Are you moving out of state? Whether you are moving across the country or just one state away, here’s what you need to know and do before you go.

Consider this your massive checklist for moving out of state. The purpose is to help you plan properly and stay organized every step of the way.

Let’s get started.

  1. Keep all of your moving information and documents in one place. You are going to be compiling and accumulating a lot of information, contacts, phone numbers, etc. about your move. So, create a central place where all of your moving information will be stored. This could be a physical notebook or binder, or a digital collection for you to keep on your tablet or smart phone. The format is completely up to you, so use what works.
  2. Create to-do lists. When you are in the throes of planning your move, there will be a lot of moving parts (pun intended). So, start by making a master to-do list, and continue to add to it as things come to mind. It might also help to categorize the items on your list to help keep everything organized.
  3. Prioritize your to-do lists. As your lists grow, it is a good idea to start prioritizing all of your tasks. And, if you can, delegate some of those tasks to other members of your family. Do your children want to help you? Great! Let them!
  4. Establish a moving budget and stick to it. Make sure you know how much the move is going to cost you, and budget for those expenditures upfront. The last thing you want is to have surprise costs hit you unexpectedly. So yes, plan for the unexpected too as you are making your budget.
  5. Familiarize yourself with where you are going before you get there. If you are moving to a city or state that is unfamiliar to you, spend some time researching the area online. Read about the different neighborhoods and communities, local events and festivals, where to go, where to shop, and where to eat. This will help you get a good feel for the culture of where you are moving to, and how your lifestyle will best fit within that community.
  6. Hire a moving company. This is one of the most important decisions that you will make about your move. So, interview a few different moving companies to see which one will work best for your needs, and is in keeping with your budget. If possible, get a reference from a family member, friend, or neighbor. Not all moving companies operate the same, or have the same reputation, so choose your mover wisely.
  7. Decide what to keep and what to discard. You definitely don’t want to have to pay to move something only to discard it once you arrive in your new location. So, before you even start packing, take the time to clean out your drawers, cabinets, and closets, and dispose of the things you won’t be taking with you. There are many charitable organizations that would be happy to take a few things off your hands.
  8. Get your packing supplies. You are definitely going to need plenty of boxes, bubble wrap, tissue paper, tape, and markers. Oftentimes moving companies can provide you with your packing supplies, so remember to ask them.
  9. Label and organize your boxes. This cannot be overemphasized. Make sure that you label all of your boxes appropriately, noting whether the contents are fragile or not, and which room they belong in. A good system for labeling your boxes will pay off in dividends when you get ready to unpack and move into your new home.
  10. Inventory your boxes and other belongings. Create a detailed inventory list of everything that you are moving. This will help you keep track of the number of boxes, their contents, your furniture, and other personal belongings.
  11. Change of address notifications. Make a list of all of the people, companies, and organizations that you need to notify of your change of address. Then send cards, emails, or make phone calls to let them know that you’ve moved.
  12. Gather medical records. You never know how soon you might need to access this information, so make sure that you keep your medical records with you and that they are easily accessible. This includes immunization records for your children, which you will need to facilitate their enrollment in school.
  13. Establish legal residency in new location. Find out what is required to establish legal residency in your new state. That generally requires having a domicile in that state, but make sure you understand the criteria, particularly if you happen to have homes in more than one state.
  14. Register vehicles and obtain new driver’s license. Make sure that you are aware of the procedure for registering your vehicles in your new state. You will also need to obtain a new driver’s license, so make sure you know what is required in your new state, and how long you have to do it.
  15. Make changes to voter’s registration. Don’t wait until an election is coming up to change your voter’s registration; do this as soon as possible in your new location.
  16. Update pet information. You will need to license your pets in your new state. And if your pets are chipped, remember to update their registration information with your new address. You will also need their medical records to give to your new vet, so keep that handy too.
  17. Submit school records and transcripts to new schools. Make arrangements to have your children’s school records and transcripts sent to their new schools as soon as possible. Otherwise this could cause delays in their ability to start school in your new location.
  18. Keep important documents with you. During the move, you will want to keep all important documents and records with you (i.e., social security cards, passports, birth certificates, financial statements, etc.) to reduce the risk of losing this personal information.
  19. Be sensitive to others. This can be an easy one to overlook. So, just because you are excited about your new adventure, remember that you have family and friends who you are leaving behind who might not share your enthusiasm. A good idea might be to make plans for visits before you move.


At Daryl Flood, we are committed to making sure that you have all of the information, resources, and tools that you need to make your move as smooth, seamless, and as stress-free as possible. So, in addition to the checklist above, here are some other valuable resources that will help you as you prepare to move out of state:


Movers interview guide:

Pre-move checklist:

Step-by-step videos to plan your move:

Preparing your refrigerator:


Still need more information? No worries! Contact us anytime and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

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