This Is How Much It Cost to Pack Up and Move Out, After My Boyfriend and I Broke Our Lease

published Aug 10, 2022
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Couple Unpacking Cardboard Box In New House
Credit: ALTO IMAGES/Stocksy

One day I’m putting together an IKEA couch with my boyfriend. The next day we’re checking our apartment one more time after loading the U-Haul. I never would have thought we’d be moving out of our apartment early, but I also never thought I’d end up living in Kansas City. Life happens, right? Timing doesn’t always work out. While the entire process was stressful, breaking our lease early was the smartest financial move for us as a couple.

“When should I send our 60-day notice?”

Since finding out we were being given the option to work remotely, my partner and I brushed off the idea of moving back home. We were only a few months into our 15-month lease with an apartment in Kansas City. Our building was operated by a property management company and I figured we would pay a hefty price to get out of our lease. 

Breaking our lease initially seemed daunting, until we asked our apartment’s leasing manager about the early termination process. To break our lease, we would be required to submit a 60-day notice letter, make two final rent payments, and pay back any signing incentive received as well as a termination fee (we’d received two months of free rent). In short, we would be paying five months of rent at once, which totaled up to $7,500.

We continued to dance with the idea of moving out of our apartment. After flying back home almost every month for family matters, my partner and I realized it would just make sense to move back home to save on all the airfare and rent. We were also approved to work remotely. We took a few days to make the decision, going back and forth on just finishing our lease. In the end, moving out early came out to be cheaper than staying until our official move-out date. Having a solid emergency savings fund helped ease the decision. My boyfriend and I split the early termination cost.

On a Saturday morning, I typed up our notice, stating our desired last day, reason for leaving, and confirming that we understood our financial responsibility. 

Credit: Getty Images | Blade_kostas

“I booked the U-Haul and paid the termination fees.”

My boyfriend took care of the transportation situation, comparing the costs of different moving truck rental companies and securing a U-Haul for around $500. We opted out of hiring movers since we had two family members offer to help us pack up and drive the U-Haul, but we booked their flights to Kansas City — $150 per person.

As we entered our last month in our apartment, we were billed our rent of $1,500 and termination fee (plus signing incentive) of $4,500. I cried a little bit for my bank account, not even going to lie.

Packing up came next, which was the longest and most exhausting part of the process. Good thing I like saving Trader Joe’s paper bags because they were very useful for storing books and knick-knacks. As for our closet, we left our clothes on hangers and used huge garbage bags to organize them. This was definitely the cheapest part of moving.

Expenses Overview

  • 60-day rent + other fees paid to the property: $7,500
  • U-Haul: $500
  • Movers: $300
  • Total: $8,300

“We’re back where we belong!” 

For $8,300, my boyfriend and I packed up our lives in Kansas City to return home to the Chicago suburbs. Breaking a lease can be taxing. Paying a huge sum of money and packing up a whole apartment is no joke, and I’ll be the first to admit that my boyfriend and I butted heads during the process. 

Of course, spending this much money hurt our bank accounts. But, was it worth it? Absolutely. There’s nothing better than being back where we belong.