Move In Checklist

Move In Checklist

Everyone always writes a list of things that need to be done when moving out of a home. But what about when you move into a new apartment? 

The good news is that half the work is done. All your items are packed. If you're moving from another home, chances are you won't need to buy anything new. 

Yet, it's easy to overlook some things in the excitement and craziness of it all. That's why we've compiled a checklist of what you should do when moving into a new rental apartment. 

Let's get started. We divided up this article with the help of a timeline. It'll allow you to divide tasks and stay on track so that your move is as seamless as possible! 

5 to 8 weeks before moving in 

This is going to be your biggest step in the entire process. You can't move into a new home without- well, having an apartment lined up. 

Make sure you don't give your rental termination letter unless you have a new place. Many renters often face the dilemma of not being able to find a place in time for their move-out date. 

You should also have these things done by this timeframe. 

Sign your new lease. 

This one is pretty straightforward (and a little obvious). Your new lease should be signed and ready to go.

Hire moving companies or trucks. 

Depending on what time of the year it is, you'll find that moving trucks get booked fast. You'll want to hire your moving company as early as possible.

Put money aside for moving expenses. 

Moving costs and deposits (from your new rental) can quickly eat up your budget. Forbes found that the average moving costs ranged between $800 to $2,150. So, make sure you're setting this money aside!

Ask your friends or family for help. 

Depending on how much stuff you have, you may very well need some manpower. Be sure to ask for help well in advance so everyone can fit it into their schedules. 

Take time off for longer moves. 

A big or long move may require you to take some personal time off. Be sure your employer can accommodate your schedule and give you the dates you need. 

Declutter, declutter, and declutter. 

I cannot count the number of times I've regretted not decluttering before moving into a new place. Getting rid of those shoes or clothes you never wear is the difference between moving a handful or dozens of boxes. 

Start the decluttering process a couple of weeks early. It'll allow you to tackle everything without overwhelming yourself. For those with A LOT of items, you should check out organizational techniques like Marie Kondo's tidying technique

4 weeks before moving into your new apartment 

This time is going to fly by, so you'll want to stay on top of your moving checklist. You may find that things start to get a little stressful. It'll help to keep a schedule that you can follow. 

Here's what you should be doing a month before moving. 

Start buying or collecting moving supplies

Nowadays, online shopping makes it easy to collect boxes. Start by saving those for your move. You can also start purchasing any additional items you might need for your move (think tape, bubble wrap, furniture pads, black markers). 

The last thing you need during your move is to realize that you don't have enough tape for packing. 

Start changing your mailing address. 

This can be a very time-consuming process, so it's good to start early. A good tip is to go through your bank statement and find out which companies you should be contacting. Chances are that if a service doesn't appear on your bank statement from the last 6 months, then you don't have to worry about them! 

You can also cancel any services or subscriptions you won't need once you move.

Cancel your utilities 

Don't forget to add this one to your list. Contact your utility companies to notify them as to when they should turn off their services. Some companies will allow you to transfer accounts to your new home. This is your chance to kill two birds with one stone! 

Eat your food 

This is kind of a weird one, but start working through your pantry or fridge food items. Food can be heavy and bulky, so the less of it you have to move, the better! 

It can be a little challenging moving perishable foods. Involving coolers and ice will make everything more complicated. It'll be in your best interest to eat as much of that food as possible before moving!

2-3 weeks before moving the big day

At this point, the days are counting down to your big moving day! What should you be doing by this timeframe? 

Set up your renters insurance 

A few weeks before moving into your new home, you should set up your renters insurance. Tell your company about your move. You'll most likely have to provide them with details of the new apartment and the date of the move.

Start packing fragile or less used pieces 

You can slowly start packing! Putting away fragile or decorative items well in advance will be really helpful. It gives you enough time to carefully stow these items away. 

Packing any decorative items will also clear so many and save you on time. 

Create an inventory list 

Moving can get crazy really fast. You can prevent this by categorizing your boxes and creating an inventory list. 

It helps to write on the boxes what's in them. You can also number your boxes and then have a list of the items within the box on a separate sheet of paper or chart. This will keep everything organized and tidy!

Schedule a unit inspection

Don't forget to schedule an apartment inspection with your landlord. They'll let you know if anything needs to be fixed up before you move out. This will ensure you get your entire security deposit back. 

1 week before your move

Now it's crunch time. This is what you should be focusing on a week before your move. 

Pack your belongings

You'll be so grateful if you divide your packing by room or category. You should also make a sort of schedule for packing duties. This ensures that you'll pack everything little by little. It'll eliminate the stress of having to pack an entire household of items the night before your move (we're no strangers to procrastinating packing). 😝

Pack an essentials bag

This one is pretty straightforward. Don't forget to pack a bag or suitcase with all your essential items. This would include your PJs, toiletries, toilet paper, towels. Anything you might need for your first night in your new home. 

It'll eliminate the stress of rummaging through 5 different boxes just to find your body wash. 😅

On moving day

This is the big day! All your belongings should be packed and ready to go (hopefully). What should you do when you move into your new apartment? 

Let's go over those steps. 

Collect keys or fobs from your new landlord

Make sure to collect all the appropriate keys to your place (this includes additional keys for amenities). 

I forgot to grab the key to my building's storage locker. That meant I had to leave my unlocked bike on our terrace and hope for the best until my landlord could give me the keys. 

While you're at it, don't forget to go over building guidelines and rules with your landlord. Ask about the garbage disposal, laundry, heating/AC, etc. if you don't know how they already work. 

Take pictures and inspect your unit 

Out of everything you do, it's vital that you don't miss this step! Do an apartment walkthrough before you move in. Check for any damage, wear-and-tear, or faulty appliances or fixtures. 

If you find anything wrong with the unit, make a note of it. Write it down and send it to your landlord. Make sure there is a date stamp so you can prove that these damages were there before you moved in. 

Make sure to video record the unit and take pictures as well. This will ensure that you have proof of how the unit was given to you. 

Have fun

Don't forget to have fun! Moving can be stressful, but you always feel so accomplished when it's over. 


We hope this moving-in checklist helps you out with your next move! Share this with anyone that is moving soon. 

If you or anyone you know is looking to move into a new place, you should give us a look. Lighthouse gives cash back to renters who sign a new lease. It's an easy way to save on rent (especially in this unaffordable market).

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