Preparing for Moving Out-of-State

Any move, no matter its size or distance, is a large undertaking. Without the proper support and planning though, it can be a cause for significant stress, as is the case for many people. And given the added layer of anxiety because of COVID-19, moving now can seem like an even more daunting task to navigate – particularly when it’s a distant move, like to another state or across the country. Those moves carry extra considerations that need to be accounted for to ensure a smooth transition.

Update Tax Forms, Get Familiar with State and Local Tax Laws

Should you be moving out-of-state, but working for the same organization, your payroll or HR department will need to update your work state in their system, as well as your new mailing address and phone number. This also is a good opportunity to review the number of exemptions you claim on your W-4 in case those should change.

Along those same lines, look into your new state’s, and potentially city’s, income tax rate. Each state has their own and can range from 2.9% (North Dakota) to 13.3% (California). Additionally, some cities also impose a local income tax, such as New York City, which has a progressive tax rate ranging from 3.078% to 3.876%. It’s important to get an accurate understanding of what your take-home pay will be to help determine your budget when looking at potential homes.

Additional Updates and New Regulations

Depending on which state you move to, the state agency of record – whether it be the Department of Motor Vehicles, Registry of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles or Department of Transportation – is going to require vehicle registrations and driver’s licenses be updated after you move. Often for out-of-state moves, it will necessitate an in-person visit to update these items.

Similarly, each locality has its own building codes and regulations. If you’re planning on any immediate house projects or renovations, it’s a good idea to look into permit requirements. They may be more stringent than you’re used to, require a specialist to perform specific tasks or demand routine inspections to avoid fines. 

Take a Full Audit of Your Belongings before Moving Out-of-State
It’s always a good idea to assess what should stay and what should go for any move. But given the extra mileage and fuel needed for distant moves, this can be all the more important. Yes, the slightly broken and paint-chipped piece of furniture has sentimental value, but does it need to make the long move? While it’s hard to part ways with items that have been with you for years, the time leading up to a cross-country move can be the perfect opportunity to downsize or declutter.

If your current neighborhood allows for it, a yard sale is a good way to purge belongings while ensuring they will not go to waste – and make a little extra cash in the process. Consignment shops also are a great place to sell gently used or new clothing, shoes and accessories.

Other Considerations when Moving Out-of-State

If you have a vehicle that needs to be moved, find a moving company that can accommodate this. Not all service providers are the same, and it’s important to review the capabilities of those you’re considering and the steps they take to ensure the safe transport of your vehicle. Should furry creatures be making the move as well, localities typically will have a list of all of the vaccinations your family pet needs to get, and you should ensure all of the necessary vaccinations are received in a timely manner upon arrival.

Preparing for the First Few Days at Your New Home

If you’re using a moving company, there’s a chance you may arrive at your new home before your delivery and unloading date. Should that be the case, here are a few tips to make those first few days comfortable and enjoyable.

  • Transport essential items yourself: For any move, it’s always recommended to pack and move must-have items themselves. This can include practical things like phone chargers and tablets to more sentimental items like photo albums and heirlooms. However, some items might not seemthat essential until you’re suddenly without them. Be sure to include items like toiletries, change(s) of clothes, and toys or games if you have young children.
  • Think through bedding options: If you’ll initially be without your bed, air mattresses can be bought relatively cheaply on Amazon. Just be sure to also get a pump to speed up the process, especially so you aren’t left doing it yourself! If you don’t mind “roughing it” a bit more, a sleeping pad to put under a sleeping bag/sheets can make a world of difference.
  • Download shows and movies to watch: At least the first day or two, there’s a good chance you won’t have the internet connection set up. Fortunately, streaming sites like Netflix and Amazon now allow you to download videos to watch offline – saving you a lot of data on your cellular plan. After a long day of travel and moving, crashing on an air mattress and watching your favorite show or movie can be the best way to close out the day.

An out-of-state move is an exciting opportunity to start a new chapter in your life, but it also can be a stressful undertaking at times with its ups and downs and lengthy to-do list. By starting your planning early on, you can make the transition an enjoyable one!

Hilldrup has a dedicated team of move coordinators who specialize in streamlining moves. Whether you’re moving a state away or across the country, our team will be ready to assist you every step of the way.


We are open for business as usual while we prioritize the health of our customers and employees above all else. We also offer virtual surveys for all of our customers so you can receive a quote while staying at home and practicing social distancing.Read more about our COVID-19 safety precautions and a word from our President and CEO on our return-to-work strategy.
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