AptAmigo has helped thousands of people find their dream apartment, so we know everything that needs to be done before moving in to a new place. Moving out is a sign of new beginnings, but it can be an extremely stressful experience. To help your transition between apartments go more smoothly we’ve created The Ultimate Moving Checklist so you can make sure all your bases are covered before enjoying your new space. But don’t worry, it shouldn’t take long because we have also outlined how to unpack in only one day.

Once you’ve successfully moved in, we’ve interviewed an interior designer to get some helpful tips on decorating your new apartment!

Buy Packing Supplies

You can’t start packing without any place to put your belongings. Check with any hardware or liquor store for extra boxes and buy sturdy packing tape so that your boxes won’t spill out on the way to your new place.

Purge Your Belongings and Donate Items

Staying in one spot, it’s really easy keep accumulating clothing and trinkets which take up a ton of space. Kon Mari your wardrobe and apartment so you can pack lighter for the move, and not be weighed down by items you don’t want or use anymore. Stop by a drop-off center for Goodwill or Salvation Army so you can give your items a second life!

Pack Up Items You Don’t Frequently Use

First items to start packing are ones you use once in a blue moon. 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 items you use all the time, and start packing everything you won’t need for the few weeks it’ll take to pack up your place.

Label Boxes by Contents

Make unpacking easier on yourself by writing what you’ve packed in each box on the front. You’ll know exactly what contents are where and can unpack and place things accordingly.

Notify USPS of Address Change

You’ll want to make sure you get every important piece of mail that was sent to you at your old address before your new address is updated in the systems. It’s easier than ever to get your mail forwarded—just go over to USPS.com and type in your information and your old and new address and voilà, you’ll have your mail forwarded for 1 year. USPS normally takes about 7-10 days to process this request, so make sure you’ve sent in the request at least 10 days before your move-in date!

Schedule a Transfer of Electric/Cable/Wifi to New Address

You also don’t want to forget to transfer all of your important services, such as electric, cable, and wifi. If you use energy and it’s not in your name but came from your unit—some apartment complexes will charge a processing and administration fee on top of the bill. Save yourself some money and stress by setting a date when everything is transferred over to your new apartment—being stuck in an apartment without WiFi sounds like a modern day horror movie.

Start Packing up Rooms in Order of Least Used to Most

In the weeks before moving out, start packing up rooms that you don’t use as much. If you always eat take-out and barely use your kitchen, start packing up pots and pans and most of your eating utensils give or take a few to use until move out day. If your living room has tons of card games and books that you won’t get to by the time you move out, just pack them in a box and set it aside. 

Schedule Movers or a Moving Truck for Move-out Day

It’s a must to guarantee transportation of your items whether you’re doing it yourself or hiring movers. Even if you have a large SUV, you won’t be able to take everything you own in one trip and it’ll save you the struggle of driving back and forth trying to move everything from one apartment to the other. Renting a van or hiring movers who have a van and can fit everything in one trip are necessary for a smooth move-in.

Plan Arrangements for Pets/Children During Move-out

Moving out is stressful enough, you don’t want to worry about children or pets running around on top of it. Pets especially can become really anxious and nervous during a move-out, so save Fido from the stress and leave them with a friend or at doggy daycare for the move.

Measure Your New Apartment

Bring a tape measure with you before you unpack so you know logistically where everything fits and can unpack accordingly. This is so necessary because each apartments floorplans can be extremely different and moving things around once their unpacked is not as easy as it sounds.

Plan for Furniture Layout and Purchases

Measuring your new apartment helps for new furniture purchases as well. In this age, most people buy their furniture online and it’s hard to gauge sizing when you’re viewing it from a computer screen. Once you measure where you want to put that new couch or headboard—you can weed out the ones that wouldn’t fit in that space.

Host a Move-in Party!

Moving in with only two hands is hard work. Buy some beer and wine and pair it with some chips and dip and invite your friends over! It’s a great way to catch up with friends you’ve been meaning to see and also have help unpacking the especially heavy items. There will be extra incentive to reach the box with the card games at the end of unpacking for a fun game night as well.

Moving is stressful! We started AptAmigo as frustrated renters ourselves. From finding an apartment to finding movers, the whole process desperately needed a makeover. So in 2015, we set out to create the service we wished for. Armed with the enthusiasm of a startup and the determination of a renter, we created the first VIP apartment finding experience. The best part? It’s completely free to clients. Click here to learn more about how it works, and get in touch with your own personal apartment assistant.