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Moving to a New Apartment? Here’s What to Do Beforehand

closeup of a woman with moving boxes

Congratulations on finding your new home!

Moving into a new apartment is an exciting and busy time. There’s a lot to do to ensure you’re well-prepared for moving day. It can all get a bit overwhelming, especially if you don’t start with a good to-do list. Not sure where to start? We’ve put together a list of things to be sure you do before you move.

Chat with your current landlord

If you’re already planning your move, chances are, you’ve already given notice to your current landlord. Along with terminating your current lease, make sure you understand what you’ll need to do in order to get your deposit back. Understand the process required by your landlord or building manager, and schedule a meeting to complete a moving-out checklist. You should also know how you’ll return your keys.

people exchanging house keys

Keep your landlord in the loop as you schedule your move. Your building may have a policy around days and times you’re able to move and depending on the policies, you may need to coordinate, particularly if you need access to the freight elevator.

Get all of the details from your new landlord

Make sure you also keep your new landlord informed of your plans. Similarly, your future home building may have rules on moving practicalities. You’ll also want to ensure your landlord answers questions like:

  • When and how will you receive the keys to your new place?
  • Where should the moving truck park on the day?
  • Are there any rules for moving, and do you need to work within certain time limitations?
  • Are there freight or service elevators that you can use for large items?
  • Do you need to complete a walkthrough and move-in checklist before you enter?
  • How will you pay rent?
  • Is renters insurance included in your lease?

Confirm rental insurance

If insurance is not included in your lease, it’s a smart idea to get a policy of your own. We all like to hope that life will flow smoothly and nothing will go wrong. The reality is, though, that sometimes things happen.

It’s best to be prepared, just in case. A renters insurance policy will ensure you’re covered for things like fire, theft, water damage, and more. Many policies will also cover you for damage to your belongings. Renters’ insurance can be inexpensive, so don’t avoid it out of concern about sticker shock.

couple signing a contract

If you already have renters insurance, check to see if your policy can be transferred to your new place. They’ll walk you through the steps to make sure you’re covered, including changing your address and letting you know if there is any change in price.

Set up your utilities

Check your lease to see what, if anything, is your responsibility when it comes to setting up utilities in your new apartment. Often included are things like trash collection and water, but you may need to take care of gas, electricity, internet, and cable. Determine these things early so you can arrive at your home with all you need.

Change your address

Despite many things being done online these days, it’s still important to ensure your address is current. Start by forwarding your mail with USPS so you don’t miss out on any crucial letters or packages. You don’t need to drag yourself down to the post office to take care of this – it can all be done online.

mail stuffed in residential mail slot

Other places to change your address include:

  • Bank accounts and credit card issuers
  • Your employer’s records
  • Investment and retirement accounts
  • Insurance companies
  • Driver license
  • Medical offices
  • Subscriptions
  • Friends and family

Do a bit of neighborhood research and scouting

If you’re moving into a new neighborhood, take a moment amongst all of the practicalities for a bit of fun. Do a bit of research for your new locale. Check out bars and restaurants you’d like to try. Have a look at places you might go for your morning run. Look at nearby gyms or yoga studios. See what grocery stores are around and where the public transport routes are.

Decide whether you’ll need storage

If your new apartment is smaller than your current one, you may need to downsize your belongings. If there are things that won’t fit but you can’t bear to get rid of them, look for a secure storage unit. It’s best to coordinate storage ahead of time – you may even be able to move into both your apartment and storage unit on the same trip.

Hire professional movers

A professional moving company is an invaluable resource when it comes to moving to a new place. DIY moves are often tempting, but they’re a lot of work. While they may seem cheaper at first, the expenses add up. Do yourself a favor and get some help from the experts.

two moving men loading boxes into a truck

Coordinate with a trusted local moving company and set a date and time for the move. Hire a company with guaranteed pricing so you don’t have any surprises once the move is complete. Consider your budget and what you have to move. If you want to save money, try moving on a weekday. Movers are more in demand on weekends and holidays so the prices tend to be higher.

Clean and prep your apartment and say “goodbye”

Your current landlord will likely have a professional cleaning company come through once you’ve moved out. Still, it’s best to take care of the cleaning yourself, particularly to ensure things are in good shape and you receive your deposit. Consider hiring a professional cleaner to take care of those annoying bits like cleaning the fridge and scrubbing the bathroom.