the preparation list you need when moving out of state

Are you moving out of state? If so, you’re in good company. 43% of Americans reside in a different state than where they were born, and 15% have lived in four or more states.

Moving is always a stressful time, and moving to a different state can be even more stressful. What are some practical ways you can reduce your stress and make the transition as smoothly as possible?

The first (and most important) thing you need is a preparation list. As you check off each item on your list, you’re one step closer to your out-of-state move.

Here’s the preparation list you need when you’re moving out of state.

Before the Move

Follow these five steps to make moving out of state a smooth, worry-free experience.

Create a Relocation Calendar

This is the first and most important task on your moving checklist. The way you organize your time before the move is crucial to how well (or poorly) your move turns out.

Start by filling in your calendar with every essential activity you can think of. This includes everything from hiring a moving company to transferring home utility service.

As you get closer to moving day, keep adjusting and prioritizing items on your calendar. Don’t wait until the last minute to get organized!

Determine Your Budget

The first item on your calendar should be to create a realistic moving out of state budget. This is critical whether you have plenty saved up for the move or you’re moving on a strict budget.

One of your biggest expenses is likely to be the moving company. But don’t forget to factor in other costs for extra services like temporary storage or disassembling large furniture.

Hire a Reliable Out-of-State Moving Company

While short-distance DIY moves are easy enough, moving out of state is best left to the professionals. It may seem like a big investment up-front, but the best way to save the most money is by hiring a professional moving company.

Ask for recommendations from friends who’ve moved. Research legitimate reviews of different companies and contact them with any questions you may have.

Whichever company you choose, be sure to check their licensing information so you know your belongings are in good hands.

Make an Inventory of Your Home

Two factors will determine how much your out-of-state move will cost: the distance traveled and the weight of your items.

There’s not much you can do about the distance, but you do have control over how much you bring with you. Inventory everything in your house and decide which items to bring, sell, or donate.

If you’re torn on whether to bring a particular item, use the one-year rule of thumb. Experts agree that if you haven’t used an item in over a year, you can probably do without it.

Pack Properly

Packing is the most daunting and time-consuming part of any move. It’s essential to do it right, not only to protect your valuables but also to ensure everyone’s safety.

Here’s the easiest and most effective way to tackle packing:

  • Start as soon as possible.
  • Begin with your attic, basement, or other storage areas. Then move onto the rooms you use on a daily basis.
  • Pack and protect your largest items first, then begin boxing your smaller items.
  • Don’t forget to make a “survival kit” of things you’ll need the last few nights at your old home and the first few nights at your new home.
  • Pack your valuables (jewelry, money, passports, etc.) separately and keep them with you during the move.

Bonus tip: Color code your boxes so the movers will know which room to place it in your new house.

Moving Day

Now that you’ve packed up your house and you’re ready to go, it’s moving day!

Here are a few tips for a smooth out-of-state moving day.

Prepare and Protect Your House

What’s the weather like outside? Is there a chance of rain, or a foot of snow on the ground?

Movers, neighbors, or children may inadvertently track mud into your foyer. Make sure to take appropriate precautions to protect your home from accidental water damage.

Cover carpets and hardwood floors with tarp or blankets to keep them clean and dry. If your driveway is icy, throw down some salt so no one slips and gets hurt.

Tell the Movers Where to Park

This is an often-overlooked but very important part of moving day.

Where are your movers going to park? The driver will probably call you the morning of the move to get that information from you.

If you don’t have a driveway—or if it’s too small for the moving truck—you may need to secure a parking pass or permission to use a shared driveway.

Hire a Babysitter for Children and Pets

We love our kids and our pets, but juggling toddlers and heavy furniture is never a good idea. To keep everyone safe, hire a babysitter or ask a family member or friend to look after your little ones.

You also need to have a plan for your pets on moving day. Use a crate or a gate to keep your pets confined, or drop them off at a doggie daycare center. The last thing you want is for your beloved pet to escape during the move.

Don’t Forget to Tip

Movers break their backs – sometimes literally – to get your things from Point A to Point B. Show them how much you appreciate their hard work by handing them a well-deserved tip.

Experts recommend 5% of the total moving bill (divided between the movers) and perhaps more for a long-distance move. Of course, this should also depend on how satisfied you are with their services.

More Help With Moving Out of State

Moving out of state requires a lot of planning, but it doesn’t have to be overly stressful. Enlisting professional help will ensure you and your belongings arrive safely in your new home.

If you’re planning a move in northern California, we invite you to contact us to learn more about our local and long-distance moving services.