What Is The Cheapest Way To Move Out Of State?

Are you looking for the cheapest way to move out of state? The reality is that moving long-distance can be quite expensive, more so than local moves. From packing supplies to transportation, the cost to move can really add up.

Not to worry, this article will help you maximize your budget as you prepare to move!

Cheapest way to move out of state

Depending on how far you need to move and how much stuff you have, it could cost over $14,000. If you don’t have that money saved, that can be a huge expense.

The great news is that there are some frugal tips that you can incorporate to save on moving expenses. Before getting into those tips, you’ll need to understand the expenses that you may incur.

Moving expenses to consider before finding the least expensive way to move out of state

There are a lot of expenses that go into an out-of-state move. Once you’re aware of what they are, you’ll realize that there are much cheaper ways to move out of state instead.


A significant cost for moving is actually hiring movers, and you’re probably thinking, “What are the options to move my stuff to another state? Can I hire out of state movers near me?”

There are professional moving companies that pack your items for you and transport them to your new home, then help with unloading and unpacking services (with full-service moves). Others will simply transport your belongings that you’ve already packed, depending on the type of customer service they offer.

Either way, there are cheaper ways to move out of state than hiring movers or using a company that offers full-service packing and unpacking for your items.

Be sure you do your research and read the reviews on the moving company you select. Don’t forget to ask for a moving quote or estimate. And be sure you’re using the best moving company, one that has nationwide availability rather than local movers.


Although your items may be squared away with professional movers, you’ll still need a way to get to your new location. The least expensive way to move out of state, as far as you getting there, may be driving.

If you don’t plan to drive, you’ll need to consider the cost to transport your vehicle and yourself. That means that you may have to buy a plane ticket to fly.


Before you can even move, you’ll need supplies to pack up your belongings. Doing this will require you to purchase packing materials like boxes, tape, and even shrink wrap.

Fragile items like your television may also require special crating so as not to break any household goods in transit. Supplies can quickly get costly, especially if you have a lot of things to load and move.


There’s much more to moving out of state than boxes. If you’re moving into an apartment, it will likely require a deposit. Additionally, depending on your credit score, you may also have to pay a deposit for your utilities as well.

Cleaning & repairs

If you’re selling your house or leaving an apartment, you’ll need to clean the place up before you leave. In some cases, this means more than a mop and bucket. Consider the cost of renting a professional carpet cleaner and perhaps even a few buckets of paint.

Remember you may have to do some deep cleaning and minor repairs at your new place too. Which will be another cost to consider upon arrival.


Are you wondering, “How do I move my stuff to another state when I don’t have much time?” Everything may not make the initial move, or you may have a time frame that means you’ll need to store items short-term. You’ll want to consider these scenarios and the cost of storage units or facilities if you need this.

Also, remember if you’re moving to a smaller space, such as moving from a house to a one-bedroom apartment, you may not have room for all of the things you used to store in your home. Storage facilities will also come in handy then.

Registrations & licenses

A new state means new registrations and licenses for your vehicle. Don’t forget that you’ll need to put money (and time) aside to get all of these updated.

6 Ways to move out of state cheaply

The least expensive way to move out of state is to move your belongings yourself. Instead of hiring professional movers, you can do the work yourself to save on costs.

This means that you’ll be responsible for packing up your belongings and transporting them to your new location.

The great news is that you have some cheaper ways to transport your belongings when you move. Here are some tips:

1. Rent a moving truck

To transport your belongings for long-distance moves, you can rent a moving truck e.g. a U-haul. Depending on the size that you need, the cost of a rental truck can vary.

It’s significantly less than hiring a company, which can help when you’re looking for the cheapest way to move to another state. However, it also does not include gas and any other travel-related expenses that you might require—like food and any hotel stays.

A moving truck is a good option if you have a lot of furniture and other items to move. It also makes sense if you have the manpower (hello, friends and family!) to move all of your belongings into and off the truck.

In this scenario, you can hitch your vehicle to the back of the truck so that you don’t have to pay a separate expense to have it moved.

You can check out moving truck companies that offer online quoting to get started.

2. Rent a cargo trailer

For smaller moves, you can always rent a cargo trailer that can be hitched to the back of your vehicle. Of course, this means that you will need a vehicle that can hitch a trailer.

The same considerations that you use for a rental truck will apply to the trailer. Meaning that you’ll need to plan for travel expenses as well.

Move out of state cheaply infographic

3. “Hire” friends and family

Recruiting your friends and family to help you DIY move is probably the cheapest way to move out of state. Instead of paying them the rate you would professional full-service movers, you can cover their travel costs and food instead. They can help you pack and even travel with you to unload.

Having your friends and family help could also mean that you have enough vehicles to not have to rent a moving truck. Perhaps someone you know owns a pickup truck with a bed to put your belongings in.

Getting your loved ones involved can make for a fun and really inexpensive move, and you won’t need to bother with long-distance movers.

4. Get your packing supplies for free

Did you know that you can get boxes to help you move for free? Retail stores constantly go through boxes that they may be willing to let you have for free. For instance, when I moved I was able to get boxes from a local wine store.

Finding the least expensive way to move to another state involves lowering packing costs. Visit some local stores in your area to ask for boxes that they’ll likely break down and recycle anyway. These boxes will be great for the odds and ends that you’ll need to pack up.

5. Ship your items in a moving container

When wondering, “how do I move my stuff to another state”, you may not have thought of this option. If you don’t need your items right away, you can always leverage shipping containers to store and move your stuff. In this case, you’ll have a container delivered to your home for you to pack up.

When you’re done, the container will be shipped to your new location for you to unload. The cost for this option will vary depending on the number of containers you need to rent and the distance that you’re moving. However, it can be cheaper than hiring professionals and way less of a hassle for you.

6. Sell your stuff

If moving your stuff seems like it’ll be too expensive, consider selling your stuff. The least costly way to move to another state is to actually make money instead of spending it, right?

Even if you don’t sell all of it, reducing what you have to pack or ship can help you save space and cost. It will certainly make unpacking easier!

Especially if you have any large items like a piano that you’d rather not move, this could be the solution. The money that you make from selling your items can be put toward renting a moving truck or to fund those deposits and other moving-related expenses.

You can sell items on platforms like Facebook Marketplace, Facebook groups, and on Craigslist.

Expert tip

As you start thinking about moving out of state, be sure to lay out an actual moving plan that includes your moving cost calculations.

Creating your plan will ensure you know how much you are spending and will help you track your timelines and associated costs accordingly.

Moving without a plan can lead to additional costs if you book things last minute or forget to plan for certain things e.g. gas for the moving truck, extra moving boxes or bubble wrap etc. So keep this in mind!

Other ideas for the cheapest way to move out of state

Coordinating an out of state move can become overwhelming. Here are some tips to help make the transition easier as you look for the cheapest way to move to another state.

Weigh the costs

Now that you know how much it can cost to move, you should weigh the cost to determine if you can afford to move. Before moving cross-country, weigh the costs by listing out all of the expenses and creating a budget. You can also use a moving cost calculator.

You’ll need to include the cost of a moving service and packing services if needed, any short or long-term storage, and additional services you may need.

You should also consider compensation for the moving truck company, any hidden fees for moving services, and also everyday expenses for the first month. These could be things like groceries, insurance coverage, and anything else you need to pay for while you are transitioning to a new job.

And remember that where you are moving to can have an effect on your budget. The cost of living may be higher than what you’re used to.

Also consider distance, for example, it is likely a lot cheaper to move from New York to Virginia or Rhode Island than to move from Florida to Washington State.

Create a moving checklist to help you save money

One of the first things that you should do before moving is to create a moving list. Having a moving out of state checklist will help you stay organized with the many tasks that moving requires.

Here’s a quick list of what to do, but you can use our moving out of state checklist for more explanation.

1. Save your money

Even if you’re looking for the least expensive way to move out of state, you’ll still need some money for a move. Start saving now and create a sinking fund to help you get some money together over the next few months. Moving will be much easier with some cash.

2. Decide on a neighborhood

Before you move, figure out what neighborhood you want to live in, and be sure to look around at housing options. Buy or rent your new place before you leave the old one and consider prices to be sure the new place fits your budget.

3. Take care of all paperwork in advance

You’ll need to do some paperwork when you move, including updating your address, getting a new I.D., and more. Try to do all of this before the move or in the first month to make life easier and plan for any expenses.

4. Decide what you need to buy when you get there

Will your new place come with appliances, or are you bringing your old ones? Make a list and save up for what you need to buy, especially anything expensive like furniture.

5. Clean your old and new house

Before you move, clean. After you move into your new place, clean.

It’s pretty simple, but it’s good manners to leave your old house in good shape, and cleaning your new house will give you peace of mind. Remember to plan for cleaning costs.

6. Grocery shop

When you first move in somewhere, it’s easy to justify a lot of eating out expenses, because appliances may not be there yet or you’re too busy to cook.

Even if this is the case, the cheapest way to move out of state would be to cut costs by stopping by the grocery store. Picking up a cooked chicken and some sides is still likely to be cheaper than going to a restaurant, and you can save some serious cash over your moving week.

7. Visit beforehand

If you’re able to, visit the state that you’re moving to beforehand, especially if you’re doing a cross country move. It will allow you to explore the area, experience the climate, and find medical facilities, a local bank, and schools. Visiting can also help you find out more about prices in the area.

8. Avoid holidays or peak moving seasons

Relocation alone can be stressful, especially an interstate move. Don’t make it worse by moving during peak seasons.

If you can, try to avoid moving during holidays or peak moving seasons, like summer. During these times, you can expect to pay premium prices for travel expenses—like gas and hotel stays.

Where can I find out of state movers near me?

So after figuring out how to stay on budget, you may ask, “how do I move my stuff to another state and hire long-distance moving services?” Out of state moving services should be easy to find.

Start with Google and type “out of state movers near me”, and also check out Yelp for reviews of companies.

When you’re asking “how do I find out of state movers near me?” here are a few good options to help you with your search:

  • International Van Lines: They offer excellent moving services and have a reputation for being the best company to work with. They’ll even ship your car!
  • Interstate Moving and Relocation Group: A moving broker that can help you find the right company for you that is affordable.
  • American Van Lines: Fast movers that will get your items to your destination quickly and they offer specialty moving services as well.

How can I move cheaply?

When it comes to moving cheaply it’s all about minimizing how much you spend. So ask your friends and family for help with packing and moving.

Need free moving boxes? Visit your local big-box retailers like Costco, BJs, Walmart, or Target and ask for cardboard boxes that they would typically throw away

Does a family member or friend own a van or pickup truck? Ask for their help with moving as a favor and offer to buy them gas if they drive you. Moving cheaply will require you to get creative!

Is $5,000 enough to move out?

$5,000 may be enough to move out depending on the cost of living where you plan to move to and if you create a plan to live frugally. You’ll need to ensure your moving calculations include packing supplies, moving transportation, as well as any application fees and deposits for your new place.

It’s also important that you factor in 3 to 6 months of emergency savings. If you are not in a hurry, you can focus on saving extra money, so you can move out confidently.

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Find the cheapest way to move out of state!

Moving out of state doesn’t have to be expensive. Make sure to get a quote for any storage services and Google long-distance moving company options to see what prices are available. And be on the lookout for deals to find the cheapest way to move to another state.

The great thing is that there are cheaper options for many of the expenses that you can expect to incur from moving. Try some of these cheap ways to move out of state to lower your moving expenses.

Looking for ways to save money and also be frugal is a great practice. And there are many ways you can cut costs in the months leading up to your move to increase savings. To find out more about finances, see our free courses.

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