A Homeowner’s Complete Guide To Planning An Interstate Move

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Brad Smith
Written By Brad Smith

As a homeowner, planning an interstate move can be stressful. You have to factor in the relatively high cost of moving, selling your old house at a reasonable price, finding a new one, saying goodbye to old friends, and all that time you will spend packing. 

Your preparation should first focus on closing your old home, looking for a new one, and getting a moving company. You’ll be left with the moving when you get these three in place. Because you are moving from one state to the next, there may not be such a thing as over-planning. Seemingly simple things, such as packaging your stuff for the move, will become a huge problem if you get it wrong and your packages get damaged along the way. This will make an already expensive process even more costly. So, there is no part of your interstate move that is, in fact, simple. 

a homeowner's complete guide to planning an interstate move

Therefore, to make your move as easy as possible and ensure that you cover every tiny detail, it’s crucial to know the steps you’ll need to take and the order to do so. Instead of doing all the planning yourself, you can also contact an experienced moving company. They help clients make moves like yours and will likely have a more expansive and context-relevant checklist than you can probably come up with. Look for a moving company close to you, check out a few reputable businesses online, like The Big Boy Movers and others, and pick the one that best suits your requirements.

The following tips will give you some of the best starting points for your all-important move. Even if you will contract a mover, a checklist like this can help you better expect your process and, therefore, help you budget for each step.

Find Your New Place

As a homeowner, planning an interstate move usually means selling your old house and getting a new one in the new state you want to move to. Finding a home alone will likely be arduous if your new state is significantly far from your current one. Some people solve this by renting an apartment in the new state and then buying their new home from within the state, while some hire an agent to help them scan the market. 

To ensure you are making progress on both ends, you may now also need to consider engaging a real estate agent to help you sell your old house. The estate agent will help you accurately value your home. In addition, they’ll also likely give you ideas to make your house sell for a better price, such as what refurbishments you should prioritize for it to fetch your ideal selling price. It would be best to find a buyer for your house before you start paying for your new home to ensure that your pocket is prepared for the move. 

Look For A Suitable Moving Company

When finding a moving company, one of the key characteristics to look for is a solid reputation and an out-of-state moving experience. The moving company should be able to handle your belongings with care and tactfully pack the moving truck to avoid damage to your belongings.

Your ideal moving company will provide you with flexible packing options. You may decide, for instance, whether to place them directly in the truck or in storage containers or boxes, depending on how fragile your goods are.

Now, consider the cost of the services of the moving company. Getting at least three price quotations from different moving companies would be best. Compare each company and determine which one provides a reasonable price tag without sacrificing quality service.

Account For All Moving Fees

On top of the moving company’s service cost, you should also account for all other expenses, such as the following:

  • Insurance: Insuring your items against theft or damage will make your interstate move less stressful. It’s reassuring to know should the worst happen, you will not have an additional expense to take care of.
  • Packing Services: Many moving companies offer packing and unpacking services as an optional add-on service for an additional fee. These services can include packing materials, such as boxes, tape, bubble wrap, and packing paper. But if you decide to hire a different set of people to do the packing, it’s important to set aside a budget for them.
  • Cleaning Fees: You may need to hire a cleaning service to clear your old home or tidy up your new one before settling in. You can seek referrals from your family and friends to find more providers. You can also check out reliable websites that provide quality cleaning services in your area. This way, you can find the perfect cleaning partner for your interstate move.
  • Storage Fees: If you need to store your belongings before moving into your new home, you’ll need to factor in the cost of a storage unit.

It’s best practice to create a budget and estimate all of these expenses ahead of time to avoid any surprises.

Set A Moving Date

Once you have a moving date set, you can start planning and preparing a timeline for the move. You can make arrangements with a moving company, schedule utility services at your new home, and make any necessary personal travel arrangements. You can start creating a moving checklist and plan the details of your move so you feel more in control of the process.

Setting a moving date in advance also helps you avoid any last-minute rush or unexpected issues. This can help ensure you have enough time to complete all necessary tasks before the move.

And since you’ll be working with a moving company, it’s important to set a moving date in advance to ensure their availability. A moving company or rental truck may not be available on short notice.

Above everything else, a moving date set in stone will help you stay on track with your packing and organizing efforts. It gives you a clear deadline to work towards, which can help you keep motivated and focused.

On the other hand, there are additional tips to consider when setting a moving date that works for you. For instance, you should avoid relocating on weekends or holidays. These days are typically more expensive, and there’ll be more traffic, which can add to the stress of moving. Also, have a backup plan if your moving date needs to be changed. This could happen for many reasons, such as bad weather or a family emergency. 

Lastly, be flexible with your relocation date. If you can’t get your ideal date, be willing to compromise. A few days, either way, won’t make a big difference in the long run.

Donate And Sell Extra Items

donate and sell extra items

Consider donating and selling extra items to reduce how much you will carry with you interstate. This’ll help you save money on packing services and the moving truck size you’ll be using. So, by donating and selling, you can rid yourself of extra luggage and also get cash for items that may be too fragile to withstand the move.

When donating unwanted items before the move, you can choose some places that accept donations. Some common sites include charity shops, thrift stores, and local charities nearby.  

On the other hand, when selling extra items, consider checking out online marketplaces where you can dispose of them for a reasonable price. These marketplaces can be a great way to reach a wider audience and sell your items quickly. You can also organize garage sales to sell unwanted items easily and quickly. Just be sure to price your items competitively and promote your garage sale in advance to ensure a more favorable outcome.

Plan How You’re Going To Pack Your Items

One of the most important aspects of moving is packing your belongings. Properly packing your items can help ensure they arrive in good condition at your new home and can make the unpacking process much smoother. Planning how to pack your items can help you maximize space, protect your belongings, stay organized, and save time.

You can ensure that your belongings are packed efficiently, taking up as little space as possible. This is particularly important if you’re using a moving truck or container, as you’ll want to make the most of the available space to keep your costs down. 

Proper packing can also help prevent damage during transport. You can reduce the risk of items breaking or getting scratched during the move by using the right materials, such as bubble wrap or packing paper, and packing them securely. Be extra cautious in handling fragile or valuable items, such as electronics, antiques, or glassware.

Labeling boxes and keeping an inventory list will make it easy to locate specific items once you arrive at your new home. You don’t want to go through the frustration of digging through boxes to find something you need. Reviewing your inventory list will also ensure that nothing gets lost or left behind during the move.

Set Up Your Utilities

Before moving, you should also plan when to cancel your current utilities and set up new ones in your new home. That’s because, unlike when moving locally, where you can easily transfer utilities from one house to another, moving interstate usually means dealing with different utility providers. So, before you move, contact your current gas, water, and electric providers to inform them of your interstate move.

You should also make plans to contact your new utility providers. Your new landlord or real estate agent may be able to assist you in setting up new utility accounts before you move in.

Contacting your utility providers will help you avoid paying two sets of utility payments due to poor planning. There are probably just a few services you might need to keep running until your moving dates, such as electricity and air conditioning (AC). 

Research Schools

Your move from one state to another could be exciting to you but imagine what it would be like for your children. It could be a very challenging experience for school-aged children to adjust to a different environment and a new set of faces to get acquainted with. Researching new schools is important to ensure your child receives a high-quality education in a safe and supportive environment.

Remember, each state has its own education system, which can vary significantly from one another. Familiarize yourself with the differences and understand what to expect when it comes to curriculum, testing, and graduation requirements. 

Living in a new state will also mean a different school culture and atmosphere for your child. Find a school that meets your child’s needs, interests, and personality. Check out your prospective school’s academic programs, extracurricular activities, and overall environment.

Lastly, moving to a new state will be a big adjustment for children, and starting a new school can add to the stress. By researching new schools ahead of time, you can help your child prepare for the transition by talking to them about the new school, arranging a visit, or connecting with other families in the area. 

Notify The Post Office

Many companies and organizations use the postal service to communicate with their customers. By notifying the post office of your new address, you can ensure that your contacts are kept up to date and that you get all important communications. 

If you do not notify the post office of your new address, your mail will continue to be sent to your old address. You don’t want your bills, bank statements, or legal documents lost or delayed. 

On the Moving Day

As expected, moving day will be a hectic and stressful time, so make sure that you don’t forget anything important. Here are some things you should remember on the day of the move:

  • Keep Important Documents And Valuables With You: Keep your passports, IDs, insurance papers, jewelry, and cash in one secured package. Make it accessible to you rather than packing them in the moving truck. This way, you’ll have easy access to them and can ensure they don’t get lost during the move.
  • Check The Inventory: Before the moving truck leaves, make sure that all of your items are accounted for. 
  • Lock Up: Before you leave your old home, make sure to lock up and turn off any utilities (such as lights and the thermostat). Make sure that you don’t leave anything running unnecessarily.
  • Keep Cleaning Supplies Handy: A quick clean-up of your old home wouldn’t hurt. Keep cleaning supplies handy so that you can quickly wipe down any surfaces that need it.
  • Double-Check Your New Home: Before the movers arrive at your new home, make sure that everything is ready for them. Double-check that the utilities are turned on, and the rooms are clean and ready to be filled with your belongings.
  • Have The Essentials On Hand: Pack a box or bag with the essentials you’ll need for your first night in your new home, such as toiletries, a change of clothes, bedding, and any medications you may need. This way, you won’t have to go searching through boxes to find what you need.

Once the movers have left, take a moment to celebrate your new home. You’ve worked hard to get to this point, and now it’s time to enjoy your new space.


Moving to a new state can be an exciting adventure, but it can also be a stressful experience. Whether you’re moving for a new job, to be closer to family, or simply for a change of scenery, these are a few best practices that can make the transition easier.

smith brad omni

Written by Brad Smith

CEO & Lead Interior Designer

Brad Smith is an experienced interior designer and the founder of OmniHomeIdeas.com. With a Master's degree in Interior Design from Pratt Institute and a passion for creating safe and healthy living spaces, Brad shares his expert insights and innovative design ideas with our readers. His work is driven by the belief that home is where every story begins.