The Complete Guide to Moving Out of State

The Best Way to Move Out of State

Planning a move out of state can be daunting, whether you're moving for work, family, or other reasons. Our Complete Guide to Moving Out of State answers all your biggest questions about moving out of state, from creating to-do lists, planning, and budgeting for your move to downsizing, packing your belongings, and settling into your new home.

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1. The best way to move out of state on a budget

Get our expert advice for how to prepare for your out-of-state move and create your moving budget.

2. The best way to move out of state on a short timeline

Moving on a short timeline? Jump here to get our advice for quick moves.

3. The best way to move a small apartment out of state

Discover the most cost effective way to move a small apartment to a new state.

4. The best way to move out of state with a lot of stuff

Moving a lot of stuff? Get our advice for the best way to move with a lot of furniture and boxes. 

5. The best way to move out of state if you need extra help

Learn which moving options are best for those who need help packing, loading, and more. 

6. Frequently Asked Questions

Get answers to the most frequently asked questions about shipping boxes to another state.

What’s the best way to move out of state? Since everyone’s situation is different, there is no one definitive answer to this question. Ultimately, the best way to move out of state will depend on factors such as:

  • Your budget and timeline
  • Your physical ability and/or manpower
  • The amount of “stuff” to be moved

Essentially, you have three main options if you’re considering a move out of state. You can:

  • Do it yourself
  • Hire professional movers
  • Have your belongings shipped

Let’s dig deeper to explore which option makes the most sense for your unique situation. We will cover budget, short timelines, small moves, larger moves, and what to do if you need extra help.

The best way to move out of state if you’re on a budget

Moving isn’t cheap and costs add up quickly, especially for long distance moves. The best way to move out of state if you’re on a budget is to DIY as much as possible.

Here are some ways to pinch those pennies:

  • Borrow a truck from family or friends
  • Collect boxes from local retailers
  • Pack belongings yourself
  • Recruit friends and family to do the heavy lifting

While you may be able to save considerably with a DIY approach, you’ll still need to shell out for fuel, supplies and incentives for your helping hands. Unless you can borrow a truck or a van, you’ll also need to account for a vehicle rental in your moving budget. DIY moves will also cost you a lot of time and even more effort.

Compare costs for different moving methods in the table below:

Move Size DIY Moves Professional Movers Consolidated Shipping
1 bedroom $587-$3,152 500-$4,000 $2,690-$3,830
2 bedrooms $618-$3,427 $600-$5,000 $3,290-$4,800
3 bedrooms $809-$4,635 $800-$8,000 $4,030-$6,280
4 bedrooms $995-$5,824 $900-$11,000 $5,860-$9,370

NOTE: Cost estimates are approximate based on the average weight of a full move (including furniture and boxes) for that size home. Estimates do not include the cost of packing services.

If you are on a tight budget and don’t want too much hassle, another option to consider is to donate your furniture and ship your other items in boxes. TSI’s box-and-ship program is an easy way to ship packed boxes long distance for a flat rate. This option makes the most sense if your furniture has little financial or sentimental value and can easily be replaced on the other end of your move.

The best way to move out of state if you have a short timeline

One of the faster and more reliable ways to move out of state when you’re pressed for time is by sending small, boxed items using parcel shippers to your new home—think UPS and FedEx. But be warned—parcel shipping can become expensive quickly if you have to ship large or heavy items.

If you’re able to pack up small furniture pieces into boxes, parcel shipping is a good way to get your stuff from Point A to Point B—fast. Just follow these steps to ship furniture out of state

  1. Disassemble items into the smallest pieces possible
  2. Clearly label and attach a bag containing screws or other joining components
  3. Use cardboard to protect glass, mirrors or other fragile pieces 
  4. Use bubble wrap and blankets to protect protruding items (like table or chair legs) 
  5. Use crates to box up delicate pieces of furniture, such as antiques 

You can choose to drop off your items for parcel shipping or arrange to have them picked up. We recommend making arrangements to have someone receive your items at your final destination.

If you do have larger, heavier items that don’t need to be delivered as quickly, you might choose consolidated freight for large boxes (we’ll talk about that option next). Items shipped by consolidated freight typically take about five days to deliver after pickup.

The best way to move out of state if you have a small apartment

Smaller moves such as one-bedroom apartments are often best suited to consolidated shipping. Small moves (less than 3,500 pounds) are TSI’s sweet spot. If you don’t have a ton of stuff to move, TSI’s consolidated shipping options may prove more cost effective than hiring a traditional mover because you’re not paying for an entire truck. Instead, you only pay for the space your belongings occupy on the truck.

If you are shipping furniture, you’ll need White Glove shipping. With TSI’s White Glove shipping service, a moving crew will come to your home and pack up your furniture, load it onto a shared truck and deliver it to your destination. If you only have packed boxes to ship, our flat rate box shipping or LTL Freight shipping service is the best way to move out of state.

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The best way to move out of state with a lot of stuff

If you’re moving an entire household with lots of furniture and personal belongings, you may want to hire professional movers. It can be a bit pricier than other options, but it also tends to be the most convenient way to move out of state with a lot of stuff.

Most professional movers will prep your furniture before loading it onto the truck, and some will even pack your boxes—it just depends on the service level you choose. The extra service may cost more, but it’s sometimes worth the expense if you need to move quickly. It’s also a good option when your employer is covering moving expenses. Otherwise, you’ll need to pack boxes before your scheduled pickup date.

We’ve got some pricing guidelines for long distance movers over here.

The best way to move out of state if you need a lot of help

The simplest way to move out of state with little effort on your part is to hire moving professionals—and select the highest level of service available. Look for options like:

  • Binding estimates for interstate moves
  • In-person quotes or virtual surveys
  • Packing and unpacking services
  • Car shipping
  • House cleaning
  • Storage services

Some companies offer special services like motorcycle or boat moving, and will move large, heavy items like pianos, pool tables, and even playsets and swing sets. Make a list of everything you’ll need to have moved out of state and have it ready when you ask for a quote.

TSI TIP: When researching movers, get quotes from 3-5 moving companies before making your final decision. Read customer reviews on sites like Yelp and Google and don’t forget to ask about discounts and special rates.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I move out of state on a budget?

The best way to move out of state on a budget is to rent a truck and “DIY” your move with the help of family and friends. Depending on the value of your furniture, you might find it most budget-friendly and convenient to donate your furniture and ship your remaining items in boxes to the destination, then replace the furniture on the other end. Sometimes, moving items is more expensive than replacing them, so be sure to carefully research your options and create a dedicated budget to cover expected costs. Read our guide to how to move out of state on a budget to learn more.

How can I ship my belongings to another state?

There are two ways to ship your belongings to another state: parcel shipping through carriers like UPS and FedEx, or consolidated freight through carriers like TSI. Parcel shipping is ideal for smaller belongings you need delivered quickly, while consolidated shipping is ideal for larger packed boxes or smaller amounts of furniture. Compare consolidated freight and parcel shipping in this post.

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Keep reading

How To Move Out of State on a Budget

Moving out of state can be costly. In this guide, we’ll help you prepare for your out-of-state move and create your budget.

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How To Ship Boxes Out of State

In this section of the Complete Guide to Moving Out of State, we’ll take a closer look at each of these four methods for shipping boxes out of state.

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How To Ship Furniture Out of State

In this section of the Complete Guide to Moving Out of State, we’ll unpack how to move furniture to another state.

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10 Tips for Moving Out of State

There is lots to keep track of and get done when you're moving out of state. Try these ten tips for moving out of state.

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Moving Out of State Checklist

We’ve come up with a list of the most common essential tasks, broken down into categories, to help you plan your move.

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