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How To Relocate Out of State

Updated on January 2, 2017

Once in our lives there may come a point where we need to move out of state. In fact, on any given day, hundreds of people are moving to a different place all over the country. There are many reasons why people want to relocate - top of the list is job changes or job opportunity, family or changes in relationship, finances maybe, or just plain desire for a whole new chapter in life. I have recently moved to Dallas from Oregon so I know how stressful, at the same time exciting, moving to a different state feels like.

Well, if you are planning to move out of state then here are some factors to consider and tips that can help you plan and execute your relocation.

1. Finding your new home. If you are like me who don't know a single soul in Dallas where I intended to move, then this should be able to help you. I would like to stay in an area close to where I intended to work or find a job. If you are moving because of a job opportunity then it's easy to find out where you will look for a place to stay. Do you want to drive for 15 minute distance? Do you want to be within 25 miles from your work? Go to Google Maps and familiarize yourself with the places nearby. I am also very particular about safety of the neighborhood. I go to to check for crime listing in a neighborhood that I'm looking at. It is easy to use... just type in the zip code and it will show you the list of reported crimes in that area. This site has helped me a lot in choosing where to find an apartment.

If you need an apartment, it is always best to inquire ahead of time. You can use several websites or Google Maps to check for available apartments in the target neighborhood. Find out the costs, availability, amenities, lease terms, and other information. You can do this by email or phone call... you can even schedule a viewing if you are certain of your availability. Explore your renting and home ownership options.


2. Transportation. If you don't have a car yet and considering taking public transportation then find out the available means of transportation in the area. Things you should know are the frequency of service, weekend service, fares, are there trains or subways, and of course how far the stops from your work and place you're staying at. I used Google map to determine the viability of public transportation by checking the routes from the neighborhood that I like to my work and vice versa. That way I will have a good idea of what to expect. Even if you have a car, it's still helpful to familiarize yourself on the roads and highways.

3. Familiarize yourself in the area. It is always advisable to get to know the city and state where you are planning to relocate. It's going to be your new home anyways. Find out where the shopping malls are, post office, supermarkets, DMV, climate, and culture. Before I moved to Dallas, I did a lot of research about the cost of living, housing costs, popular destination, cultural diversity, hobbies of the people, are my hobbies available too, temperature and weather, football team, and taxation too. It pays off to be emotionally and mentally prepared... there will be little surprises if you came prepared. Read reviews or ask friends, family, and coworkers about the city.


4. Plan and organize. You need to create a checklist... that's the only way to stay organized. Moving out of state entails tedious amount of work and tons of little details that when overlooked can costs you money. Few questions that you need to ask are:

  1. How are you going to move your stuffs? Are you planning to use a mover? The answer to this question alone can consume a lot of time. You need to contact several moving companies to ask for cost estimate. Schedule the pick-up and square away the documents. Budget is also another consideration. When I moved, I only have few stuffs like six boxes so I negotiated with my employer to use their FedEx account to ship my boxes... shipping problem solved!
  2. If you are currently in an apartment lease, read your agreement about moving out especially if you will not be able to finish the lease. This is money sensitive because if you move out at short notice, your security deposit might be held hostage and cause a bad rental history on your part. So talk to your landlord or property manager about you moving out.
  3. Organize your stuffs. Which ones are you keeping and which ones are you giving or throwing away? Consider having a garage or yard sale a few weeks prior to your relocation. You'd be able to get rid of some of the stuffs you can live without and get portion of your money back.
  4. Start packing. Pack the items that you would not be needing until you arrive at your new place. Separate the essential stuffs... items that you cannot live without which includes couple of clothes, personal care, gadgets, legal documents, and probably cash (you need to tip your movers). Remember that all the items packed in the boxes won't be accessible to you until you reached your destination.
  5. Take care of your subscriptions. This is another tedious job when moving out of state. You have to take care of your cable, internet, newspaper, water, utility, and other subscriptions. You also need to notify post office of your new address. If you don't have a new address yet, you need to at least arrange so that your mail will be forwarded to the nearby post office in your destination pick them up there. Medical records, certificates, and school records are important documents to bring with you when you move.

5. Post-move. The other half of moving out of state is arriving at your destination. You need to unpack everything and make sure that the correct boxes are dropped off at the correct rooms so you don't need to move the boxes around the house. You have to let your movers know ahead of time which box goes to which room. It's time to get to know your new home and the neighborhood. Find new friends and try new hobbies.


There is a psychological effect when we move to another state. Stress and anxiety, mixed with fear can take their toll on you and your family moving with you... it could be separation anxiety. It is very important at this point to keep a positive mental attitude no matter what happens and always know that everything is gonna be alright. Change is good!


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