Interstate Moving Tips

Relocating from one state to another is no easy feat. It will most likely take a lot from you, regardless of whether you hire moving assistance or not. Ideally, you should hire a mover for your relocation but a DIY move is also an option. Either way, you will need to thoroughly prepare for the relocation effort, both mentally and physically. You will also need to know what is ahead of you, which is what Master Moving Guide is here for. We will provide you with a guide on interstate moving, as well as give you some valuable interstate moving tips. Once you finish reading this article, you will have a much greater understanding of what you need to do, which will make the whole process a lot easier. Feel free to contact us for additional information.

a truck on the road as a symbol of interstate moving tips
Proper preparation is essential for a seamless cross-country move

Interstate moving 101

First of all, you are going to need a lot of time for all the following steps. It is best if you start as early as possible. With that in mind, here’s what you need to do:

  • Visit your new home prior to relocation
  • Set a moving budget
  • Research moving companies
  • Declutter
  • Create a packing plan
  • Set up the utilities
  • Change your address
  • Get a new driver’s license

Choosing a great mover for your relocation might be the most important thing on the list. The difference between an average mover and an industry leader is huge. You might want to read up on our tips for hiring movers for the best possible experience. They will provide you with an excellent way to ensure that you work with one of the best movers around. But let’s take one step at a time. The first thing you will want to do is:

Visit your new home prior to relocation

When planning an interstate move, you need to have as much information as possible. Therefore, try to schedule a trip to your new home area and see it in person. While you can obtain much of the information online (which you also should be doing) visiting in person will provide you with a much broader perspective. Not to mention making your first few weeks in your new area a lot more manageable. What you want to figure out is where all the necessary amenities are, where you might want to do your shopping, as well as scoop out a few places to have fun in. You might also want to check in with your future neighbors, get to know them in advance.

one of the best interstate moving tips - people visiting their new neighborhood
The best way to easily adapt to your new surroundings is to make them familiar.

Setting a moving budget is one of the most important interstate moving tips

Moving on, you will need to know how much money you can pour into your relocation. This is one of the crucial interstate moving tips that we are able to impart, so try to take it seriously. The main reason for setting a moving budget is that you will be able to save a lot of time and energy not considering services and conveniences that you can’t afford. It will also provide you with a way to easily compare moving estimates. Have some “wiggle room” in your budget but otherwise set it in stone. There will be unexpected expenses, so be sure to include them in your projections. But the fact of the matter is that you need to know what you’re working with. Otherwise, you may spend a lot of time thinking about conveniences that your budget may not allow.

Research moving companies

With the budget set, it is time to research the available movers in the area. You will want to hire a company that has ample experience in both your home area and in the area you will be relocating to. These movers will be able to provide you with the best moving experience possible. It might take a while to “zero in” on a good mover, though, so it is important to start early. If you can, try to book your movers several months before the move, as that will guarantee the moving date of your choice, as well as enable you to get the best possible deal.

person doing research on a laptop
You may want to spend some time conducting research. You will have an easier time!


Before you actually sign a moving contract, you will want to declutter your home a bit. The main component (aside from distance) in interstate relocations is the weight of the shipment. If you take some time to “trim” your household, you can save a lot of money on your relocation. When planning an interstate move, decluttering is something that you need to do ahead of time, if possible. It also goes hand-in-hand with the next step.

Create a packing plan

The fact of the matter is that you need to have all your items packed when the moving day comes. However, the packing process is something that takes many people by “surprise”. You may think that you will have enough time for it but the reality is that almost everyone leaves it for the last moment. Thus, one of our long distance moving tips is to at least plan, if not pack, in advance. The first thing to figure out is which (and how many) packing supplies will you need. Always get a few more items than you believe is necessary, as it is a lot easier to use extra supplies than it is to obtain more of them.

Try to organize your packing effort room-by-room, starting with the ones that you use the least. That way, you will end up only having to pack the living room as the moving day draws nearer.

Important interstate moving tips: Set up the utilities

Canceling your existing utilities and setting up new ones is a process that can be a bit complicated when moving interstate. Many providers only serve specific areas, and might not be available in your new home. Thus, you will need to do a bit of research, talk to a real estate agent and/or your new landlord, see what kind of services are on offer. After that, you will need to coordinate the cancel and installation dates, to optimize your budget. Another one of our moving tips is that you can do most of it online. While you may need to do a few things in person, you can deal with most utilities from the comfort of your own home.

interstate moving tips - person setting up utilities
Get to know the utility transfer process.

Change your address

You also can’t forget to change your address when planning an interstate move. Contact the U.S. post office, let them know that you are moving to another location. There are a few more agencies that need to know about the transfer as well, such as loan providers, insurance providers, your bank and the credit card company, etc. Basically, anyone that sends you something or that charges you for a monthly service needs to know that you will be moving.

Get a new driver’s license

Lastly, you will need to get a new driver’s license and update your vehicle’s registration once you arrive at your new state. You can do so once you established residency, but within a certain time frame. Some states allow you for as long as two months to do it, but some require you to change it earlier. The best thing to do is to sort it out before rather than later.

7 essential interstate moving tips people forget about

Here are some tips that are not often talked about, which can make your moving experience more enjoyable:

  • Be wary of the hidden costs
  • Plan some things in advance
  • Do not forget the essentials
  • Be ready for potential issues with movers
  • Prepare for the moving day
  • Make the most out of the first week in your new home
  • Get ready for a social transition

These tips can be applied to all relocation types but they are most suited for long distance and interstate relocations. If you want to make the most out of your short distance relocation, you might want to check out our short distance moving tips instead. We’ve compiled a list of things that can make your relocation cheaper, as well as easier. As for interstate relocations, you will want to:

Be wary of the hidden costs

Even if you hire an honest and transparent moving company, there might be some costs that you simply have not planned for, not anticipated. Knowing about these will allow you to optimize your moving budget and plan accordingly. Here’s a small list of them:

  • Insurance
  • Food and other expenses
  • Cleaning
  • Personal moving costs
  • The cost of new items

Insurance is something that might not be at the forefront of your thoughts, what with all the other things you need to worry about. However, it is a vital component of interstate relocations and has the potential to save you a lot of money. Depending on your inventory and the distance, it will set you back anywhere between $200, and $1000. Some movers include insurance in their estimates, as well. Just make sure that your items have sufficient coverage.

person holding a $1 bill.
You always want to insure your items before you embark on an interstate move.

The other costs might look “insignificant” but they quickly add up. All the things on the list will cost you money, which can slowly rack up to a few thousand dollars (or even more, depending on what you need to buy). Make sure that you’ve included all these things in your projections.

Plan some things in advance

When planning an interstate move, you will need to think about a lot of tasks. It is best to sort some of these tasks early and free up your time and mind for other matters. For example, you will want to prepare all that is needed to enroll your kids in a new school, make a plan for your pets if you have them, find a storage unit if you need one, etc. For the latter, you can refer to our storage tips for the best experience. The more you plan ahead of time, the easier the process. Simple as that.

Underrated interstate moving tips – do not forget the essentials

There are items that you need to have with you at all times when conducting an interstate move. In our other state to state relocation tips, we talk about this subject at length but it is worth repeating here as well. It is that important. Make sure that all of your keys, phone chargers, as well as any “hidden items” find their way to your essentials bag. If you have a spare key hidden, or some money in a flower pot, this is the time to retrieve them.

Be ready for potential issues with movers

One of the less-talked-about things when planning an interstate move is how to deal with “not-so-ideal” moving companies. Even if you do your research properly, you still have a chance to be working with one of those. Ultimately, you can’t know for certain who will show up on a moving day, and there is room for potential unpleasantness. But you can mitigate some of it if you “cover your bases”. Here’s what you may want to do:

Be friendly and polite – From the first contact to the relocation day, try to be as friendly and polite as you can. It will help you stand out as a customer that the company wishes to impress. Furthermore, if you receive a cold shoulder when you are being friendly, it can indicate that your movers might not be the best fit.

Scour the contract – Make sure to read the contract several times, asking for clarification wherever necessary. That way, you will have no issues that need to be worked out when moving day arrives.

A few other things you might want to consider are providing your movers with refreshments, document everything just in case, have everything ready to go when the movers arrive -using only the best packing tips as your guide – and call a few days in advance just to make sure that everything is in order.

person signing a document
Before signing, always read the contract as many times as you need. Everything needs to be crystal-clear!

Prepare for the moving day

A moving day can be exciting, stressful, and dreadful, all at the same time. What you need to do is prepare mentally, as well as physically, for what it might bring. Get a good night’s sleep if you can, eat healthy a couple of days before the move, prepare some fun games for small children, ensure that your pets have everything they need, and always have a backup plan.

But for the most part, it is your attitude that will matter the most. If you can stay calm and smiling throughout the day, everything will be a lot easier.

Make the most out of the first week in your new home

When planning an interstate move, it is wise to plan for some things that happen after the relocation. Namely, you will want to find a new family doctor, take your time unpacking, get your driver’s license sorted out, that sort of thing. It is best to get all of that done in the first week, as that is when you will be at your best to deal with those matters. After that, you will fall into other habits and it might be more difficult to focus on what needs to be done.

Get ready for a social transition is one of the more important interstate moving tips

The last one of our interstate moving tips is to acknowledge that social transition is as difficult (even more difficult in some cases) as the physical one. Therefore, you will want to start adapting to your new social environment immediately. Get to know the neighbors and the community around you as a start. Invite people over for dinner and start building connections. If you are invited to a social event, say yes! You might even want to enroll in some classes, as that will provide you with an excellent way to meet new people.

Lastly, try to adopt a position of “gratitude”. Even if you are missing your old home, focusing on the negative has an impact on your relationships. Try to be positive at all times and you will have a whole new social network in the city of your new home built in no time!

interstate moving tips - social awareness
Social transition to a new place can be hard. Make sure you’re ready for it!

Reach out to Master Moving Guide for additional tips and moving companies recommendations

We hope you’ve enjoyed our interstate moving tips and that they will help you make the most out of your relocation. If you have any doubts, concerns, or would simply want to get in touch with the Master Moving Guide team, you can contact us anytime. We love hearing from you and learning about your experiences, but we can also help you find the right cross-country moving company that can relocate you with ease. Request free moving quotes today!




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