Apartment Moving Quick Guide
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.