How to Move Out of State- A Quick Reference Guide

Moving from one home to another in the same town or state can be stressful. However, moving from one home to another in a different state adds a few layers of stress to the moving mix. There’s more to plan, more legal documents that need to change, and more miles between the old home and the new.

Moving out of state and need some tips and advice as to how? If so, CA Storage has them for you below, real-world hacks to save your time, energy, and sanity. 

Start Planning Early

As you’ll see below, there are many tasks to accomplish when you move from one state to another. Moving experts recommend you start planning an out-of-state move 2 to 3 months in advance. That might sound like a lot, but depending on your life, job and family, you might need every minute. If you start planning late, there’s a good chance you’ll become overwhelmed. That could lead to mistakes, bad choices, and more stress, so starting early is better.

Decide Who Will Do the Moving: You or a Moving Company

Moving can be relatively simple or highly complex, depending on how much stuff you have. For example, moving the contents of a college dorm room will be much easier than moving a 4-bedroom house. Deciding who will move all of your stuff is thus a huge decision and one you should make early. You can certainly move your 4-bedroom home without a mover, but hiring one to do the heavy lifting is ideal. The skills needed to move, load, and unload everything are more than you might imagine. Plus, the sheer weight of some items can make them dangerous.

Decide Who Will Do the Packing: You or a Moving Company

While moving, loading and unloading are more difficult, packing is also a lot of work. These days, many people pack themselves to save money or pack their non-fragile items. It’s critical to decide who will do your packing, whether all or part of it. Like moving, if you have a lot to pack, hiring movers to do it can be a lifesaver. With a dorm room or small apartment, packing yourself should be doable.

Tip: Check Craigslist if you pack your things yourself. Look under ‘free’ and search for moving boxes. It’s a great way to save money and recycle cardboard simultaneously.

Use Lists to Prevent Forgetting Something

Lists are essential when moving out of state, whether with pen and paper or an app on your phone. You can have one giant list or several lists based on different tasks. Here are a few lists to get you started. They’re filled with the tasks most folks need to accomplish when moving out of state.

Utilities to Connect and Disconnect

  • Electric
  • Water
  • Gas
  • Internet
  • Cable
  • Garbage


  • Driver’s license
  • Hunting license
  • Healthcare workers license
  • Marriage license


  • School records and transcripts
  • Dental records and x-rays
  • Medical records
  • Medicine
  • Goodbye party at school


  • Change banks
  • Gather bank records, tax records, etc.
  • Transfer funds
  • 401(k), IRA paperwork


  • Schedule yard sale & buy yard sale signs
  • Donate things to Goodwill / Call Goodwill to pick up donations
  • Sell items on Facebook Marketplace
  • Say goodbye to the neighbors
  • Gather medical records from doctors, dentists, chiropractors, etc.

Making lists is great for several reasons. First, you can add tasks to them when needed. More importantly, you can cross something off when it’s done and forget about it. (It’s very satisfying when you do.) Lastly, they give you a quick picture of what’s left to get done. That can help reduce your stress levels as your list shrinks every day. Of course, it can also cause stress if you’re the kind who tends to procrastinate.

If You Decide to Use a Mover, Schedule them in Advance 

Like any service provider, movers have busy and slow times of the year. You may need to schedule movers well in advance or only a few weeks out, depending on when you move. For example, in winter, most movers are very slow. You could easily schedule your move within two or three weeks (or sooner) of your first phone call. In the summer more people move when children are out of school. Scheduling your mover two or three months ahead of time might be necessary.

If You Decide to Move Yourself, Reserve a Rental Moving Truck and Moving Equipment in Advance

Rental truck companies have more or less the same busy and slow times as moving companies. Reserve a moving truck 2 to 3 months early if you decide to move in the summer. In winter, you will likely find plenty of rental trucks available. Of course, no matter when you move, weekends are always busier than during the week. If, for example, you try to rent a moving truck on a Saturday in June, good luck.

If You Pack Yourself, Start as Early as Possible

When you hire movers to pack your things, they usually do it the day before you move. A skilled team of 4 or 5 packers can pack up a 4-bedroom house in a single day. If you decide to pack your things yourself, you’ll need significantly more time. You’ll have to gather packing materials like boxes, tape, packing paper, bubble wrap, etc.  That will take some time, so start as early as possible.

Tip: CA Storage sells packing materials like boxes, tape, paper, and bubble wrap at most of our self-storage locations. (Our prices are competitive, too!)

Only Move What You Need, Use, and Want

This last tip for moving out of state is an excellent method to save money. The thing is, the more stuff you move, the more it costs. A moving company weighs the truck and charges you for every pound. The more you move, the more they will charge you. Taking only what you need, use, and want is highly recommended. Get rid of the rest by donating, selling, or throwing away. You might end up saving yourself hundreds if not thousands of dollars.  Plus, you’ll have less stuff to store in your new home!

These Tips for Moving Out of State brought to you by CA Storage

We hope today’s tips on moving out of state have been helpful and given you the answers you needed. At CA Storage, we store things for folks moving into and out of California, Arizona, and Nevada. Some store with us between homes, and others store only some of their stuff with us.

Whatever you need to store, CA Storage has clean, safe, and secure storage units. Our self-storage facilities feature 24/7 video security and friendly on-site managers. See our self-storage location page to find a CA Storage location in California, Arizona, and Nevada. Until then, we wish you the best of luck with a safe, stress-free move.

Read more on the CA Storage blog!

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