From the moment your move begins, the list of things you'll need to accomplish and check off seems to only grow. It can be stressful and difficult to keep track of everything you need to do to get settled in, unpacked and comfortable at home. We created a move-in checklist to help keep you on track and prevent you from forgetting crucial steps (how long do you really want to have to live without internet?). Whether this is your first move or your fifteenth, you'll breathe easier getting your boxes, pets and people moved in with this handy dandy move-in checklist...
2-3 Months Before Your Move
- Give your current landlord notice of your departure. Most landlords require between 30-90 days notice that you won't be continuing your lease. Make sure to give proper notice so that you don't incur additional fees (or, worse, get stuck in a new lease).
- Make your transportation plans. Whether you're hiring movers or planning to move yourself with the help of friends and family, you'll want to secure your mode of transportation early so that you have the support you need to get to your new home.
1-2 Months Before Your Move
- Gather supplies. Whether you're picking up brand new boxes and packing materials from your nearby moving company, or gathering recycled boxes, newspaper and leftover bubble wrap, you need to start now.You'll want to stock up on everything you need to begin packing up your stuff safely and securely because it's time to start putting your items into boxes.
- Start packing! Don't wait until the last minute to begin packing up your home. Whether you're downsizing, upsizing or same-sizing, you won't realize just how much stuff you have until you begin putting it into boxes, and you'll want to have time to decide what to keep and what to let go of.
- Get rid of what you don't need. Lighten your load and simplify your move instantly by choosing to discard items that no longer serve you. Go through old clothes and shoes, kitchen items, home goods, electronics and knick-knacks and decide whether to donate, throw away or sell. As a bonus, you may end up with some extra cash for your move, or a nice tax write off at the end of the year.
- Gather important documents. Round up your most important documents and records and file them securely in one place. As your move comes closer, you will want to be able to move these items personally and you'll want to find them easily, so be smart about where you place them.
- Switch over your utilities. Contact your individual utility companies to turn off the utilities in your current home (you can give them a turn off date, so you won't be living in the dark for weeks), and turn on the utilities in your new home. You'll want to make sure to set up a date with your cable company to have them come to your new apartment once you've moved in to install cable and internet, and scheduling this appointment in advance will work in your favor (they usually have a wait).
- Change your address with the postal service. You can do this easily online, or pop by the post office at your convenience to fill out paperwork.
- Change your address on all other services. If you recieve paper bills or statements in the mail from your insurance provider, bank, credit card or place of employment, make sure to officially change those addresses, individually.
2 Weeks Before Your Move
- Turn up your packing. Time to wrap up your packing and begin boxing up your everyday items. Pick up paper plates, silverware and napkins to get you through your last week in your old digs, and set aside clean clothes and a suitcase to pack at the very last minute with items you have to have each day. Don't forget to label each box carefully and visibly, and make sure that boxes are sealed thoroughly. As you pack, make sure that you group items to prevent breaking or harming your things, grouping electronic devices together and wrapping glasses and dishes properly.
- Check with your new landlord to ensure that you have a space to park the moving truck as well as access to elevators (when necessary) and a list of move-in rules.
1 Day Before Your Move
- Depending on your current landlord's lease agreement, you may need to have your current apartment's carpets professionally cleaned, as well as the apartment itself. Defrost your refrigerator, clean out all cabinets and cover up any holes in the wall where you may have hung artwork. You'll want to leave your home in the condition you found it, so pay attention to details (and that lease agreement!).
- Pack your final suitcase and check to make sure your important documents and valuables are secure. You'll want to keep a close eye and handle on a few items as you move, and put them in a designated space in your new home as soon as you're in, to keep them safe.
Moving Day: Move-out
- Load up your stuff! If you've hired movers, make sure your items are ready. Plan to supervise your movers to ensure your stuff moves safely, but be kind-moving is hard work! If you will be executing your move, begin loading boxes, furniture and appliances, with heaviest/bulkiest items going in first to the back of the truck.
- One last clean and final sweep. Now that you've had movers in and out of your home, you'll need to go back through and give your apartment one last sweep through with the vacuum, mop and windex. Make sure to walk through your apartment entirely, opening all closets and doors to check for leftover items or spaces that need cleaning. Turn off the AC or heat, lock all windows and doors and turn all light switches off. Return your keys and parking passes to your former landlord and be on your way!
Moving Day: Move-in
- If you haven't already, walk through your new home and inspect it to make sure utilities are working and the apartment is in good condition. Once you've confirmed that the apartment is ready for your stuff, you'll be ready to unload.
- Move your stuff! Unload your truck with care, and supervise any movers you may have hired. Make sure to follow the moving rules of your new apartment community and be careful moving up and down stairs and in and out of doors. Take your valuables, important documents and special personal items to a safe, secure space in your new home, and tuck them safely away so that you won't have to worry about misplacing them.
- Unpack. Start with the basics because it's been a big day. Take out clean sheets, blankets, towels, kitchen items, clothing, lamps and pet supplies. Make your bed and create a space for you to kick back and relax.
- Bring your pets and your kids home. You may have kept your dog and small kids with friends during your move, so now that you're in, go get them! You're finally in, so cozy up together and celebrate. You're home at last!