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The Ultimate Moving Out of State Checklist

Every year, millions of Americans relocate to a new state. Many don’t know that they can make the process easier and more affordable by following a few simple planning tips.
The Ultimate Checklist For Moving Out-of-State

In this article

Completing a out-of-state move requires a lot of planning. From vetting potential movers to getting your belongings packed properly to the final walkthroughs of your old and new homes, there’s a lot to keep track of. But with a bit of preparation, your interstate move can be relatively seamless.

Interstate moves need extra time and planning compared to a local move because you’ll need to account for :

  • added distance
  • Different rules and regulations
  • Potential weather issues

Hiring professional out-of-state movers can guarantee a seamless moving process regarding heavy lifting, but it isn’t the only way to make your transition smoother.

Check out this detailed guide from moving experts trained in the art of out-of-state moves. With their planning, packing, and interstate moving tips, you’ll be ready for your big day in no time.

When to Start Planning for Moving Out of State

The most crucial part of any move is the planning stage because it sets the tone and timeline for everything else that needs to happen. If you’re moving out of state, you’ll want to start preparing as soon as possible-ideally, 6-8 weeks in advance.

This may seem like a lot of time, but it’s important to give yourself enough time to research potential long distance moving companies you want to hire, create a detailed moving out of state checklist, and take care of any loose ends before you leave.

If you plan on moving during the summer months between May and September, you’ll want to begin this process closer to 8 weeks in advance. Peak moving season is notoriously challenging to get the moving date and moving services you need at the last minute. 

On the other hand, if you plan on moving during the off-season winter months, starting your planning about 6 weeks in advance is usually enough.

Keep in mind that even if you’re not moving until later in the year, it’s never too early to start thinking about your upcoming out-of-state move and what needs to be done. The sooner you start, the less stressful the process will be overall. It is a good idea to create a moving checklist that will help you keep track of each moving detail. 

This list should be created as part of your preplanning stage and include important moving tasks such as:

  • Moving dates
  • Packing timeline
  • Mover contact information
  • Utility and service disconnects/connects
  • Providing change-of-address notifications
  • Vehicle insurance changes
  • Finding new health and dental providers

Basically, anything you need to know or do in preparation for your move should be added to your checklist. This will help you stay organized and on track as you get closer to moving day.

How to Choose an Interstate Mover

The most important decision you’ll make during the moving process is choosing a reputable, reliable interstate mover. There are plenty of great companies out there that can help with your out-of-state move, but there are also some less-than-reputable ones.

Adams Van Lines - Top 3 Recommended Out of State Movers

Adams Van Lines​

Pricing Van Lines - 10 Best Out of State Movers Around You

Pricing Van Lines​

iMoving - Best Out of State Moving Companies



Before settling on a moving company, it is highly recommended to read reviews from other customers, get multiple quotes, and compare rates and services.

Additionally, you should also check to make sure the moving company you are considering is licensed within the state (Check DOT number) to move household goods across state lines.

This licensing is mandatory in every state, and working with an unlicensed company could risk damage to your belongings or be scammed altogether.

How to Get Accurate Quotes When Moving out-of-state

Moving to another state checklist

The best chance of getting an accurate quote from out-of-state moving companies is to have an in-home estimate. To do this, a representative from the company will come to your house and assess the amount and type of belongings you need to move. 

In-home estimates are usually free of charge and provide the most accurate way for a company to give you a quote.

Another way to get an estimate is by using a free online moving quote tool on the moving company’s website. However, this is often less accurate than an in-home estimate because it doesn’t consider all potential factors that could affect your move. 

Additionally, while some companies can organize your move from this free online estimate, the quotes you receive may be subject to change on a moving day should you fail to disclose everything upfront.

The reason to choose an in-home estimate over a virtual one is because of a little-known charge called access fees. These fees are assessed for the time and labor involved for the moving company to access your belongings. 

The more difficult it is for the company to access your things, the higher the fee. With an in-home estimate, the company can look at everything and help you determine the best way to load and unload your belongings so that you don’t get hit with an access fee on moving day.

Packing Tips for Moving Out of State

Packing is one of the most important and most daunting parts of any move, but it’s especially challenging when dealing with a long-distance move. Not only do you have more belongings to pack, but you also have to worry about them staying safe during transport.

To make the packing process as smooth as possible, start by decluttering your home and getting rid of anything you don’t need or want to take with you. This will not only make packing easier, but it will also save you money on your move.

Decluttering can be done in many ways, but the best is to go through your home and create a detailed inventory list. Once you have the list, scan through it and see what items you can get rid of. You can do this by holding a garage sale, listing items on an online marketplace, or donating them to a local charity or thrift store.

Once you have decluttered, it’s time to start packing up your belongings. 

Begin by gathering all of the necessary supplies, such as: 

  • boxes
  • packing paper 
  • bubble wrap
  • Tape

You can find these at your local hardware store or order them online. Those that want to save money on their move may also opt to locate second-hand packing supplies online that are usually free or at a reduced price.

When packing your belongings, it’s important to pack them securely and efficiently. Be sure to use the proper size boxes for your items, and don’t overpack them. Always put heavier stuff on the bottom and fill the gaps with packing paper, spare linens, or towels to prevent items from shifting during transport.

If you have valuable or sentimental items, it’s best to pack them yourself or hire professional packing services from moving companies to do it for you. These items should be packed with extra care using high-quality materials to make sure they arrive safely at your new home. You can get rates for professional packing services by using an online moving cost calculator.

Finally, when packing for an interstate move, be sure to start with non-essential items first and then move on to essential items the closer it gets to moving day. Non-essential items usually include things like out-of-season clothing, books, and decorations. 

Essential items are typically things like kitchen appliances, bedroom furniture, and bathroom essentials.

Pro Tips

Pro Tips

Be sure to empty any drawers before the movers show up. Some movers will charge an additional fee on moving day to empty the drawers or load them.

What to Expect on Moving Day

Even if you haven’t done all the careful advance planning to prepare for the arrival of professional out-of-state movers, you can still have a relatively stress-free experience. The key is to be prepared for what will happen on moving day so that you can just sit back and let the movers do their job.

First, the movers will arrive at your home and introduce themselves. They will then assess the situation and give you an estimate of how long it will take to load everything onto the truck. If you have opted for optional moving services such as: 

  • packing assistance
  • furniture dismantling
  • specialty crating

Movers may also need to add time to their estimates.

Once the movers understand what needs to be done, they will get to work. They will start by loading up all of the large furniture and appliances first and then move on to smaller items.

As they are packing everything onto the truck, they will take care to wrap and cushion items to prevent them from being damaged during transport.

After everything has been loaded, the movers will do a final sweep of your home to make sure they haven’t missed anything. They will then give you a copy of the inventory list and have you sign off on it. Once that’s done, they will be on their way to your new home.

Pro Tips

Pro Tips

Be sure to take photos of furniture and delicate items before they are brought onto the moving truck. This will provide you with documentation in case anything is damaged during transport.

Arriving at Your New Home

Once the movers arrive at your new home, they will unload everything and bring it inside. To make sure there isn’t any damage to your new home, they will place mats or cardboard down in high-traffic areas.

If your moving quote includes optional moving services such as unpacking assistance or furniture reassembly, the movers will take care of that for you at this time.

You should examine any delicate or valuable items as soon as they are brought inside to check for damage. If you notice any damage, be sure to document it with the movers before they leave.

Once you have done a final walkthrough and are satisfied with the job, you will sign the paperwork, and the movers will be on their way.

Post Move Moving Tasks

Hopefully, by using a moving cost calculator and following all of the tips in this guide, you could find time to research your new location before your arrival. If not, there are a few post-move tasks that need to be taken care of before you can truly say you are settled into your new home.

One of the first things you need to do is fill out a change of address form with USPS. This will make sure that you don’t miss any important mail that is sent to your old address. You should also update your address with any organizations or companies that send you bills or other correspondence regularly.

If you have pets, it is a good idea to visit the local vets in your area to find one you like and update their records with your new address. 

If you have children, you will also need to update their school records.

You will also want to make sure you have all of the necessary paperwork in order.

This includes things like:

  • Driver’s license registration
  • Insurance information for your car
  • Lease or mortgage documents
  • Medical records.

Finally, take some time to explore your new neighborhood and familiarize yourself with your surroundings. This will help you get acclimated to your new home more quickly and transition more smoothly.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does an out-of-state move cost?

The cost of an out-of-state move will vary depending on many factors, including the distance of the move, the size of your home, and whether you choose to do the move yourself or hire professional movers. Typically, you can expect to spend between $2,500-$5,000 for most out-of-state moves.

How can I move out of state for cheap?

The best way to save money moving is by decluttering prior to getting moving quotes or using a moving cost calculator. This way, you’ll have a lower weight total that will cost less to move. Other cost-saving options include doing your own packing and timing your move for the off-season winter and fall months.

How do I know if my movers are licensed?

The best way to verify if your movers are licensed is to ask to see their U.S. DOT number. All interstate movers are required by law to have a valid DOT number, and you can use this number to look up information about the company on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website.

What should I do with my utilities when moving to a different state?

Utilities are one of the last things you should take care of when moving out of state. You will want to schedule a disconnection date for your old home a few days after your move and arrange to have your utilities set up in your new home for the day of or before you arrive at your new home.

Do interstate movers charge hourly?

Generally, any move that crosses state lines is considered a long-distance move and charged based on a per pound/mile rate that averages about 60-80 cents each. Even if you are just going a short distance across state lines, most companies will calculate the move based on the total miles of the journey rather than an hourly rate.

Make Your Move Easy

With the advice above from moving experts highly trained at completing out-of-state moves of all sizes, you will be ready to take on your interstate move with ease!

Just remember that, like any other big life event, a little bit of planning can go a long way in making your experience as smooth and stress-free as possible.

Dani James

Dani James

Dani James is a copywriter and blogger with more than eight years of experience writing for movers, real estate, and anything to do with getting from point A to point B. When he’s not finding new ways to save on moving costs, he can be found at home with his cat, binge-watching Marvel movies, and looking for new apartments he can’t afford.
Green Group

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