How to Move Smoothly from One State to Another

My husband and I decided to move from Virginia to Florida. Our church was relocating and we are very active members in the ministry and wanted to go and support the ministry. 

I had lived in Virginia all my life and was finishing up my degree in teaching so I was ready for a change. My husband being a military brat was used to moving from one place to another and he was also down for the move. 

We knew we wanted to go, but there was one thing that we knew for sure, we needed a solid plan! Here are some tips on how to move from one state to another smoothly.

man and woman talking while working at the living room
Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich on

1. Make a plan: Talk About The Move

Obviously this goes without being said, but moving out of state requires a plan. There is no way to just pick up all of your belongings and move without a solid plan.

Sit down with your family and discuss the move. This is not the time to skip over uncomfortable topics of conversation

Here are some talking points that I recommend you discuss:

  • Where in the state do you want to move to? 
  • Do you want to keep your current position or do you want to change careers?
  • How soon are you trying to relocate?
  • What is the plan if one person gets a job and the other doesn’t right away?
  • Can we afford this move right now?
  • What is our budget for housing?

Once you discuss these key things, write them down. I recommend starting a notebook to keep all of these ideas and plans in one place. 

2. Research, Research, Research!

You have to know about the place you are moving to before moving to it. You do not want to move into a new place and discover that the crime rate is very high in that area, or that you moved into the middle of a tourist area with tons of traffic.  

Here are some key things to research:

  • Crime rates: Checking the crime rates in your area that you are interested in is not something you want to look over. You can search crime rates by zip code and it will give you a letter rating of the crime in the area, click here for more information.
  • Local Sex Offenders: Linked to the crime rates, you will also want to research the sex offenders registry. This will give you a break down of how many sex offenders are in your neighborhood as well as what their actual crime was. 
  • School systems: Check out which schools are in the areas your interested in.  Great  is a great website that you can search schools by zip code and even address. You can read reviews from parents and see how the school rates academically.
  • Vehicle Registration Procedures: One of the things that my husband and I overlooked was switching our license plates over. Make sure that you look into the state’s requirements for switching over your plates. You may need important documents such as copies of the title of the vehicle. Also look into the costs of changing everything over and add this to your moving budget.  In Florida it is very pricey to switch over your license from another state. It was about 300 per vehicle! 
  • License Procedures: Some states give you a timeframe that you must switch your license over once you become a resident of the state. Once your license is switched over, it will automatically notify the DMV, and chances are you will get a letter in the mail requiring you to switch over your vehicle registration in a certain amount of days. So making sure you have the money to change your license plates over is important. 
  • Cost of Living: Look into how much housing is in the state you are moving into. Check with your insurance company to see if your car insurance will go up or down. Car insurance varies from city to city. Using the walmart app can help figure out grocery prices in your area. Simply switch the zip code in the app and look up items like a gallon of milk to compare it to what you already pay.
person holding apple magic mouse
Photo by Vojtech Okenka on

3. Lock Down A Job!

Ask for A Transfer

If you are happy with your current job and you work at a big company then talk to HR and see if you can get a transfer to where you would like to move to. 

Oftentimes there may even be better positions in a new state that your company does not have available in the state you currently live in. 

Transferring jobs is the easiest way to secure income. Sometimes jobs will pay for your moving expenses to another state so make sure that you ask.

Apply for Jobs

If you are looking for a new career, then you are going to want to start looking for jobs right away. Make sure the jobs you are applying for are in a decent location compared to where you plan on living.You’d hate to snag a job with a huge commute. 

Start applying for jobs. Look at the job description and add some of those words to your resume so that your application will stand out from the others. 

Often a system scans your resume for keywords and if your’s does not have enough of the key words from the job description your resume will not get pulled.

Attend Job Fairs

Even better than filling out an online application is attending local job fairs. Research upcoming job fairs in that state.

See how many employers will be there, so you can have multiple opportunities to choose from. Trust me you don’t want to take a long trip and waste your time and money.

Job fairs are one of the best ways to find a job when you are moving out of state. Think of it this way, your current resume has your current state address on it. 

Jobs want to know you are serious about the position you are applying for. Once they see that you traveled out of state to attend the job fair this shows dedication and seriousness.

Tip: If you know a good friend or family member that already lives in the state you are looking to move to ask them if it is ok to put their address on the resume. 

You would have to make sure that they are willing to regularly check their mail for correspondences.

Sidenote: most jobs will let you know that you have received the position via email anyway.

Ask jobs if they offer sign on bonuses or if they cover moving expenses. Some jobs will but you have to put yourself out there and ask. 

4. Get proof of Income

In order to lock down housing you are going to need proof of income. Once you get offered a position make sure that you ask your employer for proof of income and a letter of intent. 

You are going to need proof of income to prove that you can afford the place you’re trying to get and to prove that you have employment. 

Proof of income also allows you to know exactly how much you will be making so that you can know what you can afford. It also helps ensure that the job gives you what they are promising to offer you because you have the offer and start date in writing. 

5. Secure a Place

Whether you are renting or buying you’re going to want to lock down a place asap. I recommend renting first. 

Renting allows you to be able to learn more about the area once you have moved there. This also gives you time to find a realtor that you are comfortable with. 

If at all possible, don’t rent or buy blind. If you can go and see the place before you put any deposits down. Obviously a picture of the apartment or home is not going to give you the full picture. If you can’t go and you know someone who lives in the state ask them to go check the place out for you. 

When visiting a place make sure that you check out the following things:

  • The grounds: Is the grass kept up? Does the outside of the apartments  or home look nice?
  • The playground: Does the playground have working equipment? Is there enough much?
  • The garbage cans: Do the garbage facilities look like they are overflowing? 
  • The pool area: If your apartment or home has a pool check in and around the area to see if it is clean and if it is properly maintained. 
man packing moving box
Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on

6. Decide How You Will Move

There are several options that you can choose from when moving from one state to another. All come with pros and cons.

  1. A moving truck: There are several moving trucks that you can rent to pack up your belongings and head out to your new destiny. The benefits of a moving truck is that you will have your things immediately when you get there. Some cons of a moving truck is if you have two vehicles you will need to be able to pull your other vehicle behind the moving truck. This can be tricky if you’ve never done it before. Another con is that you will have to essentially have to get the truck back as soon as possible as you are charged per day. 
  1. A pod: renting a pod is another option for moving out of state. This is the route my husband and I decided to take. A pod is essentially a movable storage unit. The company drops off the pod to your home and you can pack it up and pick a day for them to pick it up and bring it to your new location. The pros of this is that you can get the pod sent early enough to where you do not have to rush to pack up all your things in one day. The cons of this is that you may not have your things the day that you arrive at your new place. Also some apartments have regulations on how long a pod can be in the parking lot. Ask about this before you decide. 
  1. Hire movers: Hiring movers can be beneficial because you won’t have to move or lift anything. The only responsibility you will have is to simply box everything up. Cons are that hiring movers can be costly. Not all movers are good movers, sometimes they can break your things by accident and most have clauses in their contracts stating that they are not liable for any damages. 

7. Slow Down On Grocery Purchases

The last two months before you move you are going to want to slow down on your grocery purchases. This will help you save money and cut down on food waste.

I recommend using up as much of your food as possible. This will prevent you from having to throw away a freezer full of food before moving. 

If you still have things before you leave, try giving your cold things to your family members, neighbors or close friends. Keep non-perishable items like canned goods and spices. These will travel well so there is no need to throw those things away.

Moving to another state can seem like a daunting task, but it is possible with the right planning and preparation. Make sure that you plan accordingly, and your transition will go smoothly. Good luck and happy moving!

~Peace & Love

A. Redd 

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2 responses to “How to Move Smoothly from One State to Another”

  1. Great information … so many things you don’t think about when considering a move such as this.

    1. Thanks glad you enjoyed the read.

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