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10 Things to do before moving out of state

Brandon Britton
8 minutes

Moving out of state? From packing belongings and finding a place to live to considering moving options and making new friends, moving to a different state is a time-consuming process that takes patience and planning. If you’re not sure how to move to another state, we can help. Our moving out of state checklist makes moving to a new state easy and seamless. Here’s how to move out of state smoothly and efficiently. Reference our checklist for a more simpler format.

Everything you need to do before Moving out of State

1. Choose a moving date

Time to choose a moving date! When moving out of state, make sure you consider moving company availability, your work schedule, family concerns and weather when selecting a  Believe it or not, when you move can also affect the cost of your move. Those moving on weekends, holidays or during the summer will likely run into greater demand, less mover availability and therefore, higher moving rates. On the other hand, if you choose to move during a weekday when it’s not peak moving season then you’ll likely have a less expensive move

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2. Research moving companies near you and hire a good one

Moving to a new state is hard to do without professional movers. If you do decide to hire a moving company to help with the move, make sure it’s a reliable and trustworthy one. When researching moving companies, check out company reviews and ratings on Moving.com’s Moving Company Directory. This directory includes customer reviews, the moving company’s U.S. DOT number, Better Business Bureau rating, any official complaints filed with the FMCSA, and whether the moving company has any association with the American Moving & Storage Association. I recommend contacting at least three to four moving companies to obtain a quote. Note: movers should perform either an in-person inspection or a video survey of your belongings before giving you a quote. If the mover gives you a quote over the internet without looking at your belongings or gives you a quote that seems too good to be true, sound the alarm. These are two major red flags that shouldn’t be ignored.

3. Find a place to live

Ideally, you’d like to find a new place to live before you move. Unless you know the area well already, I recommend renting for the first six months while you get a feel for the city. To find a safe, budget-friendly place to live, hire a reputable Realtor to show you homes in your choice neighborhoods. Hiring the right Realtor is extremely important when moving to another state. A knowledgeable real estate agent should be able to guide you in your house hunting process. They should also know the market inside and out and be able to help you with all legalities and paperwork.

4. Get all moving supplies

From moving boxes and foam pouches to bubble rolls and packing tape, you’re going to need plenty of moving supplies. Make sure to order your moving supplies at least a month before the move so you can start packing as soon as possible. Check out our Get a quote form for a checklist.

5. Figure out a packing plan

Before boxing up your things, come up with a timeline and a plan for packing. I recommend packing all non-essentials first. Non-essentials are anything you won’t need in the weeks leading up to the move, including books, home decor items, and electronics. Pack essentials last. These should include kitchen items, dinnerware and toiletries. To make your packing easier, donate items you won’t need in the new home to a local Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity or Goodwill. Be sure to pack all important documents and records in a separate clearly labeled box.

6. Cancel and or transfer membership subscriptions

Unless you want to get stuck paying for a gym you no longer use, we recommend canceling or transferring all memberships as soon as possible. This also goes for community clubs. Many monthly membership programs need at least one month’s notice before cancelling an account. If the city that you’re moving to happens to have locations in the area, then make sure to transfer the membership before moving so you can access the club. Also make sure to contact your utility companies to let them know you are moving. Utilities include cable and internet, water and sewer, gas, electricity, satellite, and security system. If you already have an address in your new state, go ahead and schedule a transfer or installation date.

7. Forward your mail to new address

Fortunately, forwarding your snail mail is easy and can be done well ahead of time. All you have to do is go to USPS.com and choose the date you wish to begin forwarding your mail. Thinking of renting a PO Box in your new city? Check out Moving.com’s guide to setting up a PO Box when you move.

8. Confirm ETA and other info with your movers

Several days before the move, be sure to confirm the moving date and arrival time with your moving company. Chances are good that the moving company will call to confirm details with you at least a week before the move. Regardless, we recommend following up that week to ensure that movers arrive at the correct address on the correct moving date. If nothing else, this should give you peace of mind and will make the move less stressful. Are the movers already on the road? If it’s been a few days since you heard from them (or saw your belongings), we recommend calling and checking in with the mover to get an ETA (estimated time of arrival). This way, you can plan your schedule around your move-in date and arrange to be there when the movers arrive.

9. Make necessary travel arrangements

Moving long distance almost always involves making travel arrangements. Just make sure to arrange your travel plans well before the move. Examples of travel arrangements to consider include booking a plane ticket, booking a car rental, making a hotel reservation or other overnight plans if needed. Oftentimes, it takes moving companies a week or more to deliver belongings. So, make sure you also have plans set for temporary housing.

10. Establish domicile in your new state

If you’re moving to another state permanently and making it your main place of residence, you’ll need to establish legal domicile for tax purposes. To find information on the various ways to establish domicile in your new state, check out the state’s website. You should also update your voter registration as soon as you move. This way you can vote and participate in any and all upcoming elections. There are usually multiple ways to register to vote, including in-person voter registration, mail-in registration and online registration. For more information about how to register to vote when moving out of state, check here.

Ready to move?

To find the right moving company to handle your next move, check Moving.com’s extensive network of reputable and reliable movers. All relocation companies in our network are licensed and insured, so you can rest assured that your move will be in good hands. Best of luck and happy moving!

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