Moving out is a sign of new beginnings, but it can also be extremely stressful. From scheduling a moving company and making sure you get your security deposit back (click here for our tips on how to avoid move-out fees) to measuring your new apartment for furniture— moving out is usually an overwhelming experience, but it doesn’t need to be. To help your transition between apartments go more smoothly, we’ve created The Ultimate Moving Checklist. AptAmigo has helped thousands of people find their dream apartment; so read on for our curated list of things to do before, during, and after your move. Once you’re all moved in, read up on our guide on how to unpack in only one day!
To spruce up your new place and get your creativity flowing, check out our mini-interview series. In this series, we interview distinguished interior designers to get their tips on decorating and design hacks!
The Ultimate Moving Checklist
1. Buy Packing Supplies
You can’t start packing without a place to put your belongings. Check with the nearest hardware or grocery store to see if they have any extra boxes. Or, check local apps like Nextdoor or Facebook marketplace to see if any neighbors have boxes they no longer need. If you need boxes ASAP, office supply and hardware stores usually sell new cardboard boxes as well. Don’t forget to buy sturdy packing tape so that your boxes won’t spill out on the way to your new place.
Consider whether or not you’ll need things like bubble wrap, newspaper, or moving blankets. Short moves might not require these things, but if you’re moving across the country with fragile items it will be more necessary.
2. Declutter Your Life
When you’re living in one place for a long time, it is easy to accumulate things you don’t need. Moving is a great time to Kon Mari your belongings and lighten your load. Take this time to sort through non-essentials, clean out that “junk” drawer, and purge the things that no longer serve you.
Donating your discarded belongings to local second hand stores is a great way to give your items a new life!
3. Pack Items You Don’t Use Frequently
The first items to start packing are the things you rarely use. Using this method allows you to start packing as soon as possible, which will save you tons of time on move-out day. So, that breadmaker you haven’t touched in over a year should be the first thing you put in a box. Start by figuring out your basic necessities, and start packing everything else.
4. Label Boxes
Make unpacking easier on yourself by labeling the front of each box. This is easy to forget, but will save you tons of time. This way, you’ll know exactly where each item is and can unpack accordingly. Plus, if you ever need to use something during move-out day, you won’t have to open and search every box to find it.
5. Forward Your Mail
Make sure you don’t miss out on any important mail by updating your address ASAP. It’s actually a lot easier than you think— just go over to USPS.com, enter your information, and pay a $1 verification fee. You’ll start receiving any mail that was sent to your old address in about 7-10 days.
Pro tip: This feature expires after 6 months, so make sure to update your mailing address on all platforms within that time frame.
6. Transfer Utilities
Make a day out of transferring your important services (such as electric, cable, and wifi). It’s not the most exciting task, but it needs to be done. Save yourself late fees and future stress by setting a date and getting it done. Because being stuck in an apartment without WiFi sounds like a modern day horror movie.
7. Start Packing
In the weeks before moving out, start packing up rooms that you don’t use often. If you barely use your kitchen, start packing up pots and pans, and leave the essentials until move-out day. If your living room has tons of card games and books that you won’t use before moving, just pack them in a box and set it aside.
8. Schedule Movers
It’s important to guarantee transportation. Whether you’re doing it yourself or hiring movers, it is necessary to get a car or truck with enough space to load up your belongings. Even if you have an SUV, you might still need assistance with larger items. Hiring movers from the start could save you a lot of headache. Just take our word for it— renting a van or hiring movers will guarantee a smooth move-in.
If you need recommendations for friendly, professional and efficient movers, we love Bellhop! Just like AptAmigo, Bellhop is committed to freeing you from the usual burdens of moving and provides flexible service options to fit almost any moving need. Get 10% off your next Bellhop move with our code Amigo10.
9. Plan for Your Pets
Moving out is stressful enough, you don’t want to worry about pets adding to the chaos. Pets can become especially anxious and nervous during a move-out. So save Fido from the stress and leave them with a friend or at doggy daycare during the move.
10. Measure Your New Apartment
Bring a tape measure with you and measure before you unpack. This way you’ll know where everything fits, and can unpack accordingly. This is important because each apartments’ floor plan can vary, and moving things once they’re unpacked is not as easy as it sounds.
Pro tip: Measuring your place is especially important when you’re buying furniture. Our favorite trick to use is measuring and taping the dimensions of the couch/desk/table on the floor to see if it would be too overwhelming or if it fits just right!
11. Host a Move-in Party!
Moving with only two hands is hard work. Buy some beer and wine, pair it with some snacks, and invite your friends over! It’s a great way to catch up while also getting help with particularly heavy items. When you’re done, unpack the party games and have a little move-in party!
From searching for an apartment to finding movers, relocating can be stressful. So in 2015, we set out to create a service that would change the way people find apartments. We created AptAmigo, the first VIP apartment locating experience, and made it completely free to clients. Click here to learn more about how it works, and to get in touch with your own personal apartment expert.