Are you moving to another state for a job or simply to start over? Regardless of your reasoning, we’ll explain how to move to a different state with all your ducks in a row.

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How to Move to a Different State
Moving out of state is an exciting proposition for most people, but it can also be laced with a bit of apprehension and the fear of the unknown. Each state has its own set of rules, customs and features that make moving a slightly more complex process.

With so much to think about, we wanted to break down some of the common to-do’s you might overlook when moving to a different state. More importantly, we’ll talk about how to move to another state without breaking the bank.

Remember, staying organized and planning everything out is your first step to relocation success.


1. Find a job or move with your current company.

how to move to another state without a job

If you haven’t made official plans to move to another state yet, one of the cheapest ways to do so is to move with your employer’s support. Many larger companies will pay some or all of your moving expenses and may even provide a housing stipend.

Even if the company will not help with relocation expenses, having an immediate income will help ease financial stress, which can be very common during such a significant move. Even though moving to another state without a job is not ideal, many people do so and thrive.

How to move to another state without a job:

  • When moving to another state, you should save enough money to cover at least three months of living expenses. This amount should be on top of any moving expenses you will accrue.
  • Research the job market in your new city before moving. Make sure there are ample opportunities in the field you want to work.
  • Create a budget with realistic living expenses. For instance, it won’t make sense to live in a very high-end condo if you will be making minimum wage.

2. Create a moving binder to get organized.

How to Organize a Move - Moving Binder Tabs

Even if you aren’t an organized person, we highly recommend investing some time in the planning phase before you move to another state. We believe that a moving binder is essential for larger scale moves and relocations because it prevents lapses in communication and keeps dates on track. Knowing what will happen when and having lists to check off will significantly reduce the risk of unnecessary stress.

Important documents to include in a moving binder:

  • A customized moving checklist
  • Copies of medical and school records
  • A moving budget with estimated and actual expenses

3. Update the necessary paperwork and records.

Update the necessary paperwork and records

Part of your moving binder should be designated to all the tasks you’ll have to complete as soon as possible after moving to a new state. Things like not notifying your credit card company can seem harmless enough. However, it can cost you money if you forget to pay your bill because a statement never arrived at your new address.

Cross these off your list when changing states:

  • Apply for an official change of address at the USPS.
  • Head to the nearest DMV to update car registration and driver’s license information.
  • Contact recurring billers and update your information directly.  
  • Update all insurance policies and shop for new ones if needed.

Read Also: Is It Cheaper to Ship Furniture or Buy New When Relocating?


4. Budget for moving and living expenses.

how to move out of state cheaply
Tip: Find ways to save money prior to moving.

Do you want to know how to move to another state with no money? Create a moving budget. Budgets can make moving cheaply a realistic possibility. In this case, instead of only including moving-related expenses, also include any living expenses you will incur in the new state.

Include one time expenses as well as ongoing ones. The more you can add to the list up front, the less unexpected costs you’ll face, which is vital when money is tight. Also, once you’ve solidified a realistic budget, you can look for ways to cut current and future expenses.

Clever ways to save money before moving:

  • Cancel recurring expenses like the cable bill or Netflix subscription in the months prior to the move. Transfer that saved money into a separate moving fund so you’re not tempted to spend it elsewhere.
  • Brainstorm ways to minimize your material footprint and sell any unused belongings.
  • Rent an existing room using a service like Airbnb. However, check with your landlord and local laws first to be sure this is a legal possibility.

5. Get rid of belongings that don’t make sense to move.

saving money for a move to another state
Tip: Sell belongings at a flea market to save money.

Like we mentioned, one way to save money when moving is to sell belongings. This strategy will save you money in two ways. First, it will put money in your pocket if you’re able to sell it. And second, you won’t have to pay someone to move it.

If you can fit all your belongings into one smaller sized Uhaul, moving will be a much more seamless process. Either you can purchase the item again in your new state, or you might find you don’t need it at all anymore.

Items to consider selling instead of moving:

  • A car if you’re moving to a walkable city
  • Extra furniture that won’t fit in the new space
  • Excess electronics you’re no longer using
  • Valuable collectibles that don’t have sentimental value

Read Also: First Apartment Checklist for Renters on a Budget


6. Pick a reputable interstate moving company.

Save Your Back with the Top 7 Interstate Mover Companies | Interstate moves require planning, packing and the right company to help you make the transition.
Take the time to research reputable moving companies.

You’ll save yourself a lot of stress if you can afford to hire a moving company to coordinate a long distance move. However, nothing strains a move more than a moving company who drops the ball mid-relocation. A lot of these headaches can be avoided by taking the time to pick a reputable company.

So what makes a moving company reputable? First, you want to hire a company with experience tackling interstate moves. These larger companies will generally cost less than smaller local companies that might not have the resources for such a long distance move.

How to evaluate a moving company:

  • Find out when the company was established. A good indicator of reliability is how long a business has had its doors open. If they didn’t stand behind their work, they likely wouldn’t be in business very long.
  • Search out customer reviews from reputable third-party sites like The Better Business Bureau and Yelp. Be wary of reviews on social media or the business’ website. These reviews can be edited or they could only be showing the best reviews and hiding the negative ones.
  • For interstate moves, search for a company that ideally has locations in the starting and ending destination. The more locations a moving company has, the more likely they are able to be flexible with moving terms.

Read Also: Top 7 Interstate Mover Companies


7. Have a plan for making social connections.

how to meet people in a new state
Figure out ways to meet new people in your new state.

This moving tip is mainly for anyone that tends to isolate themselves while under stress. Isolating might help in the moment, but when it’s prolonged, it could detrimentally impact your quality of life. When you move to another state alone, it’s possible that loneliness or homesickness might set in sooner than later.

Before the stress of moving to another state sets in, create a plan for how you will forge new social connections. Will you join a group, head to the gym or meet out with coworkers? It might seem silly to set small goals for yourself ahead of time. However, after a long and stressful move, you’ll be thankful for the added motivation when you have a plan already in place.

How to make new friends in a new state:

  • Join groups that specifically relate to your interests. It won’t make sense for someone who dislikes bowling to join a bowling league. By picking activities you already know you enjoy, you’ll be more likely to put yourself out there in an unfamiliar place.
  • Don’t underestimate the power of social media for making real-life connections. Start engaging with people with similar interests who have tagged themselves publicly in your new city on Instagram. A virtual friendship could evolve into a real one in no time.
  • If possible, move during warmer weather. If you’re moving to a four-season state, moving in the winter might not be the best time to recreate a social life. In the spring and summer, people are out and ready to mingle in parks, local shops, etc.

Read Also: How to Ship a Car Easily and Affordably


We hope this guide helped you wrap your head around certain aspects of moving to a different state. If you don’t have a particular destination in mind, check out some of our moving to guides to learn more about various cities in the US.

About the Author

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Lauren Thomann

Lauren Thomann is a moving and storage expert. She attended the University at Buffalo and has worked in the storage industry for over five years. Here on the Life Storage blog, you can find Lauren covering everything from finding a home, settling into a new home and all the stages in between.

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