15 Tips For Moving Out of State

Emily Garland
Aug 04, 2022
Icon Time To Read5 min read

At a glance

If you’re moving out of state, feeling overwhelmed is normal. You may be changing jobs or schools and also comparing moving companies and learning everything you can about your new location.

There’s no doubt about it—moving out of state is more costly and requires more work than moving a few miles away. But fortunately, a few pro moving tips will help you navigate the process just fine. Check out these tried and true ideas for making an out-of-state move a little easier.

1. Find a job

These days, many people can move to a new state and continue working remotely for the same employer. But if you’re not in this situation, it’s smart to get a job lined up as soon as possible. This will help dictate where you live, how much you spend on housing, etc.

2. Ask your boss about relocation assistance

Another perk of lining up a job in advance is that your new employer may provide you with relocation assistance—money to put toward hiring a moving company, storage unit, short-term housing, and more.

3. Learn about the area

Thanks to the internet, you can become acquainted with your new home before arriving. Research neighborhoods, schools, crime rates, public transportation, commute times, and more to help you decide where to live.

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Getting to know your new city

There are lots of resources to help you learn more about your new city. Check out these websites to help you get started:

4. Find a place to live

Whether you’re planning to rent an apartment, buy a home, or secure short-term housing, it’s always best to have housing arrangements ready before you get to your new city. Get in touch with a real estate agent in the area to learn more about which neighborhoods align best with your needs, and consider taking a trip (or two) to check out housing options before you move.

5. Create a moving budget

Whether you’re hiring professional movers or doing a DIY move, moving costs can add up quickly. This is why it’s smart to research expenses and create a budget well ahead of moving day. 

6. Choose a moving company

Whether you’re moving during peak season in the summer or in winter, it’s a good idea to book a moving company early in the process. Research moving services (professional movers, moving truck rentals, and moving containers), remembering to read online reviews for companies and the fine print of your contracts, and check for discounts. Get multiple quotes and schedule a moving date.

7. Transfer professional licenses

Are you a teacher, medical provider, lawyer, or real estate agent? If so, you’ll need to learn about the licensing requirements in your new state. You may need to transfer your license or apply for a new license before practicing in your new city.

8. Buy packing supplies

Unless you’re hiring full-service professional movers that offer packing or professional packers, you’ll need to invest in your own packing supplies. Make sure you have moving boxes in a variety of sizes: small boxes, medium boxes, and large boxes. Pick up packing paper, bubble wrap, packing tape, moving blankets, and wardrobe boxes to ensure everything arrives safely and securely at your new home.

9. Start packing

Packing is often the most overwhelming part of moving, but you can eliminate the headache by getting an early start. Donate or get rid of things you don’t want to bring with you, then start packing items you won’t be needing for a while (like seasonal clothing, decor, camping equipment, etc.). A week before your move, start packing everything else, room by room.

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Packing tips

Not all packing methods are created equal! You’ll be far more efficient if you follow these pro packing tips:

  • Pack heavier items in smaller boxes and lighter items in larger boxes
  • Pack room by room
  • Label every box on at least four sides
  • Create an inventory system
  • Wrap fragile items in bubble wrap
  • Don’t overstuff boxes, but don’t leave space either (fill space with packing paper)

10. Pack a suitcase

It’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of packing and leave nothing left for your travels. But in reality, you’ll probably spend at least a few days living out of a suitcase. Pack several outfits, toiletries, medications, etc., so you’re comfortable during the moving transition.

11. Make arrangements for your car

If you have a car, you’ll need to decide what to do with it when you move. Of course, you could sell your vehicle before you leave town or take it with you by either driving the car to the new state, hitching it to the moving truck, or hiring an auto shipping company.

12. Forward your mail

The United States Postal Service makes it easy to forward all mail to your new address, even if you’re moving out of state. Be sure to start forwarding mail a few days before you move to ensure you don’t miss anything, and remember you’ll still need to notify individual parties about your move too.

13. Register to vote

You’ll need to re-register to vote when moving to a new state. Luckily, it’s easy to do this while setting up mail forwarding!

14. Update your license and registration

Each state has processes and timeframes on updating your license and registration—even if you’re moving locally. It’s important to follow these guidelines, as there can be late fees for failing to update your new address when you move. For more information on your location, look at our state-by-state guide on how to update your license and registration.

15. Make new friends

Life’s better with good friends by your side. So get out there and start meeting people! Consider apps like MeetUp or Bumble BBF, local Facebook groups, or even local dog parks to help you put yourself out there.

The takeaway

Moving out of state is a big undertaking, but it’s also an exciting opportunity. By securing a job, housing, packing material, and a moving company in advance, you’ll be able to focus on the adventures ahead—rather than stressing about moving day. Good luck!

Would you like to learn more about moving out of state? Check out Move.org for The 5 Best Long-Distance Moving Companies of 2022.

Interstate moving tips FAQ

How do I start over and move out of state?

If you’re moving out of state, it’s important to start by making a list of your top priorities for your new home. Then, research your options by learning about schools, crime rates, neighborhoods, and city amenities. Ask your employer if they offer relocation assistance (or find a job in your new city if you don’t have one), then find a new home, choose a moving company, and start packing!

How much should you budget to move out of state?

You can budget for an out-of-state move by first finding out if your employer offers relocation assistance. (This could save you a lot of money and help you decide which moving services to splurge on and where to save.) Then, research moving company fees, make a list of average costs, create a budget (including packing supplies, professional movers, transportation costs, etc.), and stick to it. Don’t forget to leave some wiggle room for unexpected expenses.

How hard is it to move to another state?

Moving to another state can be a lot of work—but for many people, the change of scenery is well worth it. You can ease the process by researching your new city in advance, finding housing and work ahead of time, and scheduling a moving company or moving help several months before you move. Start packing about a month before moving day to ensure you have plenty of time.

How do I mentally prepare myself to move out of state?

Moving out of state isn’t just physically tiring—it can be mentally exhausting too. Make it easier on yourself by learning everything you can about your new home before you leave. Research schools, neighborhoods, city amenities, and local maps. Establish a doctor and register for schools before you arrive. Then, remember to give yourself grace. It could take a year (or more!) to make new friends and get to know the area.

Recommend resources

From packing to finding the right moving services, you have a lot going on. These moving resources will give you even more peace of mind with your out-of-state move.

Emily Garland
Written by
Emily Garland
Emily is an avid copywriter currently living in Salt Lake City. She enjoys poetry, music, trying new foods, traveling, and relaxing at home with a good dramedy or reality show on TV.