wikiHow to Move Out of State

Six Parts:Deciding What to TakeChoosing Your Moving MethodBudgeting Your MovePacking Your HomeDealing with Moving DifficultiesUpdating Your Information

Moving to a new state is an exciting adventure in life, but it can be confusing to know where to start. It’s important to take the time to plan for such a big move. If you plan your move step by step, you’ll be able to easily take care of everything from deciding what to take with you, to things you need to do when you get to your new home.

Part 1
Deciding What to Take

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    Create a list of your essential things. Write down a list of the things that are essential to move. Items such as important furniture, clothes, and kitchenware would be the types of items you’d want on your list.
    • Tables, chairs, and bedroom furniture would be considered important furniture
    • Small shelves or desks that could easily be replaced can be left behind.
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    Make a pile of things to donate or sell. When you make a big move you have to be picky about what you bring with you because the more things you take, the more expensive the move will be. Go through your home to make a pile of things you can part with so you only move with the essentials.[1]
    • Anything small that you can purchase new after you move should be donated or sold.
    • Old clothes, shoes, and linens should be purged before the move.
    • Getting rid of any furniture that you aren’t attached to will help make less cargo space to move.
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    Invite friends to help you pack. Your friends can help you sort your items. Let your friends pick a favorite item to keep when you move. Having extra hands help you pack boxes will also help the process go faster.
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    Get rid of any hazardous material. You shouldn’t pack any corrosive, flammable, explosive, or otherwise hazardous materials. These can be dangerous to move, and many moving companies won’t allow these items to be packed.[2]
    • Cleaners, such as house cleaners, should be used up or given away before moving.
    • Wall paint and paint thinners should be disposed of and not packed.
    • Gasoline and propane tanks should also not be packed to move.

Part 2
Choosing Your Moving Method

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    Find out how much cargo space you’ll need. You will need to know how big of a truck or container you need when you start researching moving methods. Estimate the amount of space you’ll need by measuring your big pieces of furniture, and then estimating the amount of boxes you will have and the space they will take up. Typical moving trucks are about 8 feet tall, stacking boxes strategically will save you space.
    • It’s best to overestimate rather than underestimate so you end up having enough room for all of your things.
    • Calculate the volume of your boxes by multiplying the Length X Width X Height for each box and then multiply by the number of boxes you will be packing.
    • Moving trucks and storage units provide dimensions in Cubic Feet. Knowing the approximate volume of space your items will take up will let you know how large of a moving container you will need.
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    Research different moving methods. There are many different ways to move your things in a long distance move. Research different companies and methods to find which fits your budget and is right for you.[3]
    • Hire a moving company to load your things on a truck and drive it to your new home. Movers will then unload your things into your new home.
    • Rent a storage container. Many companies will drop a storage container at your home a few days before the move for you to pack your belongings into. They will come pick it up and put it on a truck to ship to your new home when you are ready to move. Once there, they’ll drop it at your new home for you to unload yourself.
    • Rent a moving truck. Some companies let you rent a moving truck to pack and drive yourself. This can sometimes be the most cost efficient method, although you will have to consider the cost of gas.Typically there are several different sizes of trucks to choose from as well as an option to tow your car behind the truck.
    • In order to move your belongings quickly across country, air cargo may be an option. Contact freight carriers to obtain quotes for air cargo.
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    Purchase moving insurance to protect your belongings. Most moving companies will have an option to purchase insurance for your move. It’s a good idea to get the insurance so that your things arrive safely and you aren’t liable for anything that might go wrong.

Part 3
Budgeting Your Move

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    Get a quote. Once you decide which method you want to use for moving, ask the company for a quote on your move. They will give you a detailed breakdown of the cost.[4]
    • Make sure the quote includes any insurance cost or taxes so you understand the full amount of the move.
    • Ask about extra delivery fees or if assistance loading and unloading is included.
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    Calculate the cost of getting to your new home. If you are driving to your new home, you need to calculate the cost of gas to make the drive. If you’re flying to your new destination, find out what the average cost of a one way plane ticket for each member of your family will be for your flight.
    • Determine the number of miles you’ll be driving.
    • Divide the number of miles by the average miles per gallon your car gets.
    • Multiply by the national price average for a gallon of gasoline.
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    Budget for hotels and food while you move. If you’re moving somewhere that you can’t drive to in one day, you’ll need to include money for your hotels. You also need to budget for your meals while you’re on the trip, including snacks.[5]
    • Choosing hotels with free breakfast can be a budget friendly deal to help you save on food.

Part 4
Packing Your Home

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    Acquire packing supplies. You will need boxes, packing papers, packing cushion, and packing tape to get all of your things ready to move.[6]
    • Purchase boxes from local shipping or hardware stores, including boxes made for specific items like plates or glasses.
    • Ask retail stores for free, discarded boxes from shipments they receive.
    • Purchase packing paper, or you can use recycled newspaper from friends and family.
    • A trick for free packing cushion is to use your hand towels to wrap things like plates or glasses as a cushion.
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    Use the right size boxes for your things. It’s best to pack heavy items such as books in smaller boxes so they are easier to pick up and move. Save big boxes for light weight things like pillows, linens, and clothing.[7]
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    Pack boxes by the room. Keep items from the same room in the same box. Avoid putting items from different rooms in the same box to help you label things more accurately. This will make unpacking easier when you get to your new home.
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    Label your boxes. Make sure you clearly label all of your boxes so you know where to put them when you unpack. It’s helpful to label the boxes on three sides so no matter how you load the boxes you’ll be able to read the label.
    • It’s a good idea to label the boxes with the contents of the box as well as the room they go in.
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    Keep out your essential everyday items. You might arrive to your new home before your belongings do, so it’s important to keep your everyday items like toiletries with you as you travel.
    • You should bring a week’s worth of clothes,shoes, and accessories with you.
    • Toiletries and medications should be packed with you on your trip.
    • Jewelry or irreplaceable keepsakes should travel with you to ensure they don’t get damaged or lost.

Part 5
Dealing with Moving Difficulties

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    Plan for temporary housing when you arrive. Moving to a new city requires you to secure new housing. Look for long term hotels that can provide weekly rates if you are not sure where you are planning to stay in your new state.
    • Contact friends or family in the area to see if you can spend a few nights and save money when you arrive.
    • Many rentals require a walkthrough before signing a lease. It can be difficult to obtain a lease for a new apartment when are still living in another state.
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    Research differences in cost of living. Moving to a new state means moving to a new economy. Check government economic data to determine how the cost of groceries, insurance, or housing vary from state to state.
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    Inform your financial institution about your move. Make sure that you contact your bank before you move to let them know you will be traveling. Making purchases across several states in the course of a day can raise red flags at banks.
    • Tell your bank your moving plans to avoid fraud alerts.
    • Change your address as soon as possible to receive any banking updates or statements.
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    Check if your roadside assistance plan goes across state lines. Make sure that you will have access to emergency roadside assistance if you have car troubles. Truck rental and moving companies often offer separate coverage for emergency assistance. Make sure you inquire about coverage when you are choosing a moving method.

Part 6
Updating Your Information

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    Change your address. When you move you need to put in a change of address to the post office to begin receiving mail at your new home. You can do this by going to your local post office or online on the usps website.[8]
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    Update your credit cards and other correspondence. It’s important to update your credit card companies with your new address so you don’t miss a bill and fall behind. You should also update any magazine subscriptions, membership clubs, or other bills with your new address.[9]
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    Change your car insurance to the new state. Your car insurance is tied to the state you are in, so when you move to a new state, it’s important to change your insurance. If you have a nation wide insurance company, you can call to let them know you have moved, and they will start your insurance policy in the new state. You can also change insurance companies and start a new policy.
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    Get a new driver’s license and license plate. When you move to a new state, you need to change your driver’s license and car tag to the new state. Most states require you to already have your car insurance changed before getting a license plate. Check the local dmv to find out what costs will be associated with getting a new license and license plate.[10]
    • Make sure you find out how long you have before you have to get these things changed. Some states give you 90 days to get it changed, but others only give you 30 days.
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    Register to vote in your new state. It’s important to register to vote when you move so you don’t forget about it, and aren’t unregistered when an election comes around. Some states have you can do this when you get your new driver’s license.[11]


  • Consider your pets’ needs. When taking a pet on a big move, you’ll need to do some extra planning. You might want to think about having a pet carrier for your pet while you travel. You also need to bring enough food for your pet to make the trip, and don’t forget to bring a leash. When traveling with a pet, you need to make sure the hotels you stay in are pet friendly!
  • Start the moving process early. You should begin the process to move out of state about a month or two out. Begin by planning out the move and packing up non essential things like holiday decorations. Slowly pack your things as you get closer to the moving day so that the week of the move you have very little to pack, and on moving day you only have to load your stuff.
  • If you have kids, you’ll need to get them registered for the new school and have their school records transferred. Call the new school they will be attending to find out how to do this.
  • If you work in two different states during the tax year, you will need to file state tax returns in both states.

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Categories: Moving House and Packing