Whether you've found the perfect apartment or you are still looking, now is the time to get organized for your upcoming move. Let Apartment Guide help! Even if you allow plenty of time and vow to keep track of everything, moving can be overwhelming. Write your to-do list as soon as possible to alleviate stress as your move approaches. This moving checklist from Apartment Guide will help you reduce stress, keep track of loose ends and stay calm, cool and collected while moving into your new place.
Apartment Guide's online moving center has tips for decorating, cleaning, organizing and making the most of your space. It's helpful information no matter where you live.
Six to Eight Weeks Before Your Move
- Decide whether you will hire a moving company or if you will move yourself. If you decide to hire a moving company, do your research and hire one.
- If you are making a long-distance move, check to see if there are any special considerations you need to make, such as arranging for auto shipping.
- Calculate the costs of your move and set up a moving budget.
- Check your current apartment lease to see how much notice you need to give to move out.
- Find out if your move is tax deductible.
- Make a list of who to notify about your move and when. This list should include friends, creditors, doctors, schools, your current and former employers, and any church or professional organizations to which you belong.
Four to Five Weeks Before Your Move
- Begin packing your belongings starting with the items you use less frequently.
- Donate items you don't need. Don't move items you don't love.
- Cancel or transfer magazine and newspaper subscriptions.
- File a change of address form with the United States Postal Service.
- Call your utility providers and make arrangements to have your utilities canceled after you move out. Utilities to cancel may include Phone, Power, Water and Cable/Satellite.
- Talk to your employer to make sure you can get your moving day off of work.
- If you are moving in-state or in town, make arrangements for someone to watch your children and pets on moving day.
- Get your driver's license and car tags updated as required. Most states have online DMV guides explaining the rules. For an in-state move, you may be allowed to update your address online.
- Call your bank and credit card companies and ask about the process of changing or moving your accounts.
Two to Three Weeks Before Your Move
- Check with your moving company or truck rental company to determine what you can't move. Make special moving arrangements for these items.
- Return any library books and collect any items out for repair or cleaning.
- Make a meal plan that allows you to use up food in your refrigerator, freezer or pantry.
- Review your lease agreement to see what kind of cleaning is necessary when you move out.
- Set up your utilities at your new apartment. Utilities to set up may include phone, power, water, and cable/satellite.
The Week of Your Move
- Confirm your travel and pet/childcare plans.
- Confirm appointments with cable or Internet services.
- Order new checks with your new address.
- Confirm moving day details with your moving company or truck rental company.
- Clean your apartment and prepare it for the check-out process.
- Withdraw any cash you will need to pay movers and get through travel to your new apartment.
- Pack the essentials you will need shortly after you move in a Priority Box.
- Arrange and conduct your Apartment Checkout Walkthrough. It's important to be present at the check-out walk-through to discuss any issues and make arrangements to prevent charges against your security deposit.
Moving Day, Moving Out
- Finish any last minute packing, remembering to put any items you will need right away in your Priority Box.
- Perform any last minute cleaning, and take out the trash.
- Print out directions to your new home for you and anyone helping you move. Also, have a map in case you need to change routes.
- If you are using professional movers, confirm payment method. Some moving companies prefer to be paid in cash on the day of the move, while other companies accept checks or credit cards.
- Set out water or cold beverages for you and those helping you move.
- If you are moving out of an apartment, talk to your apartment manager to see if you can reserve a space for your moving truck.
- If you are moving yourself, pick up your moving truck and any moving accessories. Inspect the truck to make sure it is in good condition and that you have all the accessories you need. Make sure to pay attention to all the conditions you have to meet before you return the truck.
- If you are moving yourself, load your rental truck carefully. Load the items you will need right away last so they can be unloaded first.
- If you are using a Moving Company, give the movers any special moving/handling instructions. Review and sign any paperwork when your movers arrive. Make sure that you understand what you're signing and ask questions if you need to.
- Trade contact information with the movers so you can get in touch should something happen during transit.
- Do a final check of your old residence making sure you aren't leaving anything behind.
- Turn off all lights, and turn off the thermostat.
- Make sure that all doors and windows are locked.
- If you are leaving an apartment, sign any final paperwork, perform any necessary final walkthroughs, and turn over your key. Get a copy of any final paperwork for your records. Make sure to give your former management company your new address so they know where to send your security deposit.
Moving Day, Moving In
- Make sure you arrive at your new apartment before your moving van.
- Check in with your apartment manager to perform an apartment walkthrough and get your apartment key, if you have not done so already. If you have made any special move-in arrangements, confirm those details with your apartment manager.
- Check to make sure the necessary utilities have been hooked up.
- If you are using a moving company, take note of items as they are unloaded to make sure nothing was damaged in transit. Once all of your belongings have been unloaded, read and sign any final paperwork (inventory, bill of lading, etc.) if everything is in order. Keep a copy for your records.
- Pay and tip your movers.
Whether you're living, looking or moving, Apartment Guide will help point you in the right direction. From photos to floor plans and features to tips, we'll help you find the perfect apartment community. Make the most of your home with Apartment Guide.
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(Image: Bethany Nauert)