Indiana, or the Hoosier State, can be found nestled between Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, and Lake Michigan. Offering a host of attractive perks – low cost of living (including the #2 best housing index in the nation), great universities, central location, genuinely nice people, the list goes on – the “Crossroads of America” is a surprising gem of the Midwest.

Considering a move to Indiana? We’re here to lend a helping hand. Great Guys Moving has created this handy IN moving guide, which provides info on the following topics:

  1. Things to Consider Before Moving to IN
  2. Top Places to Live Here in the Midwest State
  3. Comprehensive Interstate Moving Checklist
  4. Great Guys Quality, Cheap Moving Services

Our goal is to help you make the best decisions. Once you’re ready, we can provide you with free moving quotes from reputable Indiana moving companies in minutes – it’s that easy!

Find out how much your move costs!

Living in Indiana: What to Know Before Moving to Indiana

Considering a move to the Hoosier State? If so, be sure to check out everything it has to offer as America’s 38th largest state (36,418 square miles) and 17th most populous state (6.69 million).

Pros and Cons of Living in Indiana


  • Super-low cost of living: With a cost of living index of 82.1, Indiana easily makes the Top 10 list of most affordable states in America. Indianapolis is one of the cheapest cities in the US, too.
  • Affordable housing: Not to be outdone, the state has the second-lowest housing index in the nation, according to the ten states with the lowest cost of living list by The Balance Small Business.
  • Awesome universities: You’ll find three world-renowned universities – The University of Notre Dame, Purdue University, and Indiana University Bloomington – among other great schools.
  • Four seasons: Coming from an area without four distinct seasons? You’re in for a treat! Enjoy sunny summers, snowy winters, beautiful springs, and breathtaking views of fall foliage.
  • Central location: Want to be close to the action of some of America’s greatest cities? Nashville, Cincinnati, Chicago, St. Louis, Cleveland, and many more are less than a day’s drive away.
  • Low crime, friendly folks: People feel safe here, and they also have good manners. Even the cities offer a small-town feel. This state is a great place to raise kids or enjoy peace & quiet.
  • Home of famous musicians: The list is quite impressive: Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, The Jackson 5, John Cougar Mellencamp, David Lee Roth, Axle Rose, The Ataris, the list goes on! 


  • Lack of things to do: Besides places like Indianapolis (the largest city in the state), residents tend to complain that there isn’t a whole lot of fun stuff to do around these slow-paced parts.
  • Drug epidemic: The unfortunate reality is that a drug crisis has struck many parts of the United States, and Indiana is no exception. Meth labs, in particular, are a big issue here.
  • Low diversity: Let’s be honest; the state isn’t exactly ethnically diverse. For the most part, you won’t find a variety of nationalities or different cultural influences in the Hoosier State.
  • Extreme weather: During the summer, it can be awfully hot and humid here. Winter temperatures can easily dip below 15 degrees. Just be prepared for these seasonal extremes.
  • Lack of public transit: The consensus is that there’s a lot of room for improvement when it comes to public transit systems here. Need to get around? Your best bet is driving your own car.
  • Corn central: This might not seem like a bad thing, but corn is everywhere. Wherever you go, you’re bound to come across a cornfield. The abundant corn farms result in some rather bland scenery.
  • Wacky laws: Now it’s time for some weird laws in Indiana. For instance, you can either kiss someone or wear a mustache, but not both. Also, vehicles must give horses the right of way in the state.

Is Indiana a Good Place to Live?

Indiana is one of the best states to live in because it boasts the lowest cost of living, low crime rates, and plenty of job opportunities with a growing automotive industry. As the state with the lowest cost of living, it also makes sense that it has incredibly affordable housing. The Hoosier State is also home to some renowned educational institutions such as Notre Dame and Purdue. Best of all, you’ll find that Indiana residents are very friendly and welcoming.

What Is Indiana Known For?

  • “Ope”: Although considered a midwestern expression, it tends to be associated with Indiana. The expression itself can fit many meanings such as “oops” and “uh-oh”.
  • Indianapolis 500: Shortened as the Indy 500, it’s one of the biggest motor sporting events in the world.
  • The Hoosier State: Originating from a nickname given to Indiana flatboatmen that transported corn or “hoosa” to New Orleans, the name stuck and became a reference to people from the state.
  • Farmland: Indiana is generally flat and perfect for year-round agriculture. The state’s most notable crop is corn, which occupies almost half of the state’s farmland.

Tax Rates

  • Property Tax: 0.87%. The effective tax rate is #23 lowest in the US.
  • Sales Tax: Indiana’s base state sales tax rate is currently 7%.
  • Income Tax: 3.23%. The state has a flat statewide income tax.

Housing Market

To Rent or Buy? Overall, it is a cheaper option to rent rather than buy a home in the state of Indiana. The median monthly mortgage is currently $1,109, while the median monthly rent is $782. That is a difference of over $325 per month or almost $4,000 per year.

  • Median Home Value: $148,500
  • Median Rental Expense: $659 (1BR), $829 (2BR)

Cheapest Places to Live in Indiana:

  1. Wabash
  2. Alexandria
  3. Mount Vernon
  4. Hartford City
  5. Linton
  6. Huntington
  7. Portland
  8. Princeton
  9. Tipton
  10. Frankfort

Cost of Living

According to the Cost of Living in Indiana by BestPlaces, Indiana has a cost of living index of 82.1. This index is much lower than the national average of 100.

Using EPI’s Family Budget Calculator, we can compare the average monthly costs in three Indiana cities. We’ll use a family of four for these examples (2 adults + 2 children).

Fort Wayne Metro Area (Northern Indiana):

  1. Housing = $752
  2. Food = $691
  3. Childcare = $1,428
  4. Transportation = $1,189
  5. Healthcare = $904
  6. Other necessities = $582
  7. Taxes = $791
  8. Grand total = $6,338 per month or $76,057 per year

Indianapolis Metro Area (Central Indiana):

  1. Housing = $852
  2. Food = $717
  3. Childcare = $1,572
  4. Transportation = $1,165
  5. Healthcare = $1,014
  6. Other necessities = $633
  7. Taxes = $903
  8. Grand total = $6,857 per month or $82,285 per year

Columbus Metro Area (Southern Indiana):

  1. Housing = $843
  2. Food = $693
  3. Childcare = $1,502
  4. Transportation = $1,208
  5. Healthcare = $978
  6. Other necessities = $620
  7. Taxes = $873
  8. Grand total = $6,716 per month or $80,587 per year

Weather & Natural Disasters

The state of Indiana has a humid continental climate. This results in hot, wet summers and cold winters.

As you move to the southern portion of the Hoosier State, temperatures start to increase. Average elevation hovers around 690 feet above sea level, with its highest elevation of over 1,250 feet at Hoosier Hills. Summers can be extremely hot and humid, while winters are frigid with temps dipping below 15°F.

Climate Statistics:

  1. Average rainfall – 43 inches
  2. Average snowfall – 22 inches
  3. Sunshine – 186 sunny days
  4. Summer high – 85°F (July)
  5. Winter low – 19°F (January)

With natural disasters on the rise in America, it pays to prepare for common threats. Indiana’s particular geography makes it susceptible to a variety of changing weather and natural disasters. For more information, take a look at the 2019 State of Indiana Standard Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan.

Natural Disaster – Threats & Risks:

  1. Tornadoes
  2. Flooding
  3. Ice Storms
  4. Heat Waves
  5. Blizzards
  6. Earthquakes
  7. Droughts
  8. High Winds
  9. Landslides
  10. Wildfires

Economy & Job Market

According to Economy Rankings by US News & World Report, Indiana is currently ranked #28 in the United States. This score is based on three subcategories: business environment (#40), employment (#18), and growth (#25). Its GDP is approximately $352.27 billion, and the median income is $28,323.

Top Industries:

  1. Aerospace & Aviation
  2. Advanced Manufacturing
  3. Agriculture
  4. Cybersecurity
  5. Defense & National Security
  6. Energy
  7. Technology
  8. Life Sciences
  9. Logistics & Transportation

Top Employers:

  1. Cummins (Columbus)
  2. Anthem (Indianapolis)
  3. Eli Lilly and Company (Indianapolis)
  4. State of Indiana (Indianapolis)
  5. Indiana University (Bloomington)
  6. Berry Global (Evansville)
  7. Purdue University (West Lafayette)
  8. Franciscan Health (Indianapolis)
  9. Zimmer Biomet (Warsaw)
  10. Guidant Corp (Indianapolis)
  11. Steak ‘n Shake (Indianapolis)
  12. National Recovery Systems Inc. (East Chicago)
  13. KAR Auction Services (Carmel)
  14. Thor Industries (Elkhart)
  15. Hacienda Mexican Restaurants (South Bend)
  16. Peoplelink Staffing Solutions (South Bend)
  17. ADESA (Carmel)
  18. MasterBrand Cabinets (Jasper)
  19. Health Care Group LLC (Indianapolis)
  20. Forest River (Elkhart)

Looking for work in Indiana? Here are some handy resources:

  1. page: DWD: Job Seekers –
  2. Job search: Indeed, LinkedIn, CollegeRecruiter, CareerBuilder
  3. Resume help: Monster, TopResume, ResumeRobin

Traffic and Transportation

According to Best and Worst States to Drive In by WalletHub, Indiana is ranked #3 in the United States. This ranking is based on four subcategories: cost of ownership & maintenance (#2), traffic & infrastructure (#15), safety (#35), and access to vehicles & maintenance (#21).

On the other hand, there is an overall lack of public transportation systems outside of the Indianapolis metro area. The lack of public transit is a common complaint, and the state is trying to address the needs of its residents.

Major Forms of Transportation:

  1. Highways and roads
  2. Air (including Indianapolis International Airport)
  3. Railroad (over 4,255 miles of route miles)
  4. Amtrak (via Indianapolis Union Station)
  5. Ports (Great Lakes / St. Lawrence Seaway, Inland Waterway System)
  6. Mass Transit (IndyGo in Indianapolis)
  7. Bus systems (Greyhound Lines, Megabus, etc.)
  8. Personal Vehicle / Carpool / Vanpool
  9. Taxi and Limo Services
  10. Ridesharing (Uber, Lyft, etc.)

Primary Interstate Highways:

  • Interstate 64: Running from the Illinois state line near Griffin to the Kentucky state line in New Albany, I-64 goes west to east across the state for approximately 123 miles.
  • Interstate 65: This is the second-longest interstate highway in Indiana at a length of about 261 miles. I-65 travels from the Kentucky state line in Jeffersonville to US 12 / US 20 in Gary.
  • Interstate 69: As the longest stretch of interstate highway in the state, I-69 runs for 294 miles. It goes from I-465 in Indianapolis to the Michigan state line just northwest of Fremont.
  • Interstate 70: This highway travels from the Illinois state line west of Terre Haute to the Ohio state line in Richmond. I-70 travels east-west and passes through Indiana’s capital of Indianapolis.
  • Interstate 74: Unlike the other interstate highways, which were built in 1956, the construction of I-74 finished in 1960. It runs from the Illinois state line near Covington to the Ohio state line in West Harrison.
  • Interstate 80: Consisting of two highways – The Borman Expressway and The Indiana Toll Road – I-80 runs for 151 miles from the Illinois state line in Munster to the Ohio state line near Angola.
  • Interstate 90: Known as The Indiana Toll Road, or officially as the Indiana East-West Toll road, I-90 is a tolled freeway that goes from the Illinois state line in Munster to the Ohio state line near Angola.
  • Interstate 94: We finish this list of interstates with the shortest one. At just over 46 miles in length, I-94 travels from the Illinois state line in Munster to the Michigan state line close to Michigan City.

Things to Do

Looking for fun in Indiana? Here are the best places to visit and explore!

Tourist Destinations:

The Hoosier State is home to rich American history and natural attractions.

  • Brown County State Park: Situated in Southern Indiana, this 15,776-acre park offers cabins, hotel suites, campsites, and varied activities.
  • The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis: This is the largest kid’s museum in the entire world.
  • Antique Alley: Found in Richmond County, the 60-mile stretch is home to 1,000+ antique dealers.
  • Spirit of Jasper Train: Ride on the historic train line from Jasper Depot to French Lick, Indiana.
  • Parke County’s Covered Bridges: Tour over 30 bridges in the “World Capital of Covered Bridges.”

Food & Drink:

Indiana offers All-American classics and more! Here are the top picks:

  • Top All-You-Can-Eat: The Journey (Indianapolis)
  • Top Bar: Red Key Tavern (Indianapolis)
  • Top Craft Brewery: Three Floyds Brewing Company (Munster)
  • Top Brunch: Milktooth (Indianapolis)
  • Top Burger: Workingman’s Friend (Indianapolis)
  • Top Chicken and Waffles: Maxine’s Chicken & Waffles (Indianapolis)
  • Top Chocolate Shop: Schimpff’s Confectionery (Jeffersonville)
  • Top Coffee Shop: Calvin Fletcher’s Coffee Company (Indianapolis)
  • Top Donuts: Long’s Bakery (Indianapolis)
  • Top Food Truck: Gaucho’s Fire (Indianapolis)

State Parks:

Want to explore Indiana’s natural beauty? Consider these popular state parks:

  • Spring Mill State Park: Hiking trails, Pioneer Village, Gus Grissom Memorial Museum, and more.
  • Turkey Run State Park: This park with pioneer roots also offers hiking for all along with interesting features like a suspension bridge, ravines, and sandstone gorges.
  • McCormick’s Creek State Park: Explore a limestone canyon, scenic waterfalls, and diverse forest.
  • Pokagon State Park: Surrounded by Lake James, this park in Angola offers electric and non-electric camping, two swimming beaches, and trails galore.
  • Indiana Dunes State Park: This Lake Michigan destination offers nearly 2,200 acres of beautiful and historic Indiana landscape.


There are some great museums in the state of Indiana. Here are the top picks:

  • Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum: Houses over 120 vintage automobiles.
  • Dream Car Museum: This Evansville highlight boasts a selection of muscle cars, classics, race cars, movie vehicles, etc.
  • Indiana Military Museum: Dedicated to the preservation of United States military history, you’ll find this museum in the small township of Vincennes.
  • USS LST Ship Museum: This museum in Evansville maintains and operates the last fully operational WWII Landing Ship.
  • Red Skelton Museum of American Comedy: Honoring the famous comedian’s storied career, this museum sits in his hometown of Vincennes.

Cool & Unusual:

Looking for something off the beaten path in Indiana? Check out:

  • Market Street Catacombs: A network of hidden passageways under City Market in Indianapolis.
  • Bluespring Caverns: It is the longest maneuverable underground river in the United States.
  • Empire Quarry: The epic limestone quarry provided material to build the Empire State Building.
  • Indiana Medical History Museum: Frozen in time, this medical museum offers guided tours.
  • The Ruins: Formerly part of an NYC skyscraper, these remnants now are located in an Indianapolis park.

Schools and Universities

Ranked #21 among states with the best schools by USA Today, Indiana has the 19th highest high-school graduation rate at nearly 87%. As for higher education, Indiana is home to several top colleges and universities, including the University of Notre Dame. Note: college sports are big here.

Top IN Colleges:

  1. University of Notre Dame (Notre Dame)
  2. Purdue University – West Lafayette (West Lafayette)
  3. Indiana University – Bloomington (Bloomington)
  4. Butler University (Indianapolis)
  5. Ball State University (Muncie)
  6. Taylor University (Upland)
  7. Hanover College (Hanover)
  8. Wabash College (Crawfordsville)
  9. Saint Mary’s College (Notre Dame)
  10. Valparaiso University (Valparaiso)
  11. University of Indianapolis (Indianapolis)

Top IN Public School Districts:

  1. West Lafayette Community School Corporation (West Lafayette)
  2. Carmel Clay Schools (Carmel)
  3. Zionsville Community Schools (Zionsville)
  4. Hamilton Southeastern School District (Fishers)
  5. Brownsburg Community School Corporation (Brownsburg)
  6. Southwest Allen County Schools (Fort Wayne)
  7. Plainfield Community School Corporation (Plainfield)
  8. Northwest Allen County Schools (Fort Wayne)
  9. School Town of Munster (Munster)
  10. Avon Community School Corporation (Avon)

How to Become an Indiana Resident

There are several advantages to becoming an official resident of Indiana. These reasons include tax purposes, voting, driving, and college tuition. In general, someone is a resident if they establish domicile (buy or rent a home) and live in the state of Indiana for longer than 183 days.

There are other factors when wanting to establish the intent of permanently living here. You can demonstrate intent by paying Indiana taxes, registering to vote, obtaining a driver’s license, titling & registering vehicles, enrolling your child in a local school, changing mailing address, and so on.

For in-state tuition purposes, be sure to inquire about the particular criteria of every institution you are considering. Each college and university in Indiana maintains its own unique set of requirements.

Moving to Indiana DMV

Acquiring a new driver’s license:

After moving to the state, new residents who drive have 60 days to get an IN driver’s license.

Steps to getting a new license:

  1. Establish Indiana residency
  2. Visit a local BMV branch
  3. Present: current out-of-state driver’s license, copy of an official driving record, or verification letter
  4. Provide proof of ID, lawful status, social security, and Indiana residency
  5. Pass a vision screening
  6. If your license is expired, you must take a knowledge exam
  7. If the license expiration is 3+ years old, you must pass the driving skills exam
  8. Surrender valid out-of-state driver’s license
  9. Pay applicable fees
  10. Be issued interim license (valid for 30 days)

Vehicle registration:

New IN residents must title and register out-of-state vehicles within 60 days.

To do so: 1) visit a BMV location to apply for Indiana certificate of title and registration 2) complete and submit a Request for Title – State Form 104 3) provide required documentation: certificate of title, vehicle inspection of vehicle identification number (VIN), proof of address (license may be accepted), and proof of social security number (SSN) or federal identification number (FIN) 4) Pay applicable fees.

To qualify to vote, you must be:

  1. A United States citizen
  2. An Indiana state resident
  3. A resident of the precinct for at least 30 days
  4. 18 years or older on election day
  5. Not imprisoned for a convicted crime

You can register to vote online (proof of residency is required), by mail, or in-person (via BMV locations, public assistance offices, certain agencies that serve people with disabilities, armed forces recruitment offices, county voter registration offices, and unemployment compensation offices).

Voters are required to present a valid photo ID to vote at the polls on election day. Indiana permits early voting. However, it does not allow no-excuse absentee voting or same-day voter registration.

*NOTE: A felon automatically regains their voting rights in Indiana upon completion of their sentence.

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Best Places to Live in Indiana

Fort Wayne

Population: 265,000
Median Home Value: $138,500
Region: North Indiana

We began our tour of Indiana in Fort Wayne. Located in Allen County, the mid-sized city of 265K is less than twenty miles west of the Ohio state line in northeastern Indiana. Some 62% of residents are homeowners, and the public schools rate as above average.

As one of the Top 100 cities to live in America, Fort Wayne offers a great mix of low living expenses, a strong economy, peaceful neighborhoods, awesome schools, and more. It is also dubbed the “City of Restaurants” and has some of the best food trucks around. Simply put, there’s something for everyone – from millennials looking for cheap housing and fun memories to retirees enjoying their golden years.

Top public schools in Fort Wayne include Woodside Middle School, Aboite Elementary School, Oak View Elementary School, Homestead Senior High School, and Eel River Elementary School. Top private schools are Canterbury School, Concordia Lutheran High School, Bishop Dwenger High School, and Bishop Luers High School. Fort Wayne boasts several institutions of higher learning, including The University of Saint Francis – Indiana, Purdue University Fort Wayne, Indiana Institute of Technology, Ross Medical Education Center – Fort Wayne, and Concordia Theological Seminary.

Looking for a goldilocks city – not too big, not too small – in Indiana? Fort Wayne is the best pick!

South Bend

Population: 102,000
Median Home Value: $81,100
Region: North Indiana

Next, we visit South Bend. Close to the Michigan border, the city of just over 100K is the fourth largest city in Indiana. It serves as the economic and cultural center of northern Indiana. Here, 57% of residents own their homes, and the public schools rate as average.

Home to Indiana University South Bend (and less than 10 minutes from the University of Notre Dame), South Bend is a diverse city that offers all the big-city and college-town amenities without the high congestion and costs of massive metro areas. Many parts of South Bend have been renovated recently, including Downtown South Bend (or DTSB), attracting many younger people and families.

Top public schools in town are Meadow’s Edge Elementary School, Penn High School, Walt Disney Elementary School, Virgil I. Grissom Middle School, and Adams High School. For those interesting in private schools, top picks include Trinity School at Greenlawn, Saint Joseph High School, Community Baptist Christian School, St. Joseph Grade School, and St. Matthew Elementary School. In addition to the University of Notre Dame, South Bend also has Indiana University – South Bend, and Ivy Tech Community College – Northcentral.

If you’re in the market for a smaller city that provides amazingly low cost of living coupled with awesome amenities, nightlife, college education, and much more put South Bend at the top of the list.

West Lafayette

Population: 45,000
Median Home Value: $222,200
Region: North Indiana

West Lafayette, located in Wabash Township in Tippecanoe County, is less than 70 miles northwest of Indianapolis. Here, 66% of residents rent their homes, and public schools are highly rated.

Considered the #1 place to live in Tippecanoe County, West Lafayette is home to renowned Purdue University (a top public research university). The school injects a vibrant college-town vibe. And with a median age of just 22 years, the city has been attracting young professionals and college students with its stellar education, robust economy, booming social scene, Wabash riverfront development, and more.

Top public schools serving the West Lafayette area include West Lafayette Junior / Senior High School, Happy Hollow Elementary School, Cumberland Elementary School, William Henry Harrison High School, and Burnett Creek Elementary School. For those looking for private education, consider Montessori School of Greater Lafayette.

Are you looking for a diverse and rapidly growing, smaller city? West Lafayette is an exciting area packed with so many pluses that you have to visit (or better yet, move here) to soak it all in.


Population: 90,000
Median Home Value: $354,100
Region: Central Indiana

We start our tour of Central Indiana in Carmel. It ranks as both the #1 place to live in the state and the #1 suburb in Indiana. Approximately 78% of residents are homeowners, and the public schools are stellar.

What makes it such a great place to live? Carmel has a long list of benefits: clean neighborhoods, some of the best public schools in America, a highly educated population, low crime, proximity to Indianapolis (less than 20 minutes), and so on. On the downside, housing costs are higher, but you get what you pay for here.

Top public schools in Carmel are Carmel High School, Creekside Middle School, Smoky Row Elementary School, Prairie Trace Elementary School, and College Wood Elementary School. The best private schools are University High School of Indiana, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel School, Primrose School at West Clay, Midwest Academy, and Indiana Montessori Academy.

Are you looking for the #1 place to live in Central Indiana? How about the whole state? If so, it’s a no brainer with moving to Carmel, IN.


Population: 92,000
Median Home Value: $265,800
Region: Central Indiana

As a suburb of Indianapolis, Fishers is considered the #2 place to live in Indiana. It is also currently ranked as the #1 suburb to buy a home in the entire state. 81% of residents own their homes, and the public schools are exceptional.

Fishers is one of the most rapidly growing areas in the United States. Offering low cost of living (especially compared to many other American cities), a variety of job opportunities, and great healthcare, it’s easy to see why so many folks have been flocking to this smaller Midwest city.

Have a family or plan on raising one in the future? Top public schools serving the Fishers, IN area, include Hamilton Southeastern Intermediate / Junior High, Fishers Junior High School, Hoosier Road Elementary School, and Cumberland Road Elementary School. Fishers is also home to Honors Beauty School.

From families to younger professionals, those looking to buy their first home will be pleasantly surprised by what Fishers has to offer as an up-and-coming city – low expenses, friendly folks, and much more.


Population: 877,000
Median Home Value: $147,600
Region: Central Indiana

Next, we make our way to Indianapolis. Located smack dab in the middle of Indiana (and as the heart of the state), the city of less than 900K is both the capital and largest city of the Hoosier State. About 53% of residents are homeowners, and the public schools rate above average.

As a Top 100 city to live in America (along with Fort Wayne), Indianapolis is known for being one of the Top 15 largest US cities, its family-friendly atmosphere, and the growing population of millennials and Generation Z. It is one of the most affordable cities in the country, to boot. Home to amazing neighborhoods, great food, stellar nightlife, sports culture (with six pro teams, including the Indiana Colts), and much more, there’s a bit of everything in the city dubbed the “Crossroads of America.”

As for drawbacks, there is room for improvement when it comes to crime. On the other hand, Indianapolis is a family-friendly, culturally diverse, feature-rich metropolis filled with positives that far outweigh any negatives. Side note: it is also a great choice for world travelers and road trip warriors!

Top public schools are Brownsburg West Middle School, Brownsburg East Middle School, Reagan Elementary School, and White Lick Elementary School. Indianapolis’s best private schools include Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School, International School of Indiana, Cathedral High School, and Heritage Christian School. Top colleges serving the area include Butler College, Indiana University-Purdue University – Indianapolis (IUPUI), Marian University Indianapolis, University of Indianapolis, and International Business College – Indianapolis.

Top neighborhoods in Indianapolis are Glendale, North Central, Allisonville, Broad Ripple, and Butler – Tarkington. For more information on these and other great neighborhoods, check out our Moving to Indianapolis guide.

Whether you’re a Gen Zer or retired person, Indianapolis is the state’s main attraction, offering an extremely tempting blend of cheap costs, faster-paced living, and amazing amenities.


Population: 85,000
Median Home Value: $202,500
Region: South Indiana

Bloomington, as the county seat of Monroe County in southern Indiana, is the 7th largest city in the state. Here, 66% of residents rent their homes, and public schools are highly ranked.

Known for being charming and close-knit, Bloomington offers affordable living expenses, delicious food & drink, and awesome weather. It is also home to Indiana University Bloomington, which adds a splash of youth and vibrancy to the area. Couple that with a strong economy (particularly in advanced manufacturing, education, and tech), shopping (including Fountain Square Mall and College Mall), and a wide variety of entertainment, the city dubbed the “Gateway to Scenic Southern Indiana” is a beauty!

Top public schools are Childs Elementary School, University Elementary School, Bloomington High School South, The Academy of Science & Entrepreneurship, and Binford Elementary School. Top private schools include Harmony School, St. Charles Borromeo Catholic School, The Prep School, Bloomington Montessori School, and Bloomington Developmental Learning Center. Top colleges serving the area are Indiana University – Bloomington, Ivy Tech Community College – Bloomington, and Tricoci University of Beauty Culture LLC.

Bloomington is truly a blooming city, ready for lovers of nature, the arts, food & drink (especially beer and wine aficionados), and great small-town living in a midsized city.


Population: 47,000
Median Home Value: $164,600
Region: South Indiana

Last but not least, we end our tour in Columbus, Indiana. It sits along the White River in Bartholomew County. 64% of residents own their homes, and public schools are highly rated.

Small, quiet, and diverse, Columbus is a great southern Indiana city. It offers a wide variety of culture, dining options, downtown adventures, arts, and outdoor activities (including hiking, canoeing, cycling, and golfing). It also is home to outstanding historic architecture, antique shopping, and retail stores. Whether you want to look at it as a big town or a small city, Columbus is a pleasant place to live.

Top public schools in Columbus are Columbus North High School, Columbus Signature Academy (CSA) – Lincoln Campus, Southside Elementary School, and Northside Middle School. Those interested in private schools may want to explore Columbus Christian School, St. Peter’s Lutheran School, St. Bartholomew School, Children Inc. Preschool & Kindergarten, and Kinder Care Learning Center. You can also earn college credits at Ivy Tech Community College – Columbus.

Ideal for retirees and families, Columbus is a diverse and affordable smaller city in southern Indiana.

How to Move to Indiana

If you are moving to or from Indiana, it pays to prepare. Below, you’ll find an interstate moving checklist. Follow it for a less stressful, drama-free relocation.

  • Start in advance: At least two to three months before your desired moving date, you should begin to prep for your Indiana relocation. Have a few helping hands? Get everyone together to share your plans. Assign roles to each person and make sure everyone is on the same page.
  • Research moving services: Compare several moving companies; we recommend comparing at least three to five options. Make sure they are all fully licensed and insured for your type of relocation.
  • Hire movers: Narrow down your list? Great! Hire ASAP for best rates and availability. Want to take all the guesswork and anxiety out of the equation? Great Guys makes it super easy and affordable to hire fully-vetted interstate movers for your move to or from the state of Indiana.
  • Notify everyone: Don’t be that person who forgets. If you rent, inform your landlord ASAP to safeguard your reference and deposits. If you own, it pays to have a real estate professional help maximize your selling price or find highly qualified, dependable tenants to rent your old place.
  • Prep kids: Moving, especially the first time, can be disruptive for kids. Explain the change via playtime or a story. Be patient. Also, try to maintain normal routines as much as possible.
  • Declutter and downsize: Who doesn’t want to save space and money? That’s where decluttering comes in. To start, take inventory of your household goods. Next, one room at a time, sort through your belongings. Decide which items you want to keep or discard. Label accordingly.
  • Sell, donate, recycle: Once you’ve performed the previous step, it’s time to find your old stuff new homes. Sell online, donate to a thrift store or charity, or recycle any disused items.
  • Visit your new community: If possible, take a trip to your new town or city. Take in everything it has to offer: work opportunities, schools, religious organizations, shopping, etc. Have some fun, too!
  • Start packing process: One to two months before moving day, you should begin to pack. First, get your hands on plenty of boxes, tape, and other packing materials. Need some help? Our affordable professional packers are more than happy to lend their expert helping hands.
  • Handle utilities and services: Don’t forget to disconnect current utilities – electric, trash, water, gas, etc. If possible, have utilities turned off the day after you move out. Schedule new services, such as internet and satellite, to be activated by the time you make it to your new place.
  • Hire a cleaning crew: At least two to four weeks before moving, book professional cleaners to do their magic. This deep-clean will help ensure a great showing or protect your reference and deposit.
  • Inquire about insurance coverage: Accidents happen. Make sure insurance covers your possessions during your move. Contact your moving company and insurer to check coverage and options.
  • Protect children and pets: Moving day can be very distracting. Make sure your little ones are out of harm’s way: schedule babysitting, playdates, childcare, and pet care on the busy day.
  • Plan for special transport: If you have a pet that can’t travel with you directly, you can always arrange for specialized transportation. You’ll also need to arrange transportation for prized plants, as these are not allowed on the moving truck.
  • Service vehicle: If you’re driving to your new home, make sure to have your car, truck, van, or SUV taken in for inspection and service. Make sure your tune-up includes an oil change, tire rotation, and A/C check.
  • Transfer important records: These may include school transcripts and medical records. Also, try to have more than enough medications and prescriptions on hand during your moving process.
  • Update mailing address: Don’t forget! To do so, either visit a local post office or go online to While you’re at it, update info for online services, box subscriptions, and so on.
  • Throw a moving sale: Even after you’ve decluttered your household, there may still be several items that you want to toss. Make some extra cash and catch up with your neighbors, too.
  • Commemorate your move: Take the time to celebrate with family and friends. Plan a party, luncheon, group outing, or one-on-one time. Spread out over one day or several weeks.
  • Fill essentials box: Moving week is here. At this point, you should be done with the broad strokes of packing. Take this opportunity to create an essentials box (aka ‘first-night’ box). Fill it with everything you’ll need for the first 24 to 48 hours: meds, bedding, clothes, snacks, toys, etc.
  • Contact moving company: Make sure to ring up your moving company to make sure everyone’s on the same page. Check arrival time, contact numbers, and any other important moving details.
  • Confirm travel arrangements: Flying? Make sure to double-check flight itinerary and luggage restrictions. Driving? Look over the vehicle and double-check the driving route and accommodations.
  • Rest up: It is tempting to go out and stay up late the night before moving, but it can have some not-so-great consequences. Try to stay in, relax, eat healthy, hydrate, and get plenty of sleep.
  • Be there to welcome movers: Moving day has arrived! If it works out with your schedule, meet up with the moving crew to go over things, give last-minute instructions, and answer questions.
  • Provide snacks: This step isn’t a requirement, but it’s a nice gesture. If inclined, offer bottled water and a light snack to movers. It will help boost morale and start your move off on the right foot.
  • Perform a walkthrough: Once the moving crew has done their job, it’s time to take one last tour of your old place. Make sure to keep an eye out for damages, messes, or overlooked items.
  • Enjoy the move: One last thing: don’t forget about the journey. You’re writing a new chapter right now. Make some great memories along the way. And make sure to have some fun!

Quality Moving Services from Indiana Movers

Great Guys Moving offers top-rated Indiana moving services at low rates.

Long Distance Moves

Who says you can’t enjoy your relocation? When moving to another county or across state lines, we make it super easy and affordable to compare and book fully vetted, qualified long-distance movers.

Intrastate & Local Moves

Whether you’re headed to Indianapolis or Bloomington, you need moving services you can count on. Our local movers know all the ins and outs of relocating anywhere within the state lines of Indiana.

International Moves

Moving overseas is exciting. Whether you’re relocating for work or a military move, there’s a laundry list of logistics you’ll need to cover. Our international relocation service takes the complication out of it all.

Small Load Moves

Moving out of or into a one-bedroom apartment, college dorm, or studio? If so, you have options. We work with a group of reliable small-load movers that work quickly and take it easy on your wallet.

Furniture Shipments

Nobody wants to risk injury or damage. Why take the chance with fragile, bulky or expensive furniture? Sit back and relax while one of our dependable furniture moving partners take care of everything.

Piano Transport

Moving a beloved instrument across town or state lines requires special care. The piano moving specialists that we work with take every precaution to deliver your cherished piano or organ securely and safely.

Art Shipping & Transport

Need to relocate antiques, collectibles, or fine art? You’ve come to the right page. Our network of specialized art shippers has the right training and experience to handle your collection skillfully.


Moving, remodeling, or traveling the world? Whatever the case might be, you most likely need storage. Contact us today. We can find you the perfect short-term or long-term storage solution in no time.

Last Minute & Short Notice Moves

Whether you just landed a new job or given an eviction notice, having to move at the last minute is stressful. Whatever the circumstances, you can lean on our short-notice movers when in a pinch.

Residential Moves

Moving an entire household can be daunting. Fortunately, we know just the right folks to make it a lot smoother. You can save yourself a bunch of headaches and money by hiring our residential movers.

Packing Services

Don’t have the energy, time, or capability to pack all your stuff? You don’t have to go it alone. Whether you need partial packing or a full-service packing solution, we make it easy & cheap to book pro packers.

Commercial and Office Moves

Moving into a new retail space or corporate office? Either way, we’ve got you covered. The last things you need to worry about are delays and downtime. Our commercial movers are the best in the business.

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Want affordable, quality moving services? Get your free Indiana moving estimate today!

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Devin Barroga

Ever been bitten by the wanderlust bug? It's a powerful force, one which has captivated Devin for his entire life.... Read More