How to Move to a New State: A Quick Guide

Couple packing up their apartment before moving to a new state

Moving can be a stressful event, even when you’re just moving to a new city. It’s even more challenging if you’re relocating to a state you have never visited before. It involves demanding and activities like packing, shipping your belongings, and setting up your new house. You might also need to rent storage facilities as you look for a home that suits your needs. Are you planning to relocate to another state? Read on to learn how to move to a new state in an organized manner.

Step 1: Visit in Advance

To avoid unpleasant surprises, make at least one trip to the place you’re looking to stay in the other state before moving. A brief tour can give you a feel of the township or neighborhood you’ll be calling home.

Bring a guide book, map, and mobile navigation app, or ask someone for recommendations and directions. A quick internet search can also provide tons of information about the location. Locate essential facilities like schools, health centers, attractions, malls, and eateries. Research the cost of living, know your new state tax, and get a feel for the new prices. You can also check out the job market.

Step 2: Find a Suitable House

Once you’ve identified your favorite neighborhoods, work with a reputable realtor or real estate agent to find a house or apartment that meets your needs. Different states have different building styles — the houses in New York will be very different from houses in Texas or Florida, for example. A professional who understands the local market will help with paperwork and all the legal aspects of renting a home. Remember — renters have more flexibility on their address, so don’t commit to buying a new home until you know you like your new state.

Pro Tip for How to Move to a New State:

Consider a lease agreement that expires within a few months so you can decide whether to keep the house or move.

Step 3: Seek Your Employer’s Support

One of the most useful strategies for an interstate move is asking for relocation assistance from your employer. It works best when your move is work-related. Your employer can pay all or part of your moving expenses. Some companies will even offer a housing stipend to cushion you from financial stress.

How to Move to Another State Without a Job

What is it like moving to a new state without a job? If you are currently unemployed, it’s advisable to first find a new job in the new state. A long-distance move usually comes with considerable expenses, both planned and unplanned. Find a source of income to cover your living expenses after arrival.

Pro Tip for How to Move to a New State:

Start budgeting and save enough money to last you several weeks as you settle down and find a job.

Step 4: Create a To-Do List for Your Current Home

Your current city has been your home for quite a while, and it has formed many memorable moments for you. Decide what to do before relocating to the other state. Some essential and fun to-dos include:

  • Bid your friends and colleagues farewell.
  • Visit the places you have never been.
  • Cancel local memberships and subscriptions.
  • Schedule to transfer your utility services.
  • Collect contacts from your loved ones.
  • Apply for a change of address with the USPS so your mail will get forwarded to your new address.
  • Update your address with various institutions.
  • Schedule your move date with professional movers.
  • Organize a farewell party.

If you are going away for good, it’s vital to not leave behind any unfinished business. Create a week-by-week checklist of things to do when formulating a plan for how to move to a new state so you don’t forget important steps.

Step 5: Pare Down Your Belongings

Every house has some unnecessary items and trash. Decluttering your home is crucial if you want to simplify moving to a new state. There is no need to move things you don’t use, as they will only increase the amount of work and bloat your moving costs.

Take stock of your belongings and decide what makes sense to ship and what doesn’t. Consider selling bulky items and tossing away outdated and unserviceable things. Also, find an appropriate place to store your car if you are planning to come back, and contact your car insurance company to get a less comprehensive policy.

Items to Leave Behind

  • Furniture that can’t fit in your new home
  • Extra appliances that you don’t use
  • Old and wrong-sized clothing
  • Broken appliances
  • Old automobiles

Pro Tip for How to Move to a New State:

To eliminate unwanted things, run a yard sale, list them online, take them to a thrift store, or donate them to a charity. The less you have, the easier it is to move your belongings cross-country.

Step 6: Develop a Packing Strategy

Packing can be a hassle, and it’s one of the time-consuming parts of moving. You can’t stuff things into boxes without a plan. Classify things by type – for instance, utensils cannot go with toiletries. Fragile items may require extra cushioning, and you might need to isolate vital documents and valuables.

Have a separate box for the essentials you will need right after arriving at your new home. Non-essentials like home décor elements, books, and anything you can do without can rest at the bottom of the packing boxes. Be sure to label every package for an easy time when unpacking.

Pro Tip for How to Move to a New State:

Start sorting and packing non-essentials weeks before the move to avoid getting overwhelmed at the last minute.

Step 7: How to Move to a New State With Professional Movers

Young woman interacting with movers at her new home

Hiring a renowned interstate moving company to help with your relocation can take a massive burden off your shoulders. However, you must learn how to hire the right movers to avoid a raw deal or scam. Ensure that the moving company has the right resources to facilitate the move from your current home to the final destination. If you want to handle a DIY move, look for a rental truck company that fits your needs.

Pointers of a Reputable Moving Company

  • Registration and Licensing: All registered interstate moving companies in the United States have a unique USDOT Number granted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
  • Experience: A moving company can only survive in business for years if it satisfies its customers.
  • Positive Reviews: Customer reviews on reputable sites like Yelp and the Better Business Bureau can suggest whether you should trust a given moving service.
  • Intermediary Stations: Having locations in your current state and where you’re moving is a sign of a company that will deliver your items.

Due diligence before hiring a mover is a critical part of how to move to a new state. Contact a few moving companies and compare their quotes.

Beware of a company that gives an estimate over the phone or internet without assessing your belongings. Additionally, don’t rush to hire someone who quotes an amount below the market average.

Pro Tip for How to Move to a New State:

Run a USDOT Number search to verify the mover’s identity, safety rating, crash information, and inspection summary.

Step 8: “Establish Domicile” in the New State

Once you have moved, establish domicile to prove yourself a legal permanent resident of the new state. It will help with your taxes. Check your state’s website for information on establishing domicile.

Note that you may have to file two tax returns for the year of relocation unless you’re moving from or to an income tax-free state. Most tax software solutions can guide you through the process.

Step 9: Apply for Another Driver’s License

Chances are you will want to drive in your new state. If so, you will need to get a new driver’s license from the local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Check your state’s requirements — some have a time window for new residents to obtain their licenses.

Typical requirements for transferring your driver’s license include:

  • Your current driver’s license
  • Proof of your social security number
  • Proof of residency

The DMV can request for any additional information they deem necessary.

Step 10: How to Move to a New State Alone

Science links loneliness and social isolation to many health issues, including physical, mental, and cognitive problems. If you happen to move to a new location alone, go out and make some new friends.

Create social connections with your coworkers and groups that relate to your interests. If you can, relocate to a new state during the warmer seasons when people are out in social places. If you can, come with your pet and get a license on time so your big move is less lonely.

Now That You Know How to Move to a New State, What’s Next?

Once you’ve settled into your new home, it’s time to relax. Reach out to old friends to stay connected or start getting involved in your new community. You can also throw a house warming party after making a few friends. It’s an excellent way to meet your neighbors, acquire more friends, and get acquainted with the new state.

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