Countdown: A Week-By-Week Moving Checklist for Your New Apartment
Whether it’s your first time or your 12th, moving can be exciting. But it can also be overwhelming and stressful. From finding a place to live and packing up your things to unpacking boxes and figuring out décor options for your new space, there’s a lot involved in a move.
To stay sane during the process, you just need to stay organized. (Don’t be afraid to ask for help!). Use this eight-week moving checklist as a guide to help you move and get nicely settled into your new apartment.
Eight Weeks Before Your Move:
- Moving notebook: Keep track of all of your moving information in a notebook/binder, and use it as an easy reference guide. This can include receipts, contracts and a list of all the items you are moving.
- Sort and purge: Go through your place, room by room, and sort all of your belongings. Determine what you plan to keep and consider throwing (or giving) away things you no longer need. Set aside the items that you plan on taking with you and that you may not need for the next few weeks.
- Moving company: Decide if you will be moving your own belongings or if you plan on using a moving company. Tip: If you go the moving company route, request an on-site estimate, which will give you a more accurate quote than if you were to do it over the phone.
- Research your new city: If you have kids, research local schools, as well as community resources. Determine the new school locations, and begin asking for recommendations for doctors, health care providers, etc. Begin transferring school and medical records.
- Give notice: Be sure you check your lease to see how much notice you need to give before you move out.
Six Weeks Before Your Move:
- Change of address: File a change of address form. This is a good time to forward your mail to your new address.
- Make arrangements: Contact your new apartment community and discuss your moving day. Finalize move-in details, and determine if special arrangements need to be made, such as special parking, moving hours, etc.
- Renter’s insurance: Research insurance companies and arrange for renters insurance at your new apartment. Additionally, set a date to terminate your current policy.
- Measurements: Check the room dimensions of your new apartment. This step is important, especially if you have larger pieces of furniture. Make sure your furniture can fit through the doorways of your new space.
Four Weeks Before Your Move:
- Valuables: Make a list of valuable items that will require special moving arrangements. (This could include a flat-screen TV, artwork, etc).
- Begin packing: Start packing your belongings, and begin with the items you use less frequently. Consider packing a priority box, which will make your move easier.
- Use up items: If you have items such as frozen foods or detergent that you will not want to move, start using those items to avoid having too much waste.
- Magazine subscriptions: Cancel or transfer your magazine and newspaper subscriptions.
- Utilities: Call your utility providers to set up water, power, gas, television and Internet for your new apartment. Additionally, make arrangements to have your utilities canceled after you move out. Remember to ask about deposits and what to do with equipment (like the cable box, for example).
- Bank accounts: Call your bank and credit card companies and close any accounts you will not be transferring. Also, ask about the moving process for your accounts.
Two Weeks Before Your Move:
- Credit cards: Transfer your credit cards and bank statements to your new address.
- Talk with your new leasing manager: Contact your new apartment community manager and confirm the time you will be able to pick up your keys for your new apartment.
- Moving truck: Confirm the time that your moving truck and movers will arrive at your current apartment.
- License plates: If you are moving to a new state, apply for a new vehicle registration. Additionally, determine how soon you will need to update your driver’s license.
- Cleaning: Read over your lease agreement to find out what kind of cleaning is necessary when you move out. Consider calling a carpet cleaner and/or a company to come out and thoroughly clean your apartment.
- Safe deposit box: Remove the contents of your safe deposit box at the bank if you are changing banks. Place these items in the safe box that you plan to take with you on moving day.
- Prescriptions: Refill any prescriptions you may need during the next few weeks.
The Week of the Move:
- Suitcase: Pack a suitcase with enough clothes to wear for the first few days in your new apartment. Don’t forget toiletries.
- Double check: Go back through your moving notebook and confirm that you have everything covered. Confirm the moving time with your moving company, and make sure you have written directions to your new home for the moving staff. Make sure these notes include your cellphone number.
- Payment: If you are paying the moving company on the day of the move, be sure to have a money order, cashier’s check or cash for payment, as well as for the tip. A good tip for a job well done is 15 percent. If you want to go the extra step, provide refreshments for the movers.
- Clean: Perform last-minute cleaning and take out the trash.
- Final walkthrough: Walk through each room and make sure you aren’t leaving anything behind.
- Priority box: Be sure to keep your priority box(es) in your car.
- Arrive early: Be sure to arrive at your new apartment before the movers. Contact the apartment manager and have a walkthrough of your new apartment. Check to make sure the necessary utilities have been hooked up. Once the moving company arrives, take note of items as they are unloaded. Sign final paperwork and keep a copy for your records.
- Unpack: Go through your priority box and unpack the items you may need. Then, arrange your furniture and set up the items you may need the most first. Then, work your way through the rest.
Recommended by the Editor:
- Renting 101: Ten Moving Tips and Tricks
- Moving In Together: What Stays and What Goes?
- 5 Common Moving Mistakes to Avoid