Apartment Guide Editorial Team

The best way to tackle a move is to think like a project manager: set a timeline, make a to-do list, and assign due dates for each task. While this kind of super-organized approach might be the most effective, it's easier said than done — especially when you're stressed out. And that's why we've created this handy moving checklist to help you prepare for moving day.

This moving checklist breaks down all of your to-do items by subject. Use it to create your plan of attack, and you'll be sure that nothing falls through the cracks — no matter how busy you get.

Download a PDF of the moving checklist

Moving logistics

Whether you hire professional movers or rent a truck and do everything yourself, one of the first things to cross off your moving checklist is logistics planning for your move.

  • If you hire movers: Compare moving companies, get several quotes, and then confirm a moving date.
  • If you move yourself: Make a rental truck reservation and don't forget to reserve dollies or furniture moving equipment, as well. While you're at it, plan the driving route to your new apartment.
  • If you need to rent a storage unit, you'll have to locate a unit and get a contract for this service.

Read more: Should You Rent a Moving Truck? and 4 Ways to Convince Your Friends to Help You Move


Once you've got a confirmed moving date, it's time to tell everyone that your address is changing. You can complete an official change of address online with USPS.com, but there may be certain utility and service providers you need to contact in writing or on the phone:

  • Insurance companies
  • Your child's school
  • Utilities:  phone, cable, Internet, gas, electric, water, trash
  • Medical providers, to transfer prescriptions and records
  • Bank and credit card companies
  • Magazine subscriptions
  • Apartment property management (check out our sample move-out letter if you need help giving notice)

As you make notifications, don't forget to cancel any services or memberships you won't need after your move (gym memberships, lawn services, newspaper delivery, etc).

Read more: Important Contacts to Notify When You Move

Switch utilities

If you need to switch utility providers, schedule a time to research and contact new providers about two to three weeks before you move. It's best to have new utilities turned on a few days before you move into your new apartment so everything's ready for your arrival.

Depending on how these services are handled at your new apartment community, you may need to set up service for utilities like these:

  • Electric
  • Water
  • Gas
  • Trash
  • Phone
  • Cable
  • Internet

Read more: How to Transfer Utility Services When You Move

I.D. and tags

If you're moving out of state, find out how long you'll have to get a new driver's license and vehicle tags, once you move to your new apartment.


Every single item you pack represents a dollar sign, so you'll need to schedule some time to declutter your apartment before you start packing. You don't need to waste time and money packing up items that you'll never use again, so trash or donate anything that's old, broken, or unnecessary to move along with you.


Nobody likes packing, but it's a necessary evil. Set yourself up for success by getting all of the packing supplies you need — boxes, permanent markers, labels, bubble wrap, and tape — before you start the job.

Start packing lesser-used items and rooms first, and leave the major living areas for last. You may want to take inventory of the items you pack — especially if you hire professional movers.

Prepare pets

Moving with pets means you need to make special arrangements — especially if you have to fly with Fido or Kitty. Do your research to determine what paperwork, medications, and vaccinations your pets will need in order to make a safe trip to their new home. Make sure pets have secure nametags, and store their immunization records in a handy, accessible spot.


Make sure you get as much of your security deposit back as possible by scheduling time to clean up before your final apartment walkthrough. If the thought of doing the dirty work is really unappealing to you, you might hire a cleaning service to do a thorough move-out cleaning for you.

Stay on track

As you can see, there's a lot to keep track of during a move. That's why Apartment Guide recommends creating a calendar and a moving file to stay on top of all the items on your moving checklist.

Photo credit: Shutterstock / LoloStock



About The Author

Apartment Guide Editorial Team

The Apartment Guide Blog is your premier source for all things apartment related. From your initial search to your next move and everything in between, we’ve got you covered with all the tips, tricks and advice you’re looking for. We also sprinkle in a little industry news like rental trends and city lists from time to time if that’s your thing.