According to the US Census Bureau, on average, Americans move over 11 times in their lifetime. That's a lot of moving! And while it may be nice to know you're not alone, it doesn't do much to quell the potential anxiety moving into a new apartment brings.
Whether you're a plan-everything-months-in-advance mover or throw the last items into boxes on the big day, it's a stressful event. According to a 2020 study, it's right up there with getting a new job or a divorce.
We're here to help you make your moving journey a little easier. Use these seven steps and a handy moving checklist so you're extra prepared the next time you're faced with boxes and packing tape. Your future you will thank you immensely!
Keep the lines of communication open to avoid any miscommunications or mishaps while you make your move.
Make sure to give your current landlord plenty of notice after you decide to move out. Typically, you write a notice of intent to vacate 30 days before you leave (though some apartments require a 60-day notice). This letter is legally binding and includes the current date, the date you're leaving, and your new contact information.
Property managers usually do a walk-through inspection after your apartment is empty. In some places, you may request a pre-inspection. Here, they point out any conditions that may result in a security deposit deduction, giving you the opportunity to fix them!
Let your new landlord know once you've settled on a move-in date. Check to see if there's a specific area they've set aside for trucks. Some apartment communities also let you book elevator time if you're moving into a new apartment on an upper floor.
Find out when you can pick up the keys and make sure you've conducted a move-in inspection before the big day arrives. Download an apartment walk-through checklist to note any damages or missing items.
Determine which items they'll repair before you move in and keep this document to compare with your move-out checklist. Comparing these two documents ensures you don't lose part of your security deposit due to damages present when you moved in.
There's nothing worse than moving into a new apartment and finding that your couch won't fit through the door. Can you get it through the back sliding doors? Only with a crane.
To bypass this scenario, measure your oversized furniture pieces and the areas you need to fit them through. Sometimes, you can find just the right angle that lets you squeeze it through the door. Other times, you may need to remove detachable parts, like legs.
Pro Tip: Professional movers and specialists offer dismantling or hoisting services if all else fails.
It's the first night in your new apartment. You flip the light switch and remain in darkness. What happened? Your partner or roommate thought you called the utility companies, and you thought they did. Now, you're left finding the box with the candles.
While all apartments differ, you're often responsible for the electricity, gas, cable and internet. Check with the new property manager to see which utility companies you need to call and if they have preferred providers. Then, consider calling them at least two weeks before moving in.
Are you moving into a new apartment that's smaller than your current one? Decluttering can be an exciting undertaking if you give yourself enough time. To make the process quicker, consider one of these decluttering rules.
Then, decide which items you're selling and which ones you're donating. You can sell items via a garage sale or through one of the popular selling apps. Many places take gently used donated items, including Goodwill, homeless shelters, domestic violence programs, Vietnam Veterans of America and Big Brothers, Big Sisters of America.
Moving into a new apartment offers a clean slate, a time to create a home that brings you joy and aligns with your lifestyle!
If you're moving into a bigger apartment, visualize your current furniture in your new place. Is there room for more, and if so, what pieces would make your life easier and more enjoyable while expressing your unique style?
Moving can be stressful, and that stress extends to your little furry friends. Have your pets stay with a friend or a pet sitter they're familiar with on moving day. This avoids unnecessary angst and lets you focus on the task without worrying about where they are or having to leave them in an empty room.
Pro Tip: Keep your pet's blanket, toys and travel carrier where they can see them. This gives them a sense of familiarity and ensures them they're traveling with you.
Do you have a storage unit at your current apartment? It's hard to imagine, but in the hectic pace of the moving day, it's easy to rush out and forget the items you've delegated to storage. Other commonly overlooked articles include medicine chest items, shower curtains, bathroom toiletry, chargers, plants and clothes hangers.
Pro Tip: Keep a "Don't Forget" list handy to ensure you leave with all your belongings.
Moving doesn't have to be over-the-top stressful! Ensure an uneventful moving day by remembering these seven tips the next time you move. If you're still looking for your next home, we suggest you start here.