Moving out of state Checklist

The Ultimate Moving-Out-of-State Checklist 2024

The Ultimate Moving-Out-of-State Checklist 2024 Expand options

Planning an out-of-state move? How exciting! While this likely marks the start of a new chapter of your life, it may also come with a bit of stress. How do you move from one state to another? How far in advance should I start planning my out-of-state move? How much does moving out of state cost? Will using cheap, out-of-state movers be a mistake? 

If these sound like the types of questions that have been popping up in your head, know that you’re not alone. Instead of letting the stress settle in, however, the better thing to do is to put together a moving out of state checklist. 

Things to Know Before Moving Out of State

This guide for what to know about moving out of state will give you all the information you need to make your move a heck of a lot easier. From planning and budgeting the cost of the move to arranging for storage and so much more, we’ll walk you through the ins and outs of it all. Moving out of state is an opportunity for a fresh, new start. We’ll help you keep it that way.

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The Ultimate Checklist for Moving Out of State

Anyone who has experience with out of state moving will tell you that the key to success is organization. By creating a checklist for what to know about relocating to another state, you’ll feel better equipped to handle the entire process. Here’s what you should include in your checklist when moving state to state.

1: Create a Budget

The budget for your out of state move should include both a moving budget as well as a storage budget. You may not be able to move all your belongings at once. If that’s the case, finding a place to store them should be part of the equation. 

Out of state movers costs will vary from one company to the next. As such, it’s a good idea to shop around and get quotes. The best out of state moving companies will be transparent with their pricing. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about what is and is not included. These are important factors you’ll need to have when developing your budget. 

Another component may be storage. Once again, the costs for storage may vary depending on what you’re storing and your zip code. Find a storage company that’s willing to work with you and you’ll have a much easier time with your move. 

2: Find a Moving Company

While the cost of moving is one component of choosing a moving company for an out of state move, it’s not the only factor you should be concerned with. Reputation, track record, and professionalism all matter, as do reviews and credentials. 

Here’s what to look for when evaluating out of state moving companies:

  • Experience in long-distance moves.
  • Online reviews.
  • Credentials. Check the USDOT number and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to verify that the company you’re considering is properly licensed for interstate moves.
  • Quotes. The best out of state moving companies won’t be shy about providing you with quotes.


3: Create a Packing List

The packing list is going to be a major part of moving out of state. Figuring out what you want to keep, sell, and donate will make a huge difference in the amount you need to transport when moving from one state to another. 

Before you dive headfirst into pulling your closets apart, start by writing it all down. Clothing that you haven’t worn in over a year can probably be donated or sold (depending on its condition). Some furniture may come with you to the new house but it may be time to update other items and start anew. 

Keep in mind that you don’t have to do all this at once. Create a packing timeline and a strategy. For example, tackling one room at a time is much more manageable than trying to do it all at once. Once you have a plan, get the necessary packing supplies (boxes, tape, markets, labels, etc.). Last but not least, get started and make sure to label everything. 

4: Organize Paperwork

When you’re relocating to another state, one of the most important (but least fun) things you’ll have to do is update all your information. From credit cards to car registration, it all needs to be addressed. This is a non exhaustive list, but it should give you a good idea of where to begin:

  • Credit cards
  • Insurance (car insurance, health insurance, etc.)
  • Utilities (cancel old utilities, arrange for new utilities in new home)
  • Voting registration
  • Driver’s license
  • Pet registration
  • Vehicle registration
  • Mail forwarding
  • Medical records
  • School records
  • Change of address. File this with the U.S. Postal Service

Some of these things can be updated before you move while others may have to wait until you’ve actually relocated. Having a list of moving-related documents to help keep you on track will be an asset here. You can check things off as you complete them and see what’s still left after the move. 

5: Notify People and Relevant Parties

Another thing you’ll have to do when moving out of state is tell everyone who needs to know. This includes friends, family, employers, and any other relevant parties. Let them know where you’ll be moving and when you’ll be moving. It may help to create a moving calendar with key dates so there’s no confusion.

6: Get to Know Your New Community

This can be done at any point prior to the move. Walk around your new neighborhood to familiarize yourself with the area. Information about schools, grocery stores, community centers, and child care are all important things to know before moving out of state. While you can take a deeper dive into the specifics once you settle in, it’s important to have the basics under your belt prior to the move. This will help alleviate some of the stress associated with moving out of state and help you feel more settled in your new home.

7: Plan for Pet and Child Care

This is an integral part of moving, especially on the day of the move. If you’re traveling with pets and/or small children, it may be a good idea to arrange for them to stay with friends or family the day of the move. Doing this will give you one less thing to worry about in the midst of moving boxes and trucks.

If that’s not possible, consider enlisting the help of a trusty friend or family member who can drive alongside you or even stay with you and your child/pet in the car to keep them entertained. However you approach it, it’s best to plan ahead and not leave this component until the last minute.

8: Arrange for Transportation

Moving out of state may require you to fly or make other travel arrangements. This is something you’ll need to consider ahead of time. Additionally, moving your car is a separate component. If you can drive your car to the new home or latch it onto the moving vehicle, that may save you time and money. If not, there are professional car moving companies you can look into.

As for transporting yourself, whether you’re flying, taking a train, or driving, you’ll need to give yourself ample time to get to and from the new location. Look into travel arrangements in the weeks leading up to the move and think about what you’ll need to pack with you on the day of the move to make it as seamless an experience as possible.

9: Pack for the Day of the Move

Preparing ahead of time is essential, but you’ll also need a few things for the actual day of the move. Whether you’re going across the country or just over the border to a new state, make sure you think about moving day and what you’ll need. If it will be a long day, consider putting together a “go bag” with:

  • A change of clothes
  • First aid supplies
  • Extra moving supplies (tape, bubble wrap, permanent marker)
  • Phone chargers
  • Entertainment for children
  • Snacks

FAQs for Moving Out of State

If you find yourself left with a few outstanding questions about what to know about moving to a new state, you’re in luck. We’ll answer those lingering “what ifs” here.

Q: How far in advance should I start planning my out-of-state move?

That depends on the particulars of your situation. Some people start planning their out-of-state move a year in advance while others do it several weeks before the move. It all depends on how much you’re moving, where you’re moving, and the logistics of your circumstances.  

At the bare minimum, it’s best to give yourself several weeks prior to the move to make sure you have everything in order (paperwork, registration, information transfers, etc.). This will help prevent last-minute scrambling once the move is underway. 

Q: How can I estimate the cost of moving out of state?

There will be several costs involved when moving to a different state, one of which being the actual move itself. Another will be storage. Then there will be “soft costs,”  such as buying new furniture, transporting your vehicle, and more. The best way to keep a handle on the costs of moving to another state is to set a budget and track the quotes as they come in.

Q: What’s the best way to transport my car when moving out of state?

If you’re moving to a new state within driving distance, it may make sense to drive the car there yourself. Otherwise, options for shipping a car to another state include truck haulers, trains, attaching it to the moving vehicle, or arranging for the car to be flown to the new location.

At Clutter, we’re here to make moving a whole lot easier. We offer modern moving solutions for any budget. With transparent pricing, real-time, day-of-move tracking, and industry-low minimums, you’ll find a team dedicated to making your move stress-free. Plus, you can also store your belongings with us if you’re moving out of state! We’ll pick it up, store it, and transport it to you anytime, anywhere.

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To find out how you can declutter in your life, talk to one of our space experts. We’ll get you started with the right storage plan for you.

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