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Moving from Washington to Oregon

Moving from Washington to Oregon may appear straightforward due to their proximity, but it involves significant planning. As an Oregon-based full-service moving company owner with extensive experience, I've crafted this guide to facilitate your relocation from Washington to Oregon, highlighting similarities and differences between the two states, and providing essential tips for choosing a mover and packing effectively.

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Similarities Between Washington and Oregon:

  1. Tourism: Both states are known for their scenic beauty and national parks. Oregon boasts Mount Hood and the John Day Fossil Beds, while Washington offers Mount Rainier and Puget Sound, catering to diverse scenic preferences.
  2. Geography: Sharing the Pacific coast, both states experience a milder climate with cooler winters. Oregon's summer highs average around 85°F and winter lows around 36°F, while Washington's summer and winter averages are 79°F and 46°F, respectively.
  3. Historical Significance: Both states are rich in history, featuring landmarks like Washington's Deception Pass Bridge and Fremont Troll Rock Carving, and Oregon's Astoria Column and State Capitol.

Differences Between Washington and Oregon:

  1. Population: Washington's population stands at about 7.6 million, whereas Oregon has around 4.2 million (2021 Census data). Despite their smaller populations compared to states like California or New York, both are sizeable in terms of geographical area.
  2. Culture: Seattle and Portland, the largest cities in Washington and Oregon respectively, differ significantly. Seattle mirrors a New York-style metropolis with dense neighborhoods, while Portland is smaller and rapidly growing, less congested than Seattle.
  3. Cost of Living: There's a marked difference in living costs between Seattle and Portland, with Seattle's average home price being significantly higher than Portland's.

Cost Of Living Washington Vs Oregon

To provide a more detailed comparison of the cost of living between Washington and Oregon, let's break it down into key categories:

Housing Costs:

  • Washington: Higher, especially in urban areas like Seattle. The average home price and rent in Seattle are substantially greater compared to Oregon's major cities.
  • Oregon: Generally more affordable in terms of both purchasing and renting properties. Portland, despite being the largest city, has lower housing costs than Seattle.


  • Washington: No state income tax, which can be advantageous for high-income individuals. However, it offsets this with higher sales taxes and property taxes, impacting overall expenses.
  • Oregon: Has state income tax but no sales tax. This can result in lower day-to-day expenses but potentially higher costs for residents with higher incomes.

Utilities and Daily Living Expenses:

  • Washington: Tends to have higher utility costs, especially in densely populated areas. Daily living expenses, including groceries and services, are typically more expensive.
  • Oregon: Generally offers more affordable utilities and daily expenses, contributing to a lower overall cost of living.

Transportation Costs:

  • Washington: Higher transportation costs, particularly in Seattle due to its urban density and traffic congestion. Public transportation is more extensive but also more expensive.
  • Oregon: Lower transportation costs with less traffic congestion outside of Portland. Public transportation options are available but less extensive than in Seattle.

Healthcare Expenses:

  • Washington: Healthcare costs can be higher, especially in metropolitan areas.
  • Oregon: Often provides more affordable healthcare options, with costs below the national average in many areas.

Lifestyle and Recreation:

  1. Washington: Higher costs associated with recreational activities, especially in urban centers. The vibrant cultural scene and outdoor activities can be more expensive.
  2. Oregon: Offers a range of affordable leisure and outdoor activities, contributing to a lower cost of lifestyle expenses

Overall, while both states offer unique advantages, Oregon generally presents a more affordable cost of living, especially for those looking for a balance between urban living and manageable expenses. Washington, with its no state income tax policy, can be more favorable for high-income earners, but it compensates with higher living costs in other areas.

Related: 8 Things To Do In Tacoma, WA

Choosing a Washington to Oregon Moving Company:

  • Check Licensing: Ensure the mover is licensed, usually indicated on their website.
  • FMCSA Database: Use the Federal Movers Database to verify the mover's insurance and credentials.
  • Decluttering Assistance: Many movers offer services to sell, donate, or dispose of unwanted items.
  • Detailed Inventory: Keep a comprehensive inventory with photos to track the condition of items during the move.

Related: 7 Senior Moving Tips

Packing Tips for Your Move:

  • Hiring Movers for Large Items: Utilize movers for bulky items to prevent injuries and damage.
  • Decluttering: Reducing clutter can save moving costs and simplify the process.
  • Quality Over Quantity in Packing: Prioritize durable, quality moving boxes over a larger quantity of weaker ones.

Related: Decluttering Your Hoarders Nest: How Warehouse Storage Can Help Hoarders

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