Moving Out of State Checklist – Everything You Need to Know

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This free printable moving out of state checklist is created by a professional organizer and reduces much of the stress of moving to a new state. Learn all the 40+ tips and resources you’ll need for your move.

Stack of moving boxes in front of white book case with title text reading Make your move easier Moving Out of State Checklist

I’ve personally moved more than 25 times. I grew up as a military child. I was a military active duty member and I’m now married to an active duty service member.

I’ve personally experienced just about every moving option available:

  • I’ve moved to a new home across town.
  • I’ve moved to a new city in the same state. I’ve moved to 25 different towns.
  • I’ve moved to a different state, for a total of 12 different states.
  • I’ve moved to different countries 3 continents.
  • I’ve moved myself across town with a DIY move, and I’ve had long-distance moves performed by professional movers.
  • I’ve moved by myself.
  • I’ve moved with a dog.
  • I’ve moved with children.
  • I’ve moved with children, a dog and a leopard gecko.

I’ve really experienced almost everything when it comes to moving to a new address.

No matter how far you move, every move is a big move for you. But there are certainly more factors to consider when you have a cross-country move.

What do I need to do when moving out of state?

There are many decisions to be made when you are facing moving of state or even a a cross-country move:

  • Determine your moving departure date. This date is critical because everything else is planned and scheduled based on that date.
  • Determine how you will handle packing:
  • Select an interstate moving company:
    • Carefully research companies
    • Check licensing and insurance
    • Check online reviews
    • Interview potential moving companies
  • Determine your moving budget.
  • Determine costs and budget saving options.
  • Complete all the packing and other personal tasks.
    • This is where a moving out of state checklist is a lifesaver. You can get your free printable copy below.
stack of white document boxes next to clear tub with lid packed with clothes

What items will moving companies not move?

There are specific federal restrictions on the items that movers will not accept for shipment on a moving truck, especially when you’re moving across state lines. Many of the restrictions are for safety reasons. Knowing the items that cannot be moved across the country is important and will save you money and stress.

  • Flammable items
  • Filled propane tanks
  • Corrosive items
  • Poisons
  • Perishable Food
  • Plants
  • Animals
  • Ammunition
  • You can read more details about items movers cannot accept.

Some moving companies also limit or have special requirements for moving items such as:

  • Candles
  • Light Bulbs
  • Large mirrors
  • Batteries
  • Motorcycles and other vehicles

Be sure to check with your moving company to determine the exact restrictions.

Moving Out of State Checklist

Leaving your current home requires detailed planning. A long-distance move necessitates more planning and knowledge for you to have a smooth move.

It is possible when you know what to expect, have a plan and know when important tasks must be accomplished by. Having a prepared checklist provides you a map for moving.

Get your free 2-page printable moving out of state checklist when you sign up for our free newsletter.

close up of 2 red and blue moving out of state checklists

Moving Folder

Before you do anything, it’s a good idea to create a moving folder or binder. I actually create three:

  • A physical folder for paper documents and receipts
  • An email folder for the move-related emails
  • A folder on my phone or computer for all documents related to the move

These folders make it easier to find the important things and information you need during what is a chaotic time. Even when you’re incredibly organized, there is some level of chaos.

The best time to get organized is at the very start (don’t wait until the last minute!). This helps reduce the amount of stress and chaos you’ll experience.

Your moving folder is where you keep a list of all important tasks and essential things to decide and accomplish. I create spreadsheets and lists for everything. There are so many moving parts that it’s easy to forget what needs to be done or the right time to accomplish it. Having all the tasks listed and located in one place really is critical.

I’ve created a Comprehensive Moving Checklist Planner that is chockful of everything I use for my own moves. It’s 90 pages of support, tips and hacks.

red, white and blue moving checklists with image of cover

How to Find Where to Live

When you’re moving to a new place the first step is to decide where to live, in what new area, and then which home to choose, whether it’s temporary housing, renting or purchasing.

I’ve created free checklists to help walk you through that decision making process:

  • How to Decide Where to Live – A checklist to help you in determining which factors are important to you and your family and then weighing those factors in choosing a new location, town or area.
  • How to Find the Best Place to Live – Once you’ve decided which area you want to target, this checklist helps you find the right home for you and your unique priorities.

Family Members

While you’ll do all the planning and work of moving, an out-of-state move impacts everyone in your family.

Be honest and up front with children about the upcoming move. Validate their emotions and share age-appropriate information about the move and new location.

One of the biggest concerns when it comes to moving out-of-state with children is finding a new school. I recommend doing research to find the best school for your children. In my research for our moves, I use:

  • Great Schools
  • The state and school district websites
  • Talking to other parents who live in the area
  • Talking to the real estate agent
  • Facebook groups for parents in the new area

Having moved many times myself as a child and moving with my three children many more times, I’ve shared my best tips for moving with children:


It’s important to do your research early to determine the requirements for your particular pet. Things to consider are:

  • Veterinarian clearance and vaccination requirements for the new state
  • Method of transportation and requirements
  • Reservations for kennels or hotels that allow pets
  • Special considerations

I shared my tips for moving with your dog and a free printable checklist. I’ve moved overseas twice and out-of-state six times with my dog by car and by plane, so I’ve learned quite a bit about relocating with a dog.

Important Documents

Gathering the important documents you need for a move fall into two main categories:

  • Ones concerning the move
    • Cost Estimates
    • Contracts with packers and interstate movers
    • Contracts for truck rental
    • All receipts for tax deduction purposes
    • Insurance forms and necessary documents from insurance companies
    • Appraisals
    • Inventory Lists
    • Contracts or forms with the real estate agent
    • House purchase and sale documents
    • Home rental documents
  • Important documents you need to protect and move with you.
  • Birth certificates
  • Marriage License
  • School records
  • Vehicle registration
  • Investment documents
  • Tax documents
  • Divorce certificate
  • Medical records
  • Driver’s License
  • At least one statement for all bank accounts and credit cards
  • Business documents


Knowing your move out and move in dates are critical when contacting utility companies for your old home and at the new location.

Create a spreadsheet to track each utility, the requirements and the important dates.

I always add any other service providers and additional services I use to this spreadsheet so I can keep track of all the important steps in one place.

And, of course, don’t forget to change your mailing address with the United States Postal Service (or your country’s postal service).

More Moving Tips

Be sure to pin this Moving Out of State Checklist so you can find it in the future when you need it for your move or to share with friends.

For my top moving and travel tips, hacks and printables check out the table below. You can scroll though the table and look for ideas or search for specific ideas with the magnifying glass in the upper right-hand corner (on desktop). Click on the topic and then click through the specific article.

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