Local Moving Guide

The Ultimate Moving to Virginia Checklist (+ Template)

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Moving to Virginia? That's awesome! We're here to help. Our guide is more than just a dry list of tasks.  It's a friendly hand holding yours, walking you through the ins and outs of your big move: filled with all the information you need for your relocation, from the early stages of understanding residency requirements to aligning with the DMV and Post Office procedures, this moving to Virginia checklist has you covered.

Moving to Virginia Checklist - Free Excel Tool
Moving to Virginia Checklist - Free Excel Tool

So, whether you're moving across the country or just a few states away, let's dive in to help you successfully navigate this exciting transition.

Why Virginia?

Virginia, lovingly referred to as the "Mother of Presidents," is a charming state tucked away in the southeastern U.S. There's so much more to it than meets the eye. Picture this - a beautiful array of seasons, a buzzing job market, and a treasure trove of historical sites and cultural hotspots. 

Why Move to Virginia?
Why Move to Virginia?

No surprise then that people are falling head over heels for Virginia. So, are you ready to uncover the secrets of this magnetic state? Let's chat about why Virginia might just be your next home sweet home.

Diverse Climate

Virginia experiences a unique blend of weather patterns due to its broad geographical features, offering something for everyone.

  • Four Distinct Seasons: Enjoy the full beauty of all four seasons. From blossoming springs to colorful falls, the weather is rarely monotonous.
  • Mild Winters: Compared to the Northeast and Midwest, Virginia experiences milder winters. While you'll still see some snow, particularly in the western and northern parts, it's less severe and offers a stunning winter landscape.
  • Warm Summers: Virginia's summers are generally warm, with temperatures averaging in the mid-80s. Perfect for beach trips, outdoor barbecues, and camping trips.

Thriving Job Market

Let's talk about jobs, shall we? Virginia's job scene is booming and, truth be told, it's one of the most stable markets in the U.S. Here's the lowdown:

  • Diverse Industries: Got varied interests? Good news! Virginia's job market is as diverse as it gets. From government gigs to military roles, farming jobs to tech opportunities, and everything in between - Virginia's got something for everyone.
  • Prominent Employers: Yep, Virginia's home turf for several Fortune 500 companies, including some household names like Capital One, Northrop Grumman, and Dollar Tree. Talk about rubbing shoulders with the best!
  • Low Unemployment Rate: Now, if job security keeps you up at night, here's a fun fact: Virginia's known for its impressively low unemployment rates. So you can leave those job jitters at the door!
  • Strong Job Growth: And the cherry on top? If you're all about growth in your career, Virginia's just the place. Especially if you're in the tech sector. Reports from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show promising job growth here. All the more reason to make the Old Dominion your new dominion, right?

Cities and Regions in Virginia

Virginia is a state with a rich tapestry of cities and regions, each offering its own unique charm and attractions. From the bustling Northern Virginia area to the picturesque coastal areas of Virginia Beach and Norfolk, and the natural beauty of Central Virginia, there's something for everyone. Let's take a closer look at these distinct areas of Virginia.

Cities and Regions of Virginia
Cities and Regions of Virginia

Northern Virginia Area (Outside DC)

Northern Virginia is a vibrant and highly populated region that includes counties such as Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William. It is situated just outside of Washington, D.C., and offers a unique blend of suburban and urban living. Here are some key highlights of this area:

  • Proximity to Washington, D.C.: Living in Northern Virginia provides easy access to the nation's capital, allowing residents to take advantage of cultural attractions, employment opportunities, and a bustling city life.
  • Diverse Communities: Northern Virginia is known for its cultural diversity, with a mix of residents from various backgrounds. It offers a rich culinary scene, shopping centers, and a range of entertainment options.

Richmond Area

The capital of Virginia, Richmond, is located in the central part of the state. It is a dynamic city with a deep historical significance and a growing cultural scene. Here are some reasons why Richmond stands out:

  • Historical Significance: Richmond played a crucial role in American history, serving as the capital of the Confederacy during the Civil War. The city is dotted with historic sites, including the Virginia State Capitol and the Museum of the Confederacy.
  • Arts and Culture: Richmond has a thriving arts scene, with numerous galleries, theaters, and museums. The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is one of the country's top art museums, offering a vast collection spanning various periods and styles.
  • Outdoor Recreation: The James River flows through Richmond, providing opportunities for water sports, hiking, and biking along its scenic trails. The city also boasts beautiful parks, such as Maymont Park and Belle Isle, where residents can enjoy nature.

Coastal Areas (Virginia Beach, Norfolk)

The coastal areas of Virginia, including Virginia Beach and Norfolk, offer a beachy lifestyle and a strong maritime heritage. Here's what makes these areas unique:

  • Beaches and Waterfront Activities: Virginia Beach is known for its pristine sandy beaches, making it a popular tourist destination. 
  • Naval Presence: Norfolk is home to the largest naval base in the world, Naval Station Norfolk. The area has a strong military presence and offers unique opportunities to learn about naval history and experience maritime culture.
  • Cultural Attractions: Norfolk has a vibrant arts scene, with the Chrysler Museum of Art showcasing an impressive collection of European and American art.

Central Virginia (Shenandoah/Blue Ridge, Charlottesville)

Central Virginia is characterized by its picturesque landscapes, charming small towns, and rich historical significance. Here's what makes this region stand out:

  • Shenandoah National Park and Blue Ridge Mountains: This area offers stunning natural beauty, including the scenic Skyline Drive and the Appalachian Trail. Outdoor enthusiasts can explore hiking trails, enjoy panoramic views, and experience the changing seasons.
  • Charlottesville and Monticello: Charlottesville is home to the University of Virginia and Monticello, the former residence of Thomas Jefferson. Visitors can explore the historic downtown area, visit Jefferson's architectural masterpiece, and enjoy the vibrant local food and wine scene.
  • Wineries and Vineyards: Central Virginia is known for its wineries and vineyards, particularly in the Monticello Wine Trail. Wine enthusiasts can indulge in tastings, vineyard tours, and special events in the beautiful countryside.

Moving to Virginia Checklist: Housing, Cost of Living, and Utilities

Moving to a new state involves much more than simply packing up and hitting the road. It requires careful planning and an understanding of the costs and logistics associated with your new home. This section will guide you through the necessary steps to ensure a smooth transition when moving to Virginia.

Virginia Relocation Planning
Virginia Relocation Planning

Securing Housing in Virginia

The housing market in Virginia caters to a wide range of preferences. Whether you love lively cities or serene countryside, Virginia has it all.

  • Find a Real Estate Agent: Got an agent yet? If not, it's a good move. Find one who knows the local scene. They'll help you navigate the market. They can match you with a home that fits you just right.
  • Use Online Resources: Also, have you tried Zillow or Realtor.com? They're full of house listings. They could help you spot your dream home. Happy home hunting in Virginia!

Understanding the Cost of Living in Virginia

Before moving to Virginia, it's important to be familiar with the cost of living. This can differ widely based on location, so it's crucial to do some research.

  • Location-Based Costs: City or countryside? Cities like Arlington tend to be pricier, especially when it comes to housing. But if you're more into small towns, your dollar can stretch a lot further.
  • Budget Planning: Got your budget ready? Make sure you think about everything - housing, utilities, food, getting around, and health care. Online cost-of-living calculators can be a valuable tool in this process.

Setting up Utilities

After securing a home in Virginia, the next step is to set up utilities. This process involves a few key tasks:

  • Identify Providers: Determine which providers serve your new area. This may include multiple options for services such as electricity, gas, and internet, allowing you to compare rates and choose the best fit for your needs.
  • Schedule Setup: Once you've chosen your providers, schedule your utility setups to coincide with your move-in date. This ensures that you'll have necessary services like water, electricity, and internet from the moment you move in.

Planning, Decluttering, and Adjusting: Tips for Moving

Moving to a new state is a significant event that comes with its own unique set of challenges and opportunities. This section will guide you through the planning, decluttering, and post-move adjustment stages when moving to Virginia.

Tips for Moving to Virginia
Tips for Moving to Virginia

Planning Your Move to Virginia

Planning is the cornerstone of a smooth and successful move. A detailed timeline is invaluable in keeping track of tasks and deadlines, allowing you to manage your move effectively.

  • Develop a Moving Timeline: Start by mapping out a timeline that includes all necessary tasks related to your move. Note down key deadlines and dates, like when you need to notify your current landlord, when to start packing, and when to hire movers.
  • Consider Timing Factors: Be mindful of factors like school enrollment periods if you have children. Also, bear in mind that summer is typically peak moving season. This might mean higher moving costs and less availability, so plan accordingly.


A move provides the perfect opportunity to purge your belongings and minimize clutter in your new Virginia home. Here's how you can approach this:

  • Explore Your Belongings: Decide what items you need, what you can donate, sell, or recycle. This will streamline the packing process and might even help you save on moving costs.
  • Create a System: Develop a system to keep your decluttering process organized. You might use labels or color-coding to differentiate between items to keep, donate, sell, or discard.

Post-Move Adjustments

Here are some tips to help you settle into your new Virginia home:

  • Explore Your New Surroundings: Discover local attractions, parks, restaurants, and other points of interest to help you feel more at home.
  • Establish New Routines: From finding a new favorite coffee shop to identifying the quickest route to work, establishing new routines can help you adapt and feel more settled in your new Virginia home.

Understanding Residency Requirements

The process of establishing residency in Virginia requires evidence of a steadfast commitment to live within the state on a permanent basis. This commitment can be demonstrated through various actions, such as:

  • Secure Employment: If you've moved to Virginia for work, it's likely that you'll be deemed a resident.
  • Lease or Purchase a Home: Proof of a residential lease or a home purchase agreement can be crucial in establishing residency.
  • Residency Duration: If you have lived in Virginia or maintained a residence here for more than 183 days within a calendar year, you qualify as a resident of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Processing with DMV and Post Office

Once you've moved to Virginia, it's essential to update your details with key institutions like the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and the U.S. Post Office. Here's what you need to do:

  • Update Your Address: Head online or pop into any post office near you.
  • Transfer Your Driver's License: You'll need to wave goodbye to your old license, take a peep through their vision test gadget, and toss a few coins their way. Then voila! 
  • Register Your Vehicle: Within 30 days of your move, it's time to get that vehicle registered with the Virginia DMV. 

Make the Move with D1 Moving and Storage

Moving to Virginia is an exciting adventure. With careful planning and organization, you can ensure a smooth transition. This checklist and guide is a great start, but you should consider bringing professionals into the process.

D1 Moving and Storage is a regional market leader in full service long distance moving, to and from the state of Virginia. D1 has a fleet of over 40 trucks, trained movers and drivers, as well as over 250,000 square feet of warehousing across the commonwealth. D1 provides packing and cleaning services to provide a seamless, end-to-end service at an unbeatable price.

If you are ready to begin moving to Virginia, reach out by completing our long distance moving quote form.

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