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The Ultimate Moving Out Of State Checklist

Published by Chris Townsend

The Ultimate Moving Out Of State Checklist

Moving can be a daunting task, especially when it involves crossing state lines. Whether you're relocating for a new job opportunity, returning to your hometown, or simply seeking a change of scenery, the process requires meticulous planning and organization.

At "Three Movers," we understand the intricacies of such a significant transition. With over 20 years of experience in the moving industry, we've seen it all and have helped countless individuals and families make smooth, hassle-free moves.

This comprehensive guide aims to provide you with an in-depth "moving out of state checklist" to ensure that every aspect of your move is covered. From budgeting to selecting the right moving company, from understanding the nuances of your new location to managing paperwork, we've got you covered. Dive in to make your interstate move as seamless as possible.

Why Planning is Crucial for an Out-of-State Move?

Planning an out-of-state move is not just about packing boxes and hiring professional movers. It's about orchestrating a transition to a new life in a new city. Proper planning can save money, reduce stress, and ensure a smooth relocation.

1. The Importance of a Moving Timeline

Every long-distance move begins with a timeline. Setting a clear moving date helps in coordinating all the tasks that need to be done. Without a timeline, you might find yourself scrambling at the last minute, which can lead to overlooked details or added moving expenses. Moreover, a timeline ensures you have ample time to research employer relocation assistance, if available.

Moving to a new state means adjusting to a new environment, and having a timeline gives you a clear picture of when tasks need to be completed. This includes everything from hiring a full-service moving company to updating your driver's license.

2. Setting a Budget for Your Move

Moving can be expensive, especially a long-distance move. By setting a moving budget, you can monitor your moving expenses and avoid any unexpected costs. This budget should account for everything from hiring professional movers to buying packing tape.

Additionally, consider costs that might arise in your new city, such as temporary housing or a deposit for a new house. Remember, moving isn't just about the physical relocation; it's also about setting up a new life, and having a budget ensures you start on the right foot.

3. Choosing the Right Time to Move

Timing is everything. Choosing the right time to move can impact your moving expenses and the ease of your transition. For instance, moving during off-peak seasons can save money as moving companies often offer discounts.

Moreover, consider personal factors. If you have children, it might be best to move during the summer to avoid disrupting their school year. Also, consider your job lined up in the new state and the move-in date for your new house or apartment.

4. Creating a Moving Folder for Important Documents

When moving, there's a plethora of documents to keep track of, from your new lease agreement to your vehicle registration. Creating a moving folder ensures all essential papers are in one place. This is especially crucial for things like your voter registration or transferring your driver's license to your new state.

Additionally, this folder can house details about your professional moving company, receipts related to your move, and information about your new neighborhood. It's a simple step that can save a lot of hassle down the line.

5. Researching Your New State

Before you embark on your journey, it's essential to research your new state. This includes understanding the cost of living, the local culture, and any legal requirements like obtaining a new driver's license or voter registration.

Furthermore, delve into the specifics of your new city. Where's the nearest grocery store? Who's the best real estate agent in town? By researching in advance, you'll feel more at home upon arrival.

How to Choose the Right Moving Company?

Choosing the right moving company is paramount for a successful relocation. With many moving services available, it's essential to find one that fits your needs and budget.

1. Types of Moving Services

There are various moving services available, from DIY truck rentals to full-service moving companies. While renting a moving truck might seem cost-effective, consider the effort and time required. On the other hand, hiring professional movers ensures your belongings are handled with care and expertise.

2. Checking Licenses and Reviews

Before hiring a moving company, it's crucial to check their licenses and reviews. A licensed company ensures that you're working with professionals who adhere to industry standards. Additionally, reviews provide insight into the experiences of past customers.

3. Getting Multiple Quotes

Don't settle for the first quote you receive. By getting multiple quotes, you can compare prices and services, ensuring you get the best deal. Remember, the cheapest option isn't always the best. Consider the reputation and services offered by the moving company.

4. Understanding Insurance Options

Moving comes with risks. Items might get damaged or lost. Understanding your insurance options ensures that in the unfortunate event of damage, you're covered. Whether it's the insurance provided by the moving company or third-party insurance, know your coverage details.

5. Questions to Ask Before Hiring

Before finalizing your decision, have a list of questions ready. This could include queries about the moving date, any additional fees, or how they handle delicate items. A reputable moving company will be transparent and answer all your concerns.

Read More: Can a US Citizen Live in New Zealand Permanently?

Packing Tips and Tricks

Packing is an art, and mastering it can make your move significantly smoother. With the right strategies, you can ensure your belongings reach your new house intact and organized.

1. Sorting and Decluttering

Before you even touch the packing tape, it's essential to sort and declutter. This step not only reduces the volume of items you need to move but can also save money on moving expenses. Consider selling or donating items you no longer need. Remember, a long-distance move is a fresh start, and there's no better time to declutter.

2. Packing Supplies You'll Need

Having the right packing supplies is crucial. This includes sturdy boxes, bubble wrap for fragile items, packing tape, and markers for labeling. Investing in quality supplies can make a difference in ensuring your items are protected during the move. If you're working with a real estate agent, they might also have recommendations on where to get the best supplies in your area.

3. Packing Fragile Items

Fragile items require extra care. Whether it's your grandmother's china or a valuable piece of art, ensure they're wrapped in bubble wrap or packing paper. Consider using specialized boxes, and always label these boxes as 'fragile' so that movers know to handle them with care.

4. Labeling Boxes

Labeling is a simple step that can save a lot of time during the unpacking process. Clearly label each box with its contents and the room it belongs to. If you're moving to temporary housing before settling in your new house, ensure essential items are labeled so you can access them easily.

5. DIY vs. Professional Packing

While packing yourself can save money, consider the benefits of hiring professional movers for packing services. They have the expertise to pack items efficiently and safely. If you have a lot of valuable or fragile items, it might be worth the investment.

Preparing for Moving Day

The big day is approaching, and there's still a lot to do. Proper preparation can ensure everything goes off without a hitch.

1. Finalizing Travel Arrangements

Whether you're driving to your new state or flying, finalize your travel arrangements. If you're driving, ensure your vehicle registration is up to date and plan your route. If flying, book tickets in advance and arrange for transportation once you land.

2. Preparing Pets for the Move

Moving can be stressful for pets. Prepare them by visiting the vet for a check-up and gather all necessary documentation. Research pet-friendly hotels if you're making a multi-day trip and ensure your new home is ready to welcome them.

3. What to Pack in Your Essentials Bag

An essentials bag is crucial for the first few days after the move. Pack items like toiletries, a change of clothes, important documents, and any other necessities. If you're moving to a new city where you don't have a job lined up yet, also include any job-related documents.

4. Handling Utilities and Services

Before moving, ensure utilities at your current home are scheduled to be turned off after your move-out date. Similarly, set up utilities for your new home to be turned on by your move-in date. This includes water, electricity, internet, and any other essential services.

5. Last-minute Checklist

The final days before the move can be hectic. Create a last-minute checklist to ensure nothing is overlooked. This can include tasks like forwarding your mail, updating your homeowners' insurance and confirming details with your moving company.

Settling Into Your New Home

The moving truck has departed, and you're now standing in your new home. While the journey might seem over, the process of making this house your home has just begun. Settling in requires patience, organization, and a touch of exploration.

1. Unpacking Strategies

Unpacking can be as daunting as packing, but with the right strategy, it can be efficient and even enjoyable. Start by unpacking essential items first, such as kitchenware and toiletries. This ensures you can function comfortably in your new home from day one.

Next, tackle one room at a time. This focused approach prevents the feeling of being overwhelmed and allows you to see tangible progress. Remember, it's not a race. Take your time to decide where things should go, and don't hesitate to rearrange as you see fit.

2. Making Necessary Repairs

Every home, whether old or new, might need some tweaks to make it truly yours. Perhaps it's a leaky faucet, a room that needs a fresh coat of paint, or a floorboard that squeaks. Addressing these issues early can make your settling process smoother.

Moreover, making these repairs gives you a chance to personalize your space. Maybe you've always wanted a particular light fixture or a specific color on your bedroom walls. Now's the time to make those changes and truly make the space your own.

3. Registering for Utilities

While you might have set up basic utilities before moving in, now's the time to ensure everything is in order. This includes not only electricity and water but also internet, cable, and any other services you require.

It's also an excellent time to explore options. Maybe there's a better internet provider or a more comprehensive cable package available. Research your options and ensure you're getting the best deal and service for your needs.

4. Introducing Yourself to Neighbors

Building relationships in your new neighborhood is essential. Start by introducing yourself to your immediate neighbors. A simple hello, a card, or even some baked goods can break the ice.

Engaging with your community can provide a sense of belonging. Attend local events, join community groups, or simply take walks around the neighborhood. Over time, these interactions can lead to meaningful relationships and a feeling of being at home.

5. Exploring Your New Community

Your new house is just a small part of your new life. The community and city you've moved to hold new experiences, places, and people to discover. Spend weekends visiting local attractions, parks, or restaurants.

Also, consider joining local groups or clubs related to your interests. Whether it's a book club, a fitness class, or a hobby group, these gatherings can introduce you to like-minded individuals and further deepen your connection to your new home.

Read More: How Much Does It Cost to Move to Hawaii From California?

Additional Resources

Moving is a complex process, and even after you've settled in, there might be things you need. Thankfully, there are numerous resources available to assist you in every step of your journey.

1. Printable Moving Checklists

While technology is a boon, sometimes a good old-fashioned checklist is what you need. Printable moving checklists can be pinned to your wall or refrigerator, providing a visual reminder of tasks to be completed.

2. Apps to Help You Move

In today's digital age, there's an app for everything, including moving. These apps can help you organize, schedule, and even inventory your belongings. Some even connect you directly with moving services, making the process seamless.

3. Where to Find Packing Supplies

While you've completed your move, you might need packing supplies for other purposes, or perhaps you're helping a friend with their move. Local stores, online marketplaces, or even community groups can be treasure troves for boxes, bubble wrap, and more.

4. Storage Solutions

Sometimes, not everything fits into your new home, or perhaps you're waiting before you introduce certain items. Storage solutions, whether they're community storage units or portable storage containers, can be invaluable.

5. Emergency Contacts in Your New State

Safety first. Ensure you have a list of emergency contacts in your new state. This includes local police, fire departments, hospitals, and even utility emergency numbers. Having these on hand ensures you're prepared for any situation.

Why Choose Three Movers: Your Trusted Moving Partner?

When it comes to relocating, whether it's across the street or across the country, the process can be overwhelming. That's where Three Movers steps in, ensuring that your move is as smooth and stress-free as possible. With our extensive experience and commitment to customer satisfaction, we've established ourselves as a leading name in the moving industry.

Comprehensive Moving Services

At Three Movers, we understand that every move is unique. That's why we offer a wide range of services tailored to meet your specific needs. Our offerings include:

  • Local Moves: Whether you're moving to a new neighborhood or just a few blocks away, our team ensures a hassle-free transition.
  • Long Distance Relocations: Moving to a different state? No problem. Our experts are trained to handle long-distance moves, ensuring your belongings reach their destination safely.
  • International Moves: With our global network and expertise, we make international relocations seem like a breeze.
  • Office Relocations: We understand the intricacies of moving an office. From computers to conference tables, we've got you covered.
  • Packing and Unpacking: If the thought of packing overwhelms you, let our professionals handle it. We also offer unpacking services to help you settle into your new space quickly.

Experienced and Trained Professionals

Our team is our strength. Comprising experienced professionals, we ensure that every move is executed with precision and care. Here's what sets our team apart:

  • Training: Every member undergoes rigorous training to handle all types of items, from fragile glassware to bulky furniture.
  • Customer-centric Approach: Our team is not just trained to move items but also to provide top-notch customer service. Your satisfaction is our top priority.
  • Safety First: We prioritize the safety of your belongings. Our team is trained in safe lifting techniques and uses the best equipment to ensure no harm comes to your items or property.

Transparent Pricing

With Three Movers, there are no hidden charges or last-minute surprises. Our transparent pricing model ensures you know exactly what you're paying for. Benefits include:

  • Free Quotes: Before committing, get a free quote to understand the costs involved.
  • No Hidden Charges: What we quote is what you pay. No hidden fees or surprise charges.
  • Value for Money: With our competitive pricing and exceptional service, you're always getting the best deal.

State-of-the-art Equipment

To ensure the best service, we invest in the best equipment. From our moving trucks to packing materials, everything is top of the line. Highlights include:

  • Well-Maintained Fleet: Our moving trucks are regularly serviced and maintained to ensure smooth transportation.
  • Quality Packing Materials: We use only the best packing materials to ensure your items are protected during the move.
  • Advanced Tools: For heavy items or tricky spaces, we have advanced tools to ensure safe and efficient moving.

Choosing Three Movers means choosing peace of mind. Let us handle the heavy lifting while you look forward to your new beginning.


Relocating, whether it's a short distance or across international borders, is a significant life event. The process can be both exhilarating and daunting. However, with the right planning, resources, and a trusted moving partner like Three Movers, the journey can be much smoother.

Remember, the key to a successful move lies in preparation and choosing the right assistance. As you embark on this new chapter of your life, know that Three Movers is here to support you every step of the way.

If you're looking for a seamless, stress-free moving experience, don't hesitate to contact us and discover how we can make your next move your best one yet.


What should I prioritize when planning a long-distance move?

Prioritizing a moving timeline, setting a budget, and choosing the right moving company are essential steps. Additionally, researching your new location and preparing essential documents can make the transition smoother.

How long before the move should I start packing?

It's advisable to start packing non-essential items a few weeks before the move. As the moving date approaches, you can then pack daily-use items. Hiring professional packing services can also expedite this process.

Are there items that moving companies won't transport?

Yes, most moving companies have a list of non-allowable items, which often include hazardous materials, perishable foods, and certain plants. It's always best to check with your chosen moving company beforehand.

How can I ensure my fragile items won't get damaged during the move?

Using the right packing materials, such as bubble wrap and sturdy boxes, is crucial. Labeling boxes containing fragile items and informing your movers can also help. If unsure, consider using professional packing services.

Is it necessary to get insurance for my move?

While not always mandatory, moving insurance provides an added layer of protection for your belongings. It's especially recommended for long-distance or international moves where the risk of damage or loss is higher.

Chris Townsend is a moving professional and relocation expert that has more than 10 years of experience in the moving industry. With a background that includes working in virtually every aspect of the company, he has distinguished himself as an integral part of our operations with expertise in all things related to moving. Chris has a keen eye for detail and brings intelligence and passion to every project he’s involved with.

While getting his degree in communications from Santa Clara University, Chris started out with the company working in the field as part of our team of professional moving associates. Following graduation, he was promoted to our main office, where he has thrived in a role that involves increasing responsibility and requires him to wear many different hats. Some days, you may find him answering the phone and providing moving estimates, others he may be writing for our moving blog, and another day he may be coordinating a large corporate moving job or helping us with our marketing efforts. Chris has authored many of our in-depth moving guides, as well as provided our clients with information and advice to handle the complexities of their upcoming moving plans. Simply put, there’s nothing he can’t do and we wouldn’t be where we are today without him.

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