Moving Out of State Checklist: Your Guide to a Cross-Country Move

Embarking on a cross country journey? 

It’s an exciting time, but let’s be honest, it can also feel a bit overwhelming. 

That’s where a trusty “Moving across the country checklist” comes in. Think of it as your personal roadmap, guiding you through each step of the adventure with ease and clarity.

In this post, we’re going to break down the process for you.

We’ll walk you through, step-by-step, a checklist for moving across country:

It’s time to turn that daunting task into an exhilarating experience. 

So, what are you waiting for? 

Dive into the planning, embrace the journey, and let’s make your next big move not just easy, but downright enjoyable

Moving Across Country Infographic Guide

Moving Across Country Infographic Guide

8 Weeks Before The Move

Moving Out Of State Checklist

As you prepare your checklist for moving across the country, don’t worry. 

With eight weeks to go, you’re at the perfect starting point. 

For starters, become a digital detective for your new neighborhood. Websites like Area Vibes and Niche are treasure troves of information. They’ll give you the lowdown on everything from the local coffee shops to crime rates. It’s like getting a sneak peek into your future community, helping you feel right at home before you arrive.

If you’re rolling up your sleeves for a DIY move, now’s your moment to rally the troops! Start calling in favors from friends and family. Also, take some time to compare quotes from local moving companies – it could be a game-changer in keeping things smooth and on track.

And here’s a crucial part: deciding how to transport your belongings. 

If flying is your best bet, snag those tickets early to save cash and sidestep last-minute stress. 

More of a road-trip enthusiast? 

Make sure your car is in tip-top shape with a professional check-up. 

And if you’re using trailers or pods, double-check that everything is secure. After all, you want your belongings to be as ready for this journey as you are!

Embrace this 8-week countdown as your launchpad to a successful move. Let’s make this experience about changing addresses, creating memories, and starting a thrilling new chapter. In doing so, here are eight additional tips to keep in mind.

Things To Keep In Mind

1. Begin Packing

One of the most important things you can do when preparing to move cross country is to start packing early. This will give you plenty of time to sort through your belongings and decide what you need to bring and what you can leave behind. It will also help reduce your stress as the moving date approaches.

2. Create a Packing Plan

Another vital thing to do when preparing to move cross country is to create a packing plan. This will help you stay organized and ensure your belongings are properly packed and ready. Ensure you include a list of items you must fill in and a schedule for packing each item.

3. Research Moving Companies

If you plan on hiring a moving company to help with your cross-country move, it is important to start researching options early. Get quotes from several different companies and compare their services. Be sure to read reviews of each company before making a final decision.

4. Rent a Storage Unit

If you have items you cannot take when you move, consider renting a storage unit. This will give you a place to keep your belongings until you are ready for them. Be sure to research storage units in your area and find one that offers the necessary amenities.

5. Notify Important People and Organizations of Your Move

When preparing to move cross country, notify essential people and organizations of your upcoming move. This includes your employer, child’s school, doctor, and bank. You must also update your address with the post office and change your utilities to your new address.

6. Start Planning A Moving Essentials Bag

As you get closer to moving day, pack an essentials bag with everything you will need for the first few days in your new home. This should include clothes, toiletries, medications, and bedding. This packed bag will make the transition smoother and less stressful.

7. Clean Your Home Before You Leave

Before leaving for your cross-country move, clean your home from top to bottom. This will make it easier for the new owners or tenants and give you peace of mind knowing everything is in its place. If possible, hire a professional cleaning service to do a deep cleaning.

8 . Start To Say Goodbye To Your Friends And Neighbors

Finally, say goodbye to your friends and neighbors before leaving for your cross-country move. Throw a going away party or have a picnic in the park. This is a great way to say goodbye and make some great memories.

6 Weeks Before The Move

Moving Out Of State Checklist

When moving to a new city, six weeks still provides ample time to create your cross-country moving checklist. 

You must gather packing and moving supplies, such as free boxes from grocery stores, department stores, friends and family, or online sources like CraigslistFacebook Marketplace, or Nextdoor. In addition to supplies, you should create a thorough checklist for your move that outlines all your belongings and how they should be grouped when packing.

Another critical step is decluttering your home to maximize your efficiency during this period. This means sorting through your belongings and donating or selling any items that you no longer need or have outgrown. This can help clear out space for new items once you’ve moved in and reduce overall packing stress by removing things that are no longer useful to you.

Finally, you should be ready to start moving after decluttering your home and obtaining all the necessary packing and moving supplies. Whether you hire movers to transport everything for you or plan on doing it yourself with the help of friends and family members, setting aside ample time and ensuring everything is organized correctly will ensure a smooth transition into your new city.

Things To Keep In Mind

1. Packing & Organizing Early

Take your time packing! If you still need to start, begin packing items you know you won’t need in the weeks leading up to your move. This will make the packing process less daunting and give you a chance to purge any items you no longer want or need.

2. Create a Moving Budget

Moving can be expensive, so it’s crucial to create and stick to a budget. Make a list of all the expenses you anticipate during your move, such as hiring movers, renting a moving truck, and purchasing packing supplies. Once you estimate your total costs, start setting aside money each week so you’ll have enough to cover everything when the time comes.

3. Notify Your Employer of Your Intent to Move

If you plan on moving to a new job, notify your current employer as soon as possible. Most companies require at least two weeks’ notice before an employee can leave, so it’s essential to give your employer plenty of time to find a replacement for you. It’s also vital to let your employer know your plans to move if you work a remote job.

4. Hire a Mover

If you plan on hiring professional movers, start looking for reputable companies in your area as soon as possible. Get recommendations from friends or family members who have recently moved, and read online reviews before deciding. Once you’ve found a few companies you’re interested in, get quotes from each one to compare prices.

5. Transfer Your Utilities

Once you’ve chosen your new home, contact your current utility providers (electricity, gas, water, trash) and let them know that you’ll be moving and when they should turn off your service at your old home. Then, contact the utility providers for your new home and set up service at your new address. Be sure to do this at least two weeks before your move so there’s no lapse in service.

6. Pack Your Car Full of Essentials

On moving day itself, pack up your car with all the essentials you’ll need for the first few days in your new home, such as clothes, toiletries, bedding, and kitchen supplies. This way, you won’t have to worry about unpacking these items immediately and can focus on settling into your new place.

4 Weeks Before The Move

Moving Out Of State Checklist

Moving to a new city or state can be an overwhelming and stressful experience, especially if you have a lot of things to take care of in the weeks leading up to your move. To help make the transition as smooth as possible, here’s your ‘Moving across country checklist,’ outlining essential steps to take four weeks before your big move.

To start, you must pay all outstanding fines and transfer or cancel any memberships that you may have. Additionally, you must update your voter registration and find your new polling place in your new location. Another critical task to complete before moving is changing your address for your car insurance. If you are moving out of state, this typically requires that you transfer your plates and get a new registration within 30 days of the move.

In addition to these practical tasks, using up any perishable items in your freezer is essential, taking stock of your pantry and trying to make meals with things that won’t have to be packed. If you are planning a cross-country drive to get to your new location, then it’s also essential that you map out your route ahead of time, including booking hotels or an Airbnb along the way if necessary. Finally, organize all your essential documents like birth certificates, passports, medical records, insurance forms, and pet records in one easy-to-access folder or safe during the move so they are always accessible.

1. Finish Packing & Organizing

Finish packing up and organizing your belongings at least three to four weeks before you move, as this cross-country moving checklist recommends. This will help to ensure that you don’t have to do a last-minute scramble to get everything packed. Start with items you don’t use daily, such as seasonal clothing, books, and decorations.

2. Remind Your Employer

If you plan to move to a new job, give your employer at least four weeks’ notice. This will give them time to find a replacement for you and train them in your position. Additionally, if you have any vacation time accrued, use it up before you leave so you don’t lose it. If you are in a remote position, this will also give your employer ample time to plan around your upcoming move.

3. Change Your Address

As per your cross-country move checklist, change your address with the post office at least three weeks before you move. This will ensure that your mail is forwarded to your new address. You should also notify your bank, credit card companies, and other businesses of your new address so that you can continue to receive bills and other essential documents.

4. Cancel All Utilities

Be sure to cancel your utilities at your old residence at least two weeks before you move. This will ensure you’re not charged for services after moving out. Additionally, set up utilities at your new residence to turn on when you arrive.

5. Pack a Moving Survival Kit

Pack a “moving survival kit” containing items you may need during the first few days in your new home. This should include toiletries, bedding, towels, and clothes. This way, you won’t have to unpack everything immediately and can take care of the essentials first.

6. Hire a Moving Company

If you plan on hiring a moving company, do so at least two weeks in advance. This will give them time to schedule your move and send out movers on the day of the move.

2 Weeks Before The Move

Whether you are moving across the country or just across town, there are a few key steps to take in the weeks leading up to your move. To start, update your new address with your bank information, cell phone provider, and other vital accounts.

Next, you will want to transfer and update any necessary insurance coverage, such as renter’s or homeowner’s insurance. Additionally, keep a list of all deductible moving expenses in one place. If you have missed an address change somewhere or need to forward mail during this time, make sure to either pick up a forwarding packet at the local post office or fill out the relevant online form. Finally, remember to research or set up trash and recycling services in your new home before canceling your current ones.

And, of course, remember to notify government offices like the IRS of your new address. Whether you’re moving for work or a change of scenery, these simple steps will ensure that you are prepared for your move and ready to start fresh in your new home

For a comprehensive guide, refer to this checklist for moving cross country to ensure everything is noticed.

Things To Keep In Mind

Moving Out Of State Checklist

1. Make a List of What Still Needs to Be Done

The first and most important thing to do is list everything that needs to be done in the two weeks before you move. This will help you to stay organized and on track as you prepare for your big move.

2. Finish Any Remaining Packing 

Start packing up your belongings at least two weeks before your move date. This will help to ensure that everything is packed and ready to go when it’s time to hit the road.

3. Make Sure To Change Your Address

Be sure to change your address with the post office and any other companies or organizations that mail you. This will ensure that you continue to receive your mail after you’ve moved.

4. Notify Your Utility Companies

Make sure to notify your utility companies of your upcoming move and the date you’ll need service disconnected at your current residence.

5. Arrange For Transportation

If you need to drive cross country, be sure to arrange for transportation for all your belongings. You can do this through a professional moving company or by renting a truck and doing it yourself.

6. Say Goodbye To Friends and Family 

Remember to say goodbye to your friends and family before you leave!

1 Week Before The Move

Moving Out Of State Checklist

One of the first things you should focus on a week before moving cross country is transferring all your prescriptions to local pharmacies in your new neighborhood. Once you arrive at your new home, this will ensure access to necessary medications.

In addition, as you get closer to moving day, putting together an essentials box with all the items you need for that first night in your new home is essential. This might include pajamas, toiletries, basic cooking utensils, and other things that will make you feel more comfortable and settled immediately in your new space.

Other critical tasks to complete in the days before moving include:

  • Updating utility companies with your new contact information.
  • Removing light bulbs from lamps before packing them up for moving day.
  • Defrosting and cleaning out your refrigerator and freezer.
  • Double-check that everything is ready on time by scheduling final appointments or delivery dates with service providers such as cable or internet providers.

With these steps carefully planned, you can rest assured that moving day will go smoothly and successfully as you prepare for this exciting new chapter in life!

Finally, when you’re one week before your move, revisit your cross-country moving checklist to verify everything is in order.

Things To Keep In Mind

1. Check Packing List

One of the most important things you can do before moving cross country is to check your packing list. This will help you track what you need to pack and make the packing process much more manageable. Include everything on your list, from clothes and shoes to kitchen supplies and toiletries.

2. Have an Essentials Bag Ready

It would help to pack an essentials bag on the plane or in the car. This bag should contain all the items you will need during the first few days in your new home, such as toiletries, changing clothes, and any medications you may need.

3. Transportation

If you are flying to your new home, arrange for transportation from the airport to your new home. If you are driving, map out your route and make any necessary hotel reservations.

4. Ensure Address Is Changed Everywhere

One of the most important things you need to do before moving is to change your address with the post office. This way, you will forward your mail to your new address and won’t have to worry about getting lost in the move. You should also notify any companies or organizations that send you bills or other necessary correspondence so that they can update your address on their records.

5. Final Goodbyes to Friends and Family

Before moving cross country, say your final goodbyes to your friends and family. This can be a difficult task, but it’s essential to take the time to say goodbye correctly. You should have a going away party or spend quality time with your loved ones before you leave.

Moving Day

Moving day can be hectic and stressful, but with some planning, it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Eating well and staying hydrated is essential, especially if you’re moving during the hot summer or cold winter months. Also, dress appropriately for the weather and apply sunscreen if needed.

Before meeting your professional movers or friends who are helping, it’s essential to arrive on time with a clear plan. Decide which items need to be moved first, like heavy furniture or delicate items that require extra care to prevent breakage.

Plan how you’ll pack and transport your belongings. Make sure there’s an easy path for movers or helpers to enter your home and move through it with large boxes and bulky items. Clear a pathway from your front door to the moving truck or car, using door stops or bricks to keep doors open. Protect your floors by laying down mats or towels to prevent scratches or damage when moving furniture out.

Finally, remember to thoroughly walk through your old home before leaving. Check for any forgotten items and damage that may have occurred during the move. Please take photos of any issues to be addressed later with the appropriate professionals or service providers.

Things To Keep In Mind

1. Check The House

Before loading your belongings into a moving truck, you must do a final walkthrough of your home. This will help you to identify any areas that need to be cleaned or repaired before you move out. Additionally, it’s a good idea to take photos or videos of your home so that you have a record of its condition.

2. Be Prepared

Being prepared is one of the most important things to remember on a moving day. This means having all your packing materials ready to go and a plan for how you move your belongings. If hiring professional movers, ask them what you need to do to prepare for the move.

3. Safely Move

When it comes to moving day, safety should be your top priority. Whether you’re hiring professional movers or doing it yourself, there are a few things you can do to help ensure that your move goes smoothly and safely:

  1. Be sure to clear a path from your front door to the moving truck so that there are no obstacles.
  2. If you’re lifting heavy items, lift with your legs, not your back.
  3. If you’re using machinery (such as a dolly), read the instructions carefully before using it.

4. Have a plan B

Moving day is notoriously unpredictable, so it’s always a good idea to have a plan B if something goes wrong. For example, if you’re hiring professional movers, ensure that you have their contact information handy in case they show up late. Additionally, having cash on hand is a good idea if you need to buy last-minute supplies or pay for unexpected expenses.

5. Stay Organized

One of the best ways to stay stress-free on moving days is to stay organized. This means having a plan for where everything will go in your new home and labeling all your boxes so that you know what’s inside them. Additionally, it’s helpful to keep track of your essential documents (such as your driver’s license and birth certificate) so that you know where they are at all times.

6. Take Breaks

Moving can be exhausting physically and mentally, so taking breaks throughout the day is essential. Try to schedule breaks into your moving timeline so you can take a few minutes (or even an hour) to rest and recharge. Additionally, ensure you have plenty of snacks and drinks to stay hydrated and fueled throughout the day.

Over to You

Thank you for reading. 

We hope you found all the answers you were looking for. 

If you’re overloaded with belongings, consider storing your items as part of your ‘Moving cross country checklist’ strategy. 

This provides an easy solution to ensure that all your items are always safe and ready when needed. At SecureSpace Self Storage, we offer conveniently located storage facilities nationwide and a team of highly trained experts ready to assist you at every point of your journey. 

Find a storage facility near you.


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