How to Move to Another State: The Ultimate Checklist for an Easy Move

couple with boxes moving into new home

Moving is tough enough, but moving out of state? That's a whole new ball game!

If you stop and think about it long enough, the thought of packing up your whole life and moving to a new state can be overwhelming.

But it doesn't have to be.

Luckily, we're here to help. To make sure your move is successful and stress-free, we've come up with the ultimate checklist from start to finish. If you're wondering how to move to another state as smoothly as possible, follow these steps.

Book a Moving Company

Unless you're starting fresh, you'll probably need some help moving your stuff. That will entail hiring a moving company to haul off your belongings across state borders.

But moving companies book up fast; at least the good ones do. If you've already got a firm date on when you need to move, it's never to early to reserve your spot with a reputable mover.

But there are tons of moving companies out there, so which one should you choose? Many movers are local, which means the farthest they may be willing to go is across town.

What you need is a mover that specifically handles state-to-state moves. They'll have the trucks, equipment, and drivers you need to trek your things such a far distance. They'll even pack up your stuff for you (at an extra cost).

Set Your Budget

Moving can be expensive, especially when you're moving so far. Not only will the movers cost you, but so will many other things, including:

  • Storage prices
  • Travel fees (gas, plane tickets, hotel rooms, etc)
  • Moving insurance
  • Cleaning your old and new homes
  • Food along your travels
  • Real estate fees (if applicable)
  • Unexpected costs

There could be any number of expenses that may creep up. You'll want to set a budget so that you can keep tabs on the cost of the move very closely so you don't break the bank.

Take Inventory

Is it really necessary to haul all of your things when you move? Most likely you've accumulated a lot of stuff over the years that you never use anymore.

Before you pack, take a look around at everything you've got and purge whatever you don't need. A good rule of thumb: toss anything that you haven't used in six months.

Whether you sell it, donate it, or trash it, you can easily lighten the load by getting rid of things that are no longer useful.

Pack Smart

A moving out of state checklist would not be complete without this step: it's time to start packing.

When you pack your things, be sure to label your boxes both on the top and sides. That way you'll know exactly what's what without having to take any boxes off of each other.

If you've got kids, make sure you leave their favorite things out until the last minute, or else you'll be scrambling to find their beloved stuffie or toy when they start throwing a tantrum over it.

Anything that you need at the last minute should be kept out as well, such as toiletries and a change of clothes. And whatever you need as soon as you arrive should be packed in a clearly-marked, easily-accessible box that you can get to the second you step foot over the threshold.

Change Your Address

Certain entities will need to know about your change of address, including:

  • IRS
  • Post office
  • Employer
  • Bank
  • Credit card issuer
  • Loan issuer
  • Health and life insurance companies
  • Utilities
  • Doctor
  • School
  • Magazine subscriptions
  • Church

You don't want your mail or any subscriptions to continue being sent to your old home. You also want to make sure you've got power and water at your new address. Informing important entities and people about your new address will make sure that you don't miss a beat.

Your friends and family will also need to know about your change of address. An easy way to let them know is to either send out a blanket email or mail out postcards with your new address.
That way you won't get miss any holiday cards or birthday party invitations throughout the year.

Check Out Your New City

If you haven't already done so, consider visiting the city you're moving to, if possible.

It'll give you a chance to get familiar with the place. Check out the parks, neighborhoods, shops, eateries, and schools. The more time you can spend there before the actual move, the more comfortable you'll be when you get there.

Register the Kids For School

If you've got children, you'll need to register them at their new school. Whether they're moving mid-year or at the start of a new school year, it's important to get them all set up a few weeks before the big moving day.

Get a New Driver's License

Every state will require its drivers to have a state driver's license. Once you get there, visit the local DMV to get a new driver's license.

Many states give new residents a certain time frame within which to make the switch. Once this grace period is over, your old license might not be valid. Check with your new state's DMV to verify the requirements.

Establish Legal Residence For Tax Purposes

When you move to a new state, you'll have to establish legal residence for tax purposes, also known as "legal domicile."

Moving could reduce your state tax bill. But if you don't establish legal domicile in your new state, your old state could actually come after you for tax payments at the same time that your new state seeks payment from you too.

To find out how to establish legal residence in the new state you're moving to, check out the state's website.

How to Move to Another State - Follow a Detailed Checklist!

You've got a lot on your plate when it comes to moving from one state to another. Knowing how to move to another state so the process is as smooth and streamlined as possible requires that you don't miss a step.

Keep this checklist handy!

Looking for more tips on a stress-free move? Check out other moving how-to's on our blog!


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