Moving from California to Florida: Checklist, Details, and Things to Think About




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It’s no secret — moving is a big job.

Add in long-distance, like moving from California to Florida, and you’ve got an intimidating job on your hands.

If the thought of finding a new house, job, or school isn’t enough, you also have to pack up your entire life and haul it across the country. It’s overwhelming, to say the least.

You’re not alone in your feelings — and good news — you can hire some help.

Whether you’re moving locally across town or packing up everything and driving to the opposite coast, Next Moving can help.

Here we give you all of the details of moving from California to Florida, what to consider before you head out, and what we can do to help ease some of the overwhelming stress of your move.

A Checklist for Moving from California to Florida In 9 Simple Steps:

Many Californians are packing up and moving to new states — even Florida. Real estate agents in Florida report having growing numbers of buyers coming from California, adding to the increase in Florida’s population, which was up 7.4% in 2020.

As you can imagine, a lot of work goes into moving from California to Florida. At Next Moving, we understand how stressful a move can be, and we want to help to alleviate some of that headache.

This checklist covers everything you can do to prepare for a move from California to Florida.

#1: Research

You’ve learned that recently, many Californians are moving to Florida, and you’ve jumped on board with making the same big move.

Unfortunately, a move as big as California to Florida isn’t as simple as packing a suitcase, hopping on a plane, and hoping for the best. First, you must research your areas of Florida that interest you to help you determine where to plant your roots.

You should consider things like:

  • A safe neighborhood to live in
  • The type of home you’d like
  • Available schools or childcare
  • Proximity to jobs, doctors offices, etc.; and
  • Entertainment available in the area

If you take the time to research potential Florida communities before leaving California, you can have a place to call home once you arrive. Even better, you’ll avoid having to pack up and move a second time if you find out the location wasn’t a perfect fit for you and your family.

#2: Set the Date of the Move

You’ve found a new home in Florida and you’re excited to get there. It’s time to set a date to make it happen.

Understand that moving takes time. You aren’t going to decide today to move to Florida, find a home, and load up and leave by the weekend.

You might need to consider:

  • School start or end dates
  • Holidays
  • Work
  • Availability of movers

#3: Find Long-Distance Movers From California to Florida

Take your time researching movers for long-distance who have experience packing, loading, and hauling your belongings across the country. You don’t want to settle on the first company you come across.

Consider inquiring with two or three moving companies to get estimates before making a final decision.

Next Moving has years of experience with long-distance moves and can make your move from California to Florida a pleasant and stress-free adventure. Our reviews speak for themselves, so be sure to check them out.

#4: Determine Other Expenses

Moving can become costly quickly. Even if you’ve found a great deal with a moving company, other expenses are part of a long-distance move.

To help set a realistic budget for your long-distance move, consider the cost of things like:

  • Airfare if you are flying to your new home
  • Gas if you are driving to your new home
  • Lodging along the way
  • Shipping vehicles
  • Any necessary storage; and
  • Deposits down for utilities

#5: Decide When to Start Packing

The most stress-free way to move across the country is to hire help.

But even if you’ve hired movers, you still might want to pack some of your personal belongings beforehand.

If you’re packing just a few things or your entire house, you’ll need a few packing materials. Start gathering boxes, packing paper, bubble wrap, and tape, and pack what you feel is necessary at least one week before your move.

Don’t forget, this process can become overwhelming very quickly. Give yourself time to pause and reset instead of rushing.

Whether you’ve hired help or you’re taking on your move by yourself, you can do some prep work to make the process go smoothly.

Or you could rely on Next Moving, your full-service moving company. We pack up your house quickly, taking special consideration of your fragile and valuable items, load our trucks, and haul it to your new home.

Use the free quote at the top of your screen to get an estimate for your California to Florida move.

#6: Notify Utility Services

When your moving date is just a few weeks from approaching, you want to take the time to notify your California utility services that you need to cancel your services and on what day you need them to be stopped on. You’ll also want to begin to look for new utility services in Florida.

Keep in mind all of the services you have used/will need:

  • Electric
  • Water
  • Gas
  • Internet
  • Cable
  • Trash
  • Etc.

#7: Update Your Address

While putting a forwarding address on file with your local California USPS location is important, there is also a hefty list of other agencies you should inform of your change of address when moving from California to Florida.

Don’t forget to notify:

  • USPS
  • DMV (licenses, registrations, etc.)
  • IRS
  • Banks
  • Credit card companies
  • Loan issuers
  • Insurance companies

#8: Prepare for Moving Day

The final countdown for moving from California to Florida is here. It’s time to finish off your to-do list in preparation for moving day by:

  • Notifying your bank of your travels so you aren’t declined for fraudulent activity
  • Clean and prepare your appliances and outdoor equipment for packing
  • Defrost, clean, unplug your indoor appliances
  • Refill any necessary prescriptions
  • Pack your travel bags
  • Pack anything you might need immediately upon arrival in Florida, like:
    • Paper products and silverware
    • Tools
    • Light bulbs
    • Cooking necessities
    • Pillows and blankets
    • Trash bags

If you are driving from California to Florida, you can easily keep any necessary items in your car with you. However, if you are planning to fly, make sure this box is packed onto the moving truck last so it is the first to come off when you arrive at your new destination.

Lastly, conduct a final walk-through of your home to ensure you haven’t left anything important behind.

#9: Move In

You’ve arrived in the Sunshine State!

If you’ve hired help, the process of unpacking and setting up your new home should feel easy. Full-service moving companies, like Next Moving, don’t just pack — they unpack too.

So what do you do? Simply direct them where to go.

The professionals at Next Moving will unpack all of your boxes, set things where you ask, and take the materials away. You should quickly look over your belongings to make sure nothing is damaged or missing and is clean.

Now that you’ve unpacked and mostly settled in Florida, what’s left to do?

  • Check your post office for any mail that was on hold
  • Update your address on any necessary accounts and paperwork
  • Register to vote
  • Enjoy your new home

Pros and Cons of Moving from California to Florida

3 Pros of Moving from California to Florida

#1: Experiencing New Beauty and Culture

Of course, there is beauty in California, but one major perk of moving from California to Florida is getting to experience a different type of beauty and culture.

California is more diverse in its landscapes and scenery — depending on where you are, you can experience greenery and trees, mountains and deserts, or beaches. California also takes on influences from many cultures, including:

  • Spanish
  • Asian
  • Mexican
  • Eastern United States

Florida is relatively flat, full of warm water beaches that you can swim in for a large majority of the year. Although Florida is also a melting pot, it takes on a lot of cultural influences from:

  • Europe
  • Latin America

#2: Lower Taxes

If you are moving from California to Florida, lower taxes are a big pro to your cross-country move.

California has a higher tax rate of 13.3% whereas Florida’s income tax is 0%.

#3: Lower Cost of Living

California has a higher cost of living than Florida by 20.6%.

Californians experience paying:

  • 7.0% more at restaurants
  • 4.5% more on groceries
  • 20.2% more on transportation
  • 27.7% more on housing
  • 44.8% more on childcare
  • 27.1% more for entertainment and sports; and
  • 12.9% more on clothing

3 Cons of Moving from California to Florida

#1: Higher Crime Rates

Although not by much, Florida ranks just higher than California when it comes to crime in the United States.

#2: The Weather

When comparing California vs. Florida weather, both states are full of sunshine. But other types of weather come along with their sun.

California experiences a little bit of all four seasons. Winters are a bit colder and the summers a little dryer, but you can visit different landscapes with varying weather all around you. There is something for everyone in California.

In Florida, you basically just get hot. The weather is humid and dry, and autumn and winter barely exist. If you despise the colder months and the hassle of winter, Florida might be for you.

#3: Education and Economy

California comes out on top with both better education possibilities and a higher economy than Florida.

Although both states offer good education possibilities, California surpasses Florida on a state-to-state comparison.

And even though Florida has a lower cost of living, the economy is worse off than California, so finding work in Florida may be a bit more difficult.

What to Expect When Arriving in Florida from California

Climate & Natural Disasters:

If you are moving from California to Florida, natural disasters are nothing new for you. However, the types of natural disasters you experience might differ.

California’s dry climate makes the state prone to fires. Californians also frequently experience flooding and earthquakes.

Florida also experiences fires, but hurricanes and flooding make the top of their list of natural disasters.

Cultural Differences:

California has a culture that is heavily influenced by many parts of the world, including:

  • Spain
  • Asia
  • Mexico; and
  • Eastern United States

The influences are apparent in the way Californians eat, speak, and carry on traditions.

Florida has a culture heavily influenced by immigrant populations. In Florida, you can experience cultures like:

  • Latin American
  • Caribbean
  • European; and
  • Southern United States

Tax Differences:

Surprise! Moving from California to Florida can help you save on taxes.

According to The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, Florida ranks #3 for state taxes while California comes in at #51.

Cost of Living Differences:

If you’re moving from California to Florida (or nearly any other state) you are likely going to save on the cost of living expenses.

California ranks as one of the most expensive states to live in.

When comparing …

  1. Food
  2. Childcare
  3. Medical
  4. Housing
  5. Transportation; and
  6. other

… California comes out on top as more expensive every time.

Education

Both California and Florida have good education programs available, but according to a recent WalletHub analysis, Florida’s education ranks higher.

After considering:

  • Performance
  • Funding
  • Safety
  • Class size; and
  • Instructor credentials

Government

To learn everything there is to know about the Sunshine State, including more about the government and how it differs from California, visit Florida’s state website.

Common Moves From California to Florida:

Santa Barbara to Orlando:

Santa Barbara to Tampa:

Santa Barbara to Miami:

San Diego to Orlando:

San Diego to Tampa:

San Diego to Miami:

San Francisco to Orlando:

San Francisco to Tampa:

San Francisco to Miami:

FAQs About Moving From California to Florida:

Why are People Moving From California to Florida?

Why are Californians moving to Florida? This question might be at the forefront of your mind.

There are many reasons Californians are moving from California to Florida, including:

  • Florida has a lower cost of living
  • Florida’s weather is appealing
  • California has the highest income tax in the United States
  • Education is just as good, if not better, in Florida.

What Are the Tax Implications When Moving From California to Florida?

Residents of California pay the highest income tax in the United States. On the other hand, Florida residents have an income tax of 0%.

Is it Worth Moving From California to Florida?

Moving from California to Florida is a personal decision only you and your family can make. However, many people looking to move from California find Florida to be a great option because of the many benefits to its resident, like:

  • No state income tax
  • Warmth and sunshine most of the year
  • A good education system; and
  • A lower cost of living

How Do I Handle My Car When Moving From California to Florida?

Moving to another coast is a big deal, and figuring out how to get your car(s) there can be a headache. Although it might seem easier to load up your vehicles and make the long drive from California to Florida, shipping your car is an easy way to get it down south.

The cost of shipping your car is something you should consider in your moving budget. Depending on the size of your vehicle and how many you are looking to ship, it can cost on average $500 to $1100 per vehicle for a cross-country shipment.

Once you’re settled in Florida, you must register your vehicle within 10 days of arrival and update all necessary paperwork, like:

  • Driver license
  • Car insurance
  • Car inspection
  • Necessary toll tags

Let Next Moving’s Professional Team Help Take Some of the Stress of Moving From California to Florida Away

Next Moving works hard to make your move from California to Florida as stress-free as possible.

Our experienced and professional team prides itself on taking the time to carefully pack and load all of your belongings, safely drive them to their new destination, and gently unload and unpack them into your new home.

Contact us at Next Moving to get a free quote on moving from California to Florida today.

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