Sweet new apartment? Check. Deposit paid? Check. Panicked look at all the stuff that somehow accumulated in your closet? Yikes. What do you really need to take care of when moving out of your apartment anyway? We’ve created a comprehensive list of all the tasks you need to check off the list — before, during, and after your move.
So you can at least check off “make the list of moving tasks”, right? Here we go.
1-3 months before moving day
- Notify your landlord of your move-out date. Most leases require 30-60 days notice, so check your landlord’s requirements to be sure you give proper time.
- Hire and schedule your apartment moving service and/or rental truck. Especially during popular moving times, be sure you schedule your moving transportation at least one to two months in advance to ensure you get the date and equipment you need.
- Collect packing supplies! Take a look at local Craigslist ads for used packing materials, visit the U-Haul store’s free bin, or ask around at local grocery stores for food boxes. Some apartment moving companies offer a discounted price on moving supplies when you purchase them as part of your moving package, too. Hint: you’ll probably need more boxes than you think!
- Start making piles: sell, donate, toss. As you go through your belongings, you’ll probably find plenty of items you don’t want to take with you. Organize them in bags or bins for easy transport to their next destination.
- Cross the T’s and dot your I’s. Notify your utilities providers, and arrange to have your name taken off the account at the appropriate time. Do the same for your new apartment and find out who your utility providers will be so you can ensure everything is set up on time.
- Transfer your medical and dental records if you’ll be switching providers! This can take up to a month, so don’t wait until you need to schedule an appointment in your new hometown.
One to two weeks before moving day
- Kick your packing into high gear. While you’re at it? Here are some important things to keep in mind:
- Label every box clearly with its contents and destination
- Set aside your valuables and important paperwork and transport them yourself
- Clearly mark any boxes that are heat sensitive if left in the moving truck for too long, like electronics or packed artwork.
- Set aside a suitcase or two for your last-minute belongings that you’ll need on the road. Include a few changes of clothes, basic toiletries, a towel, your important chargers, medications, and anything you need for your pets.
- Clean out your appliances. Your freezer and refrigerator will need to be defrosted the day prior to your move, but cleaning everything well — and making sure they are dry and empty when you leave – will ensure no unpleasant surprises for the next tenants.
- Have your vehicle serviced if you’re driving it to your new home. Make sure your tires, fluids, and oil are all in good working order for a smooth trip.
- Make sure you know where you’re parking the moving truck, and get permission to use the elevator on moving day if needed. Remember that some apartment buildings require you to sign up for a certain time slot for heavy use!
- Now that most of your biggest belongings have been packed, do you need to make any repairs? Avoid getting charged for damages or losing your deposit by taking care of them now.
On moving day
- The apartment movers will do an inventory of your belongings, but make sure you have one that matches so you can take stock on the other end of the move. Stick around and supervise as each box is carried out. Have pets? Make sure they’re somewhere else so the movers don’t have to worry about them escaping.
- When it’s time to finally move out of an apartment, it’s important to do a thorough cleaning to ensure you get your deposit back.
- Then do a final check-through: doors and windows locked, heat and A/C are off, all drawers and cupboards empty, lights are off, everything turned in to your landlord, and your travel bags are safely stowed in your vehicle.
- In your excitement of arrival, don’t forget to inspect your new apartment and note any existing damages like dents or scratches and take photos, or note them on your lease with your new landlord.
- If it hasn’t been done to your liking, now is the time to clean your apartment before it is full of boxes.
- Unload the moving truck, or supervise your apartment moving team to bring in your belongings and put them in the appropriate rooms. If you’re using movers, this is the time to get out your inventory and check things off as they arrive.
- Unpack the necessities first: bedding and towels, dishes and cutlery, lamps, anything work-related, and your pet supplies. Unpack everything else shortly thereafter to be sure it all arrived safely, and enjoy your new home!
For more helpful tips, have a look at our new apartment checklist!