10 Ways to Simplify Your Apartment Move

Joe Roberts
May 27, 2022
Icon Time To Read5 min read

At a glance

Are you getting ready to make an apartment move? Preparing for a move can be exciting. (You get to rearrange your furniture! You’ll have a new neighborhood to explore!) However, as moving day approaches and your to-do list gets longer, you may be feeling a bit stressed.

So, what’s the secret to a successful apartment move? Make a plan for exactly what you need to do (and when). We’ve got you covered with 10 ways to simplify your apartment move.

Apartment Moving Quick Guide

1. Change your address

Once you’ve signed your lease, it’s time to make your apartment official with a new address. You can file your change of address online or in person by filling out the Mover’s Guide that is usually available in the lobby. After you file, it generally take 7 to 10 business days for the change of address to go into affect. File early to ensure you don’t miss any mail and protect yourself from potential fraud. Doing this step on time will give you one less thing to worry about later.

2. Call your service providers

Call your internet, cable, and utility providers. Schedule cancellation at your current address for the day after the move. And while some utility providers are more flexible than others, when it comes to water, heat, trash, and electricity, we recommend that you set up service at your new place at least three weeks before your move-in date.

Pro tip: It’s very important that you secure your utilities at your new place before moving (even if you have a gap in your moving timeline). Many apartment complexes will charge penalty fees if residents don’t set up their utilities by or well before their official move-in. Be sure to closely inspect any checklists your rental office provides you and follow accordingly.

3. Let your friends know you’re moving

Make your moving announcement 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.

4. Schedule the movers

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

Company type
Move.org rating
Packing & loading services
Learn more
Professional mover
4.8 out of 5 stars
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon Yes  Light10% Move.org discount, military personnel, seniors
Professional mover
4.5 out of 5 stars
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon No  LightNone
Professional mover
4.8 out of 5 stars
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon Yes  LightSeniors
Moving container company
4.6 out of 5 stars
Icon No  LightNo
Icon Yes  Light25% Move.org discount, military personnel
Moving container company
4.5 out of 5 stars
Icon No  LightNo
Icon Yes  LightMove.org readers, military personnel

5. Sort through your things

This could be the hardest part of any move, but the energy invested here will streamline the entire moving process. Begin with the largest pieces. If they won’t fit into your new place or you have duplicate items, sell or donate them. Consider using a charitable  organization that will pick up items from you.

For smaller stuff like books, clothes, and knick-knacks, part with clutter that does not bring you joy. (For inspiration, we recommend Marie Kondo’s book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up). After all, any apartment living situation is bound to have minimal storage space!

6. Host an efficient 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 clutter. At the end of the day, give usable, unwanted items that didn’t sell to a charity.

7. Pack a suitcase

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

8. Pack room by room

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

9. Move your clothes the easy way

Sometimes, you don’t need all of those fancy moving supplies. Case in point: 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 cardboard box (you can find free moving boxes), 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.

10. Treat your friends like rockstars

If your friends or family members are helping on moving day, make it a great experience 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 they would like from the local café in the morning.
  • If your friends use their vehicles for the move, have cash handy for gas.

The takeaway

Here’s a final tip for simplifying the moving process: 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 space that you’ll be glad to call “home.”

Would you like to learn more about simplifying your apartment move? Check out How to Make Packing Easier.

Apartment moves FAQ

How can I move my apartment more efficiently?

You can move your apartment more efficiently by taking stock of your possessions, getting rid of things you don’t use, and packing room by room (e.g. start in the living room and move to the kitchen). Don’t forget to label your moving boxes by room, too!

How do you declutter fast for a move?

Quickly declutter for a move by hosting a yard sale and selling everything (except furniture and other big-ticket items) for $1 each. People will be enticed by the bargains, and you can drop off usable clutter at a charity that accepts donations (or get a storage unit.)

How do I move in less than 30 days?

If you’re on a tight timeline with your big move, remember to change your address and utility providers right away. Then, schedule the moving company, set up self-storage (if needed), ask friends and family for help, and start packing as soon as possible.

What items are not worth moving?

Any belongings you don’t actually use aren’t worth moving—no matter how big or small! Donate or sell anything you haven’t put to use in the last year. It also depends on how much space you have in your new home. If you’re choosing a simple living situation in a smaller home in New York, for example, it’s important to prioritize essentials and most sentimental items.

Joe Roberts
Written by
Joe Roberts
Joe Roberts is a professional writer with a degree in writing studies and over four years of copywriting experience. He previously worked at Overstock.com, where he wrote about furniture, home decor, and moving. Joe has moved all over Utah, so he knows his way around a moving truck—and he spends his time (and money) expanding his personal library so it will be even heavier next time he moves.