Apartment Checklist for Moving Out

Apartment Checklist for Moving Out Gif

Moving can be an exciting time in your life. You could be making this transition because of a new job, a relationship, or just the desire to live in a different area. No matter what reason, moving can be stressful when you have to pack up everything and iron out various details. It can be easy to forget to call your cable company or to have your mail forwarded in the midst of trying to disassemble your bed frame or decide if you want to keep your dresser. Whether your lease is about to end or you have sold your apartment, your place needs to be empty and clean for the new tenants moving in. To help you navigate some crucial steps of moving and to get you on your way, here is a guide of what to do in the weeks leading up to the big day.

7 or 8 Weeks Before the Move:

  • Divide and Conquer

Decide what to keep, give away, or throw out. Maybe have a yard sale or sell items online to make some extra cash on things that aren’t worth the trouble to move or that you don’t need anymore.

  • Research Moving Companies

Check out professional movers that will take good care of all of your belongings or research rental vans so you can move yourself out.

  • Get Organized

Create a binder for important documents and information regarding your move. This way you can easily sort through price estimates for moving companies/truck rentals, purchase or rental agreements for your new apartment, and an inventory of things you might be worried about losing during the trip. 

  • Do You Need New Furniture?

Try to obtain a floor plan of what your new space will look like. See if you will need more or less furniture and double check your measurements so you won’t be stuck in the new apartment with a piece of furniture that can’t fit into a room.

6 Weeks Before Your Move:

  • Cut Back on Groceries

Continue buying all of your daily necessities like milk, bread, and eggs. Start finishing what you have and try to stop buying items you know you won’t finish within 6 weeks like new cleaning supplies, frozen goods and perishable foods.

  • Start Collecting Boxes

Instead of spending money on new cardboard boxes, you can usually find used ones in good shape at your local grocery store or stores that sell in bulk like Costco and BJs. You can also buy specialty boxes for your important items and clothes so there is no chance of them getting damaged during the move.

Moving Out Boxes

5 Weeks Before You Move:

  • It’s All About the Money

If you’re moving because of a new job at your employer’s request, make sure to verify which expenses and responsibilities are covered and what else you need to do. Also contact the IRS or your accountant for information on tax-deductible moving expenses.

  • Everyone Else

Make a list of everyone you need to notify about your move. This could be friends, professionals, creditors, subscriptions, etc. Also contact doctors, dentists, lawyers, and accountants and obtain copies of your personal records. Before you leave, ask around for referrals for new doctors, lawyers, and such wherever possible. If you have kids, arrange for their school records to be transferred to their new district.

3 or 4 Weeks Before Your Move:

  • Select Your Moving Company or Reserve Your Moving Truck

Now that you’ve had some time to research, you should be confident with your moving company or rental truck service. 

  • Start Packing Up

Begin with the things you know you will not use for the next 3 or 4 weeks like old books, out of season clothes, or specialty kitchen supplies. Label each box with what’s inside so unpacking can be a little smoother. Remember to keep important things like jewelry or special documents in a separate place than just in any old box so you can easily find them during the move if need be. 

  • Change Your Address

Remember to change your address for the post office, your bank account, credit card companies, subscriptions, schools (if you have children), your insurance agency, your doctor, lawyers, and any other service that will need an accurate address.

  • Cancel or Transfer Utilities

Let your cable, Internet, and phone providers that you will be moving so you can either have them end your service or transfer everything to you new address on the day you move.

Canceling Cable Service

2 Weeks Before Your Move:

  • Schedule Work Off

If you will still have the same job after your move, remember to request time off for the day of or the few days surrounding the move so you have enough time to make your boss aware or have a shift covered.

  • Goodbyes

If you’re moving to a whole new city or state, say goodbye to your friends and family if you won’t be seeing them for a while. Maybe throw a party to reminisce on the times you shared in that house or town.

The Week of Your Move:

  • Set Aside Things You’ll Need Your First Week in the New House

Remember not to pack everything up. You should set aside some clothes and necessities that you can easily access for the first few days as you unpack in your new apartment.

  • Clean, Clean, Clean

This step is crucial if you have any hopes of getting your security deposit back or want to have happy owners to whomever you sold your place to. Make sure to do the following to prepare for the next inhabitants of your apartment:

  • Take all nails and screws out of the walls and ceilings and repair with putty or spackle.
  • Dust all surfaces including ceiling fixtures, ledges, windows, etc.
  • Clean all windows, doorknobs, doors, light switches, walls, baseboards, and carpets.
  • In the bathroom be sure to scrub the tiles, shower, toilet, drawers, vanity, sink, and counter top.
  • In the kitchen don’t forget to clean out all cabinets, liners, and fridge; wash the front of the cabinets; disinfect the countertops, dishwasher, sink and fridge; scrub the oven inside and out (stove, shelving, drip pans, and burners) with steel wool; also remove all appliances and sweep behind them.

Apartment Cleaning Checklist Moving Out

The Day of Your Move:

  • Do a Final Walk Through

  • After moving all of the furniture out of the bedrooms and living room, dust, sweep and mop the empty rooms.
  • The day you move, mop from the furthest point in the apartment out to the door to ensure everything is spotless and take out any remaining garbage.
  • Double check that you have everything and make sure no part of the apartment was damaged while you moved out.
  • Make sure that all of the windows are closed and locked, the heater and/or air conditioner is off, the water is shut off, your keys have been turned into your landlord or new owners and that your doors are locked once you have finalized everything.

Apartment Move Out Keys

After the Move:

  • Familiarize Yourself With the New Apartment and Area

Before you start moving boxes in, walk through the new apartment with your landlord and make note of any visible damages caused by the previous tenants. Once you’re at your new apartment, if applicable, locate where all of the important things are like the circuit breaker, gas and water line shut-off, water heater, furnace/air conditioner, and previously installed connections for Internet and television hookups. If your new apartment isn’t completely ready or livable, stay with a credible short term furnished apartment company.

  • Mail

Get in contact with your friends and family to let them know that you’ve arrived safety and to have someone check your old mailbox (if it is not locked in your old apartment building) to ensure that no mail was sent there. If mail was sent to your old address make sure to contact the sender to let them know you moved.

  • Dust Off Your Belongings

During the move your belongings are bound to get a little dirty and dusty in the moving van. Try using a disinfectant cleaner like Wireless Wipes to get all of the spots and smudges off of your glass electronics. It’s the perfect phone, camera, tablet, computer, and flat screen cleaner to rid your devices of any unwanted germs or fingerprints.


Sources: pintrest, apartmentguide.com, apartmenttherapy.com

Images: apartments.about.com, movingcompaniesreviews.com, kelly’s-kleaning, wordpress, cnet, every-mom-deserves.com, Memphis-locksmith.