Wondering what makes Arizona a great place to call home? Along with being famous for the magnificent Grand Canyon, the state also offers a variety of benefits. Whether you’re looking to escape frigid winters or insane living costs — or you’ve simply fallen in love with its gorgeous blue skies, forests, plateaus, deserts, canyons, and sunsets, there’s something undeniably special about this varied and intriguing southwestern state.
No matter where you’re relocating from, there’s a lot to learn about the State of Arizona. Great Guys Moving wants to help, so we’ve compiled a handy guide. Below, you’ll find a wealth of information including 1) things to know before moving, 2) best Arizona cities to call home, 3) an interstate moving checklist, and 4) quality moving services from reputable Arizona movers. Good luck!
Living in Arizona: What to Know Before Moving to Arizona
The Grand Canyon State is the 6th largest state by landmass at 111,998 square miles. With a population of 7.2 million, it’s the 14th most populous state in the nation. Arizona offers amazing geographical and cultural variety. We’ve compiled a list of things to consider before packing up and moving here.
Pros and Cons of Living in Arizona
- Weather: If you like sunshine, we’ve got plenty! With most areas getting nearly year-round sunny days, you won’t have to worry about dreary overcast skies.
- Cost of Living: Lower than the national average, the cost of living allows people to enjoy a higher standard of living compared to some other states.
- Job Market: Job opportunities are plentiful here, particularly in cities like Phoenix. Growing and emerging sectors include industrial, tourism, healthcare, manufacturing, and aerospace.
- Solar Energy: With all this sun comes the opportunity to harness it. Many residents take advantage of solar power. It would be crazy not to.
- Activities: The state is a paradise for those into golfing, hiking, rock climbing, skiing, biking, running, and a plethora of other outdoor activities.
- Politics: Residents of Arizona tend to be politically conservative. Gun ownership is also strong here. Of course, depending on your leanings, this can be a good or bad thing.
- Youthful State: Contrary to popular belief, the Grand Canyon State is not filled with retirees. The median age has hovered around 33 years old in recent years.
- Heat: Mid to southern Arizona has notoriously hot summers. Phoenix, for example, has an average July temp of 91°F. Be prepared for the heat.
- Dust Storms: Haboobs are a kind of intense dust storm. Dust storms are an inconvenient and dangerous part of life in this southwestern state.
- Schools: The quality of public education varies. The state, however, has been making strides to improve student outcomes and provide better support statewide.
- Water Supply: Many parts of Arizona suffer from drought issues or are on the cusp of dealing with them. This challenge is projected to get worse.
- Traffic & Pollution: Especially in urban areas like Phoenix, one of the largest cities in America, traffic congestion and pollution has seen an uptick as the population continues to increase.
- Walkability: Arizona is home to some of the most un-walkable cities. If you need to get around, you’ll have to rely on public transportation or a personal vehicle.
Property Tax: Taxpayers pay property tax rates below the national average. The average effective statewide property tax rate is less than 0.80%.
Sales Tax: The state tax rate is currently 5.6%. Combined tax rates of state, county, and municipalities vary. Phoenix, for instance, has a combined tax rate of 8.6% (5.6% state, 0.7% county, and 2.3% city).
Income Tax: Arizona residents enjoy lower-than-average income tax rates.
Tax Brackets (Singles)
- Up to $10,601 = 2.59%
- $10,602.00 to $26,500 = 2.88%
- $26,501 to $52,999 = 3.36%
- $53,000 to $158,995 = 4.24%
- $158,996 and above = 4.54%
Tax Brackets (Married / Filing Jointly)
- Up to $21,201 = 2.59%
- $21,202 to $52,299 = 2.88%
- $53,000 to $105,997 = 3.36%
- $105,998 to $317,989 = 4.24%
- $317,990 and above = 4.54%
Renting vs. Owning: This varies depending on location. In Phoenix, renting is considered a better option than buying a home. The overall buyer’s market, however, is currently very hot.
Median Home Value: $252,900
Average Rent: $1,014 per month (Phoenix apartment)
Cheapest Places to Live:
Cost of Living
In general, the cost of living in Arizona is relatively low compared to the US average. The 2018 cost of living index was 97.7/100, according to the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center. Again, like most other states, this is dependent on region, housing, transportation, taxes, food costs, and other living expenses.
Breakdown of Average Living Expenses for 2 Adults + 2 Kids:
- Housing = $1,013
- Food = $748
- Childcare = $1,409
- Transportation = $1,154
- Healthcare = $1,531
- Other necessities = $710
- Taxes = $1,020
- Total = $7,585/month or $91,024/year
- Housing = $854
- Food = $729
- Childcare = $1,299
- Transportation = $1,149
- Healthcare = $1,253
- Other necessities = $638
- Taxes = $842
- Total = $6,764/month or $81,166/year
Weather & Natural Disasters
Overall, Arizona has an arid to semi-arid climate with very little rainfall. Climate does vary greatly depending on elevation and region, however. Southern Arizona (including Tucson and Phoenix) has mild winters and extremely hot summers. Northern Arizona areas such as Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Hopi and Navajo Nations, Sedona, Prescott, and Flagstaff, experience four seasons.
In Southern Arizona, temperatures average 43–67°F in winter and 81–106°F in summer. Northern Arizona sees temperatures of 14—41°F in January and temperatures of 50—81°F in July. Annual precipitation in Phoenix is about 8 inches, whereas average precipitation at higher elevations is 25–30 inches per year, with snow as the major form of precipitation.
- Extreme Heat
- Flash Floods
- Dust Storms
- Winter Storms
Economy & Job Market
According to Business Insider, Arizona’s state economy recently came in at #27 in the nation. The state enjoyed a robust economy in 2018 and will continue to see more of the same moving forward.
The overall job market in Arizona has seen a nearly 3% growth over-year-over (2019). The unemployment rate, however, is 4.7%, higher than the national average of 3.9%. Average income is $25,537 per year, lower than the current US average of $28,555. Median household income is nearly $50,000 per year, lower than the national average of over $53,000.
- Circle K
- Republic Services
- ON Semiconductor
- Apollo Education Group
- Amkor Technology
- Sprouts Farmer Markets
- Arizona State University
- Banner Health
- Retail & Hospitality
- Aerospace & Defense
- Technology & Innovation
- Bioscience & Healthcare
- Business & Financial Services
Find Arizona Jobs:
- AZ.gov Site: Employment in Arizona
- Resume Resources: Monster, ResumeRobin, TopResume
- Job Search Sites: CareerBuilder, CollegeRecruiter, Indeed, LinkedIn, ZipRecruiter
Traffic and Transportation
Again, Arizona isn’t exactly a walker-friendly state. Residents must rely on public transportation or a personal vehicle. Public transport is good in Phoenix, but most of the state is heavily car-dependent.
The main modes of transportation are
- Air: Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, Tucson International Airport, Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, Yuma International Airport, Prescott Municipal Airport, Flagstaff Pulliam Airport, Grand Canyon National Park Airport, Scottsdale Municipal Airport
- Rail: Amtrak and light rail systems
- Bus: public bus transit systems and Greyhound
- Car, motorcycle, and bicycle: personal, rental, taxi, Uber / Lyft
Major Thoroughfares: Main interstate north-south routes include I-10, I-17, I-19, and I-40. Major east-west routes are I-8, 1-10, I-40, I-15. And who hasn’t heard of the iconic and famous US Route 66 that will take you through Arizona’s historic sites and towns? Pick up a copy of the Arizona 66 Passport, a super handy little travel guide that will you get your kicks on Route 66.
Traffic: In 2018, the INRIX Global Traffic Scorecard indicated that Phoenix, AZ, had a global impact rank of 125th, with an average of 73 hours lost in congestion. The city is also considered the 25th most congested in America. But Arizona has many rural areas that you’ll drive through on your way from one city to another. The scenery on the road is beautiful, and the traffic isn’t usually a problem.
Things to Do
Here are our top recommendations:
Tours & Sightseeing: Grand Canyon National Park Bus Tour, Upper Antelope Canyon Ticket, Grand Canyon All-American Helicopter Tour, Desert Belle Sightseeing Cruise on Saguaro Lake, Sedona Red Rocks Jeep Adventure, Sedona Vortex Tour, Sunrise Hot Air Balloon Ride (Phoenix)
Shows & Concerts: Fox Tucson Theatre, Ajo Plaza, Talking Stick Resort, Oracle Piano Society, Mesa Arts Center, Gila River Arena, Chuck Wagon Supper, and Western Stage Show, Carnival of Illusion, National Comedy Theatre, Public Axe Throwing at BATL, Phoenix Carnival of Illusion
Sports: Phoenix Suns (NBA), Arizona Cardinals (NFL), Arizona Diamondbacks (MLB), Arizona Coyotes (NHL), Arizona Rattlers (IFL), Phoenix Mercury (WNBA), Phoenix Rising FC (USL Champion), FC Tucson (USL League One), FC Arizona (National Premier Soccer League)
Food & Wine Tours: Scottsdale Trolley Food Tour, Party Bike Pub Crawl of Old Town Scottsdale, ROJO TOURS, Sedona Vortex Food Tours, Indigenous Roots of Phoenix Food & Culture Tour, Art & Wine Class in Scottsdale, The Flavors of Historic Jerome Wine Experience
Water & Amusement Parks: McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park, Trail Dust Town, Old Tucson, Castles N’ Coasters, Golfland Sunsplash, Oasis Water Park, Wet ‘n’ Wild Phoenix, Desert Oasis Aquatic Center, Anthem Community Center, Enchanted Island Amusement Park
National Parks: Grand Canyon National Park, Petrified Forest National Park, Saguaro National Park, Spur Cross Ranch, Walnut Canyon National Monument, Tonto National Monument, Monument Valley Navajo Park, Wupatki National Monument, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Coronado National Memorial, Coconino National Forest, Kaibab National Forest
Eat & Drink: Oregano’s Pizza Bistro, AZ Food & Wine, Four Points by Sheraton Phoenix South Mountain, Chateau Tumbleweed, The Keg Steakhouse + Bar in Gilbert, Crowne Plaza Phoenix Airport, The Keg Steakhouse + Bar in Chandler, Desert Rose Steakhouse, JW Marriot Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa, Trail Dust Town, Crown King Saloon & Cafe
Zoos & Aquariums: Bearizona Wildlife Park, Out of Africa Wildlife Park, Butterfly Wonderland, Grand Canyon Deer Farm, Reid Park Zoo, Funny Foot Farm & Tucson Petting Zoo, Phoenix Zoo, OdySea Aquarium, SEA LIFE Arizona Aquarium, Phoenix Herpetological Sanctuary
Museums: Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Phoenix Art Museum, Wells Fargo Museum, Music Instrument Museum, Arizona Copper Art Museum, Pima Air and Space Museum, Franklin Museum, Desert Botanical Garden, Heard Museum, Desert Caballeros Western Museum, Museum of the Horse Soldier, Hall of Flame Fire Fighting Museum
Art Galleries: Zelma Basha Salmeri Gallery, Exposures International Gallery of Fine Art, Renee Taylor Gallery, DeGrazia Gallery of the Sun, Madaras Gallery, Son Silver West Gallery, Jerome Artists Cooperative Gallery, Village Gallery of Local Artists, Sedona Arts Center, Etherton Gallery
Scenic Drives: Mount Lemmon Scenic Byway, Red Rock Scenic Byway, East Rim Drive, Cape Royal Drive, Oak Creek Canyon, South Rim Drive, Cactus Forest Drive, Vermillion Cliffs Scenic Highway, Sitgreaves Pass, Salt River Canyon Scenic Drive, Apache Trail Scenic Drive
Cool and Unusual: The Wave, Yayoi Kusama Firefly Infinity Mirror Room, The Domes, Meteor Crater, Mystery Castle, Havasupai Falls, Horseshoe Bend, Antelope Canyon, Montezuma Castle, Biosphere 2, Petrified Forest National Park, Pumpkin Spring Pool, Coconino Lava River Cave, Apache Death Cave, Grand Canyon Caverns Underground Suite, Titan Missile Museum
Schools and Universities
With the 8th lowest graduation rate at nearly 80%, and the 2nd lowest public school spending in the country at less than $8,200 per pupil, Arizona has room for improvement. Despite this, the state does have areas where quality schools and higher learning are strong. When you read about our favorite Arizona cities, you find their school ratings are high. Niche.com assigns high ratings to the following districts:
Top 10 School Districts:
- Catalina Foothills Unified School District (Tucson)
- Chandler Unified School District NO. 80 (Chandler)
- Vail Unified School District (Vail)
- Young Elementary School District (Young)
- Choice Academies (Phoenix)
- Tanque Verde Unified School District (Tucson)
- Gilbert Unified School District (Gilbert)
- Scottsdale Unified School District (Scottsdale)
- Peoria Unified School District (Glendale)
- Paradise Valley Unified School District (Phoenix)
Top 10 Colleges:
- Arizona Christian University (Phoenix)
- Prescott College (Prescott)
- University of Arizona (Tucson)
- Arizona State University – Tempe (Tempe)
- Grand Canyon University (Phoenix)
- Northern Arizona University (Flagstaff)
- Arizona State University – West (Tempe)
- Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Prescott (Prescott)
- Northcentral University (San Diego)
- The School of Architecture at Taliesin (Scottsdale)
How to Become an Arizona Resident
To qualify as an Arizona resident, you must:
- Establish residency in the state.
- Live in Arizona for six months or longer.
- Use an Arizona address to register to vote, obtain a license, etc.
Moving to Arizona DOT (ADOT)
Getting a new driver’s license:
- Apply in person at ADOT office
- Complete application form
- Provide at least two documents: license or ID, SSN, legal proof of name change, proof of Arizona residency, proof of authorized US presence
- Surrender out-of-state license
- Pass vision test
- Pay licensing fee
- Receive a temporary card
- Your Arizona driver’s license will be delivered by mail within 15 days
- Be a United States citizen
- Be a resident of Arizona and the county in which you’re registering
- Be 18 years of age or older by the day of the general election.
*Note: You cannot register to vote if 1) you’ve been convicted of a felony and haven’t had your civil rights restored or 2) you’ve been adjudicated or incapacitated by a court of law.
You’re required to register your vehicle as soon as you’ve established residency in Arizona. You must surrender your out-of-state title and registration when applying for Arizona title and registration. Bring driver’s license, proof of ownership, title, and registration with you. There are 40+ ADOT offices in Arizona that you can visit.
Best Places to Live in Arizona
Median Home Value: $376,700
Located on the Colorado Plateau, the northern region of Arizona that’s characterized by high deserts, mountains, plateaus, and forested areas, this charming mountain town offers endless outdoor adventures and a reasonable cost of living. Just a couple hours from the Grand Canyon and Phoenix, this diverse city has a decidedly small-town vibe. Residents tend to be politically moderate, and many young professionals and families call it home. And unlike most places in the state, it snows here!
If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, cross-country skiing, hiking, climbing, mountain biking, geocaching, horseback riding, ATV adventures, the list goes on – you’ll love it here. There are several parks, such as Buffalo Park, Ft. Tuthill County Park, and Thorpe and Wheeler Parks, where you can enjoy the clean mountain environment.
Flagstaff values sustainability. It’s easy to find lots of organic produce, and you can get around via the 130 miles of bike lanes. There’s no shortage of great places to eat whether your taste buds are craving barbecue, Mediterranean, Chinese, Greek, Navajo, and other ethnic cuisines. Flagstaff is a wonderful place to observe the stars and prides itself on being the 1st International Dark Sky City. Learn about the history and culture of the Anasazi and Native American people who have lived in this area for centuries by exploring the “Grand Circle” — a high concentration of national parks.
Public schools are above average. Notable examples include BASIS Flagstaff, Montessori Charter School of Flagstaff, Northland Preparatory Academy, Mountain School, and Flagstaff Arts & Leadership Academy. Colleges include Northern Arizona University (NAU) and Coconino Community College (CCC).
If you’re in the market for a close-knit city surrounded by a unique combination of culture and natural wonders, including the Coconino National Forest, Flagstaff is a great choice in Northern Arizona.
Median Home Value: $367,500
Our second pick for Northern Arizona cities is Prescott, just southwest of Flagstaff in Yavapai County. Known as a great place to retire, Prescott offers even greater small-town living and climate variation, with an elevation of over 5,300 feet. The cost of living may be a little higher compared to other parts of the state, but you get what you pay for with one of the best places to live in the Grand Canyon State.
Like its neighbor Flagstaff, Prescott gets snow and experiences cooler weather compared to other cities. The majority of residents own their homes and tend to lean conservative. Again, if you’re into outdoor adventures, this is a phenomenal place to explore. On the cultural end, there are many historical landmarks such as The Phippen Museum that specializes in Western art, and the famous downtown Whiskey Row area, filled with a variety or restaurants, shops, bars, live music, and more.
Top public schools include Tri-City College Prep School, Skyview School, Basis Prescott, Mountain Oak Charter School, and Abia Judd Elementary School. It’s also home to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Yavapai College, and Prescott College.
If you’re searching for a friendly and relaxing small city with four distinct seasons, you should put Prescott on your list of great places to live.
Median Home Value: $513,800
Last but certainly not least, we have Sedona rounding out our list of northern Arizona cities. Sitting on the county line between Yavapai and Coconino, the city is a nature lover’s paradise known for its mixture of remarkable red rock scenery and evergreen landscape. Though housing costs are higher than other Arizona cities, Sedona offers a semi-arid climate with mild winters and gorgeous surroundings.
Consistently voted as one of the most beautiful US cities, Sedona gets approximately 3–4 million visitors every year. And no wonder. Along with its amazing limestone and red rock formations, there are 200+ miles of biking and hiking trails, shopping, fine cuisine, and an assortment of art galleries. Public services include the Sedona Center for Arts & Technology, Sedona Public Library, Sedona Historical Society, and the Humane Society of Sedona.
Other than tourism, job opportunities are somewhat lacking. Speaking of tourists, during peak season it can get pretty congested here, especially the traffic. The cost of living, both housing and renting, is also the highest on this list. The best public schools in the area are Sedona Red Rock Junior / Senior High School, Sedona Charter School, and Weitzel’s Puente de Hozho Bilingual Magnet School.
Are you looking for a safe, clean town with great hiking and other outdoor activities? Whether you want to get into the tourism business or retire, Sedona offers a nice balance of small-city charm and some of the most beautiful geological wonders in the United States.
Median Home Value: $232,500
Taking a look at the southern part of the state, we start with Glendale. Situated in Maricopa County, nine miles northwest of Phoenix, Glendale is the 6th most populous city in Arizona. Many families and younger professionals live here, and most residents tend to be politically moderate. As a culturally and ethnically diverse place, Glendale has something for everyone.
Activities are plentiful: pro sports (see below), family fun (Wet N’ Wild Phoenix Water Park and World Wildlife Zoo), parks (Foothills Park, Skunk Creek Linear Park, and Thunderbird Conservation Park), awesome food (The Spicery, Bobby Q, and La Piazza al Forno), and vibrant nightlife (Sangria Luxe Lounge). And if that’s not enough, more fun activities and job opportunities are just a 20-minute drive away in Phoenix. As for transportation, the city offers a convenient transit service called Dial-A-Ride.
Public schooling is above average, including schools such as Phoenix Union Bioscience High School, Challenge Charter School, Pinnacle Pointe Academy, Mountain Ridge High School, and Sunrise Mountain High School. Colleges include Arizona State University, Glendale Community College, and Arizona College – Glendale. It’s also the site of State Farm Arena, home of the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals, and Gila River Arena, home of the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes.
If you’ve been looking for a combo of great weather, inexpensive cost of living and endless entertainment, Glendale checks all the boxes.
Median Home Value: $251,300
As the largest suburban city in America and the third largest city in Arizona, Mesa is a family-friendly place known for its educational and business opportunities — not to mention some of the coolest mountain views in the state. Residents tend to own their homes and lean conservative. With a median age of 36 and a median home value of about $250,000, families and single professionals alike reside here.
Places to visit and things to do include: Hohokam Stadium with its national youth and adult baseball tournaments; numerous parks and pools; the Commemorative Air Force Aviation Museum; Golfland Sunsplash waterpark; fun centers including the 28,000 square foot Jeepers! Amusement Paradise; Mesa Market Place Swap Market; Arizona Museum of Natural History; Mesa Arts Center; and Downtown Mesa with its many entertainment & shopping options, food vendors, and craft booths.
As previously mentioned, the city is known for several institutes of higher education, including Arizona State University-Polytechnic Campus (ASU Polytechnic), East Valley Institute of Technology, Pima Medical Institute-Mesa, and Mesa Community College. Not to be outdone, it is also home to several great public schools like Self Development Academy, Gilbert Classical Academy High School, Leading Edge Academy at East Mesa, and Montessori Education Centre Charter School.
With a relatively low cost of living, sunny weather, and a ton of family-centered activities to do, Mesa offers big-city living minus several big-city headaches.
Population: 1.71 million
Median Home Value: $242,600
As America’s 5th largest city by population and the capital of Arizona, Phoenix is the state’s crown jewel. Located in Maricopa County in the Sonoran Desert, more than 16 million people visit ‘The Valley of the Sun’ annually. Of course, summers are extremely hot here, but the city offers boundless opportunities, activities, and adventures to those who visit and live here.
The benefits of moving to Phoenix can be boiled down to five points: 1) cost of living lower than national average, 2) arts & culture — a fascinating convergence of Native American and Hispanic cultures rivals many other cities, 3) outdoor & indoor adventures such as hiking, biking, climbing, water sports, dive bars, posh lounges, museums, nightlife, the list goes on, 4) festivals & activities from music to food fairs and 5) the overall lifestyle (diversity is abundant here).
Schools are above average in the Phoenix metropolitan area. Top public schools include BASIS Phoenix, BASIS Ahwatukee, Great Hearts Academies – Veritas Prep, Keystone Montessori Charter School, and The Farm at Mission Montessori Academy. Colleges include Chamberlain College of Nursing, Arizona State University – Downtown Phoenix Campus, Motorcycle Mechanics Institute, GateWay Community College, and Grand Canyon University.
Greater Phoenix is a dynamic, thriving desert metropolis ready to share its year-round sunshine, affordable cost of living, strong job market, and all the benefits of living in one of the biggest and best cities in the United States.
Median Home Value: $480,200
Nicknamed ‘The World’s Most Western Town,’ Scottsdale is situated in Maricopa County and is considered part of the Greater Phoenix Area. Most residents are homeowners and tend to be politically conservative. Considered the desert version of South Beach in Miami, the city of less than 300,000 has a resort-like atmosphere filled with golf courses, spas, high-end hotels, parks, shopping, and family activities.
Named after its founder, Winfield Scott, Scottsdale offers a lot: sunny weather, fine dining, excellent schools, close proximity to Phoenix, golfing, open spaces (#1 park system in the state), resorts, stellar shopping, art galleries, car culture & auctions (Barrett-Jackson), and much more. A few drawbacks, however, are the higher cost of living and extreme summer heat.
Public education is topnotch here. Great schools include Basis Scottsdale, Basis Scottsdale Primary School, Great Hearts Academies – Scottsdale Prep, Phoenix Union Bioscience High School, and Mission Montessori Academy. Higher education is limited – there’s Scottsdale Community College, and that’s about it – but Phoenix is only a short commute away.
Ranked among the safest places in Arizona to raise a family and known as a great area for foodies, Scottsdale is a highly livable city with every modern convenience and amenity you can think of, all in the middle of the enchanting Sonoran Desert.
Median Home Value: $290,000
As a growing city just east of Phoenix, Tempe offers sunny days year round. The city is named after the Vale of Tempe, a narrow valley in Thessaly, Greece, and is home to both US Airways Group’s corporate headquarters and the main campus of Arizona State University. Holding predominantly moderate political views, the majority of residents are homeowners.
Home to the Fortune 500 company, Insight Enterprises, Tempe is also the corporate headquarters for several other companies such as LifeLock, First Solar, Salt River Project, Circle K, and Limelight Networks, to name a few. A big player in tech and innovation, Tempe enjoys an ever-growing economy with a relatively small population.
Looking for stuff to do? There’re water activities (Big Surf Water Park, canoeing and paddle boarding at Tempe Town Lake), shopping (Arizona Mills and Tempe Market Place), mouthwatering food (House of Tricks, Four Peaks Restaurant, Culinary Dropout), zoos & aquariums (Phoenix Zoo and Sea Life Aquarium), art & music (Tempe Festival of the Arts), sports (Arizona State Sun Devils football), a vibrant nightlife (Mill Avenue District), and much more.
Public education is highly rated, with schools like ASU Preparatory Academy – Polytechnic High School, Center for Educational Excellence, Kyrene Del Cielo School, and Corona Del Sol High School. Tempe is home to Arizona State University, the largest higher education school in Arizona, the University of Phoenix and the University of Advancing Technology. As a result, the city offers a great college-town experience.
Looking for urban living in Southern Arizona filled with culture, entertainment, and character? Tempe may not be the biggest city, but it certainly packs a punch.
How to Move to Arizona
As with most things in life, it pays to be prepared, especially when moving. Spare yourself undue stress and drama by following this helpful interstate moving checklist.
2-3 Months Out
- First things first – plan: Relocating to Arizona takes a lot of preparation and proper execution. Don’t wait until the last minute. Give yourself ample time, at least 8-12 weeks if possible, to pull it all together. Get others involved to spitball ideas and get the ball rolling.
- Get to know Arizona: Whether you’re still searching or know exactly where to live, take the time to research your new community. Study up on schools, job market, doctors, activities, overall vibe, etc. If doable, plan to visit your new town or city before relocating.
- Decide on a place to live: While mulling over choices, keep in mind what you’re looking for in your new community. Don’t compromise if you don’t have to. There’s something out there for everyone. If long-term housing is not in the cards, you can always go with a short-term option at first.
- Shop for movers: Always compare at least 3–5 licensed and insured moving specialists. With Great Guys, the process is simple. Find reputable and affordable Arizona moving services without the hassle. Request a free moving quote today!
- Hire a moving company ASAP: Once you’ve received your quotes, select a company that checks every box. Make sure they offer all the services you require (packing, storage, custom crating, etc.). Book at least eight weeks ahead of time to secure good rates and availability.
- Consider storage: Have a few valuable belongings or a whole house full of stuff that needs to be temporarily stored? Many moving companies also offer storage-in-transit solutions. Discuss storage options with your mover.
- Downsize: The purging process frees up space, helps to declutter, and ultimately saves money. Start by taking inventory of your household. Make piles of possessions to pack or discard. Items you no longer want can be sold online, at a yard sale, donated, or recycled.
1-2 Months Before Move
- Notify landlord: If you rent, give your landlord sufficient notice. You don’t want to break your rental agreement, pay extra charges, or put your security deposit at risk.
- Grab packing supplies: After the purging process, it’s time to pack. Gather all the packing supplies you need: cardboard boxes (two sizes for easier storage and transport), tape, bubble wrap, packing peanuts, moving blankets, etc.
- Start packing: Begin in one room. Place heavier items at the bottom of boxes. Once done, use crumpled paper or old T-shirts to fill up spaces, then tape and label the boxes. If you don’t have the desire or ability, you can always hire a packing team.
- Let people know what’s up: Having been consumed with moving logistics, you’ve probably forgotten to notify friends, co-workers, and even family members of your upcoming move. Meet up in person, or if not possible, call or send a nice email with contact information.
- Visit doctors (for pets, kids, and yourself): Before you relocate, you’ll want to get checkups. Visit the vet and double check Arizona pet laws. Have your children seen by their pediatrician, etc. And don’t forget your health. Remember to transfer medical records, too.
- Cancel/turn on services: Schedule cancelation of utilities, subscriptions, and home services. Four weeks or so before moving, set up accounts with your new utility providers and arrange for activation 2 or 3 days before you move in. Communicate with new residents of your old place to ensure utilities will be turned on when they move in.
- Take care of food: Have a surplus of frozen, canned food, and perishables? Eat it up and save on grocery trips. Anything you have left over can be donated or given to neighbors, friends, and family.
- Empty and clean appliances: To limit mold growth and lighten the load, which can lower your moving expenses, clear out and sanitize your fridge, freezer, stove, and any other appliances. Have a professional disconnect gas lines.
- Change address: One last thing, remember to fill out a change-of-address form. It’s easy. Make a trip to your post office or take care of it online (USPS site). Don’t forget!
- Clean: Okay, so you should be almost done with packing (see “Pack essentials box” below). Now it’s time to tidy up your place. Hire professionals to take care of carpet, wood flooring, paint, etc. If doable, have a cleaning crew come in right after movers have cleared everything out.
- Service vehicle: Driving to Arizona? Take your vehicle in for service (oil, coolant, tires, etc.). The last thing you need is to break down while traveling to Arizona. While you’re at it, take a look at your driving plan and decide on the best route.
- Confirm with movers: Make sure everyone’s on the same page. Double check arrival time, exchange phone numbers so that you can easily contact the moving crew during transit, and answer or ask any last-minute questions.
- Schedule daycare: If you have pets or children, you’ll want to prepare for this crazy time. It’s easy to be distracted and lose sight of your loved ones. To ensure their safety, schedule a play date, babysitting, or doggie daycare.
- Celebrate: Whether you’ve lived in your old place a year or all your life, we’re sure you have people near and dear to whom you’ll want to say goodbye before you leave. Hang out one-on-one, plan a group activity, or have a going-away party at your old place. Make sure to spend time with the folks you love.
Last 72 Hours & Moving Day
- Pack essentials box: Once the dust has settled, set aside time to collect and pack all essentials you’ll need for the first day or so at your new home: prescriptions, toiletries, clothes, bedding, toys, snacks, etc. Pack in a single box and place somewhere accessible.
- Double check travel itinerary: If you’re driving, look over your route. Check tires, oil, gas, etc. If you’re flying, go over flight times and check baggage and carry-on requirements.
- Last night – rest up: You’ve got a long day ahead. Stay in, relax, eat a healthy meal, and get some decent sleep.
- Be available: Moving day is here! Just in case there are any eleventh-hour questions, or you remember something important, you’ll want to be around when your moving crew arrives.
- Be present: Things are hectic today. Just make sure to breathe and be in the moment. By following all of the previous steps, everything should work out fine.
- Perform a walkthrough: Once the moving crew has emptied your house, take one last tour. Look out for any items you may have missed, make sure everything is tidy, then lock up. Did you tell the new residents where to find the keys?
- Enjoy yourself: Remember, it’s not just about the destination. Make an adventure out of the journey to your new home, especially with little ones. This transition is a time that merits some fun!
Quality Moving Services from Arizona Movers
Great Guys Moving can connect you with affordable, reliable AZ moving companies who offer an array of moving services to meet every relocation need.
Moving from another state? This major life transition is a stressful time trying to handle everything: organization, packing, transport, travel, life, etc. If you’re looking to simplify your out-of-state relocation, we’re here to help. We can find you, reputable interstate movers, you can count on.
Intrastate & Local Moves
Featured Arizona Insurance Agent
Jane Doe - ABC Insurance Company
Interested in becoming the featured insurance agent to help people with their insurance needs as they navigate through the relocation process? We'd love to partner with you so that you can help make the relocation process easier and more affordable. Contact us today for more details.
Moving to another neighborhood or county in Arizona? Either way, it helps to hire professionals who know your area. The local movers in our network provide a seamless transition anywhere in Arizona, so you can spend less time worrying and more time focusing on all the other details of your move.
Small Load Moves
It doesn’t matter if you have a small amount of stuff to move. We’ll set you up with movers who specialize in dorm, studio, one-bedroom and other small load moves.
No one wants to deal with injury and damages. Whether you need to transport an antique curio cabinet or a home filled with furniture, it’s not worth the risk trying to tackle it yourself. Instead, leave it to our furniture moving pros. They make shipping bulky furniture easy.
Successfully moving a piano takes special skill and attention to detail. Whether transporting an heirloom upright or concert grand, our skilled piano movers know what it takes. Rest assured that your prized instrument will arrive unscathed at its new destination.
Art & Antiques
From personal collections to art galleries, antiques and fine art can be subjected to permanent damage while moving. Who are you supposed to trust? With Great Guys, you can have peace of mind. Our specialized art handlers ensure a smooth relocation of your most precious pieces.
Moving cross country? Renovating? Traveling for several months? In any case, a temporary storage option may be in order. Many Arizona moving companies offer temporary storage-in-transit. You’re just a few clicks or call away from finding a cheap, secure storage solution.
Have an antique vehicle that’s going with you to Arizona but want to protect it from road wear? Need to transport a family vehicle across the country? Whatever the situation, we have the solution. Click ‘Get Quote,’ and within minutes, you’ll receive competitive bids from several top auto transport companies. Get in touch with us today to see how much money you can save.
Most people hate packing. If you feel the same way, know that you have options. Our packing partners offer an assortment of services – from partial packing and custom crating to full-service packing from start to finish – that will take it easy on your wallet and save your free time.
Need to move an entire household? No problem. You’ve got enough on your plate, and the last thing you want is more stress. No matter the size of your household, we can hook you up with quality residential moving services for a drama-free transition.
Don’t leave your relocation in the wrong hands. You have a business to run, and the last thing you need is downtime and delays. Moving a company is complex, but our network of highly qualified office moving specialists can help you smoothly execute your next business move.
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Are you headed to Arizona soon? Contact us today for a free moving estimate.