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Moving to Another State Checklist

What You'll Learn: Learn How to Move to Another State from Preparation to Relocating

EXPECTED READ TIME: 8 MINUTES

Remember your first move? Perhaps it was moving into a dorm at college with a few bins and boxes. Maybe it was moving to your first apartment with the help of a friend’s pickup truck. As we get older, the logistics associated with moving get more complex; this is especially true when you’re planning on moving to another state. The good news is that with some preparation, you can smooth the way and make your move easier —  and even more affordable —  than you expected.

How to move to another state.

It’s one thing to move from one house to another or from one neighborhood to another but moving to a different state requires a unique level of preparation and organization. For one thing, there will probably be a firmer timeline in place. In addition, moving to another state is generally far more expensive than a local move, so you may need to start earlier making financial preparations.

If you have friends or family in your new location, that may make for an easier transition. If not, think ahead to your first day or two in your new home. Will you need help unpacking? Where will you get groceries? Check with your mover or the real estate agent in your new neighborhood to determine if they offer concierge moving services. These can help to smooth the way and take on some of the logistics so that you’ll have less to do during your move.

Logistics to consider before relocating to another state.

There are many things you’ll need to do during an interstate move, including:

  • Finding a new doctor, dentist, or other professional service providers for each member of the family
  • Registering your children in a new school system and transferring their records
  • Registering all of your vehicles in your new state and obtaining a new driver’s license
  • Changing the addresses for all of your bills, subscriptions, and other services
  • Canceling utilities in your current home and starting them up in your new home

In addition to all of these tasks, you’ll be learning the ins and outs of a new job and getting used to a new commute and a new routine. You may also have to contend with a new culture, new foods, new accents, and other factors that make you feel somewhat out of your element. It’s important to acknowledge these feelings and prepare for them, bringing with you some items that make you feel more at home.

Questions to ask before relocating to another state.

People move out of state for many reasons. You may be moving because you’ve been offered a new job in a different city. You may be planning to move to another state because you’ve seen it in a movie or on a television show and thought it looked fun. Maybe you’re now working from home and have more options for where you’ll live. Perhaps you’re moving to another state due to what you’ve read about its quality of life or affordability.

Whatever the reason, there are a few questions you should ask yourself before you decide you’re moving to another state:

  1. Have I visited the new state to see for myself whether it’s a good fit for me?
  2. Have I crunched the numbers to make sure I can afford to live in this new area?
  3. How will I make a living once I arrive in my new state?
  4. Is there unfinished business in my current area that I need to settle before I move?
  5. Have I struggled with homesickness in the past, and how can I emotionally prepare myself and my family for an out-of-state move?

Preparing children for an out-of-state move.

A move to a new area may particularly impact children. While you may be going there because of an exciting new job opportunity or to fulfill a lifelong dream, they may feel out of place in their new home or sad to leave behind the friends, family, and familiarity of your current home.

To help children through this transition, start early talking to them about their new hometown. If your child loves sports, introduce them to the local sports teams. If he or she is a reader, order some books with interesting facts about the state you’re moving to and plan an upcoming weekend trip together. If they’re more visual, check out online video resources for virtual tours so that they can learn more about their future home.

How to move out of state on a budget.

While it is more expensive to move to a new state, you can manage costs in many cases. A do-it-yourself move with a rental truck can save you thousands of dollars over hiring a professional mover. In addition, be realistic about the items that you are moving. If you have old clothes or furniture that you no longer want, hold a garage sale, or give them away to a local charity rather than paying to move them to a new location, only to sit unused once more.

Your first night in your new home.

You’ll no doubt be tired after traveling and eager for a good night’s sleep in your new home. Make sure that you’ve set aside linens, pajamas, toiletries, and a change of clothes for the following day in a dedicated box or suitcase so that they’re easy to find. Include a favorite book or toy for the kids and spend some time together talking about the day you’ve had — and all of the exciting days ahead in your new home.

While relocating to another state can be a struggle, it is also an adventure. Preparation and organization will smooth the way and create a positive outcome for your whole family.

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