top of page

16 Tips For Moving Out of The Bay Area

San Francisco skyline
Here are 16 tips for moving out of the Bay Area.

It’s no secret. A lot of people are moving out of the Bay Area.

According to homeowners we’ve spoken with recently, the most common reasons include:

  • Rising costs of living in The Bay Area.

  • The changing pace of The Bay Area.

  • And even politics.

There are numerous reasons why you’d want to move out of The Bay Area.

Here is a list of tips that will help you effectively move from The Bay Area to your new home.

1. Have a Moving Plan

First and foremost, you have to have a moving plan.

Let’s talk about some of the most important things you need to have figured out to make moving day go nice and smooth.

2. Moving Company, or DIY

First, do you plan on hiring a professional moving company?

Or would you prefer to:

  • Keep costs down.

  • Rent a U-Haul.

  • And do it all yourself.

Either way is a perfectly valid option, and it’s up to you to decide which to go with.

If you do choose to go the DIY route, here are some essential things you have to have figured out.

3. Where Will You Get Your Boxes From

One thing you’ll need in abundance is boxes.

According to, there are plenty of places you can go to get free boxes. Yup, free!

  • You can search the free section of Craigslist.

  • Ask liquor store employees for used shipment boxes. These boxes are likely to be heavy-duty since they need to carry a lot of dead weight.

  • And local office supply stores may have a plethora of discarded shipment boxes they are happy to part with.

You probably have a good shot at going to any retailer near you who receives shipments regularly (which is likely every business) and asking if they have any boxes lying around you can take off their hands.

You may get lucky and snag some free boxes right then and there, or they may ask you to come back on a specific day when they are expecting their shipment.

Otherwise, what’s the worst they can do?

Say no.

If you don’t want to hunt around for free boxes, you can also go to your local

  • Homedepot.

  • Lowe’s.

  • Or Uhaul store.

They will have an abundance of boxes just waiting for you to swipe your credit card.

4. Packing Material List

What good are boxes if you don’t have any packing materials?

Make sure you write down a list of all the additional packaging materials you’ll need to keep everything safe and secure during the trip.

  • Bubble wrap.

  • Packing tape.

  • Packaging peanuts.

  • Sealable bags for the small stuff.

  • Markers to label the boxes.

  • A cooler if you have medicine that needs to be kept cold. I know that may not be the most common thing, but it happens!

Make sure you have more than enough materials on hand to store and secure all your items.

The last thing you want to do is ruin your packing flow by having to run out and buy more tape.

5. What Can Be Thrown Out To Avoid Bloat

When was the last time you used that old, faded towel crammed in the back of your bathroom closet that you bought seven years ago?

Seven years ago?

You probably don’t need that hypothetical or real face towel anymore.

There’s probably a ton of other stuff scattered about your house that you no longer use or need.

Take some time to separate what you don’t need and toss it.

It’ll save you from a lot of heavy lifting, and it’ll save you money on packing materials.

6. Shut off or Transfer All Your Utilities

Make sure you schedule all of your utilities to turn off the day after you move.

You don’t want to schedule for the day you move because you’ll still likely need them.

  • Water.

  • Electricity.

  • Internet.

  • Gas.

Make sure it’s all either fully canceled or transferred to your new address.

If you’re transferring the service to a new address, be sure to have the service started a day before your estimated arrival, just in case you arrive earlier than expected.

Here are links to some common utility companies in the Bay Area

7. Cancel Your Homeowner’s Insurance

Next, you’ll want to cancel or transfer your homeowner’s insurance.

You’ll want the end date to be as soon as you’re no longer the legal owner of the property.

You don’t want your insurance to lapse while you’re still the owner of the property.

You should be able to have your current insurance company write you up a new policy for your new residence if you like them.

8. Pre-check Your Car At The Mechanic

Unless you don’t own a car, you’ll more than likely be driving your car to your new residence.

For this reason, it’s in your best interest to take your car to the mechanic for any standard maintenance that may soon be due.

You’ll also want to tell them you’re planning a move, and you want to make sure your car is ready to handle the drive.

If you’ve got a relatively new car, you probably don’t have to worry about this. And it’s not too big a deal if you're making a local move.

But if your move is taking you across the country, and you’ve got an older car, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

9. Make Sure You Have Roadside Assistance

In addition to having your car pre-checked, you should also make sure you have roadside assistance.

For local moves, this isn’t necessary, but for long-haul moves, it is.

The last thing you want is to be stuck on the side of the road with all your earthly possessions and no options for help!

10. Change Your Address At The Post Office And DMV

Before you move, be sure to submit a change of address with the post office and the DMV.

You want to make sure any official you may have on the way gets delivered to you.

I once moved right before my registration tags were supposed to be renewed. Wow, it was such a hassle.

11. Change Your Address With Everything Else

Once you arrive at your new residence, it’s time to start updating your address for everything else.

  • Your bank.

  • Car note (if you have one).

  • Any subscriptions that get mailed to you.

  • Recurring bills.

  • If it gets mailed to you, you need to update the address.

Although it can be a hassle updating your address across a million different accounts, it’s much better than having important mail sent to the wrong address.

12. Inform Your Bank You’re Moving So Your Card Doesn’t Get Frozen

This point only applies if you’re making a long-distance move.

Some banks will freeze your credit or debit cards if they notice unusual activity.

It is best practice to inform your bank you’ll be traveling, so they don’t place a freeze on any of your accounts.

You don’t want to be stuck in the middle of nowhere trying to pay for a hotel with no money.

13. Budget And Plan For Your Trip If Driving Long Distance

It’s essential to plan your route and budget accordingly when embarking on a long haul move.

Thankfully, the GPS will take care of finding the best route for you.

However, you should still have a game plan for how many hours you want to drive each day and where you plan to rest each night.

Planning like this will also help you put together a budget for your trip.

  • Hotels

  • Gas

  • Food

It’ll all add up quickly if you don’t pay attention.

14. Pack Accessible Food And Cash

The last thing you should do is pack easily accessible food and have cash available on moving day.

Sure, you’ll probably make a few stops here and there to get out and eat. However, if you’ve got a car full of people traveling a long distance, you’ll want something readily available for anyone to grab and snack on.

Having cash on hand is also a good idea just in case you run into any cash-only places along your route.

15. Want Bay Area Living, With Non-Bay Area Prices?

For a full list of cities with similar offerings as the Bay Area, you’ll want to check out this great article by SFGate.

A few of the cited cities with similarities include:

  • Boulder, Colorado

  • Denver, Colorado

  • Dallas, Texas

  • Portland, Oregon

  • Seattle, Washington

  • Or something more local, Sacramento, California

There are many more suggestions, and SFGate goes in-depth about what makes these cities comparable to the Bay Area.

16. Sell Your House To A Reputable Home Buyer

Something that typically comes along with moving is the need to sell the house you’re moving from.

You should consider selling your house to a professional direct home buyer like Contenza Properties.

We’ll never ask you to

  • Do any repairs.

  • Stage or clean the house.

  • Or pay us any fees/ commissions.

We buy houses in their as-is condition and can close quickly. Sometimes in as little as seven days.

Contact Contenza Properties today and get a no-obligation offer for your house.


About The Author

Jordan Reid - Founder of Contenza Properties

Jordan Reid founded Contenza Properties in April of 2018 to help homeowners solve their real estate problems quickly.

Since then, Jordan has helped multiple homeowners facing difficult situations such as divorce, property liens, and unwanted property inheritance.

Jordan believes in putting people first, and numbers second, which helps him reach the best possible solutions for the homeowners he works with.

Currently, Jordan and his team at Contenza Properties offer their professional home buying services in the San Francisco Bay Area, and Knoxville, Tennessee.


bottom of page