Mastering Out-of-State Moves: Expert Tips From United Van Lines

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Embarking on a journey to a new state is an exhilarating yet challenging chapter in life, be it for a job opportunity, a change of scenery, or a fresh start. In this comprehensive guide, the professional movers at United Van Lines share essential tips and strategies to ensure your out-of-state move is as smooth and stress-free as possible.

You’ll learn: 

  • How to choose the right state 
  • How to find your new home 
  • What to look for in a new job 
  • How to create a moving budget 
  • When to hire movers 
  • How to take care of licenses, voter registration and more 
  • How to get your car to your new home if you aren’t driving 

Our Step-by-Step Guide to Moving Out of State

Regardless of your reason for moving, planning is crucial for a smooth transition. To maximize your options, start early in the process by researching destinations, movers, and more. The experts at United Van Lines have distilled decades of experience into these steps to help you seamlessly move out of state.

Step 1: Choose the Right State

Selecting the right state is a crucial decision in planning an out-of-state move. Whether it’s for a job or proximity to family, research is key. Create a list of criteria such as median income, cost of living, schools, crime rates, and climate. Utilize state census data to compare and find a match. If possible, visit your new state or leverage online resources for research. If you can’t travel to your new state before your move, utilize the state’s official website, real estate websites and Google Maps to research online.

Need assistance choosing a new state? United Van Lines provides an extensive library of state guides to aid in your decision-making.

Step 2: Figure Out Your Housing Situation

Once you’ve identified your preferred location, consider your housing needs and budget. Decide on living arrangements, whether an apartment, condo, single-family home, or other options. Assess whether buying or renting suits your situation. 

Check out our city guides to help you explore neighborhoods, communities and housing costs.

Step 3: Find a New Job or Understand New Job Stipulations

If your move is job-related, congratulations! Ensure you understand your new employer’s in-office and remote work policies and relocation cost assistance. For those without a job lined up, start the job search early to ease the stress of relocating and secure employment in your new state.

Step 4: Create a Moving Budget

Moving, especially across state lines, is a significant financial commitment. Plan your budget meticulously. Your moving budget should include the cost of a moving company, storage facilities, packing supplies, car rentals, hotel stays, airfare, utility activation fees and several other unexpected costs. The further out of state you move, the higher your likely moving cost will be. Budget and track your costs so you don’t spend more than you’re comfortable with.

Step 5: Consider Hiring Movers

Once you know your moving budget, it’s time to consider whether you want to hire professional movers. By now, you should have a better scope of just how big an out-of-state move is. Much work goes into it, which can sometimes get stressful. A professional moving company can help remove some of that stress and give you vital support during the moving process. 

The best moving companies will also offer various services such as packing and unpacking, storage, car transportation, etc. But it is an added expense, and you’ll need to determine if it fits your budget. 

Additionally, you’ll need to spend additional time researching movers. Unfortunately, some unscrupulous fly-by-night “moving” companies offer to move your stuff cheaply. Still, they are more interested in getting the job done than doing it well. Always choose reputable moving companies with a long track record of success and glowing reviews.

Step 6: Get Your Billing, Paperwork and Memberships in Order

One of the most tedious parts of moving out of state is getting your documentation in order. This is often a step many people forget about. Gathering and updating your documentation before the actual move will ease the transition to your new home.

Some items that might need updating include: 

  • Credit cards 
  • Voting registration 
  • Driver’s license 
  • Car title and registration 
  • Insurance 
  • Utilities 
  • Internet Provider 
  • Gym membership 
  • Mail forwarding 

Many states will have information about voter registration, driver’s licenses and car titles and registrations available on the state government website. For more details about mail forwarding or listing a change of address, visit the United States Postal Service website. 

Step 7: Have a Plan for Moving Your Car

Many forget to include in their move plan how to transport cars to a new home. If you plan on driving to the destination in your car, then your problem is solved. But sometimes, driving your car isn’t that easy. Your new state might be across the country or your family might also have multiple cars.

If driving to your new home isn’t feasible, explore car shipping services offered by reputable moving companies. Those shipping their cars can choose an open-air or enclosed carrier. The most popular option is the open-air carrier.

Step 8: Say Your Goodbyes and Schedule Visits

Sometimes, the most challenging part of moving out of state is leaving your friends and family behind. This is the bittersweet part of moving. On the one hand, there’s much excitement about starting new adventures in a new place.

There’s no need for a clean break. Make sure you take some time before you move to visit friends and family members. Hang out, eat, have a house cooling party or walk at a park. Visit your favorite local restaurants or attractions one last time. 

After moving, you should also plan dates and times to come back and visit your friends and family. It’s a great way to stay connected to those that you love. 

Step 9: Make the Move

The time has finally arrived! It’s time for your out-of-state move.  

For most people, this is the most overwhelming step in the whole process, but you’re almost done! To make things easier, United Van Lines has compiled a helpful checklist to keep things organized during this stage. To start, you’re going to want to begin decluttering and packing early. Check out our How to Pack guides for detailed instructions on breaking down rooms.  

You’ll need to load all the boxes once everything is packed and ready if you move on your own. Once you get to your new home, unload the truck and try to group boxes by room. If you followed our packing guide, unpacking should be much easier. Unpack boxes with items you need immediately first. Gradually move on until you unpack boxes with items you seldom use. Remember, you don’t need to unpack everything all at once. 

Bonus tip: If you’d prefer to skip the hassle, United Van Lines offers full-service moving solutions and packing and unpacking services. Get an out-of-state moving quote today! 

Once you’re situated, meet the new neighbors, explore your surroundings and try out one of the recommended local restaurants! 

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