Your Complete Moving Out of State Checklist

Posted by Rachel Allain on November 30, 2023

A pile of cardboard boxes full of moving material sits in an empty home

Moving to a new home is never easy, and it can become ten times more difficult when you have to cross state lines. When completing a move like this, you need a guide to navigate through the various decisions that come with changing your residence. From the size and layout of your new home to the amenities in the surrounding community, each aspect requires careful consideration to guarantee a smooth transition and a fresh start that’s emotionally fulfilling.

The key to a successful relocation lies in careful planning and organization. To help you navigate this transition seamlessly, we've put together a moving out of state checklist that focuses on the crucial aspects of picking a new place to call home and the logistics of moving.


What to Consider Before the Move

A key with a home trinket on it is held in front of a big home

1. Location: The Heart of Your New Beginning

Step one of this moving checklist is figuring out where you want to live. Selecting the right location is a pivotal decision that lays the groundwork for your new chapter. There are a couple of things you’ll want to consider. Delve into the distinctive atmospheres of various neighborhoods by researching local cultures and social scenes, helping you pinpoint the environment that resonates with your lifestyle and preferences, whether it be a lively social scene or a tranquil, family-friendly setting.

Additionally, look towards the future by investigating the development plans of the city or town you're considering. A locale with thriving ongoing or planned development not only signifies a growing community but also holds the promise of potential property value appreciation, adding another layer to the decision-making process.

2. Nearby Schools: Nurturing Futures

If you have children or plan to have some in the future, the proximity and quality of schools are important considerations. Research the ratings and reviews of schools in the area. Online home and apartment searching resources, local education departments, and community forums can provide valuable insights.

Besides the high quality of the schools, you’ll want to make sure that there are plenty of different activities for your children outside of school. Physical and social development are important in childhood, so it’s best to ensure they have many sports or clubs they can join. Look for schools that offer a well-rounded education.

Along with activities outside of school, you should consider the availability and quality of local libraries, museums, and other educational resources nearby. These can enhance your family's learning experiences. Plus, libraries are the best for free learning!

3. Commutes and Local Amenities: Balancing Convenience and Lifestyle

Efficient commutes and easy access to amenities contribute to a comfortable daily life. Check out the transportation situation, like how close you are to highways, public transport, and airports—it makes a big difference in getting around hassle-free. Also, see what's nearby, like healthcare, grocery stores, and relaxing places.

Living in an area with these amenities makes daily life much more convenient. And don't forget to explore what kind of parks, sports spots, and cultural events are around—the right mix can really boost your overall lifestyle.

4. Desired House Size: Finding Your Perfect Fit

This moving out of state checklist is useless if you don’t know what home you want to live in. When it comes to your new home, it's crucial that the size and style fit your future needs. Firstly, think about how much space you really need. Consider your family size and any future changes, like new additions or visiting relatives. Your house should have enough room to fit your lifestyle comfortably.

Don't forget about storage—having enough space for your stuff is super important. Check if the property has sufficient closet space, a garage, or other storage options. Also, if you're thinking about expanding or renovating down the line, make sure the property and local rules allow for that. It's smart planning for the long run.

As you take this exciting journey of finding a new home, remember that thorough research and planning are your best allies. By carefully considering the location, nearby schools, commutes and local amenities, and your desired house size, you can make an informed decision that paves the way for a smooth transition and a fulfilling new chapter in your life.

Need More Help? >> How Big of a House Do You Need?

How to Prepare for the Move

A person is typing on their laptop and doing research.

Make Changes of Address: Update Your Information

One of the first tasks on your moving checklist should be updating your address. Notify the necessary parties, including:

  1. Postal Service: File a change of address with the postal service to redirect your mail to your new residence.
  2. Banks and Financial Institutions: Update your address with your bank, credit card companies, and any other financial institutions.
  3. Utilities: Inform your utility providers, including electricity, water, gas, and internet services.
  4. Government Agencies: Update your address with the DMV, IRS, and any other relevant government agencies.
  5. Subscription Services: Ensure your bills and Amazon packages aren't still going to the old address. Update active subscriptions with your new address.
Review and Cancel Any Old Bills
  1. Utilities: Contact your current utility providers to schedule the disconnection of services on the day of your move.
  2. Internet and Cable: If you have a contract, check for cancellation fees and plan accordingly. Schedule the disconnection of services on or after your move-out date.
  3. Rent or Mortgage: If you're renting, provide notice to your landlord according to your lease agreement. If you own your home, settle any outstanding bills related to your property.
  4. Local Memberships: Since you’re moving quite far away, it’s important to ensure that your old gym isn’t going to continue charging you each month. Cancel that gym membership and any other local memberships.

Get Ready >> How to Downsize and Declutter Your Home Before You Move

Moving Day: Choosing the Right Help

When it comes to making your move, you need to decide if you’ll need a professional moving crew or if you can enlist the help of your friends or coworkers. If you're leaning towards a stress-free move, consider researching and hiring a reliable moving company well before the big day. Collect quotes, read reviews, and ensure they have the necessary licenses and insurance.

On the other hand, if you prefer a more cost-effective approach, getting friends and family involved can be a great option. This is even better if your friends or family already live in this area. Plan ahead, making sure everyone is available on moving day.

Another more difficult route would be to DIY it. If you’re moving yourself, be sure to arrange for a suitable moving truck in advance to guarantee availability. No matter how you move, make sure you have enough packing supplies, including boxes, tape, bubble wrap, and markers, for a smooth transition.

After the Move: Settling into Your New Home

A family of 3 holds boxes while looking around their new home.

1. Double Check Your Change of Address

Now that you have settled into your new home, it’s important to double-check that all of your info is correct and mail is being sent to the new address. Review your address on the official USPS site. Now that mail is squared away, you must register your vehicle in your new state. Make a trip to the DMV (I’m sorry about that) and get all your paperwork in order. Now that you have a new shiny license plate and driver’s license, it’s official!

Regarding finances, it’s very important that your bank knows that you’ve completed your move. Check online or at your local bank to make sure they are aware of your new address. This final check should prevent any unnecessary headaches.

2. Turn on the Water and Power

Next, it’s time to let there be light! You’re going to need electricity and water. Make sure these utilities are set up with the city so you can power your home and let the water flow forth.

3. Unpack and Settle In: Making Your House a Home

Moving all of your items across state lines might be one of the most daunting tasks of this whole adventure. Unfortunately for me, it’s the unpacking that I dread the most. Do your best with this task because the move is not officially over until the last box is unpacked. The best way to start unpacking is to go for the essential items first and slowly unpack a couple of boxes a day till you’re all done. Once you’re exhausted by unpacking, take a break and go explore your new neighborhood. Locate essential services, nearby shops, and recreational spots for future reference.

Finally, you’re the new kid on the block, so go say hi to your neighbors. I personally like showing up with a simple gift to make my arrival more official and memorable. Making friends in a new state isn’t always the easiest thing, but saying hi is free, and hopefully, your neighbors will be welcoming. Try to find things that you may have in common with them. You never know how you’ll relate to them! Building a sense of community can make your transition more enjoyable.

Organize Your Home >> Home Organization Hacks Pt. 1 or Home Organization Hacks Pt. 2

By following this comprehensive moving out of state checklist, you can navigate the complexities of relocation with confidence. Whether you're moving just to the next town over or you’re making a cross-country move, careful planning ensures a smoother transition into the new place you call home.

Find Your Perfect Home in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

The Vista Developers at Bill's Mountain sign in a woodsy area.

If you’re still trying to decide where to live, consider our lovely communities nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Our Vista communities guarantee not only a stunning view and impeccably maintained properties but, above all, an ideal place to call home. We'd love to help you live in the home of your dreams, made just for you. Call us at (866) 519-2400 or contact us online today.

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Tags: Life in Western NC, Advice on Buying