Are you planning to move to another state? What an exciting time! Your mind must be filled with thoughts of your new life and all the fun experiences you will have.

You may also be nervous wondering what considerations to keep in mind when moving out of state. Fear not. Your friends at Bellhop are here to help. 

We have a massive team, many of whom have lived all over the United States, and our work as interstate movers has moved people into new homes all across the country. We know what to consider when moving to another state.

This blog will tell you the most important things to know. We cover everything from deciding where you should live to what costs to look for, what packing steps to follow, and how to organize your big move.

Hiring movers for your long-distance move shouldn’t be a luxury. That’s why we offer customizable and affordable moving services. You only pay for what you need. 

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How to move to another state: a checklist

Keep these things in mind to ensure a comfortable and hassle-free move.   

Step #1: Make a plan to save as much money as possible

Closing costs are only part of what you’ll need. Determine a moving budget, and set aside 10% more than you think you will need. For example, if you have done your calculations and find you need $1,000 to move from Nashville, TN, to Austin, TX, we recommend saving $1,100 as a buffer to cover unexpected costs along the way.

Also, you should have 3-6 months of living expenses saved up, especially if you are moving without a job. This means that if your rent will be $1,000 a month, and your living expenses will be $1,000 a month, save $6,000-$12,000 before your big move.

Then, there is the cost of hiring movers. How much should you plan to spend? Read our previous post about how much movers cost, or we can provide a free estimate here at Bellhop. We built our business by offering breezy, low-stress moving services at a reasonable price.

You also need to consider other moving costs, such as shipping your car across the country and costs associated with hotels and meals while you’re away from home. 

Utility deposits and connection fees will also need to be factored in, and if renting, you will need a deposit and the first and last months’ rent. Plus, you’ll need products to set up your new house, like shower curtains, rods, and bath mats, as well as cleaning supplies and groceries.

If you currently own property, selling or renting it will help cover these costs. You can also rent your new home to keep upfront costs down while ensuring you buy later in the best location. You will avoid wasting significant money!

Step #2: Research your new city and state

You will benefit substantially from doing early location research online. Review the state’s background, get a handle on the weather and topography, and learn more about the cities and towns. Check out each area’s culture, activities, and quality of life.

If the state is nearby, take a road trip before moving to get a feel for life there. If you have flexibility in where you will live, visit everything from the larger cities to smaller communities. Consider everything. 

What is the crime rate? 

Is your ideal living area dangerous? Use NeighborhoodScout to learn about local crime rates. You can also stay at a hotel or an Airbnb for a firsthand look at an area before you buy a home. 

What is the difference in the cost of living?

Use a cost of living calculator to determine the cost differences between your current home and your future residence. Look for unexpected costs, such as taxes. Each state has different tax rules, and knowing them can save you money. 

Cost of moving

The costs of moving to another state can depend on a variety of factors. 

  • How far are you moving? 
  • Do you need more than one truck? 
  • Do you need storage? 

One way to gauge the costs of moving to another state is to use a moving cost calculator.

What are the best school districts?

If you have children, the school district you choose is crucial to their education. This factor alone often influences where people decide to move. It can even affect property rates.

Every city has districts that are better than others, so even if your heart is set on a specific city, you can boost your kids’ education by selecting an area of town within a strong school district. Check out to learn about nearby schools.

What are the best times to commute?

If you hate driving, commute times may affect where you decide to live. You can look for locations close to work, and use Google Maps to figure out typical arrival times and rush hours. 

Step #3: Secure housing in another state

You might be planning to purchase or rent an apartment or home, or maybe you need temporary housing while you get yourself situated. Jump online to get a good idea of the current housing situation in your favorite locations and understand the difference in housing prices in surrounding areas. 

For homes, try Zillow and Trulia, and for rentals, try Zillow Rentals, Trulia Rentals, HotPads, and Zumper. Use Google Maps or Bing Maps to get a better understanding of the locations. 

Step #4: Pack for your out-of-state move

If you’re packing for an out-of-state move, stick to the essentials. Ask yourself, “What is the weather like?” (That will influence your moving out-of-state checklist.)

If you’re relocating from the chilly Pacific Northwest to sunny Florida, you can probably sell your winter clothes, snowmobiles, etc. One of Bellhop’s best packing tips for moving out of state is to only pack what you need. Why add more stress on your plate when you don’t need to?

Step #5: Get a job

If you don’t have a new job lined up, you should know what to expect in each location. Your desired job can influence where you should live in the state.

Many online resources can help you find a job in another state. 

  • Indeed, LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and ZipRecruiter are some popular ones. 
  • AngelList is the go-to site if you are looking to work for a startup. 
  • LinkedIn is also a solid place to join or create professional groups, add connections, post articles, and showcase your business profile for potential employment.

Step #6: Change all family driver licenses and vehicle registrations

Once you have nailed down a place to live, you can focus on other necessities, like your driver’s license and vehicle registration. You may need to secure an ideal appointment time. 

Reservations can book out far in advance, and some states may require you to change the license as soon as 10 days after arrival. Others may offer a 6-month grace period. Just make sure you have all the correct documents on hand to confirm your identity.

Step #7: Contact your health, auto, and home insurance providers

You may have changes in medical costs. Your current medical insurance company may not work well in your new area, and you may need a new provider who charges different rates and new deductibles. (Make sure you understand any changes in coverage for procedures and medications.) 

The Better Way to Move

For auto insurance, be sure to change your address on file. Rates may increase, or you may even pay less for insurance. The same may apply to homeowners insurance options.

Step #8: Take care of utilities, and compile important documents

Many movers suggest planning your move early, and there are good reasons for this. You may picture reserving a truck, organizing packing supplies, and boxing up items as the bulk of the work, but in reality, there is a long list of tasks to do before, during, and after a move.

As professional movers, we at Bellhop suggest planning a move at least 60 days out so that you have enough time for everything. To help further, we have used our out-of-state moving experience to create a comprehensive list of moving steps in chronological order. You no longer need to worry about forgetting important tasks or figuring out what to do first.

Our list covers everything from reserving moving dates to informing your post office, credit card companies, and cell phone carrier of your new mailing address, and packing important information, such as social security paperwork, fingerprint documents, insurance documents, and legal documents

Will you need internet access? The list includes that, too. You will also learn how to organize utilities and ensure you get security deposits back from leasing companies. Download our free list here!

How do I start over and move out of state?

It’s never easy to start over and move out of state. However, it’s totally possible! 

  • First, you’ll want to figure out housing and a job. 
  • Next, it’s time to start packing. 
  • Then, you’re ready to schedule long-distance movers. 

Check out our checklist for moving to make things as easy as possible for you. That will answer all your questions and more regarding, “How do I prepare for a move across the country?” 

How to find interstate movers that offer more than one delivery service option

Relocating to your new city may require the help of a moving company, but where do you start? There are hundreds of companies to choose from.

Tip #1: Start by comparing moving costs from larger companies

Large companies have good experience and are generally more established and reliable. You can also look at sites like Yelp to read customer reviews. Here is a useful guide with tips on how to compare moving company quotes.

Tip #2: Look for long-distance movers

Long-distance movers often handle interstate moves. If you have a large move, full-service moving companies make the whole process easier. They know how to prepare for long moves, such as safeguarding valuable personal items over long distances on the road. Make sure the company has insurance in case of damages, and learn what services are included in their company terminology.

Tip #3: Don’t restrict your search for the most affordable option

Some added services are worth the price. Sometimes an expensive moving option includes valuable services at no extra charge.

Tip #4: Choose companies that offer a range of services

An ideal mover offers a full range of services, from simple truck rentals to moving staff and full, white-glove moves. Having a range can help you stay within your  budget and give you peace of mind that you’re still using a quality provider. It can also help you choose whether you should rent a truck or hire professional movers.

Keep in mind that long-range DIY moves leave a lot of risk, especially when heavy lifting is involved. Even though a mover’s pricing for a full-service move might look like a lot at first, it is usually worth the cost. 

Tip #5: Check if your company offers a relocation package 

Before finalizing your delivery service option, ask your employer if they offer a company relocation package. Be sure to evaluate it carefully to use it as much as possible. 

Package options can vary. Some companies also offer a free car rental as part of the package, while others may include a cash bonus. Be sure to know how relocation funds are distributed (monthly or as a lump sum). You might be able to take advantage of a healthy tax deduction as well. Talk to a tax professional if you have any questions about how this works.

Moving soon? Here’s a summary of your moving out-of-state checklist (plus a few more tips)

From switching jobs to changing over your driver’s license, there are numerous things to consider when moving out of state. Below is a moving out-of-state checklist you can follow to keep your stress levels to a minimum: 

#1: Sell or donate unused items

It’s been said before, and it’s worth saying again. Nothing moves a move along like a good spring cleaning! Our suggestion? Take a few days to sort through your items, say yay or nay, and separate everything into four piles (keep, donate, sell, or throw away). 

That will help decrease the amount of items you’re moving, making for a faster and more affordable move overall. (By the way, if you’d like to keep costs low, don’t forget to price different movers. You can check out Bellhop’s moving cost calculator here.) 

#2: Create a packing strategy

Moving preparation is key to making your move as seamless as can be. Make sure to pack at least three weeks before your move so that you don’t have to scramble at the last minute. You’ll need labels in various colors so that you can designate a different color for each room, making it easier to find things in boxes. (As we both know, it’s easy for things to get lost in a big move!)

Our movers recommend packing the items and areas you use the least in the beginning (think: the garage, attic, and basement). Other ideas include holiday decorations and out-of-state season clothes. Once you have a packing strategy in place, your move will be much easier. 

#3: Secure housing

If you’re moving to a new state alone, consider renting for at least a year before buying. That way, you don’t end up stuck in a city or state that you don’t love just to keep up with a mortgage. Renting first gives you some much-needed flexibility, which is just what you need during a big life change, such as a cross-country move.

Some options for housing include roommates, shared housing, and apartments. Of course, if you’re moving your family out of state, your checklist might include finding an affordable home for rent so that there’s plenty of room for your littles and dog. 

#4: Start applying to jobs

If you have enough in savings, you don’t necessarily need a job before moving to a new city or state. However, securing employment beforehand can make things much easier if you don’t have a nest egg. Check out some job boards (Indeed, LinkedIn, Snagajob, Monster, etc.) before moving day to kick-start your job search. Also, don’t forget to talk to any family, friends, or coworkers you have that live in your target city or state. You never know who might have something for you.

#5: Schedule movers

While it’s possible to DIY a move to a new state, working with long-distance movers can take a lot off your plate. Movers like Bellhop can handle virtually everything, including loading your items onto a delivery truck, organizing them to minimize the chance of breakage during transit, delivering your items from point A to B, and unloading them into your new apartment or house.

Try to schedule your move on a Friday if possible so that your movers have a full weekend to do the job. If you can give at least a few days to a week’s notice before your move, that would be ideal. 

#6: Take care of any last-minute appointments and errands

You can do a lot over the Internet but not everything. If you need to drop off a library book, take the time to do that before your move so that you don’t get charged. 

Need to make arrangements at your college, university, or your kids’ schools? Need to book your annual teeth cleaning or meet with your doctor before you leave? Now’s the time to do it. Also, don’t forget to close your PO Box and set up mail forwarding so that your mail is sent to the right location after you move. 

Bellhop: movers with extensive experience in out-of-state moves

Following the steps above and using our free packing list can help ensure a smooth and cost-effective move. And when you are ready to start budgeting your move, give us a call! We offer a full range of moving capabilities to suit any budget. 

You can order a truck and move with friends, or schedule full, white-glove, door-to-door service using an experienced moving crew. We are experts at long-distance moves and come fully insured to handle any level of service. 

We’re here to give you peace of mind knowing your items are in good hands. And we’re here to make your move fun!

Woman packing for a move

Are you moving out of state? Check out these specific guides for moving from different states:

Moving in state? We can help:


Nick Valentino