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Moving to a New State: Quick Tips and Checklist

Moving tends to be stressful and time-consuming at the best of times. When you’re moving out of state, expect an additional layer of complexity (and stress). For a smoother experience, we recommend getting organized and planning your move out at least a few weeks in advance. That way, you’ll give yourself enough time to see all the important details without dropping the ball on something last-minute.

To make your move smoother, here’s a mini-guide from Budget Fence N Deck on all the most important things to consider before your out-of-state move:

Research the Costs of Living

Knowing the costs of living in your new state will allow you to budget better—and, with a bit of effort, potentially find a cheaper-than-average neighborhood to live in. Compare the costs of various areas so that you know what to expect.

Find a Home in a Good Neighborhood

Once you have a better idea of the costs, searching for a suitable home should be your next step. Start doing this early—especially if you are planning to buy. It typically takes six months to buy a house in the US—four months to shop around and two months to close. You will, of course, have to consider your family’s needs. Some things to prioritize are amenities, entertainment, educational institutions, healthcare, and neighborhood safety. You can use a home affordability calculator to determine how much you can spend on a home.

Look for Work

If you don’t already have a job lined up, you will need to look for work. You should, ideally, create a professional resume and reach out to recruiters before moving. Some other suggestions include leveraging your existing network, signing up for email lists, attending seminars and conferences, and just applying to jobs. Expect to have to attend many interviews, which will involve some hectic travel and related expenses, says IMDiversity.

Alternatively, Start Your Own Business

Moving to a new state is an opportunity to start over fresh—in more ways than one. For instance, if you’ve always wanted to start your own business, you could do so in the new state. You could begin by brainstorming ideas and then creating a business plan to bring them to life.

A solid business plan increases your chances of starting a successful business. This document describes your company, your services, your monetization methods, the business structure, funding, and financial projections. It allows you to get organized and target and achieve necessary business goals. Be sure to read and review this guide on how to start a company for more tips and strategies.

Make Moving Arrangements

Moving out of state involves multiple transportation considerations. We recommend approaching experienced movers and getting quotes from multiple companies for the best deal. You can opt for a “full-service” move—where they take care of everything—or partial assistance. You may also need moving insurance. Keep in mind some states have moving-related requirements. For instance, you may not be able to move your cat or dog easily.

Once you’ve settled in your new home, consider adding a fence from Budget Fence N Deck to your yard. A good fence can be a value add to your home, and your pets will be much safer and more secure with a fenced in play area.

Take Care of the Legalities

Moving to a new state usually involves multiple legalities. Some examples are updating your car license and registration, updating your business license (when applicable), establishing domicile, notifying the tax authorities, registering your kids with the schools, notifying your doctor, forwarding your mail, settling your bills, changing your bank, and more. Fast Company covers three important tax considerations.

Don’t forget a few other important matters, as well, like changing your address, setting up utilities, and getting started with a new doctor.

Create a Moving Document File

Having a file for all your critical documents can make your life easier, allowing you to furnish important documents when needed. This is where you could keep all your important documents, from your educational credentials to healthcare files. This is also where you could keep your moving checklist (it’s always a good idea to have a paper version that tracks important tasks).

Adjust to Your New Location

Moving to a new state is leaving behind your current home. It may trigger anxiety, sadness, and general blues. You must be kind to yourself (and your family). Look after your basic needs and try to make yourself comfortable. To settle in better at your new location, explore your new neighborhood, meet new people, and download local apps. Finally, give it time—you will slowly but surely get settled in.

Consider a Home Warranty

You may be wondering if a home warranty is worth it for people with busy lives. Investing in a home warranty is an excellent choice for any homeowner who wants extra peace of mind and protection. By purchasing a home warranty plan, you can save yourself from worrying about the cost of repairs for systems and appliances within your home. Before safeguarding your home with a home warranty, it is important to research the company thoroughly and read reviews to ensure that you are getting superior coverage. Give special consideration to pricing and coverage options.


Leave some wiggle room in your schedule and budget for emergencies. There will likely be several hiccups—out-of-state moves rarely go to plan. Whether you’re finding an affordable home, starting a business, investing in a home warranty, or adapting to your new location, having a plan will ensure a smoother move.

Photo via Unsplash

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