The dreaded move out. Whether you’re moving in with a significant other, crossing state lines for a job, or hunting for a new place all to yourself, the bottom line is the same: you need to clear out your old apartment. Before you get overwhelmed by all that this entails, get yourself familiar with a moving checklist and read our short guide below on what to do before moving out of your apartment.
Buy Moving Supplies
First things first, you need to buy your packing and moving supplies. If you don’t have them on hand, head to the store and pick up some these things to get you prepared.
- Moving boxes; these boxes from Staples come in all styles and sizes, but the cheaper ones usually require some assembly
- Clear packing or shipping tape; get a few rolls that come attached to plastic dispensers and it’ll make your life a whole lot easier
- Sharpies or box labels
- Bubble wrap
- Old newspaper
Moving also comes with some amount of cleaning, even if you hire professionals. If you don’t have it already, pick up some all-purpose cleaner, Magic Erasers (for the big marks and scuffs on your walls), and Swiffer pads. If you hire professional cleaners, you can save a little money by doing some of the easy stuff yourself, like dusting, cleaning the countertops, and sweeping the floors. Let the pros handle deep cleaning the oven, shower, kitchen grout, and other time-intensive tasks.
Downsize Your Belongings
A great way to get ready for the big move is to downsize. The last thing you want to do is pack things that you know you no longer want, wear, or need.
- Take inventory of your clothing; if you’re moving to a state where it doesn’t snow, maybe consider selling or donating your winter boots and jacket
- Old clothes and items you simply don’t want anymore can also be donated; try the Goodwill or Salvation Army
- Donate books you don’t read and household items you don’t use anymore
- Think about your furniture, too; if you’re moving down the street, maybe you want to keep that old dresser, but if you’re moving across the country, perhaps sell it and buy a new one when you get to your new home with the money you make selling your old one
Choose a Moving Company
Decide whether it’s worth it to hire professional movers to transport your belongings. Consider the amount of stuff you have, but also keep cost in mind. Are professional movers going to put you over budget or do you have a flexible one?
If you think you want to hire pros, make sure you do your research. Some companies offer a flat rate based on distance traveled and total items moved; others charge by the hour and factor gas, number of items, and size of items transported into their price. Be sure to read reviews from previous customers and find a reputable and respected company for your move.
Moving in the summer? Start boxing up those winter clothes and accessories. If you have lots of kitchen supplies, start packing up the ones you rarely use and tape the boxes up so you aren’t tempted to use them. This will help you get organized and start to feel a sense of accomplishment in the packing department.
Save all the items you use daily and pack them last. Think about what you use throughout a day: clothes for work, pajamas, hair accessories and products, makeup, toothbrush and toothpaste, coffee maker, etc. These are different for everyone, so make a list of things you want to keep out until the last minute and pack them together on your move-out day.
If you’ve hired professional movers, simply get your boxes and furniture ready to go and the movers will do all the heavy lifting.
Clean or Schedule a Cleaning Service
Like we said earlier, you can hire a professional cleaning service to do the deep cleaning, or you can do it yourself. You’ll save a pretty penny by cleaning your apartment all on your own, and you can rest assured that you’re going to clean it exactly how you want. After all, the condition of your apartment when you move out affects the amount of your security deposit you’ll get back.
If you choose to hire a cleaning service, make sure you schedule an appointment as close to your move-out date as possible.
- You’ll want to have moved all, if not most, of your things out of the apartment so the cleaners can do their job
- Make sure to be specific about what you want cleaned and negotiate a price; it might make sense to get everything in writing
Getting ready to move apartments isn’t the most fun you can have, but if you start planning early you’ll be in good shape come move-out day. Make sure you check out all our apartments for rent and find your next one before moving out.