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The Only Checklist for Moving Out You’ll Ever Need

Published by Chris Townsend

The Only Checklist for Moving Out You’ll Ever Need

You shouldn’t rush moving out of an apartment or house and getting to your new home. While scrambling to pack everything two days before and calling movers last minute can work, that’s not the recommended route.

Organizing the move, cleaning, apartment vacancy dates, and dealing with the bureaucratic side of the move can be immensely stressful. But there’s one way you can make relocating considerably less complicated: by making a checklist. Moving out is definitely draining, but a moving out of the apartment checklist can save you some energy and time.

The trick is starting early enough to avoid getting overwhelmed and doing your best not to postpone any of the tasks. So, is your move coming up and you’re already searching “how to deep clean an apartment?” If so, here’s a comprehensive checklist on how to move out of an apartment or house without a hitch.

Things to Do Seven to Eight Weeks Before the Move

If you want to take the pressure off organizing the move, starting around seven to eight weeks before the move day is best. Here’s a moving out from apartment or house checklist for this time frame.

Research Moving Companies

Unless you already know a reliable mover, researching moving companies is the top property on the checklist. Moving out can go seamlessly only if you’re working with professionals in the field who offer excellent rates too. Be advised not to rush making the decision right away. This is just shopping around process.


If you haven’t already, now is the moment to create a moving budget. It will help you choose which movers and services can be included in the consideration and which are out of the question.

Prepare Questions for Movers

If you wait until you speak to a moving coordinator, you will likely not think of every question you need answers for on the spot.

Instead, make an exhaustive list of questions asking about the company’s licenses, insurance, and if their services have hidden fees.

Give Notice to the Landlord

If you’re a renter, a moving out of apartment checklist should include reaching out to your landlord and giving them a heads-up about the relocation. Your lease agreement may require you to provide a 60-day notice, so it’s best to act sooner rather than later.

Get Quotes From Moving Companies

If you’ve narrowed down the moving company search, it’s a good idea to talk to a few and ask for estimates. The cost of moving out of an apartment or any property can add up quickly, so this is your chance to compare your budget with the quotes you’re receiving.

Things to Do Five to Six Weeks Before the Move

Around this time, the moving-out apartment checklist expands more significantly. You might not yet need deep cleaning apartment services, but it’s the perfect time for the following tasks.

Schedule Movers

Ideally, your chosen moving company will allow you to schedule the move five to six weeks ahead. If you’re sure about the date, that’s probably not going to be a problem. Although, make sure to check the company’s cancellation policy just in case.

Buy Moving Supplies

If you’re wondering how to move out of an apartment or house and bring almost everything with you, the answer is high-quality moving supplies. Get the sturdy boxes, durable bubble wrap, and plenty of packing paper. If you are unsure how many boxes you’ll need, check out this helpful packing calculator.

Reach Out to Your Healthcare Provider

You’ll want medical coverage as you move, especially if it’s to another state. You might need to purchase a different plan for yourself and your family; therefore, it’s not something you leave for the last minute.

Call the Schools

Notifying the school on time about the move should be on your checklist if you have children. Moving out can be hard on the youngest in the family, and their peers and teachers at school can help them get used to the idea.

You should also call the new schools to get started with the enrolment process and make it all as painless as possible.

Keep Track of Tax Deductibles

It might not seem like a big deal, but there’s no reason why you shouldn’t note all potential deductibles regarding moving costs.

For example, all the household items you donate to charitable organizations can be written off, and so are many expenses involved with a job-related move.

Get Insurance Policies in Order

You might be happy with your auto and home insurance, but your insurer might not operate in your new location.

So, before you hit the road, call the insurance companies and check if you’ll need to change the provider before leaving.

Address Minor Home Repairs

Before it comes the time for apartment cleaning to make the final stretch, you’ll need to fix a few items around the place and ask for your security deposit back from the landlord.

If the repairs weren’t urgent, you might have postponed them, but this is the right moment to fix some outlets and replace those worn-out doorknobs.

Start Emptying the Fridge

Whether this checklist item is essential mostly depends on how much perishable food you generally keep in the fridge.

If your household is large, you might need to start figuring out what to do with the food. Sometimes donating is a good choice, but increasing the number of home-cooked meals is typically healthier on your budget.

Sell or Donate Your Belongings

Moving out presents an opportunity to purge unwanted items from your home, so ensure that goes onto the checklist. You talk to non-profit organizations about donations, have a yard sale, or start selling your possessions online.

Things to Do Three to Four Weeks Before the Move

As the moving date gets closer, your checklist for moving will help you manage move-related anxiety a bit more efficiently. Here are a few to-dos to check off the list in the span of a week or so.

Service Your Vehicle

If you are driving to your new home, alone or with family, don’t take any chances and get your vehicle serviced on time. Ask a certified mechanic to check the brakes, tires, oil change, and anything else necessary for a safe journey to your new home.

Start Packing

The dreaded moment has arrived, and putting items in boxes is finally an item on your checklist. Moving out can be mind-bogglingly frustrating and packing in particular.

However, if you start with less-frequently used items and make sure to label everything correctly, there won’t be many things left when the day of the move approaches.

Throw Away Hazardous Materials

Your moving company won’t carry any flammable or hazardous items, and you shouldn’t leave them behind either. Check your garage and safely dispose of paint, pool chemicals, fireworks, and insecticides.

Cancel Maintenance Services

If you routinely used housekeeping services or a landscaper came around every week on the same day, you’ll need to cancel these services on time.

Let them know you’re moving and pay any outstanding debts. This is probably the optimal time to research maintenance services for your new apartment or house.

Forward Mail and Transfer Utilities

The good news is that forwarding your mail is pretty straightforward, as all you need to do is change your address by accessing the USPS official website. It will take only several minutes to mark off your checklist. Moving out also requires transferring, cancelling or transferring your utilities.

Your internet service provider likely also offers services in a different state, but you might need to change providers for gas, water, and security systems.

Things to Do One to Two Weeks Before the Move

A week or two before the move, you’ll still have several important tasks on the checklist. While you might have a few items to add or subtract, these ideas might come in handy.

Check Out the New Home’s Layout

You have probably already done this, whether online or in person, but going over the blueprint will give you an exact idea of how to arrange your furniture and décor.

Ask your realtor to forward a copy of the new place so you can get rid of any additional belongings that might not fit into the space.

Order New Furniture

The blueprint should also be able to tell you if you need new furniture or appliances right away. Two weeks before the move is the perfect time to order a new chair or carpet as they could arrive pretty much at the same time as you do.

Book Elevator Time

Are you moving out or into a large building? Your moving out of apartment checklist can include scheduling the elevator time for the day of the move, if possible. You will need to inform your landlord and neighbors when you’re moving out so they don’t slow down the process by using the elevator. They should also know that the elevator will be occupied for an hour or two to plan accordingly.

Secure Parking Spot for the Movers

This should be imperative because you want the trucks to be parked as close as possible to your new home. It’s imperative to secure parking in urban areas and in front of apartment buildings. Don’t forget you’ll need secure parking in front of your new home too.

Vet Visit for Your Pet

Keep in mind that your pet is moving too and that they should be in good health to withstand the trip and feel comfortable. A thorough check-up at the veterinarian’s office can put your mind at ease.

Furthermore, it gives you an excellent opportunity to get all the vaccination records and transfer them to the new vet’s office.

Cleaning Apartment Services or DIY Cleaning

You’re unlikely to clean the apartment a day before or on the actual move day. A week before the movers come is the best time to consider deep cleaning apartment services or doing the task yourself.

DIY cleaning will help you avoid paying the cleaning fee or get the full security deposit back. But how do deep clean apartment furniture and floors leave the place in tip-top condition?

Deep cleaning means scrubbing the fridge, microwave, countertops, oven, washing windows, shampooing the carpets, and ensuring the place becomes squeaky clean.

Continue Packing

You should take the time to pack whenever possible, but one week before the move is when you should speed up the process as much as possible.

All the non-seasonal clothes should be in boxes already, and you should also start packing the seasonal outfits. Ensure the kitchenware is safely wrapped and that you’ve removed non-perishable food from the pantry and into boxes.

Get Cash

Make sure you have some cash on you a day before the move. You might need to walk or drive to the nearest ATM as you never know why you might need it on the road. Also, this will allow you to tip the movers, which is always a decent gesture.

Things to Do on the Day of the Move

When the day of the move arrives and you’ve crossed every item from the moving checklist, the odds are your stress level is pretty low. However, there are still a few details to keep in mind.

Take Inventory

Take photos of your boxes and crates and create a thorough inventory of your possessions. This will make the process of filing insurance claims in case an item gets damaged or a box goes missing. You should also do a final sweep of the apartment or house and make sure you didn’t forget anything.

Hand Over the Keys

You’ll need to lock up your old home, and someone needs to be there to check if everything is in order and get the keys. If a landlord can’t meet you, discuss ways to forward the keys securely.

Pack Snacks and Water

Lastly, take care of yourself as you’re getting ready to leave. Have snacks on hand and enough water to keep you going throughout the day. This is particularly important for people with children as you might not be able to stop for food for a while.

With a Checklist, Moving Out Is a Breeze

Undoubtedly, there will be to-dos on this checklist that are specific to your needs and circumstance. But all of the mentioned items will steer you in the right direction and help you prepare well for the relocation.

Without a comprehensive moving checklist, you’re almost certainly going to forget crucial preparation steps and then have to do too many things at once. The checklist is designed to help you pace the move and not get overwhelmed. Moving is tough indeed, but a reliable moving company can be a game-changer. Therefore, consider Three Movers for your partner for the next more. Reach out to us today and get a free quote.

Chris Townsend is a moving professional and relocation expert that has more than 10 years of experience in the moving industry. With a background that includes working in virtually every aspect of the company, he has distinguished himself as an integral part of our operations with expertise in all things related to moving. Chris has a keen eye for detail and brings intelligence and passion to every project he’s involved with.

While getting his degree in communications from Santa Clara University, Chris started out with the company working in the field as part of our team of professional moving associates. Following graduation, he was promoted to our main office, where he has thrived in a role that involves increasing responsibility and requires him to wear many different hats. Some days, you may find him answering the phone and providing moving estimates, others he may be writing for our moving blog, and another day he may be coordinating a large corporate moving job or helping us with our marketing efforts. Chris has authored many of our in-depth moving guides, as well as provided our clients with information and advice to handle the complexities of their upcoming moving plans. Simply put, there’s nothing he can’t do and we wouldn’t be where we are today without him.

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