Moving from your apartment is always a hassle, especially since you’re often having to juggle your tight schedule, the lease end date, and coordinate the move into your new place at the same time. Moving is unfortunately one of those things that becomes more of a drag the more times you do it! There are so many steps to consider when moving out of your apartment, including juggling schedules and lease dates, packing, hiring a moving team, cleaning, organizing, and so much more!
We understand the challenges that come with moving, so we decided to create the only apartment moving checklist you’ll ever need. It all starts with giving yourself at least 2 months to prepare for the move. Sure, this might seem like a long time, but you’d be surprised how critical this 8-week time frame can be to make your move as smooth as possible.
There’s no time like the present to prepare for your apartment move. If you think it’s too early to prepare 60 days out, you should think again! Apartment managers often require at least 2 months’ notice that you don’t plan to renew your lease, and you would be surprised at how fast the time flies. Also, you might need to hire professionals to help you repair, clean, and move or store your belongings during this process. Booking these kinds of services could require some lead time to get on the books, so you shouldn’t delay or you could end up scrambling at the last minute!
Not sure where to start? Don’t worry! We’ve got you covered! This apartment moving checklist is the perfect resource for you to use during your move. We’ll cover every step of your apartment move, from giving notice to your management company or landlord, to hiring a team to help you move, to unpacking your first items in your new place!
Let’s get started!
8 Weeks Out: Give Notice and Get Organized
Before you can even think of packing and moving items around, you’ll need to get a little groundwork out of the way. Some essential tasks should be to give notice to your management company or landlord, as well as begin organizing your belongings before it’s time to pack them!
- Give notice: Not all apartments or rental properties require that you give 2 months’ notice, but many of them do. It’s better to be ahead of the game, than behind. Check your lease to find out the exact timeframe you must provide your notice by and plan to do so in writing. If there are any move-out instructions provided by the management company or the landlord, it’s always a good idea to know about that sooner rather than later.
- Determine basic move-out details: Some management companies or landlords will require that you complete a move-out checklist of their own. This list could include certain repairs or cleaning tasks. Additionally, you may also have to do a final walk of the apartment with a member of management, so this is something you should schedule in advance. Keep in mind that some neighborhoods may require a permit if you’re needing to park large vehicles on the premises during the move. Understanding all of these details early on will most definitely reduce stress throughout the process of moving from your apartment.
- Create a moving folder on Google Docs: You’d be surprised about all the moving documents you’ll likely end up gathering over this process. It’s a good idea to create a Google Drive folder where you can keep your documents in the cloud. This is so much better than keeping a ton of paper receipts and documents that you might end up losing during your move. In this folder, you can keep receipts and agreements from moving companies, contractors, cleaning companies, and any move-out documents your management company might provide you.
- Create a moving budget: It’s easy to blow your budget on a move. After all, boxes and other packing materials are expensive! Plus you may need to store some items in a storage facility or hire movers to help you lift heavy items. There are a lot of expenses involved, so you should outline what you intend to spend early on. Also, keep in mind that time is money. If you’re having to take off work for a week to move when you could hire a team to help you do it all in one day, it might make more financial sense to do that instead.
- Stop buying stuff until you’ve moved: This might seem like common sense, but we have to say it. Stop buying stuff during the move. First, you will just have more to pack and move. Second, you may not even have a good place for it in the new place. It’s a better idea to just wait until you get settled in the new place.
- Take inventory of your belongings: This is a great time to start going through your items to see what you might want to keep, give away, or sell. The less stuff you have to pack the better. It would be a waste of time to spend time and energy packing items you don’t intend to keep, so just get it out of the way early!
7 Weeks Out: Hire a Moving Company
Hiring a moving company is the best way to make your apartment move as simple and stress-free as possible. Moving companies book up very quickly, so you need to start vetting moving companies early to get on the calendar. You’ll want to review local or nationwide moving companies, depending on your situation and where you’re moving.
If you’re moving within your local area, local moving companies are one of the best options. Make sure the company you choose offers the moving services you need, has affordable insurance coverage, and that they have positive reviews to back them up.
Badger Box Storage is a top-rated local storage company that can move your belongings from one apartment to the next. Using a company like Badger Box means you can rest assured that your items will be delivered safely and on time! Many mobile storage companies like to skimp on the roofs of their mobile storage units to cut costs. The Badger Box mobile storage unit features a fully steel roof. This roof is secured from the inside with no exposed holes for water to penetrate.
Pro Tip: A 16-foot Badger Box container is a great size for most apartments, easily fitting around 2 to 3 bedrooms worth of items. Our mobile units also allow you to store your items in a safe and secure place onsite, allowing you to free up space to clean and prepare your apartment for the move even before moving day. Get a Badger Box Storage container in Wilmington, NC, and surrounding areas by visiting our booking page.
6 Weeks Out: Schedule Your Move
The next step is to make sure you’ve booked any moving services, as well as scheduled the day they should come out. If you’re using a mobile storage container company to move your belongings, this will be the day they deliver your container. The great part about using a mobile storage unit for your move is that you can move your items over some time, allowing you to clear out your apartment sooner so that you have extra time to clean.
Once you’re ready for moving day, a team member from the mobile storage company will come to pick up your storage container and deliver it to your new address. As simple as that, you’ll have all of your belongings moved with no extra effort on your part.
If you’re planning to have someone help you unload or unpack your belongings in the mobile storage unit upon delivery to your new address, it’s also a good idea to schedule the date for that team as well.
5 Weeks Out: Plan Ahead and Get Rid of Stuff
At this stage, you’ll want to begin collecting packing materials, learning about your new place, and getting rid of any unwanted belongings.
- Learn about your new place: You can join social media communities for your new apartment complex or neighborhood to help learn more about the surroundings. You can also grab a welcome packet from the apartment complex, which will help you learn more about the area.
- Start collecting packing materials: Packing properly means putting everything safely in boxes, and often wrapped inside bubble wrap. You’ll usually need bubble wrap, newspaper, tons of boxes, and packing tape. You may be able to get a lot of boxes free by visiting local grocery stores and asking if they have any extra in the back. This could save you a few hundred dollars if you can avoid buying boxes.
- Get rid of stuff you don’t want: It makes no sense to waste time packing and moving items you don’t intend to keep. At this point, you should have had enough time to sort through your belongings and determine what you no longer want to keep. Go ahead and give away, donate, or sell anything that you don’t plan to move with you.
4 Weeks Out: Handle the Small Details
You’re now a month away from moving into your new place! Congratulations on all the planning you’ve done so far. This week, it’s time to tackle the tiny details that you probably would have normally forgotten about or done after the fact.
- Swap utility accounts: It’s time to call your utility providers and let them know that you’re moving. You’ll likely have to set a cancellation date for your accounts, as well as start new accounts at your new address.
- Update your renter’s insurance: If you’re still renting, you’ll want to make sure you update your address with your renter’s insurance provider. You won’t be protected if your address is wrong.
- Update your address: You’ll need to contact any accounts you have to update your address. This could be your bank, credit cards, job, or anything else that requires your address. This could wait until a week before the move as well.
- Set up mail forwarding: There’s always that one place where you forget to change your address, so it’s a good idea to set up mail forwarding for a few months with the US Postal Service. This could wait until a week before the move as well.
- Request time off work: Depending on the rules at your employer, you may need up to 30 days’ notice to get time approved at work. It’s a good idea to set your time off as early as you can just in case.
3 Weeks Out: Start Packing and Schedule Cleaning or Repairs
Packing can often take much longer than you think, so starting as early as possible is ideal. Choose a place in the apartment that is mostly unused and begin stacking your boxes in that area to help you make room for cleaning. If you booked a mobile storage unit from a company like Badger Box Storage, you can easily start packing and storing your boxes in the unit right outside your front door!
Starting the packing process early on will allow you to make room for cleaning the apartment, as well as give you time to repair any minor damages. For anything you don’t plan to clean or repair on your own, this is a good time to schedule professionals to come out closer to your move-out date. Remember that these services can book up quickly, so you want to have enough lead time to get on the schedule around the moving date.
2 Weeks Out: Finish Up Packing & Eat Perishables!
By now, you’re probably really happy you’ve started packing so early! You likely have a good majority of items packed and already set aside or safely stored in your mobile storage unit. Now you’re left with only the essential items. For the remaining items you have left, you can leave open boxes near the items you plan to pack last.
As for any perishable food items, we suggest making a LOT of creative casseroles to help you get rid of all the food in your fridge! depending on how far you’re moving, it’s not easy to pack and move frozen or chilled food items. Rather than risking that these food items go bad, it’s a better idea to just eat as much of it as you can before moving. Just plan to go grocery shopping after you’ve moved.
Final Week: It’s Moving Time!
You finally made it! It’s moving day! So far, you’ve been extremely intentional about planning your move, and it’s paying off big time! Here are a few things you should remember to do…
- Move: This is obvious but just in case you’re overcome with excitement and forget, you need to move. If you hire a moving company, this should be the day they arrive to pick up your mobile storage unit and move it to the new address.
- Clean: Now that everything is out of your old apartment, you have a fully open space and nothing in your way as you do a deep cleaning of the entire space. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but it should be left in great condition. Make sure you checked off all the items on your move-out checklist provided by your management company or landlord.
- Do a final walk-through: This is one of the most crucial steps to your move-out. You absolutely must do a final walk of your apartment with the property management company or your landlord. This will ensure that you all are in alignment with the condition of the apartment, and will protect you from unexpected charges for damages.
Whether you follow this apartment moving checklist exactly or simply use it as a reference guide, there are certain tips here that can help you during your move. We hope our checklist is useful to you. We’re all about making your moving experience easier! If you are located in Wilmington, North Carolina, or surrounding areas, please contact us to book your mobile storage unit!