Top 13 Tips for a Seamless Apartment Moving Day
Upgrading your digs? Moving cities? Bunking up with a new roomie? Moving out of your apartment and into another is exciting. But moving apartments does mean you have some planning and work ahead of you. These 13 apartment moving tips give you everything you need to know for both ends of the move.
If you follow both a moving out checklist and a list for moving into a new apartment, things will go more smoothly.
Ready? Let’s dive into these top 13 apartment moving tips on how to move apartments.
Moving out checklist
Unfortunately, moving into a new apartment isn’t as simple as just packing up and going. Keep on top of these tips to wrap everything up at your old place and get ready for the big move.
1. Give proper notice that you’re moving out of your apartment.
Your lease will specify how much notice you need to provide your landlord or management company that you’re leaving. Typically, that’s 30 days — but some properties require 60 or 90 days. Your lease will also specify how you need to give your notice (it’s usually required in writing). Make sure to get it all correct, or you could find yourself paying additional rent for an apartment you no longer live in.
2. Hire movers or book some buddies — and a truck.
Begging your friends to help you move — and hoping they actually show up – is a bummer. Not to mention, moving is exhausting. Hiring a moving company can make things infinitely easier and drastically reduce the stress of your move. They’ll know how to properly move everything, including your electronics, breakables, etc. Don’t forget — you may need to provide your leasing office with a copy of the moving company’s proof of insurance. Find this out ahead of time, so you can drop off a copy at the management office before moving day.
If you do decide to go with a DIY move, make sure you get a few helpers on the hook for moving day. You’ll also want to consider renting a truck, as well as any other equipment you might need (handtruck, packing quilts, etc.). Check out our 10% off any truck discount with Penske.
3. Transfer your utilities.
No one wants to get stuck without electricity or internet service. Make sure to transfer your utilities to your new apartment, including water, electric, and natural gas before you move in. You’ll also want to find cable and internet providers who serve your new address, order service, and schedule your installation appointment. Don’t delay on this because slots fill up fast, and you don’t want to find yourself without WiFi at your new home!
Pro tip: Turn off utilities at your current apartment the day AFTER you move out. Turn on the utilities at your new place the day BEFORE you move in (if at all possible). This timing will make sure you don’t get caught without any of the essentials while you’re making the move.
4. Update your renters insurance.
Your renters insurance policy should move with you, but make sure you contact the company in advance of your move to let them know about the change — some policies want 30 days notice. Be aware that your premiums might change depending on where you’re moving.
If you don’t have renters insurance yet, now might be the time to buy it — some policies even cover your items during the move! If not, you can also consider moving insurance.
5. Plan your move-out day with management.
Your community may have specific move-out requirements. Check with management in advance to make sure you’ve covered your bases.
Moving containers. If you want to do a self-move, you may find using portable moving containers attractive. However, you’ll need to make sure they can be delivered and stored on the property at both your current and future location.
Elevators. You don’t want your movers to arrive only to discover that you were supposed to reserve the service elevator ahead of time. Many properties won’t allow you to use the main elevator because it will inconvenience current residents, so make sure to reserve it in advance.
Parking. Can your movers park at the curb in front of the door or do they need to park in a specific place? Can you reserve a space close to the door? This applies to a self-move, too, whether you have rented a moving truck or you have a couple buddies helping with their pickup trucks.
6. Declutter and pack.
Now’s the time to go through your belongings — no sense in hauling stuff you don’t want to your new place. These items can be donated, sold or thrown away. Look here for furniture donation pickup options or here for places to donate clothes.
Make sure to start packing early — and do a little every day. You don’t want to find yourself packing all of your belongings at the last minute. Label your moving boxes using different colored stickers/tape for each room. Once you arrive at your new home, this will make unloading and unpacking so much easier. And mark moving boxes that are fragile. You don’t want heavy books stacked on top of your glassware. Here are some tips for packing fragile items.
Don’t forget to pack an open-first box with all of the essentials you’ll want for the first night in your new apartment.
Check out all of our moving and packing hacks to make your move a little easier.
7. Make a plan for repairs — and fix everything.
Your lease should also document the specifics of the condition you’re required to leave your rental in. This might mean patching nail holes in the walls, painting walls back to their original colors, and fixing any other damage the apartment has sustained since you moved in. If you’ve swapped out any light fixtures or blinds, for example, you’ll have to reinstall the originals. Make sure you understand what you’re on the hook for, then decide what you can fix on your own. For everything else, hire a professional.
8. Clean your apartment top to bottom.
Most rentals have specific requirements for cleaning your pad before you leave, too. From scrubbing out the fridge to shampooing the carpets, most landlords want the apartment spick and span for the next renters. If you’re up to the task, stock up on the necessary cleaning supplies early. If you’d rather avoid the hassle, hire a professional cleaner to take care of the cleaning for you.
Bonus: Many properties will automatically refund the cleaning portion of your security deposit if you use the cleaner they contract with.
9. Document move-out condition.
If you want to make sure you get your security deposit back, you need to document the fact that everything is in the condition your landlord expects it to be in.
The whole process is easier if you have a checklist to work from as you walk through and inspect the apartment. There’s an app for that! Do it all from your smartphone with the free RentCheck app. It’s a step-by-step, top-to-bottom inspection tool that includes every detail of your living space. The app helps you to both document the property’s condition and take photos as you go.
While you’re at it, it’s also a good idea to take a photo of your utility readers. Sometimes, service isn’t disconnected when scheduled. You should have photo proof in case you need to dispute a meter reading discrepancy.
This is also a good exercise to get you ready for your final walk-through with your landlord.
10. Schedule a walk-through with your landlord.
It’s a good idea to make sure you attend the move-out inspection that your landlord will do for your apartment. This way, you can document or dispute any issues as they arise. It’s also a good opportunity to agree on how much of your security deposit you’ll be getting back – make sure your landlord knows where to mail the check. Depending on which state you live in, you should receive your security deposit back within two weeks to two months.
The best time to do this move-out inspection is just after you’ve moved out. Follow this timing, and you can also return your keys when you’re finished with the inspection.
Moving into a new apartment
Thankfully, if you’ve done everything on the moving out checklist, moving into a new apartment should be pretty simple. Just make sure to cover off on these few items on this apartment moving tips list.
11. Measure twice, move once.
Whether you’ve hired a moving company or you’re moving yourself, you need to make sure it’s physically possible to move your new stuff in! It might have been no problem getting that oversized sofa in your current place, but what if it won’t fit through the door or on the elevator at your new apartment?
Before the big day, take a trip over to your new apartment and measure exterior and interior doors, stairways, and hallways.
12. Plan your move-in day with management.
Just like your old place, your new apartment community may have specific requirements for booking elevators, moving truck access, and more. Check with your new management in advance to make sure there are no surprises on moving day.
13. Document move-in condition.
You want to make sure you get your security deposit back when you move out – and that’ll be easier to do if you document the condition of the property before you move in. This way, you won’t get blamed for pre-existing damage.
Even if you’re moving into a brand new place, you don’t want to skip the move-in inspection! Make sure you cover off on these four areas during your inspection. Using the RentCheck app will ensure you don’t miss any of these key areas as you inspect your new apartment. And, once you’ve completed your inspection, all your pictures are time-stamped, stored securely and ready for you to share the completed report with your property manager right from the app.
Remember, inspection = protection of your security deposit and peace of mind.
Pro tip: Invite your landlord or the property manager to join you at the move-in inspection. There’s no need to be secretive about inspecting the property.
More resources for moving from one apartment — and into a new one
There you have it. With these lists of apartment moving tips in your back pocket, you can officially get excited about moving apartments. In addition to these apartment items, you can stay on top of all the nitty gritty moving details with our Epic Moving Checklist. And if you’re moving into an apartment for the first time? Make sure you check out our First Apartment Checklist, which includes everything you need to know and buy.