Planning a stress-free move out of state: A step-by-step guide

Relocating to a new state can be an unnerving challenge. A recent survey revealed that nearly 45% of people consider moving to be one of life’s most stressful events. Yet, with thorough planning, this task can be notably simplified. As representatives of Best Movers NYC, we believe that meticulous preparation is the key to planning a stress-free move out of state. With our step-by-step guide, you can transform a seemingly overwhelming task into a manageable project.

Kick off the planning phase early with researching (6-8 weeks ahead)

First and foremost, the significance of thorough research can’t be understated when relocating. The question is, however, how do you begin researching? Well, to aid your planning, consider:

  • Digital platforms: Websites like Zillow and Nextdoor have revolutionized the understanding of neighborhoods. They offer invaluable insights, from property values to resident reviews.
  • Local news outlets: Tuning into local news or reading the area’s newspapers can provide a genuine sense of the community’s current events and challenges.
  • Visit in Person: If possible, consider making a trip to your potential new neighborhood. Experience its ambiance, visit local shops, or even chat with residents. A firsthand look can sometimes offer perspectives that digital resources might miss.
Picture of a person planning a stress-free move out of state while drinking a coffee
Start the process early by researching.

Budget effectively

Budgeting, far from being a mere numbers game, is a strategic tool in the moving process. Beginning early gives you a comprehensive view, allowing you to predict and prepare for expected and unforeseen expenses.

  • Estimate moving costs:’s study underscores the potentially steep costs of interstate moves, with averages possibly exceeding $5,000. This might include transportation, labor, and insurance, among other expenses.
  • Unexpected costs: Apart from apparent expenses, budget for unforeseen ones. These can range from needing temporary accommodation to last-minute storage solutions.
  • Cost of living difference: If moving to a different state or city, research the cost of living differences. While you might be moving from a pricier area, utilities, transportation, or even groceries could be more expensive in your new home.

Start a moving savings fund

Given the potential expenses associated with moving, starting a dedicated savings fund can be a lifesaver. Setting aside a portion of your income specifically for the move will ensure that you’re financially prepared when the time comes. A few advantages of this approach include:

  • Peace of mind: Knowing you have funds set aside can reduce financial stress.
  • Flexibility: A buffer can help accommodate any unexpected changes or needs during the move.
  • Avoiding debt: With a dedicated savings pool, there’s less likelihood of resorting to credit cards or loans to finance the move.

Finding the right moving partner (5-7 weeks before the relocation)

Now, onto perhaps the most critical phase in planning a stress-free move out of state: choosing your moving company. Here’s where many people falter, often settling for the first offer they get. However, it’s imperative to gather multiple quotes. Comparing at least three can potentially save you hundreds of dollars.

But it’s not just about cost. Quality and reliability are just as vital. In our line of work, we’ve heard countless stories of moves gone wrong due to shady companies. Always ensure you check reviews and ratings. For instance, long distance moving companies New York has to offer might brag about their services, but customer feedback is the one that paints the real picture. A reliable company will have transparent reviews, both positive and negative, and will address any concerns raised by previous clients.

Furthermore, while it’s tempting to go for the cheapest option, remember the age-old saying: “You get what you pay for.” A slightly pricier company might offer value-added services like furniture assembly, storage solutions, or comprehensive insurance policies.

Picture of a person that is planning a stress-free move out of state
Finding the right moving partner can make a world of difference.

Time to declutter and optimize (4-6 weeks ahead)

As the weeks count down, decluttering becomes a vital step in planning a stress-free move out of state. According to a study from the LA Times, the average American home contains around 300,000 items. Now, imagine packing and transporting every single one of those items! Consequently, assessing your belongings streamlines your move and makes it efficient and cost-effective.

Assessing large items

Starting with the larger items is a strategic move. Consider furniture pieces you might not need in your new home. For instance, when moving from New York to South Carolina, you might transition from a compact apartment to a spacious house. This change in living spaces might mean your current furniture may not fit or complement the new space. Evaluating and deciding what to retain and replace in advance can save you time and effort on a moving day.

Capitalizing on garage sales

There’s immense potential in the items you decide to part with. Hosting a garage sale is not only an excellent way to declutter but also an opportunity to make some extra cash. A well-organized sale can fund a significant portion of your moving expenses. But to make the most of it, consider the following tips:

  • Advertise well in advance: Use local bulletin boards, social media, and community groups to spread the word.
  • Price items reasonably: Remember, the goal is to reduce the load. Pricing items to sell will benefit you more than holding out for a slightly higher price.
  • Organize items clearly: Group similar items together and use clear signage to guide shoppers.

Leveraging digital platforms

In today’s digital age, garage sales have also taken on a virtual form. Platforms like Letgo, OfferUp, and even Facebook Marketplace are excellent places to sell items, especially those that might have a higher value. When listing items online:

  • Take clear photos: A well-lit, clear image can make all the difference in attracting buyers.
  • Write detailed descriptions: Be transparent about the item’s condition, dimensions, and any other pertinent details.
  • Stay safe: When meeting buyers, choose public places and, if possible, take a friend along.

Let the packing begin (3-5 weeks before D-day)

Packing shouldn’t be about shoving items into boxes. It should be about doing it smartly to prevent damage and make unpacking a breeze. A report by the National Safety Council states that improper packing leads to about 21,000 moving-related injuries annually. Ensuring you have the right packing gear minimizes risks to your belongings and well-being.

Here, sourcing durable boxes is crucial. While many people opt for free boxes from local stores, investing in sturdy ones can be a game-changer, especially for valuable or fragile items. Furthermore, packing non-essentials allows you to live comfortably in your home while preparing for the move. It’s a strategy recommended by many experts, especially when moving from high-density areas. For example, if you’re moving from NYC to Dallas, packing off-season items like heavy winter coats or snow boots early can simplify the process as moving day approaches. In addition, utilizing bubble wrap, markers, and quality tape can’t be stressed enough. Labeling boxes not only aids movers but ensures an organized unpacking process. Remember, the aim isn’t just to move; it’s to settle into your new home as seamlessly as possible.

Picture of a person that is packing
Packing always takes more time than anticipated, so start on time!

Taking care of address changes and important notifications (2-4 weeks out)

Administrative tasks take precedence in the final weeks leading up to your move. Often overlooked, these are essential in ensuring a smooth transition to your new home. The US Postal Service reported that in 2019, nearly 37 million people changed their address. This clearly indicates how common relocations are and the importance of timely address updates.

Notifying the post office ensures that your mail transitions seamlessly from your old residence to the new one. This is particularly crucial if you’re making significant location changes, like moving from NYC to San Diego. Without updating, you might miss out on essential mail ranging from bills to personal correspondences. Furthermore, financial institutions, credit card companies, and other services also need to be in the loop. Neglecting this step can lead to potential financial mishaps. And don’t forget about transferring the medical records! After all, your new healthcare provider will need a comprehensive understanding of your health history in a new state.

The big day – Moving day tips and tricks

Moving day, often considered the climax in the process of planning a stress-free move out of state, can be a whirlwind of emotions and activities. Whether you’re moving from New York to North Carolina or are venturing on any other cross-state journey, the essence remains the same. With proper preparations, it doesn’t have to be chaotic.

  • One golden rule is to stay organized. A survey by Duck Brand, a packing supplies company, indicated that nearly 19% of Americans believe labeling is the most crucial packing tip. Especially when relocating to a place with a different layout, like the spacious homes of North Carolina compared to the compact New York apartments, labeling ensures that items go to the correct rooms in your new home.
  • While movers are trained professionals, keeping an inventory and double-checking is always good. Cases of misplaced items or misunderstandings can occur, and having a checklist can provide peace of mind, regardless of the distance covered.
  • Lastly, staying calm is paramount. Inevitably, challenges might arise, from weather changes to logistical hitches. Keeping a cool head helps you tackle any issue effectively.
Picture of people that are moving out
Labeling is very important, but often overlooked.

Getting comfortable in your new abode

Finally, the much-anticipated moment has arrived: settling into your new home. Surprisingly, this phase can be as intimidating as the move itself, but with a proactive approach, it can be made considerably more manageable. Unpacking essential items should be your priority. According to a study, 65% of people feel settled once they’ve set up their bedroom and kitchen. Understandably so, as these rooms are central to daily living. Before diving into decorative items, ensure you have your bed, bathroom essentials, and basic kitchen equipment in place.

Becoming familiar with your new surroundings is equally important. For those moving from NYC to Los Angeles, adapting from a lively East Coast vibe to a laid-back West Coast atmosphere might require a bit of acclimatization. Start by exploring your immediate neighborhood. Identifying local grocery stores, parks, public transport links, and other amenities can provide a sense of comfort and belonging.

Finally, while it might sound old-fashioned, introducing yourself to neighbors can be the cherry on top of your settling-in process. Doing so can help in building connections. Also, those local to the area can provide insights about the community you’ve just joined.

Post-move tasks

Even after you’ve settled in, there are a few final tasks to ensure your relocation is complete. These tasks, while seemingly minor, can have significant implications in the long run.

  • To start with, security should be at the forefront. While we’d like to believe our new home’s previous owners handed over all copies of the keys, it’s safer to assume otherwise. Changing locks can be an easy and cost-effective way to guarantee your family’s safety.
  • Next, updating vehicle registrations and driver’s licenses are legal requirements that shouldn’t be ignored. Neglecting these can result in penalties or complications in case of emergencies.
  • Finding new healthcare providers is a critical task that should be high on your list. It’s always better to have this sorted before any health issue arises, ensuring you’re not left scrambling in a time of need.
Picture of keys in a door
If you are planning a stress-free move out of state, you need to think about the post-move period in advance.

Planning a stress-free move out of state will get easier with time

Planning a stress-free move out of state might take hours or even days, especially for people who are moving for the first time. But taking into consideration the recent moving trends, this may not be your last time relocating. Practice makes perfect, so rest assured that while planning might have taken a long time now, you will get more organized and faster each subsequent time that you do it!

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