Moving out of state is an exciting but stressful transition. You might have just landed the perfect job, or maybe you need to be closer to family. Whatever the reason for your move, it’s likely you have a lot of other things going on in your life at the same time.
Interstate moves are usually more complicated than merely changing apartments or houses. The travel aspect is only a portion of the challenges ahead. In densely populated regions, like the North Eastern United States, moving to another state might only require you to travel a few hundred miles, but you must still navigate unfamiliar local laws and resolve all the complications created by the change in your life. You have some logistical acrobatics to perform all while managing your life across a considerable geographic distance. However, initial planning and careful budgeting help you pull off a smooth transition.
This interstate moving guide lays out everything you need to know and helps you make the crucial decisions as you go forward. You may discover that you need expert guidance and a few extra helping hands. Great Guys Moving helps you evaluate your situation and decide if hiring a professional state-to-state moving service is the right option for you.
How To Move Out Of State
Decide on your basic strategy for relocating your personal belongings. There are five main techniques most consider when moving to another state.
Selling Most Of Your Possessions
Do you like to travel light? This technique might be for you. Rather than pack and haul everything, simply sell what you have and buy all new stuff when you arrive. Since most vehicle rental companies and state-to-state moving services set rates based on a combination of weight and volume, this method saves you money on transportation and storage costs. Not only do you save on moving expenses, but you get to enjoy new furniture, appliances, and so forth in your new home.
This approach may seem a little drastic, but you should always downsize as much as possible before moving anyway. Hauling and storing useless clutter costs money. So, prepare yourself emotionally, then rid your life of every unremarkable thing you own. Extreme downsizing is great if you don’t own very much in the first place. For instance, if you live in a small apartment or a dorm, you probably don’t have much in the way of furniture or other possessions.
It does take some time to unload your full stock of junk. So, start disposing of your things as soon as possible to give yourself the best chance to succeed. Place online ads, hold garage sales, and donate the leftovers to charities.
The major drawback of this method is that it costs a lot more to buy new things. Selling doesn’t return nearly the same amount you initially invested in your belongings (think cents on the dollar for everything). It’s prohibitively expensive to replace certain items, and you may not always find exact replacements or adequate substitutes.
Renting A Moving Truck
Most people do not own vehicles large enough to move all their belongings in a single trip. Some moving companies rent trucks with cargo space for everything you own. These solutions appeal to the do-it-yourselfers who love to lift, carry, and drive on their terms.
Interstate moving companies, like U-Haul and Penske, provide vehicles as small as the average minivan or as large as a full-sized commercial box truck. The best option for your move depends on a combination of factors like space needs, travel distance, and availability.
Be aware; you must load the rental yourself and secure the cargo for the trip. Alternatively, you can hire local movers by the hour in your origin and destination cities to do the loading and unloading for you. To transport everything, you drive the truck to your destination. Truck rental companies almost always have options for one-way trips, but there may be additional fees.
Keep in mind that the moving truck is an extra vehicle, and operating expenses add up. If you also have a passenger car, you will need an additional driver or a separate car shipping solution entirely.
Rental trucks are much larger than many are accustomed to driving, and you must be conscious of balancing the load when you pack your belongings. If you are uncomfortable navigating through neighborhoods, this may not be a good choice.
You are responsible for the truck while it is in your possession, and unforeseen mechanical breakdowns can upset your plan. You must also coordinate the drop-off and pick up and arrange your reservation well in advance for an interstate move, especially if you plan to move during the summer months.
Renting A Towable Cargo Trailer
Equipment rental companies also offer towable cargo trailers. Attach one of these rolling boxes to the rear hitch of your vehicle and temporarily expand your cargo space. Trailers accommodate small furniture and several boxes of your belongings. Trailers also save you the hassle of moving your car separately.
Trailers size and weight restrictions limit how much you can bring. You might be able to fit the contents of a single bedroom or small apartment inside. Measure your larger furniture and compare the dimensions to the trailer specifications before you decide on this plan.
You must also have a vehicle capable of towing safely. Most passenger vehicles have a tow capacity rating, but they don’t all have the physical equipment to pull a trailer. Installing or upgrading a hitch and tow package increases your moving expenses. Trailer brake and signal lights should work, and you must set tire pressures and balance the load for safe handling. If you are not comfortable driving or maneuvering a trailer, consider alternatives.
Using A Moving Container
A moving company delivers a portable storage container to your home. You secure the container with your padlock, and you do the physical work to fill the container with your furniture, appliances, and other belongings. As with a rental truck, you can hire a local moving company to assist with the loading or unloading of your cube. When you are ready, the portable storage company picks up the entire container for you.
Containers save you the hassle of managing your things during travel, and the modular design gives you more options for price and long-term storage. If you are not ready to move into your new home when you arrive, these containers keep your items packed away and safe until needed.
When renting a storage container, you must sacrifice some control. If you suddenly discover you need something in your container, arranging access can be difficult. Moving containers typically travel along commercial line hauls with other freight. This strategy potentially saves you money by splitting cargo costs but makes it challenging to locate in an emergency.
You must also have enough space to accommodate the container during the packing and unpacking. Sometimes a container fits in your driveway but might have to sit out in the street. If you live in an apartment or similar community with limited vehicle access, check to make sure your container won’t obstruct your neighbors or violate any local regulations.
Hiring A Professional Interstate Mover
Let someone else do the work of moving for you. Professional out to state movers arrive at your home with everything necessary to get you from state to state quickly and easily. They bring moving supplies, such as boxes, foam, and tape, and they bring lifting equipment, moving vehicles, and enough helpers to get the work done.
Movers might even help you pack if you’ve selected that level of service, but they typically load your things for you at the very least. These professionals often have other ancillary skills and tools to disconnect the appliances, electronics, and fixtures as well.
The main drawback of hiring a moving service is the higher upfront cost. While it’s true that you must pay additional expenses for labor, you also save money by only consuming what you need. Pack the first time correctly with the exact materials and use the equipment best suited for the job.
Movers also give you back your productive time so you can stay focused on your career and other musts during the transition. Save your paid vacation time to do something exciting. Moving companies also offer insurance to protect the value of your belongings during the transition, which is a feature unique to this strategy.
You must coordinate with a moving company early on to get the best service and rates. Give yourself plenty of time to meet with the company’s representative and review the proposed relocation plan created for your transition. Curious how much it will cost? Get free quotes from top-rated interstate moving companies right here on Great Guys, using the “Get Quote” button!
How Much Does It Cost To Move Out Of State?
You could easily spend between $1000 to $4000 for every 1000 miles traveled on just the logistics expenses alone, but there are other factors to consider. Remember that total cost depends on volume, distance, and circumstances. Here are some other costs to bear in mind:
Rental equipment companies charge an assortment of fees. Although expensive, renting is far more economical than buying. You might get away with a cheap hourly rate to use a van for a local relocation, but charges for interstate moves often combine daily and mileage fees.
Common Equipment Rental Rates:
- 10′ to 26′ Box Trucks – 68 to 100 cents per mile plus $20 to $70 per day.
- Cargo Trailers – Enclosed and lockable for $15 to $75 per day.
- Utility Trailers – Open flatbed for $15 to $50 per day.
- Insurance – Average of $20 a day for basic coverage.
Rates also vary depending on where you start and end your journey. Expect to pay a one-way or drop-off fee if the equipment is in short supply where you begin or in surplus at your destination. These rates do not include fuel or additional cleaning charges.
Packaging And Supplies
You can find packing supplies and material handling tools at most hardware stores. Specialty shops, like mailbox stores, package shipping locations, and moving centers, might also stock a few useful items.
Normal Moving Supply Expenses:
- Donated or Used Boxes and Containers – Free!
- Assorted Cardboard Boxes – Between $50 and $250 depending on the size of your home.
- Plastic Storage Containers – Find these for as little as $50 for a set of eight 18-gallon bins.
- Hand Truck or Cart – $50 for a basic dolly or spend up to $200 for something more elaborate.
- Packing Tape – A six-pack of shipping tape should cost about $25.
- Foam – A 200-foot roll of bubble wrap is just over $20.
You can save a little money by using your existing towels for padding on some items. You might also find packing supply kits from moving companies. While convenient, these kits cost several hundred dollars and may not include everything you need for your specific situation.
These charges impact your cash flow, and you should budget for them as though they are a moving expense. Expect to pay more if you have bad credit or a lack of stable residence history. Some utility providers may even ask you to have a cosigner or guarantor before setting up service.
Most utilities establish deposit rates based on average use. In general, expect to pay a deposit of two months average consumption for your utility district. Call ahead to ask what the deposits are required before you arrive.
Temporary Housing And Storage
Extended stay hotels often offer weekly rates allowing you to tune your budget. You might also consider a short-term apartment or vacation rental.
Typical Short-Term Housing Costs:
- An extended stay hotel – As low as $100 a week or spend over $400 weekly for luxury.
- Short Term Lease – For a six-month contract expect to pay at least 20% higher than average.
- RV Park – Monthly lot rates range between $500 and $900. Avoid nightly rates.
- Storage – As low as $40 a month for a storage locker up to $300 a month for larger units.
Staying in your RV park is affordable, but some parks have time restrictions. Check to make sure you do not need permission for an extended stay before you arrive.
Storing your belongings also adds to your total moving expenses. Check with the storage company and ask about insurance, access, security, and deposits.
Consider fuel and maintenance expenses for your vehicle. A road trip from Boston to Los Angeles burns over 3,000 miles of life out of your car.
Average Maintenance Item Expenses:
- Vehicle pre-trip safety inspection – One hour at shop rate should cost no more than $150.
- Oil change – Between $25 and $70.
- Coolant flush – Important if you travel during the summer. Spend no more than $150.
- Fuel expense for 1000 miles – A fuel-efficient car should need about $100; more for towing.
- Front brakes – Prices range from $100 to $300 per axle serviced.
- Set of tires – Tires should cost about $100 to $200 each. Spend up to $1000 for a quality set.
Budget for accommodations and meals along the way. You might decide it’s cheaper and easier to fly and ship your vehicle to your destination. A one-way airline ticket is only a few hundred dollars, and the cost of shipping could be less than $1000 depending on the service you select.
State To State Moving Services
Hire a professional interstate moving company to save yourself on certain costs and hassles. The experts you’ll find on Great Guys offer a collection of useful relocation services.
This basic service is perfect for moving a single bedroom or studio apartment. Your movers can pack your residence and load a vehicle in a few hours. After hauling your belongings to your new home as part of a consolidated shipment, they unload just as quickly. Small load move services minimize the impact on your time and free you to focus on other things like cleaning or arranging your own travel needs.
Discounted Moving Supplies
Movers already have all the moving supplies you could ever need. They purchase in large enough quantities to justify discounts from suppliers and offer you the best rates on materials. In addition to cheaper supplies, movers sell you exactly what you need to pack for the trip. Taking the guesswork out of your supply needs also reduces waste and excess packing material leftovers.
You might be strong enough to lift your couch, but that doesn’t mean it’s safe to hoist it yourself. Awkward sizes and narrow accessways make it challenging to maneuver larger pieces without injury. Furniture movers typically do the heavy lifting for you. They have safety harnesses and moving equipment, and they know proper lifting techniques to get the job done without getting hurt. They load your furniture for transport and then help you bring it into your new residence once you arrive.
Interstate Piano Movers
Pianos are heavy and easily damaged. Scratches to the finish ruin the aesthetics and too many rough bumps throw them out of tune. Professional movers do more than lift and carry your piano for you. They understand that your instrument requires special care to minimize the disruption.
You piano mover will use careful lifting and moving techniques to load your instrument. Packing blankets and foams minimize the risk of scratches and physical damage. Air ride suspension systems on moving trucks limit the shocks from the road as your piano travels from state to state.
Shipping Cars State To State
Driving your car to another state is the most direct way to transport it, but that’s not always the best option. If you have a classic or a specialty vehicle, you should consider making other shipping arrangements.
Most interstate moving companies have contacts with vehicle shippers and can provide you with options and estimates. Open cargo transport on long haul truck lines is standard, but covered transport is also an option for exotic vehicles. Request a free auto shipping quote at the same time you request your moving quote, right here on Great Guys!
Apartment And Residential Moves
Moving into and out of an apartment has its own set of unique challenges. Confined parking space, narrow passages, and multiple flights of stairs make it difficult to move bulky items. You also need to consider how your move impacts your neighbors.
Most residential moving companies have done these sorts of relocations many times before. They navigate narrow space restrictions with the cargo vehicle and help you get your things loaded quickly while minimizing disruptions.
Sometimes your small business needs to relocate. It could be because you are expanding and need more space, or you could be moving to a better market. Whatever the reason, a long-distance commercial move interrupts your existing business processes.
Hiring a professional team to handle the logistics keeps you and your staff focused on your customers during the transition. Movers relocate your office equipment, furniture, and essential files. Movers can even assist in coordinating with other critical service providers like your phone and IT installations.
Full-Service Pack And Move
Never lift a finger. The full-service movers & packers option is great if you can’t devote any of your own time to moving or if you have physical restrictions that prevent you from participating.
A team of movers arrives with enough supplies and equipment to completely relocate everything you own. They pack each room for you and then label and catalog containers. After loading your belongings into their vehicle, they travel to your new destination and unpack for you. Everything is ready when you arrive.
Some of your household appliances require special handling. Washers, driers, freezers, and refrigerators are bulky and frequently attach to plumbing and high voltage power supplies. You may need hand tools to remove them from their connections or to reconnect them later.
Long distance movers use appliance dollies with straps to manage the weight and awkward size of these items. They move your appliances safely and pack them for transportation without damaging fittings or lines. Movers typically perform the setup at your new location.
Pool Table Moves
A high-quality pool table has a large, stone slate surface covered in felt. Not only are these luxury items heavy, but they are also easy to damage. Dropping the table could tear the fabric or scar the wood finish. You might even crack the slate, ruining your play surface.
Not only do movers use special care when handling a pool table, but they also have access to vehicles with air ride suspension. This equipment transfers fewer shocks to the pool table on the road thus reducing the risk of damage. Pool table movers also help place and level your table when it arrives at its destination.
You might carefully package smaller pieces of art yourself, but larger paintings, sculptures, or monuments often require purpose-built containers. Interstate moving companies who specialize in art transportation create custom crating solutions to protect your valuables.
For high-end items or museum quality collections, you may hire a dedicated art transportation service. These movers may use a combination of air freight and road vehicles with low impact air-ride suspension systems. In high-risk circumstances, a company representative travels with your belongings to safeguard them against theft or vandalism.
How To Move Out Of State – The Essential Checklist
Most moving checklists jumble all the stages together. This guide breaks up the collection of important work steps into three categories to help you stay organized and focused:
- Household Logistics – Control the physical placement of your things and make your way across the country.
- Life Management – Shut down your past and start up again in your new home.
- Moving Projects – Organize the services and tools you need to get your move done.
This basic schedule also indicates when you should start and accomplish each essential task.
2 Months Out
Start the planning phase of your move. While you should begin packing as soon as possible, most of the essential tasks at this time involve gathering information and deciding on service providers.
- Measure your larger pieces of furniture, appliances, and equipment. Also, measure doors, hallways, staircases, and other narrow pathways.
- Inventory your belongings. Note items you want to keep and identify things you should dispose of before the move.
- Take pictures of your valuables to document their condition before you pack them.
- Get permission from the city and your home owner’s association to host a garage sale.
- Place online advertisements for items you wish to sell directly and market your garage sale to ensure a good turnout. Sell off as many of your old belongings as you can.
- Create your to-do list. Make a note of all your business and social contacts you need to notify of your change of address.
- Collect and organize important records you might need. Get school transcripts, medical, dental, legal and financial records.
- You should also make sure you have identification documents, like birth certificates and passports, for everyone in your household.
- Contact the Chamber of Commerce where you are moving to and ask for new resident’s information. There should be a list of potential employers and businesses you might find useful.
- Request the time off from work that you need to make the transition.
- Create a moving budget. Estimate your travel expenses and leave room in your budget to cover unexpected mishaps.
- Create an initial estimate of your space needs for your moving truck and storage container.
- Contact several moving companies and ask for quotes. Answer questions about the size of your home and the distance you expect to move.
- Decide on the best moving insurance for your situation.
- Obtain quotes from trucking companies for any vehicles you need to have shipped across the country.
- Order or purchase any necessary packing supplies or equipment you don’t already possess.
- Schedule time to meet with the representative of the moving company you selected. Go over the moving plan and carefully read your contract. Ask questions if it doesn’t seem right.
1 Month Out
By this time, you should have downsized your belongings as much as possible. Now you need to get the particulars of your moving plan finalized. It’s time to make detailed schedules and reservations for the trek across the country.
- Begin packing. Start with nonessential items. Clearly label all containers and make a note of any boxes with fragile items.
- Get your vehicle serviced for the long drive ahead. Make sure you have your tires, brakes, and fluids checked.
- Make all hotel reservations, purchase airline tickets, and finalize other travel arrangements for your trip.
- If you rent, provide notice of your intent to move to your landlord at least 30 days before you vacate the premises.
- Contact local utility service providers and inform them of your intention to move. Make final billing arrangements and ask about the status of any deposits you have on file.
- File your change of address notice with the United States Postal Service. You may forward your mail to the post office in your destination city if you don’t already have a new address.
- Notify creditors of your change of address before the next billing cycle.
- If you own your home and plan to rent it out after you leave, contact a property management company to make the arrangements.
- Schedule time in the remaining weeks to visit with friends and family.
- Begin the process of cleaning your home. Know what your landlord expects from you and arrange to rent carpet cleaners or other scrubbing or washing equipment as necessary.
- Perform minor repairs necessary before vacating a rented home. If your home needs major repairs, contact your landlord to negotiate the details.
- Follow up with your moving company and provide them with your destination address and other contact information.
- If you expect to store your things initially, contact several storage companies for quotes and availability. Ask about deposits, security, lock requirements, and access.
- Locate temporary housing in your destination city. Reserve your extended stay hotel, rental, or lot space for your arrival.
3 Weeks Out
Get rid of everything you don’t want to carry around with you. If you still have deadweight lurking about the house, ditch it. Donate or throw it out if you must. You need the clutter gone so you can focus on more critical aspects of the move in the coming weeks.
- If you still haven’t sold some of your unwanted items, consider donating them instead. Call local charities to arrange to deliver them or research the location of donation drop off centers.
- Dismantle furniture and appliances that you won’t need. Save your hardware and assembly instructions.
- Finalize your travel route through to your new state.
- Return library books, movie rentals, and all other borrowed items you may still have in your possession.
- Research new doctors, dentists, or similar care providers in the area you plan to live.
- Check to make sure you have space to park the moving vehicle in your neighborhood.
- Contact the property managers of your new residence and ask about any unusual move in requirements or restrictions. Insist on obtaining the keys at a specific time and date.
- Ask friends and neighbors to help you on moving day. Most people need some advanced notice to participate, but you should always follow up as you get closer to the date.
2 Weeks Out
At this point, you should focus on planning your new life more than moving your physical things. At the two-week mark, you should take care of the last of your time sensitive personal and professional business.
- Take linens, rugs, drapes, and similar items to the cleaners. Pack these for travel and seal them to keep dust off while they are in storage.
- Make sure hotels and campgrounds welcome your animals before you arrive.
- Pack your remaining nonessential belongings. Stage them out of the way, so they are ready for loading into your moving truck when the time comes.
- Give your employer a formal written resignation if you are leaving your job.
- Transfer prescriptions to a pharmacy in your new city.
- Collect anything you lent out to friends or family.
- Cancel or transfer memberships to gyms or other clubs.
- Turn in your library card and pay any outstanding fees on your account.
- Inform your insurance provider of your change of address.
- Change your address with your bank and order new checks with your updated information.
- Check unique travel laws for states you might pass through on your route. This step is especially important for motorcycles or any firearms you may own.
1 Week Out
It’s an awkward phase. You need to pack the last of your things, but you also still require many of your household goods for your daily life. Focus on getting as much as you can out of the way and verify your plans.
- Pack for travel and review your travel arrangements. Make sure you have enough hygiene and personal supplies to last until it’s time to unpack.
- Finish packing all your household goods.
- Drain power equipment of oil and fuel and safely dispose of the waste.
- Dispose of other hazardous chemicals, like old paint cans and charcoal, at an approved reclamation center.
- Drop off any recyclables you’ve been keeping.
- Update your contact information with friends and family.
- Arrange for pets and small children to spend time with a sitter on moving day.
- Verify your rental reservations for trucks or trailers.
- Arrange to borrow or rent moving equipment like hand trucks, carts, and furniture dollies. Purchase these items if you plan to use them frequently.
Week Of The Move
If you’ve been putting off those labor-intensive chores until just the right moment, now is the time. By the end of this week, you should have just about everything packed and ready to go. You should also review your inventory lists and schedules to make sure you haven’t overlooked something.
- Empty your refrigerator and freezer. Defrost if necessary. Consume, donate or dispose of perishables.
- Pack the items you need to have with you during your travels and immediately after you arrive at your destination.
- Check weather alerts along your route and adjust your travel plans if it becomes necessary. Also, check for road work or other disruptions that might cause delays.
- Withdraw cash from your bank for emergencies while you are traveling.
- Do you shop online? Cancel or redirect ordered items you were expecting to arrive within the final week. Update your contact information on your favorite websites.
- Review your checklists, plans, and budget to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything essential.
- Finish your home’s initial surface cleaning and minor repairs in preparation of your final walk-through with your landlord.
- If you plan to rent a moving vehicle, purchase a sturdy padlock to secure the cargo area.
There is a lot to do today. Set your alarm the night before and get up early. Be smart and plan the day’s meals and breaks ahead of time. Stock a cooler with drinks and have all your cleaning and moving supplies ready to go.
- Survey the surrounding area and double check that you’ve packed all your outdoor items like patio furniture, grills, and gardening tools.
- Keep walkways clear and pick up potential trip hazards. Put covers down on floors to protect them from muddy boots
- Finish any last-minute packing you might have left to do and wrap moving blankets around the furniture to protected surfaces from damage during loading.
- Load your moving vehicle or direct movers to load the items you’ve packed and staged.
- If you drive your moving vehicle, make sure you check the weight distribution of the load.
- Load your passenger vehicle with your travel supplies and personal items.
- Take a last look throughout your home to make sure you haven’t missed anything.
- There is always one last trash bin full of leftover debris. Throw it out as you depart.
- Leave contact information and instructions with a neighbor or a helper in case you discover you’ve forgotten something.
- Pick up the kids and pets from the sitter. Don’t move without your children. It’s illegal.
- Say goodbye to friends and neighbors.
- If you plan to rent a vehicle, arrange to pick up your truck or trailer early in the day.
- Meet with movers and helpers. Indicate the items you want in the truck and the order you would like them loaded.
- Perform final cleaning and walk through with your landlord. Hand back the keys and collect written confirmation documenting the end of your lease agreement.
- Verify emergency contact information with your moving company and make sure you go over the final travel plans one last time.
After The Move
Driving might take several days, and you are likely to be tired. Take breaks along the way and make sure you set some time aside to enjoy yourself as well. Always lock your moving truck when away for any length of time.
- Unload your moving vehicle. If you’ve labeled everything properly, movers and helpers should have no problem figuring out where things go.
- Stack boxes and furniture in the rooms you plan to keep them.
- Unpack boxes and containers. Fold your moving supply boxes down and store them for future use.
- Assemble your furniture.
- Compare your inventory list to your present belongings. Make a note of anything damaged or missing.
- Pick up any mail held for you at the post office in your new city. Let the post office know when you can accept mail at your new address.
- Go to the DMV and get your new driver’s license.
- Register to vote.
- Explore the neighborhood and get to know the major traffic routes, shopping centers, and the location of emergency services.
- Be thoughtful and write short thank you notes to all your helpers.
- Make the initial walkthrough for your new home as soon as you arrive. Take note of damages you see and perform a light cleaning before unpacking.
- Return any moving trucks or trailers you rented. Clean and refuel as necessary and follow the drop off instructions provided by the rental company.
- Finalize your transaction with your professional moving company. Fill out the customer service survey and pay the final bill. Keep your insurance records and receipt in the event you need to file a claim.
And if you’ve managed to get all of that done without running into any problems, congratulate yourself. Moving is hard work. If you ever start to feel overwhelmed, get some help from a professional interstate moving company. Get free quotes from state to state movers now by using the “Get Started” button.