look at it in two parts.

  • Declutter and pack

At this point, you start selecting what you need from the unneeded. You could start a yard sale or gift out clothes and even housing items you no longer need.

The goal is to transport as light as possible. This will save you money and reduce the amount of lifting you have to do. Think about it: if you have to sell some properties to re-purchase them in your new state, do that!

  • Finalize all paperwork-related matters

These are important details you need to get done before relocating. Think of all the billing addresses you have to update, membership you have to transfer or cancel, and documents you need to sign.

It's hectic, no doubt. But, all mails and paperwork matters must align with your new state and have ended in your previous location.

A list of paperwork to ensure you get done include:

  • Credit cards
  • Utilities
  • Mail forwarding
  • Insurance
  • Voting registration
  • Phone and cable bills
  • Driver's license
  • Any memberships and registration (gym, pet)

Summary—moving to another state checklist

It's a hassle, it's challenging, it's full of stress (mental and physical), but it has to be done!

With excellent planning and the perfect moving to another state checklist or guide, relocating even between both ends of the country can be easy.

While some things can be skipped in your checklist, know that certain parts of the guide are indispensable. For instance,

  • Making a moving budget
  • Having employment sorted out
  • Understanding the cost of living in the new state
  • Hiring the best, appropriately licensed moving company
  • Arranging all the important paperwork

Good luck with your move!

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