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moving to washington

Moving to Washington

Washington, nicknamed The Evergreen State, is known for its tech-savvy inhabitants and evergreen forests. 60% of its population lives in the Seattle metropolitan area. In the Spokane area, another popular location for those moving to Washington, you’ll find a mecca for outdoorsman, with 77 lakes and numerous parks, and hiking trails.

Moving Advice

Here are a few bits of advice you should know before moving to Washington:

Don’t wait for prices to drop to Washington: renting a moving truck for your move will cost you about the same anytime of year.

Likewise, don’t worry about what day of the week you want to get started, as the moving truck rental rates run the same whether they are picked up on a Monday or Friday.

Be prepared for the rain and/or snow if you plan to move to Washington in the fall or winter.

Though parts of Washington may not get as much rain as New York City, November through January is the wettest time of the year.

Seattle traffic can be pretty bad; the I-90/I-5 interchange has been touted as being one of the worst in the nation. Follow Seattle Traffic prior to moving to get an idea for which time is best to get on the road. Also keep in mind that traffic is at an all-time high on Fridays, sunny days, and during sporting events due to the close proximity of the Seattle Seahawks and Mariners stadiums to downtown.

Keep in mind that most homes and apartments in western Washington do not have air conditioners. Though the weather here is mostly temperate, there is a small window in July when the weather can get extremely hot and humid.  Eastern Washington does not record nearly the same amount of rain as western Washington.

When moving to Washington, as with any move, make sure to change your address online or at the post office directly. Both are easy to do and can give you the peace of mind that your mail will make it to your new home in a timely manner. The USPS will forward all first-class mail for one year, and magazines and periodicals for 60 days. You will also receive over $500 in coupons for companies in your new neighborhood.

Get Organized

Check out our downloadable planners and checklists.

Moving-out-for-the-first-time Checklist

Last-minute Moving Checklist

Move Planner

Cities and Metro Areas

Washington is a state in which each city differs greatly, and there is a definite split on either side of the Cascades.

There is a wide range of cities to choose from when planning your move, and it’s a good idea to do your research before deciding which to call home.

Approximately 60% of the state’s population lives in Seattle, but there are smaller cities and towns as well that shouldn’t be overlooked—Tacoma, Olympia, Spokane and Wenatchee, just to name a few.

Cost of Living

Washington has many cities to choose from and you may find the one that cuts your cost in utilities.

Compared to the cost of living in eastern Washington, groceries, utilities, transportation and healthcare will cost you more in Seattle.

Similarly, though housing costs in Washington run higher than the national average in some areas, the amount you spend on a house will depend entirely on the area in which you live.


When moving to Washington, you will enjoy an array of climates.  The western half of the state enjoys an oceanic climate and Seattle has, on average, 201 cloudy days, 93 partly cloudy days, and an average of 71 days of sun each year.

There is an average of 150 rainy days with an average of 37.17 inches of rain each year. The winters are cloudy and the average high/low temperatures on one day vary little. The relatively dry summers are gorgeous and average 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

Temperatures can, however reach into the 80s and 90s during July and August.

The part of Washington on the eastern side of the Cascade Mountains enjoys a humid continental climate. Spokane enjoys warm, dry summers and an average of 260 days of sunshine a year. The winters are wet, cold and snowy. Eastern Washington is protected from the weather extremes by the Cascade and Rocky mountains.


Finding the right school for you and your family in Washington is a worthy endeavor. Washington Public School Districts are working toward making it easier than ever to choose the right school for your child.

The 2010-2011 School Report Card is also available for Washington public schools, which includes any and all info you might need for elementary, junior high or high schools. Many families use this school information to make the decision of which Washington city and neighborhood to call home.


Washington, like many states, has an extensive network of online resources you can utilize to take care of important tasks such as voter registration, tax information and city permits needed for tree trimming and construction. Some Washington resources can be found at the following sites: