Sometimes in life, it’s time for a new start. Maybe you lost your job or ended a relationship. Maybe you just got sick of life where you are and started looking for something new. Whatever your reasons are, it’s time to experience a new life in a new part of the country.
Moving to a new state alone can be intimidating, but it’s not as hard as it sounds, and you can do it. This is how to move to a different state alone: you’ll need to get a lot of things together, prepare yourself mentally, and find a soft place to fall in your new home. In this article, we’ll walk you through every step.
Mental Preparation: Doing it All Alone
You’re alone. You don’t know how to move to a different state alone. That’s where you are right now. It might seem more comforting or safe to have someone with you for a big life change like this. There is indeed a lot to think about and to do all on your own. The important thing to remember is that all of the processes are the same, whether you are single or in a couple or a group.
There is nothing dangerous about moving to a different state alone, and you don’t need anyone else to feel safe during this process. That might sound a little harsh, but it’s true. As you are researching how to move to a different state alone, you might doubt yourself, but millions of people have already done what you’re about to do, and as long as you use common sense and careful planning, you will be great.
It can help to focus on the people you will meet in your new life and the ways you will keep in touch with the people who matter in your life right now. There is always Facetime for your family and your close friends, and when you are settled in your new place you’ll be surrounded by interesting new people and situations.
Before you even get started planning your long-distance move, decide for yourself that you are capable of doing it alone, and trust that you will find the right resources and support when you need them. Moving is stressful for everyone, and doing it by yourself is a lot. It is an emotional challenge, and even if you are going through this process alone, it’s good to have someone to call and vent to, at the very least.
Planning Your Interstate Move
Work. Money. Budget. Cost of living. Logistics. There is a lot to think about in planning how to move to a different state alone.
Break it down into these 3 categories:
- How do I prepare things here?
- How do I get myself and my things from point A to point B?
- What do I need once I’m there?
It can be helpful to work backward, from your new life to the life you have now.
Where will you be working? If you already have a job offer with a start date, you have a timeline set for you. If you haven’t found a job, now is the time to ask yourself where you might want to work and start sending out applications.
How expensive is the city you are moving to? Matching up your expected salary or earnings with the cost of living can give you some perspective on what you’ll be able to afford, and what your lifestyle will be like.
Where do you want to live? Downtown in an apartment building? In the suburbs in a house? Will you work from home or in an office building? What would the commute be like? Researching the different neighborhoods and residential areas can give you a feel for where you might fit in in your new city, and help you start looking for real estate or rental listings.
Once you know what your goals are, it’s just a matter of reverse engineering a process to get there. A clear vision of how to move to a different state alone helps you make decisions in the present. If you intend to move into a smaller apartment, you can give away the big furniture at your current place rather than bringing it with you. If you know you’ll be working in an office or a coworking space, maybe you don’t need your desk and shelves. Likewise, if you are moving from a small apartment into a house in the suburbs, you’ll need new furniture and decor to fill a larger space.
If you know when and where you want to be, it’s easy to plan a budget and logistics to get there.
How Much Will It Cost?
All you need to budget out how to move to a different state alone is a spreadsheet. You can do it on paper in two columns if that’s easier.
First, write down a list of everything you need help with. Some of the move you can do yourself, but a lot of them you can’t. Anytime you need to hire someone, write that down on the list. Do you need a moving company to help you get big furniture or boxes over state lines? Do you need a portable storage rental for things you are leaving behind? Do you need auto care for your car before doing the road trip? Write it all down.
Now, use Google to figure out how much these services should cost in your area. You can also look through the listings of different companies to see what your options are. Write down an estimate for each service, based on what you know about the furniture and belongings you are bringing with you, the distance you are moving, and the place you’re moving into.
Remember to factor in your costs on arrival, too. If you are flying into a new city and your possessions are being shipped, you might want a minivan rental to help you get around. You might need to hire a local mover or a local moving company to help get everything into your new place.
Include everything you can think of, no matter how small. You can even add gas for your car and snacks for the road trip. You want a realistic budget for this move, not an optimistic number that you’ll definitely go over. When you have an estimated cost, you can compare that with your savings and earnings to figure out how realistic your plans are, and whether you need to make any adjustments to afford them.
Moving can be expensive, but investing in a change is how to move to a different state alone. Chances are, you’ll earn more money at a new job, and in six months you’ll be enjoying a whole new city with a new perspective.
The first column of your spreadsheet should now be filled with estimated costs. You can fill the second column with the actual amounts you spend, to see how close your estimates were and track whether you are over or under budget.
Preparing Your New Life
We all know that the logistics of moving can be difficult, but starting a new life in a new city is difficult, too!
You can make it all easier for yourself by preparing a soft landing. If you don’t already have a job you are looking forward to, start searching as early as possible. Work can be a source of all kinds of connections, and give you a foothold in your new community.
Don’t stop there, though. Even before you set foot in your new city, you can go online and start making friends and connections. Ask about local life on forums and social media. Most people love to talk about their city and what’s fun to do there. You’ll also get insider tips on any dangers or areas to avoid. You might even end up making close friends that you’ll meet up with in person!
If you’re shy online as well as in person, the best thing to do is sign up for some activities. Pursue whatever you are interested in – yoga, painting, martial arts, language classes, rock climbing, meditation, pottery, swimming, or anything else that appeals to you – and you’ll make friends in a comfortable environment by enjoying yourself.
Knowing how to move to a different state alone means understanding how to make new friends and connections and avoiding being isolated. Putting on your friend-making cap and pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone can go a long way.
Packing and Preparing
A moving service can help you get boxes from point A to point B, but it can’t do all the emotional labor of packing up your life for you. Packing and preparing to move is one of the hardest phases because it goes on for so long, requires so many small decisions, and it includes none of the fun or adventure of the actual move itself.
Residential packing services can help you prepare everything in your home for the moving process, but you’ll still need to decide what gets packed and what gets sold or thrown away, and how everything will be transported.
Remember: If you don’t need something in your new home, don’t bring it. Selling or giving away things you no longer want or need is a great idea, and could leave you feeling lighter and freer. However, if you want to hold on to some things but don’t want to bring them with you, the best option is a storage locker. For an affordable fee, you can keep furniture and boxes in a safe, dry area.
Organizing, cataloging, and packing can take a long time. However, you can’t actually pack things that you are still using until it is time to go. With a comprehensive packing list of everything that you will be bringing with you, you can see and track everything that is coming with you even before you pack it. This is how to move to a different state alone.
The Big Move
Eventually, the big day will come. Time to move!
Your belongings are packed in a portable storage container. Your old place is cleaned out, and you have new opportunities waiting for you in a new state. It’s finally time to go!
If you are working with professionals, you really shouldn’t have very much to do except get yourself to your new city. Take a road trip, or climb on a plane, and experience firsthand how to move to a different state alone. The moving service should take care of everything, but you will need to stay close to your phone in case there are any issues. It’s always possible that the movers could get confused about what your wishes or directions are, or run into issues or delays that you need to know about.
Unless your car breaks down and you need towing, you’ll arrive at your new place and the movers will have arranged your furniture and possessions where you want them. You did it! This is how to move to a different state alone!
A Successful Interstate Move Alone
Moving across state lines to start a new life, by yourself, is an emotional and logistical challenge, but it is one that you can handle. When you plan and budget ahead, and work with professionals who can make the process easier for you, it doesn’t have to be overwhelming.
Start by imagining where you want to be and work backwards to figure out how you can get there. Decide what you want to bring with you and how you’ll move it, and track everything closely. Work with professionals, and ask for help when you need it, including emotional help from friends and family.
You deserve a fresh start in a new city, and you can do the whole process alone. It’s not always easy, but it doesn’t have to be hard, and it could lead you to opportunities and adventures that you could never have imagined.