What You Need on Your Moving Out of State Checklist


Getting out of state is a big deal. Whether you’ve landed the job of your dreams in a new city or crossed borders to go to school, you want to make sure you’re ready for the big move. Making a checklist ahead of time can help take the stress out of the process so you don’t have to remember things while you’re on the move. So here’s the ultimate out-of-state checklist to get you ready to hit the road.

Out-of-state move checklist

Before you jump right into selling your furniture and buying decorations for your new place, let’s get rid of a few planning and organizing elements. Here is a checklist for leaving the state that begins 2 months before the big day.

2 months before your move

You’re in the pre-planning stage at this point, so spend a few weeks focusing on the organization and other preparations. Tasks should include:

  • Make a mobile filing cabinet to keep all the documents you need in one place. This includes printing your checklist and adding it to this workbook.
  • Explore your new neighborhood, such as restaurants, amenities, and schools if you have children moving with you
  • Buy moving supplies (especially if you are DIYing your move)
  • Reservation of the last appointments in your old town (think: eye exams, wellness checks, etc.)
  • Establish a moving budget

6 weeks before your move

If you haven’t set a date for your move yet, do so now. You will need an official move-in date to turn utilities on and off, hire movers and / or get help from friends, etc. Once this date is set, you must:

  • Determine transportation, whether it’s planning a car expedition or booking your plane tickets. You can also sell your car before you leave; don’t forget to add it to the list.
  • Look for moving companies and / or allow enough time for family and friends to help. (Pro tip: be sure to put a pencil in a while for hangouts with your local loved ones.)
  • Call your current utility companies to set your quit date and determine if you have any tasks with them on the move.
  • Declutter! Use your move as an excuse to sort through your things and donate what you don’t need.
  • Secure your home. Consider whether you will find accommodation to rent for a longer period or whether you are going for a short term rental while you search for the place of your dreams once in town.

1 month before your move

You’ve made most of the big decisions so far, so it’s time to check out some little things on your moving checklist, like:

  • Rent a storage unit
  • Make a packaging plan
  • Organization of medical records, pet documents, birth certificates, social security cards, passports, etc.
  • Scheduling a cleaning service for your old accommodation
  • Contact your new utility companies with your new address and move-in date
  • If you drive, plan your route, including booking hotels, motels, or Airbnbs where you will stay as you go

2 weeks before your move

With the big day approaching, you are ready to embark on specific projects. Tasks should include:

  • Update your banks and mobile phone, giving your new address to all financial institutions, mobile phone providers, accountants and anyone else you will continue to work with
  • Setting up waste and recycling so that companies can deliver your bins before your arrival
  • Transfer / update of your tenant’s insurance address
  • Confirm all details with the moving company

And, if you haven’t already, start packing now! You’ll want to plan to have all of your boxes packed at least two days before the move to keep you in the best possible free space from the stress of the actual move.

1 week before your move

Stay on track as you get even closer to the big day by:

  • Configure mail forwarding
  • Start dirty jobs like thawing your freezer, cleaning the oven and behind the toilet, etc.
  • Take out cash during the move
  • Cleaning and / or selling your car
  • Packing a moving box containing the essentials for your first day in your new home. This can include things like easy snacks, durable mugs, silverware and plates, napkins / tissues, toiletries, a first aid kit, and one-pot meals (as well as the pot and the wooden spoon you will need to prepare them)
  • Finishing packaging

The day before your move

You are almost at the finish line. Now is the time to complete this checklist to exit state:

  • Pack snacks while you’re on the road (or in the air)
  • Return your car if you sold it
  • Empty gas and oil from any outdoor equipment (such as weeders and lawn mowers) that you take with you when you are on the move
  • Set aside special items like jewelry, important documents and anything sentimental so you can keep them safe in your carry-on luggage or handy in your car

Moving day

No one will blame you if you feel overwhelmed with stress the day you leave. Keep this in mind when you:

  • Clear your way by propping up your door with a brick or box so you can easily get all those boxes from your home in your car or moving truck
  • Take one last visit to make sure you have everything including research in closets and cupboards
  • Give yourself a minute; moving around is emotionally draining, so grab one last cup of coffee before you leave your old home

Move-in day

Out-of-state moves often mean your moving and moving days are two different days. Even if you arrive at your new location later that same day, you’ll want to get out of that moving box and slow down the unpacking process.

Final tasks

Once you’ve settled into your new home, don’t forget to:

  • Update your voter registration
  • Confirm e-mail forwarding
  • Notify government institutions of your new address, such as IRS, VA, and / or Social Security
  • Update the car’s documents, such as labels, insurance, and license plates. You will usually have 30 days to do this after your move.
  • Get a new driver’s license. Many states require you to do this within two weeks of moving, so a trip to the DMV is high on your post-move list if you are driving in your new city.

Moving is undeniably stressful, but preparing in advance can make things a lot smoother. when the moving day comes. This exit checklist will keep you on track as you take the big step.

Need to find a new place in your new city? Search thousands of apartments for rent on Zumper and get excited for your move!

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