10 Ways to Simplify Your Apartment Move

Christa Baxter
Researcher & Writer
Read More
April 20, 2016
3 min read

Are you getting ready to make an apartment move? Preparing for a move can be exciting as you think about how you’ll set up your new place and the things you’ll discover in your new neighborhood.

However, as moving day approaches and your “to-do” list gets longer, you may be feeling a bit stressed. The secret to a successful apartment move is to have a plan for what to do and when. We’ve got you covered with 10 ways to simplify your apartment move.

simplify your apartment move

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Change your address

Once you’ve signed your lease, the apartment move is on, so make it official. You can file your change of address online. File early to ensure you don’t miss any mail and to protect yourself from potential fraud. Doing this step on time will give you one less thing to worry about later.

Call your providers

Call your internet, cable, and utility providers. Schedule cancellation at your current address for the day after the move and have the lights and heat turned on at your new place the day before the move.

Let your friends know you’re moving

Make your announcements memorable with one of these ideas on Pinterest. Short on time? Use postcards. In the message section write something like this: “I’m excited to let you know my new address as of—” and fill in the date and address.

Schedule the movers

If you will be using professional movers, schedule early and take time up front to discuss actual costs. Some moving companies charge a flat fee plus hourly wages for the crew, while other companies add surcharges for things like blankets used to wrap around your furniture (whether you request them or not). You have the right to ask for a detailed cost breakdown and to get it in writing.

Take stock of your things

This could be the hardest part of any move, but energy invested here will streamline the entire moving process. Begin with the largest pieces. If they won’t fit into your new place, sell or donate them. For smaller items like books, clothes, and knick-knacks, discard every item that does not bring you joy. (For inspiration, we recommend Marie Kondo’s book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up).

Host a fabulous yard sale

Simplify any yard sale with this easy tip: except for the high-dollar items (in yard sale terms, this means anything you’re selling for $10 or more), put everything on one table with a “$1 each!” sign. People love dollar bargains! This step will save you from haggling over 10 cents here or there so that you can focus on selling your higher-value items. At the end of the day, take what didn’t sell to a charitable drop-off location.

Pack for the first few days

Pack a suitcase with some clothes, shower and beauty items, medicine and vitamins, pajamas, and your favorite pillow. Add towels, toilet paper, and paper towels. You’ll have the necessities at your fingertips without having to unpack.

Pack by room and use layers

For each room, choose the items you will need right away. For example, you probably won’t need your holiday dishes the moment you get to your new place—but you may want to find a can opener or a corkscrew. Bundle a few items for the kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom and put those at the top of the moving box for each room.

Move your clothes the easy way

Leave your clothes on the hangers. Pull a clean heavy-duty trash bag over a group of hangers, allowing the hangers to puncture the bag (the way the dry cleaner pulls a clear bag over a suit), and tie the bottom of the bag. Gently set the bag in a large box (like this one), and when you arrive at your new place, hang the items in your new closet. For clothes in dresser drawers, pack each drawer into a separate small box to make unpacking simple.

Treat your friends like rock stars

If your friends are helping with your apartment move, make it a great day for everyone. Confirm the day’s start time with a text message a few days before the move. The day before the move, stock the refrigerator with drinks, sandwiches, and snacks. The night before the move, send a text message asking each friend what he or she would like from the local café in the morning. If your friends are using their vehicles for the move, have cash handy for gas.

Here’s a final tip in simplifying the process of moving into an apartment: once the move is complete, relax. You have accomplished a lot, and now it’s time to enjoy being there. As you unpack, take your time to create a peaceful oasis that you’ll be glad to call “home.”

Christa Baxter
Written by
Christa Baxter
Christa Baxter has worked as an editor for more than eight years and specialized in moving content for the last three. She leads the Move.org content team in producing whip-smart moving tips and recs. After relocating four times in the last calendar year, she’s got strong opinions about moving best practices. (Just don’t ever pull a Marie Kondo and suggest she whittle down her personal library.) She earned a BA and MA in English with a minor in editing.