There are plenty of things to consider when you want to move to another state. Whether you’re moving from New York to Florida or Texas to Washington, there are some fundamental things to think about, from creating a budget to finding a moving company.

We’ve answered some common moving questions to help you be prepared when you move to a new city. We’ve broken down the moving experience into several main categories:

  • Research your new city

  • See if your employer offers location assistance

  • Check out moving and storage options

  • How to budget and save


Research Your New City


There are many reasons you might be interested in moving to a new state, from getting a new job opportunity or moving for a change of scenery. It’s essential to research your new city before moving there, so you know what to expect.

If possible, you should always check out your new neighborhood in person.

Take an afternoon to drive around and see if it will be a good fit. Speak to neighbors or people that work in the local shops and see how they like the area. 

Are the locals friendly? Does it seem safe for you and your family? Does it have places you’re looking for, like a local park or coffee shop?


Seven things to research before moving to a new city


  1. Employment opportunities

  2. The neighborhood

  3. Crime rate

  4. Local schools and education system

  5. Potential commute times or transportation

  6. Cost of living

  7. Climate and weather


Are there employment opportunities?

If you are specifically moving for a job you’ve already landed, this may not be at the top of your list. But if you’re someone who is moving because of a partner’s job transition or you want a change of scenery, the job market could be an important factor.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics keeps a record of current unemployment rates on their website. You can also access average wages, energy prices and the consumer price index for various cities.


What’s the neighborhood like?

You’ll be there a few years, or even longer, so it’s a good idea to research your neighborhood ahead of time. What kind of neighborhood you move to can affect your quality of life and the way you feel about a place. Do you want to live near parks you can take your dog to? An area with a great community center for the kids? Or do you want a busy nightlife, or a coffee shop you can make your own?

  • AreaVibes uses a livability score that combines a number of factors to rate a prospective neighborhood with a score out of 100.

  • Niche creates a Best Places to Live in America list every year and also has reviews of neighbors from people that actually live there or have lived there in past.

  • If you’re wondering how walkable your neighborhood is, check out Walk Score and search by city and state to see where it ranks.

  • Nextdoor connects people in the same neighborhood together and gives you a day-to-day glimpse of what it might be like to live there.

  • Check the local neighborhood website to see what kind of parks and recreation spots are nearby, see what events are happening and who the elected officials are.

  • Check the National Sex Offender Public Website to search the local sex offender registries in all 50 states and the District of Colombia and U.S. Territories.


Is it a safe area?

You can also make use of a local crime map and the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting data, which can help give you a more complete picture of the crime in your future neighborhood. 


Check the local schools.


What is transportation like?

Make sure you know how long it will take you to get to your new job. The average commute time is almost 30 minutes, but that could mean different things depending on your neighborhood. A minute 30 drive could be across town or even 20 or 30 miles away for some people. For others, a half-hour commute could be only a few miles away from home.

A sound transportation system can get you around the city or your job and is especially useful if you don’t have a vehicle. You should also take public transportation in mind if you’re moving to a city where parking is scarce or an expensive addition to your budget.


Will your cost of living stay the same or increase?

Some cost of living calculators can help you figure out if the income you’re currently making compares to your new home, while other calculators can also compare your groceries or utilities. 


Climate and weather

While you may not have this on your list, the weather can be another factor that determines whether you enjoy your new home. The average American prefers a temperature around 72 degrees, but some people may prefer their temperature to be hotter or colder. Others may like having four distinct seasons, or they may want to live in a place surrounded by plants.  


See if your employer offers location assistance.


Starting a new job can be incredibly rewarding, but if you’ve managed to snag your dream job in another state, you may wonder what’s next. If you’re looking to move to another place for a job, it’s a good idea to talk with your future employers and see if they offer a relocation package.


What can you expect from a job relocation package?

There are different types of relocation packages available and they will differ on many factors, including:

  • The size of the company.

  • Whether or not you’re a new hire or you’ve been employed for a while.

  • If you’re a renter or own your home.  

Once your employed has taken these things into account, they may offer you any of the following relocation services, or a mix:

Relocation reimbursement. These could include packing and unpacking, moving truck rental, or hiring a full-service moving company. This reimbursement is usually the bare minimum a company will offer in a job relocation package.

Temporary housing assistance may be needed if you’re visiting the city where your new job is in advance to find a place to live or if something comes up with your home and you can’t move in right away.

Apartment or house-hunting visit: If you want to come up before your move, your employer might include at least one house-hunting visit in your relocation package.

Flexibility with your start date gives you time to pack your home and move everything to the new location.

Storage facility fees may add up, especially if you haven’t found a home by the time you start your new job.

Real estate support can significantly benefit you if you have trouble finding a new home or selling your old home. You may be able to negotiate with your new job and get help with various fees or advertising for your home. If you rent, this type of assistance can also help with breaking your lease.


Check out moving and storage options.


Moving and storage are two parts of the moving process that can often be complicated and expensive. Once you know the date you’re moving, it’s crucial to create a timeline to keep your move on schedule. 

How much do movers cost?

According to Zillow, a local move can cost you about $80 to $100 per hour for two movers, while a long-distance move can cost $2,000 to $5,000 per move.

You can choose to rent a moving truck and do the moving yourself.

A local move will always be cheaper, and you can often find a small local moving van for approximately $20 per day plus $1.00+ per mile, plus whatever gas you need.

A long-distance rental truck can be determined in the same way if you’re willing to drop the truck off at the original destination, or you can opt for a one-way rental that often includes a flat fee for the truck, with consideration for your pick-up and drop-off locations. As a part of their price, they can sometimes include unlimited mileage and a set number of days. Also, take into account that you’ll need to fill this truck up with gas, too.

You pack your items but get a moving service to load and/or unload your boxes.

This price will be based on the number of movers you need with a minimum amount of time, often 2-4 hours.

Full-service movers [RL2] will do everything from packing your items into boxes to unloading them. You’ll still be responsible for unpacking your items once they get to your home, though. The cost varies, from around $2,000 to $5,000 plus $25 to $50 per hour, per mover.

Additionally, you’ll want to tip your movers, especially if they go above and beyond. The standard is $4 to $5 per mover, per hour. You could also tip 5 to 10% of the total moving cost, then divide that number between your movers.


3 Month Packing Timeline


A packing list can help you get organized before, during and after a move.


2-3 months before moving:

  • Start gathering boxes and boxing supplies like scissors, tape and other containers and bins.

  • Start planning your garage sale and arrange a date to have it; list furniture you don’t want to take with you on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist.

  • Pack seasonal items, like winter coats or beach towels.

  • Infrequently used items and kitchen supplies like your barbecue grill or camping gear.


1-2 months before moving:

  • Have your garage sale.

  • It’s a good idea to start packing unused rooms, like a guest bedroom or basement


30 days before moving:

  • Finish up the remaining food you have in the freezer and pantry.

  • Schedule a furniture pickup for any large pieces you don’t want to take with you with a local thrift store or the Salvation Amy or Habitat for Humanity.

  • Start packing up less used items in your bathroom, kitchen and bedroom, like extra shoes, clothes or table linens.

  • Pack your unused jewelry, valuables and collectibles.

  • Donate plastic or glass containers, clothes you no longer use and other items.


14-30 days before the move:

  • Consider donating non-perishables and other food to a local food bank.

  • Make sure you have any specific items you might need for moving day, like bungee cords or furniture pads.

  • Start packing every day now; you’ll want to get into the swing of packing a few weeks out.


7-14 days before moving:

  • Consider donating non-perishables and other food to a local food bank.

  • Back up your computer or laptop’s hard drive.

  • Pack your non-essential items.

  • Start putting together an essentials box with the items and clothes you’ll need the first few days you move into your new home.

  • Start packing every day now; you’ll want to get into the swing of packing a few weeks out.


2-7 days before moving:

  • Remove and pack all pictures and their corresponding hooks or other décor items.

  • Take apart your large furniture, electronics and appliances that you won’t use leading up to the move.

Pro-Tip: As you pack each room, it’s a good idea to dust, sweep and vacuum along the way.


One day before moving:

  • Finish packing your essentials box and have it ready for moving day.

  • We also recommend that you pack a First Few Days box with kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom supplies that include a coffee maker, sheets, pillows, curtains, shower curtains, and a table setting for each person.

  • Add important documents to a box that you’ll take with you in your car. It should include passports, birth certificates, a copy of your driver’s license and other documents. 


The day of the move:

  • Secure your pets.

  • If you have hardwood floors, protect them with floor coverings.

  • Pack any fragile or sentimental items in your car to help prevent them from breaking.

Once you’ve moved into your new home, we suggest that you make the bed there. You may not feel up to making it after a long day of driving and moving, and having fresh sheets can make the first night much more comfortable.


What to do after the move:

  • Update your power, internet and other utilities.

  • Update your mailing address, voter registration and driver’s license.

  • Don’t forget to get a new library card!

  • Clean the carpet or hardwood floors in your new home.

  • Recycle or donate your used cardboard boxes.

  • Turn on your new home security system.


What should I put in storage when moving?


What you want to put in storage while you’re moving can differ for each person. If you can live comfortably without using these items for months at a time, it probably means you don’t need them and can get rid of them.

Luckily, you can put a lot of items in your storage unit, but here’s a list of a few things you should never add:

  • Valuables, like jewelry, credit cards or collectibles.

  • Delicate items, like china.

  • Firearms and ammunition.

  • Electronics. Computers, laptops, cameras and smartphones.

  • Prescriptions or medicines.

  • Important documents, such as financial documents, medical records, school records, checkbooks or your car title.

  • Perishable food.

  • Anything alive, including plants.

  • Flammable or combustible items. 

  • Toxic or hazardous materials. 


How to budget and save?


Moving expenses can add up, so having a budget in mind can go a long way to help you get peace of mind, especially if your employers offer you a lump sum payment.

After you’ve figured out your budget, it will make the entire moving process easier. You’ll have a better idea on spending amounts for movers and boxes. 

  • Do you want to rent a moving van or hire professional movers?

  • You’ll want to consider hiring professional cleaners for your old place.

  • Do you need a storage unit?

  • Transportation costs to and from your new place could include gas, airfare, hotels and meals along the way.

  • Any babysitters or pet sitters you need to hire during the move.

  • Do you have any other special shipping costs? Will you need to ship your car or other large or specialty items to your new residence?

You’ll also need to consider the utilities in your new place. And don’t forget to turn them off at your old home, too.

  • Security deposit and first month's rent in some rental properties.

  • Your mortgage payment if you bought your home.

  • Any new home décor items or furniture, you’ll need to replace things you donated or sold.

  • If you’ve moved into a home, you may need to budget for additional repairs or maintenance.

  • You’ll need to replace your groceries and buy new food.

As for ongoing costs, you’ll need to consider monthly transportation costs, whether that’s car insurance and gas or monthly bus or metro charges, as well as property taxes and monthly insurance for your car and home.


How much does it cost to store your belongings?


There are two main options for storage rentals: using a month-to-month storage container in a storage facility or renting a portable storage container. Each one differs in cost and usage.

A storage unit can start at around $50 a month and go up to several hundred dollars, depending on the size of the unit you need. It’s best for storing large pieces of furniture and

You can get a portable storage unit delivered directly to your home and fill it at your leisure (many can be rented for up to a month). When you’ve loaded everything inside, you can then get it shipped to your new home. These can cost between $150 to $300 for the storage container, then an additional delivery cost.


Frequently Asked Questions about Moving to Another State

How long does it take to pack a moving truck?

The time it takes you to load a moving truck depends on how many boxes you have and how much furniture you need to pack. A good rule of thumb is to give yourself at least a full day for a local move and several days for an interstate move.

Does a company have to pay your moving expenses?

There is no requirement for your job to pay for your relocation or moving expenses, which is why negotiation is so important. With that in mind, many employers know that offering a competitive reimbursement package can bring in talent and they may be willing to offer it to you.

Why should I ask my new employer for a relocation package?

A relocation package is not guaranteed for a move, which is why you should ask for one if you think you need it. It’s a great perk that many companies offer to expand their talent base and you won’t know if your company will offer it until you ask.


When are moving expenses tax deductible?

Tax reforms changed in 2017, so they are no longer tax-deductible unless you are in the military. And even then, you must pass certain restrictions to get the exemption.


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