After a long process of searching through apartment listings, checking out potential neighborhoods, touring units, and finally signing a lease, you’re ready to move into a new apartment. Congrats! While you should feel happy and excited about your new apartment, there are also some things you need to keep in mind before making the move.

To help you transition to your new apartment seamlessly, we assembled this checklist of 5 moving tips you’ll want to make sure you cross off before you move out.  

1. Review Your Current Lease

Most residents take a long look at the lease before signing, but it’s important to take a look at your lease when you’re about to move out. Unless you have a superstar memory, most likely the details of your lease are a bit fuzzy by time you’ve reached the end of your rental agreement. Freshen your memory by re-reading your lease. The portion of your lease that you want to carefully review is the section that stipulates the expectations of the renter upon the end of the lease.

The specific stipulations of a lease can vary greatly from one apartment to another, so you want to make sure to read up on your expectations. Examples of some of the stipulations that you may need to follow before you move out include:

  • 30-60 day notice of moving
  • Carpet cleaning
  • Hole filling
  • Repaint walls
  • Final trash pick up
  • Schedule final walk through with property management
  • Inform property management of specific move out time window
  • Leave forwarding address

If you neglect a stipulation before you move, you may be subject to a fine or deduction from your security deposit.

2. Clean and Make Repairs When Possible

When you first moved into your apartment, you almost certainly had a unit walk-through with your property manager to identify the condition and potential damage of your unit. Before you leave, you’ll have another walk-through and your property manager will take note of any additional damage or worsened condition that your unit has suffered while you’ve been living there. Any dings on that final walk-through will result in you losing a portion, or all, of your security deposit. By taking a proactive role in cleaning and repairing your apartment ahead of your walk-through, you can increase the amount of your security deposit that you’ll get back.

Before scheduling your final walk-through, review the document from your initial walk-through and identify quick fixes. Fill holes made from hanging pictures, touch up paint on scuff and wall markings, thoroughly clean your appliances, and give your carpets or flooring a good wash and vacuum. With a little work and a bit of money on cleaning supplies, you can save a bunch of money by getting a larger portion of your deposit back.

3. Try and Find Free Boxes

The moving process includes a lot of expected costs, and a number of sneaky unexpected costs that add up in a hurry. While you’ll need plenty of boxes to pack up all of your stuff to move to your new apartment, one way to save some money is to avoid paying for them.

There’s a number of places where you can seek out free boxes. Examples include: grocery stores, department stores, clothing stores, Craigslist, and your friends and family. There are plenty of people out there who no longer want their boxes and would love for you to take them off of their hands. Before you cough up some cash for a set of moving boxes, try and nab up some free ones.

4. Pack Up One Area at a Time

Once you’ve acquired your boxes and are ready to start packing, you’re going to want to do so strategically. A great way to remain organized during the semi-chaotic moving process is to tackle one area of your apartment at a time. This helps your packing in the moment, and will serve you well when you are unpacking at your new apartment.

Try and start with the areas of your apartment that you know will take the longest to pack, and move on to the easier and faster areas as you progress.

5. Pack Carefully and Budget Plenty of Time

When you reach the kitchen area of your apartment make sure you pack all of your stuff neatly and safely. Unpacking broken dishes is a sure-fire way to ruin the excitement of a new apartment. Make sure you’re careful and using bubble wrap and padding with fragile dishes, and always label your boxes so you know what you’re carrying when you’re unpacking.  

When accidents happen during a move, it’s usually the consequence of rushing the process, or being overwhelmed by the work. To the best of your ability, you want to budget plenty of time for you to both pack up and clean your previous apartment, and to unpack and settle in to your new apartment.

Crammed on time? Try and persuade a friend or neighbor to help you out. Everyone moves at some point, and if they do you the favor of helping with your move today, you’ll be able to repay them by helping them move in the future.

Find Your Next Apartment with Elevate Living

As you prepare to move to your next apartment, you’ll want to make sure that you re-read your old lease, clean and make repairs yourself, try to locate free moving boxes, pack one area at a time, and budget plenty of time so you can pack carefully.

Haven’t find an apartment to move to yet? Take a look at our current listings to find your next apartment!