Moving States for the First Time? Here’s What You Need to Know


Whether you scored your dream job across the country, want to move closer to your family, or are taking a leap to the coast, gearing up for a big move can be daunting. However, you can bypass unnecessary stress and anxiety by mapping out a plan and sticking to it, leaving you less overwhelmed and ready to settle into your new space.

By breaking down your plan into smaller, more manageable steps, you can steer clear of headache-inducing mishaps, allowing you to build excitement as you work up to the big day. By researching, budgeting, and scheduling carefully, you’ll be on your way to a stress-free move.

Read on for a must-know guide on relocating to a new state to learn what you’re in for as you inch closer to the big day.

Make a budget


The first step in prepping for a big move is solidifying a budget to ensure you can afford both relocation expenses and the cost of living in your new state. For example, once you’ve landed on a city, determine moving company pricing, ask yourself “How much does it cost to ship a car?”, and pay any security deposits required.

Additionally, you’ll want to consider packing materials, movers insurance, and other miscellaneous services you may need along the moving process.

Once you’ve settled on a moving budget, start adding up down payments, utility fees, and other rental costs to ensure you can afford to live in your new state. That way, you can steer clear of avoidable fees that can send you over your budgeting limit. However, it’s always wise to add a financial cushion for unexpected expenses outside of your control.

What moving services do you need?

Moving companies offer various resources, from full-service packing to picking up and dropping off. You’ll need to approximate your space and belongings to receive an accurate estimate that fits within your budget.

Additionally, you’ll need to decide if you’re willing to pack yourself or have the moving company take care of the entire project. For example, if your schedule leading up to the move is hectic, a full-service moving package may be the way to go. However, if you’re looking to save a chunk of change and transport your belongings independently, price-checking van rentals will be a must.

Finally, will it be more efficient to drive yourself or have your car shipped? Though it may seem cheaper to road trip to your destination, traveling expenses can wrack up quickly—especially with steep gas prices. Sometimes, hiring a reputable shipping company is a more efficient and cost-effective option.



First things first—it’s time to begin researching your new state and city to get a feel for the culture, community, and regulations. If possible, schedule a site visit before you move and peruse different areas of town to land on a neighborhood that fits your needs.

Check out the restaurants, grocery stores, parks, accessibility, and general area care to ensure the surrounding area has the proper amenities for your comfort. Additionally, consider your top priorities—like children, job commute, and social needs—before settling on a city or neighborhood to tick off as many must-haves as possible.

Consider your lifestyle

As you look into potential locations, take note of your lifestyle and everyday needs to aid you in narrowing down results. For example, if you have children, are there reputable schools nearby? Or, if you value outside recreational activities and an active lifestyle, will there be accessible trails and natural landscapes to traverse? Considering your day-to-day routine can help you sift through areas, leaving you with only the best options for your needs.

What essential services and facilities are nearby?

You’ll want to look at the neighborhood for conveniences like grocery stores, gas stations, restaurants, and any other necessary amenities. Whether you have an energetic pup who needs a place to zoom or a vibrant social life in need of a bar-hopping scene, scoping the place beforehand can keep you in the loop once you settle in.

Make a schedule


A critical aspect of a successful move is organization and scheduling. To stay coordinated during the long process, create a binder to keep important information, documentation, and dates in one place. Having a dedicated space for everything move-related will help you stay on top of upcoming deadlines and to-do lists.

For example, it may be helpful to keep a daily schedule handy and check off each item as you complete it. Consider local accounts you might need to settle up and close. Figure out where to donate or sell unwanted belongings. Book flights or hotels for the big day. That way, you’ll stay on top of each task as you inch closer to the move.


It may be beneficial to create a packing schedule to track your belongings and reduce overwhelm during the final days. However, there are several considerations to make when drafting an itinerary, like:

  • Ordering supplies (or hiring professional packers)
  • Packing seasonal items first
  • Setting aside an essentials bag
  • Keeping valuables and documentation separate
  • Creating a labeling method
  • Leaving most used items for last

To stay organized while rummaging through your home, sort and label everything as you go. For example, number each box and keep a corresponding inventory list rather than listing what each box contains right on the box. That way, you can peruse one list once you arrive instead of digging through box after box looking for items.

Some moving companies will offer discounted group-move packages that include multiple households as a budget option. If you opt for a money-saving route, labeling each box with your address and name is critical to avoid mix-ups and missing items.

Finally, you’ll need to schedule utility providers to shut services off at your previous residence and begin the transfer process at your new home. By sorting out phone services, internet, electricity, and gas before you settle in, you’ll ensure you at least have your utilities in order once you arrive at a mountain of boxes.

Settling in

Though relocating to a new state will come with unavoidable anxiety and nervousness, you can bypass unnecessary stress and mishaps with careful planning. By staying on top of deadlines, organizing vital documentation, and giving yourself plenty of time, you can speed through the moving process with as few hiccups as possible.