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A State-to-State Moving Company's Guide

Are you searching for a state-to-state moving company?

If so, you’re not alone.

Hundreds of Americans move from one state to another for a variety of reasons, including jobs, family, retirement, lifestyle and others. If you are one of these people, this guide is your one-stop for everything you need to know for your move from the initial planning process, up to moving day and beyond.

Customer on the phone with her state-to-state-mover

Things to do two months before your move:

Determine your moving needs

There are lots of state-to-state moving companies out there, but it is important to find one that meets your specific needs. You can determine your moving needs by answering some of the questions below.

Do you need packing services?

Professional moving companies, like Mayflower and others, offer packing services. Mayflower provides you with the option to pack all, some or none of your belongings, based on your preference and needs. Your final moving estimate will reflect the packing option you select. DIY moving services and some other types of moving companies do not offer packing services, so, if you need packing help, be sure to check as you investigate various moving companies.

Will you need storage?

Some customers need door-to-door services while others need to store their belongings temporarily before taking receipt of them. If you will arrive to your new state, but have not yet selected a place to live or your home will not yet be ready, you may want to consider storage.

Do you have any high-value items or items that need special packing or storage?

If you own something that needs special handling, make sure to disclose this to the moving companies that you vet out.

Do you need to have your car moved?

If you have a need for auto transport services make sure to ask your prospective moving companies if they offer that service.

Is your company paying for the move?

If your company is paying for your move to another state, be sure to refer to your company’s moving policy, prior to finalizing your moving contract, to determine any limitations on reimbursable services. For example, your company may cover the cost of the actual move, but may not cover packing services.  

Begin collecting moving estimates

After you answer the questions above and have a good understanding of what your specific moving needs are, you can begin requesting moving estimates from various moving companies and services.

If you would like to begin a Mayflower moving quote, simply either complete the form on this page or call the phone number above. Click this link to see the steps for our moving quote process and how that works.


Customer signing a state-to-state moving contract

Things to do 7 weeks from your move date:

Select and contract with a moving company

Read the fine print.

Carefully review your moving contract’s terms and liability information. If you do decide to sign with Mayflower, be sure you understand the extent of carrier liability, as outlined in your paperwork. You should also make sure that you understand the high-value inventory forms and the full-coverage valuation.

Ask your moving company any outstanding questions you have.

If you have questions concerning the amount of the estimate, damage coverage, delivery dates, storage, packing or add-on services, ask your moving company representative. Ensure that you fully understand everything clearly.

Lock in your moving date.

Depending on the time of year, moving company calendars can fill up quickly. If your moving date is available, be sure to pin it down while you can. When booking your state-to-state move, it’s a good idea to re-confirm your date, your moving to/from addresses and moving plan.

Finalize your move contract.

Sign your estimate and book your service after careful review. Make sure to keep all of your documents together in a safe place for later reference. If you choose to move with Mayflower, we make keeping everything together easy with our MyMayflower portal which gives you access to your moving quote, contract and helpful resources and serves as your personal move planning tool.


Things to do 6 weeks from your move date

Notify utility companies and all service providers of your address change

Establish your mail forwarding.

You can easily complete a Change of Address form online at the United States Postal Service’s website. You can select the start date for the mail forwarding in advance, so this is easy to get out of the way early on.

Notify institutions with which you have personal accounts.

Thoroughly review your personal accounts and inform them of your change of address and when your change of address goes into effect. These types of accounts can include bank accounts, investment accounts, insurance policies (car, life, health, homeowner’s, renter’s), credit card/loan accounts, cell phone accounts, magazine/newspaper subscriptions, alumni networks, professional organizations, state organizations (tax departments, voter’s registration, DMV), charities, home delivery services and many more. An easy way to do this is to look at six months to a year’s worth of bills and review all of the payees to see who needs to be informed of your new address.

Contact utility companies.

Set a date to disconnect your utilities (gas, water, electric, cable, etc., if applicable). If possible, arrange to have them shut off the day after moving day.

Notify your personal network of your new address

Inform friends, family, and professional services providers (doctors, lawyers, accountants and any business associates) of your change of address, if appropriate.

Obtain personal records.

You may wish to request copies of medical, financial and legal records before moving.  

Contact your insurance company.

Insurance policies and providers can vary tremendously. Reach out to your insurance provider inquire as to what type of coverage you may need for your move across state lines.

Order your moving supplies.

Check out our moving supply checklist and start thinking about what you will need to have on hand. Items you may want to set aside include scissors, tape, boxes, bubble wrap and newspaper wrap.  

Woman deciding which clothes to keep or donate before her move

Things to do 5 weeks from your move date

Lighten your load ─ toss, sell or give away items that you don’t need and no longer use

Get organized.

Start going through room by room to determine what is worthy of making the move with you. Keep in mind items that would be easier to just get rid of. You can employ the 6-month rule: if you haven’t used, looked at or need the item in the past 6 months, you can toss, sell or donate it.

Start sorting.

For everything you don’t plan on keeping, you can generally sort it into three categories:

  • Trash (little or no value)
  • Donation or garage sale (for used items with generally lower value and that others can use)
  • Re-sale (for new, like-new and higher value items that may yield a return if sold)
Items to be tossed.

For trash, explore recycling options, particularly for older electronic items such as non-working computers, old cell phones, old eyeglass frames…even ink cartridges and batteries. Some of these items can be recycled for cash. Be sure you appropriately dispose of any hazardous materials or electronics.

Items to be donated.

For donations, choose your favorite charity to support. An easy option is bulk bagging everything to drop off at your local Goodwill. If you choose to donate to a charity, don’t forget to get a receipt to demonstrate the value of your donations for tax deduction purposes. You can also easily donate at various drop-off bins that exist in a number of cities across the country.

Items to be sold.

If you are going to have a garage sale, you can combine the lower value and higher value items you may not want to hang on to. If your selection seems a bit sparse, consider asking neighbors if any of them would like to pitch in for a combined garage sale that might be more attractive to potential buyers. You can also explore online auction, re-sale and swap websites to sell your items.

Man using cell phone to check in with his moving company

Things to do 1 month from your move date

Has there been a change in the items you plan on moving? A change in dates?

Be sure to update your move coordinator if anything has changed that will affect your move plan, cost or pick-up/drop-off locations.

Check in with your move coordinator.

Reconfirm that your state-to-state mover has your destination address and the phone numbers where you can be reached. Ask any follow-up questions that you may have.

Review the origination-to-destination plan.

Will there be any additional stops to pick-up or deliver goods to a location other than the main pick-up and delivery points? If so, confirm that this is reflected on your personal MyMayflower moving planner.

Confirm auto transports.

If your car is being moved, do you need to drive it to a loading site for auto transport or a drop off destination location? Make sure to confirm that location. If you have any questions about this process, or where you need to go, consult with your move coordinator.

If driving, plan your trip.

Will you be driving? Be sure to have your car properly serviced before the trip, including an oil change, as well as ensure your driver’s license and license plates are up-to-date.

Family and friends gathering with food before moving away

Things to do three weeks from your move date

Prepare friends, family and belongings

Visit your local spots.

Take your family to visit and say goodbye to your favorite local places that hold happy memories. Take some photos and videos while you’re there. You can scrapbook those later.

Let your kids say their goodbyes.

Plan a small going-away party or get together for your children and their friends.

Say your goodbyes.

Consider having a casual dinner or barbeque to say farewell to your own friends and colleagues.

Plan for your trip and first night in your new home.

Think about which items your family will want to have with them during your move and on your first night in your new home (see first night box info). Make sure to set these items aside so they don’t end up packed at the bottom of the moving van where you can’t get to them.

Do some pre-packing

If you are packing yourself, now is a good time to start packing some of your family’s less frequently-used items such as books, out-of-season clothes, rarely used kitchen items, electronics and knick-knacks. You will appreciate having a head start on packing as your moving date nears. Read our packing tips and pack carefully to keep potential damage to a minimum.

Prepare fabrics.

Clean rugs and draperies. Leave them wrapped when they come back from the cleaners; this will keep them clean until they reach your new home.

What not to do.

Do not clean upholstered furniture before moving. The moisture from cleaning could leave furniture vulnerable to mold during periods of storage.

Plan for moving high value or breakable items.

Moving antiques, china, or a wine collection? See our special tips on how to move these safely.

Get appraisals.

Have antiques, artwork and expensive collections appraised before the move and get the estimated value in writing.

Treating antiques

Avoid treating wooden antiques and fine wood furniture with wax, oils or polishes before moving, as some such products may soften the wood, leaving it at risk to damage (even from protective packing such as soft furniture pads).

Prepare appliances.

Moving with major appliances? Set an appointment with a service technician to prepare your major appliances for shipment, or have your Mayflower agent recommend someone who is authorized to perform this service.

Make travel plans.

Make family travel plans (if you haven’t already). Verify hotel rooms and airline ticket reservations, if applicable. If you’re traveling with a pet, be sure your accommodations allow for your four-legged friend/s.

Two pets ready to move with their family

Things to do 2 weeks before your move date

Plan for pets 

Coordinate your pet’s move.

Reconfirm travel plans for pets. Will you need to board them or leave them with friends?

Take your pet to the vet.

Take your pets to their veterinarian to be sure you have all required health certificates and

inoculations required for your destination state.

Plan for overlooked items.

Don’t forget to pick up items from servicers.

Pick up anything you’ve had cleaned, repaired, altered or serviced.

Retrieve locker items.

Empty lockers at places such as the club, gym, dance studios, sports training facilities or bowling alleys.

Empty safe deposit boxes.

Do you have wall safes or hidden places for valuables throughout your house? Don’t leave thousands of dollars worth of valuables in a wall for the next occupant to find.

Return borrowed items.

Be sure to return library books, schoolbooks and anything you may have borrowed from friends or neighbors.

Connect with your move coordinator.

Reconfirm all details with your move coordinator. 

Couple and baby sitting next to packed moving boxes

Things to do seven days before your move date

Prepare your appliances.

Be present when the appliance service representative arrives to prepare your appliances for shipment.

Check in with your move coordinator.

If you have any questions, reach out to your move coordinator. Go through your moving plan with him or her to confirm accuracy of all details.

Finalize packing.

If you are doing your own packing, be sure that everything is ready to go before moving day.

Double check you’re appropriately handling non-allowables.

Many common household items are on our list of non-allowables. Have you reviewed this list and made a plan for safe disposal of flammable substances? Non-allowables include items such as cleaning fluids, matches, fireworks, acids, chemistry sets, aerosol cans, ammunition, weed killer, gasoline, paint, bleach, propane tanks and anything that is flammable, combustible or stored in a container that is likely to leak. Be sure to follow proper disposal guidelines as these hazardous substances pose a threat to the water supply.

Stacks of mocing boxes

1 Day Away: The final countdown

Note fragile items.

Point out to the movers any extra-fragile items that need special attention. If certain items should not be packed or moved, be sure they are clearly marked with permanent marker. Ideally, these should be set to the side, separate from other boxes.

Label your “Load Last” items.

Clearly label any items or boxes you will want first when the truck arrives at your new home (valuables, electronics, etc.). These should also be segregated from other boxes, to avoid being loaded by mistake. Your movers should have “Load Last” labels for you to use.

Unplug any electronic appliances.

Be sure to unplug appliances 24 hours prior to the move so that they will be at room temperature on moving day. This includes computers and audio/video equipment.

Couple speaking with moving estimtator about their inventory

Moving Day Checklist: Paperwork and details

Plan to be on site to see your boxes loaded.

Remain close by until the truck is fully loaded. After making a final tour of your house, check and sign the inventory. The van operator will give you a copy of it; it is important that you keep this safe.

Moving day paperwork will include:

High-Value Inventory Form: this form states whether or not items of extraordinary value areincluded in the shipment.

Bill of Lading / Freight Bill: this form states the terms and conditions under which your goods are moved. It is also your receipt for the shipment, so be sure to keep this someplace secure.

Keep all moving documents in a secure location.

You may need them for verification of moving expenses when you file your tax returns.

Verify your new address with your driver.

Double check that the van operator has the correct destination address.

Be sure the driver has your contact information.

Ensure your driver has all contact info ─ including phone numbers ─ so you can be reached if needed prior to the arrival of your belongings.

Before you leave, take a final look around. Confirm:

  • Is everything shut off (water, furnace, A/C, lights)?
  • Are the windows and doors all closed and locked?
  • Do you need to leave your house keys somewhere?

Couple receiving the delivery of their items and talking to van driver at their new home

Delivery Day Checklist

Be present to accept delivery of your belongings.

If you are unable to be there yourself, you will need an authorized representative to accept delivery and pay any charges on your behalf.

Be available.

On the day of delivery, the driver will contact you by phone and may just stop by if he or she is unable to reach you. If no one is available to accept delivery of your belongings within the free waiting time (typically two hours), you may request additional time.

Check your items.

If you see a noticeable change in the condition of your property as it is unloaded, note these discrepancies on the inventory. By signing the inventory copy, you acknowledge receipt and condition of all items listed.

Direct the movers with your belongings.

Your furniture will be placed according to your direction. This includes laying rugs and setting up beds. However, if you would like your mattresses to be unpacked or have appliances installed, ask your move coordinator if these services are included ahead of time. If they are not, your move coordinator can arrange for this as an additional service.

Have a floor plan drawn.

If possible, have a floor plan of your new home available to help the movers understand where you want each piece of furniture to go.

Baby sitting next to Mayflower moving box

After the Move Checklist: Settling in

Check with the post office.

If you’re not immediately receiving mail, check with your new post office to see if mail has been held for you.

Get your driver’s license and your vehicles registered.

Start the process to obtain your auto registration and a new driver’s license.

Find a local attorney.

Consider finding an attorney to review laws that may be different from your prior city, county or state. You should ask about wills, investments, insurance, taxes, etc.

For additional delivery day tips, see our destination checklist. Once you are successfully moved, find even more tips for getting settled in our move-in checklist.