What Do I Need To Do Before I Move Out?


What Do I Need To Do Before I Move Out

Moving can be extremely hectic since you have to pack up your home, move, and then unpack and settle into your new place. This process is even more stressful when you are not too sure about what you should do to prepare. When you take the time to prepare, you eliminate the anxiety that usually comes with packing and allow yourself to actually enjoy the fact that you are starting a new chapter.

So, what do I need to do before I move out?

  1. Notify your current landlord
  2. Make a decision on movers – professional help or DIY
  3. Create a moving budget spreadsheet
  4. Inform relevant parties of your move (doctors, employers, school, etc.)
  5. Transfer renter’s insurance for your belongings
  6. Clear your schedule on the moving date
  7. Conduct some research on the surroundings of your new place
  8. Finalize moving arrangements 
  9. Change your address
  10. Transfer your utilities
  11. Stickers for your vehicle
  12. Return borrowed items
  13. Sort through your belongings 
  14. Pack
  15. Apartment cleaning and repairs
  16. The move-out inspection 

Organizing your move is important in helping you have a smoother transition from one home to another. Here is a checklist that you can use to guide you during your next move:


Moving out checklist


6 to 8 weeks before your move

Tasks that you should consider getting done 6-8 weeks prior to moving day are as follows:

  • Notify your current landlord – It is important to go over your lease in order to be informed on the protocol you need to follow in regards to your move. There should be a section in your lease that outlines how you should give notice and how much notice is required. Most landlords typically require a letter or a signed document a month before you move out. This is also the best time to ask for a referral from your landlord. If you have been a good tenant, there is no reason why you would be denied a good referral that will be beneficial in the future.
  • Professional help or DIY – It is important to make a decision on whether you will hire the help of professional movers or execute the move by yourself. If you decide on hiring professional movers, research on moving companies you can hire, or ask for a recommendation from a friend. You can also find a moving company by looking at the reviews it has received online from past customers. Once you find a few that you like, compare the prices they offer and land on one that best suits your needs. Keep in mind that you will probably have to schedule an in-home estimate with the moving company of your choice. Agree on a date with your preferred moving company so that there is no confusion on the big day. Ensure that you get a written confirmation the exact date you are moving and an itinerary.
  • The budget – There are many items to take into consideration as you come up with a moving budget. A moving budget may include the following:

New furniture that you may need to buy– While everything may have fit perfectly in your old home, they may not in your new place. As a result, you may need to buy new furniture. In order to be sure about this, make an appointment at your new place in order to take measurements.

The cost of movers– Of course, you have to pay the movers for their services. This should be factored into your moving budget.

Household items and food– You may need to purchase other items that you use around the house other than furniture. Additionally, the cost of food is important to consider since you’ll probably be eating out during the first few days of your move.

  • Informing relevant parties of your move – Before your move, it is important to give a heads up to the relevant parties so that there is no confusion in the future. You may need to inform doctors, employers, the school that your child attends, the local groups that you joined in your area, neighbors you forged bonds with, and anyone else that may need to know.

The next reasonable step is to find other services and professionals in the area that you are moving to. This is especially if you are not too familiar with the surroundings of your new place.

  • Transfer renter’s insurance for your belongings – If you have renter’s insurance, remember to transfer it to your new place. To do this, contact your renter’s insurance agent who will walk you through what you need to do. Consider getting renter’s insurance for the move as well to protect your belongings in case of damage during the transition.
  • Packing supplies – Gather your packing supplies in order to have them in place for when you start packing. Some of the things you will need include moving boxes and tape. To save up on buying boxes, you can contact a local furniture store where you will probably find a wide range of box sizes.
  • Clear your schedule on the moving date – Most people prefer to move at the end of the week so that they may be able to take advantage of the weekend to settle into their new place. You can request time off from your job at the end of the week so that you don’t have to go to work during the moving day.
  • Conduct some research on the surroundings of your new place – This is important to do because you’ll want to be a little familiar with the area by the time you move. You may want to familiarize yourself with where you can buy food and other household items around your new home.


4 to 5 weeks before your move

Around one month before you move to your new home, these are some of the things you’ll want to tackle:

  • Sort through your belongings – It is never too early to start packing. Pack some of the items that you are sure you won’t use for the remainder of the time you are in your current apartment. This is also the best time to get rid of the belongings that you don’t have any use for by either selling or donating them.
  • Finalizing moving arrangements – Confirm the date of your moving and the itinerary with the moving company you had hired. Inquire to see if there are any items you can’t move. If you’re taking the DIY approach, you’re still going to need a truck to help you move. Remember to reserve it as early as you can so as not to miss out on one. This is also the best time to ask your friends to help you during the move in order to give them the chance to adjust their schedules if they agree.
  • Changing your address – To change your address, you will need to contact the U.S Postal Service (USPS). The process is simple and can be done online. You will be required to enter your new address, select whether your new address is permanent or temporary, select whether the new address is individual or for a family, and select a forward date.

Do not forget to update your address with your bank, medical offices, subscriptions, and credit card. It is also important to update your family members and friends as well.

  • Transfer your utilities – The lease agreement of your current apartment should detail the utilities you are responsible for, and using this information, you can schedule the transfer of your utilities. It is important to do this early enough so that when you move into your new apartment, setting up of the utilities will take place as soon as possible.
  • Arrange for temporary storage if necessary – If there are some items you won’t need at your new place but you still want to hold on to them, consider storage. Find a company that will securely store these items at an affordable price.
  • Stickers for your vehicle – You may have to get vehicle stickers for the new location you are moving to. This is usually a requirement in many towns.


2 to 3 weeks before moving

With moving day drawing closer, here is a list of what you can do:

  • More packing – Pack the rest of your non-essentials carefully. These are the items you won’t be needing until you settle in your new home.
  • Finalizing arrangements – Finalize on the arrangements made with the respective utility companies, and if you are using the services of a moving company, make sure that you are clear on the moving dates.
  • Returning borrowed items – Return any items you may have borrowed from your neighbors, as well as any borrowed library books or rented DVDs.
  • Schedule cleaning and repairs – Your landlord will likely have provided you with a list of things he/she expects to be cleaned before you move out so you can come up with a schedule based on this list. You can also inspect your apartment for any repairs that may be required and make the necessary arrangements.
  • Throwing a party – Throw a party for your friends, neighbors, and family in the area a few weeks prior to moving before your place is completely bare or before you get too busy with the move.


1 week to the move

Moving day is closer than ever, and the final week may be slightly chaotic. Try not to panic and consider these guidelines:

  • Final packing – The last week is when you will pack most of your belongings. Ensure that all the boxes are labeled appropriately. You’ll want to keep the packed boxes as room-specific as possible so that the process of unpacking will be much easier.
  • Set aside the essentials – The things you will need on the first few days in your new home are the essentials. They mainly comprise of toiletries and clothing, and they should fit in a carry-on suitcase. You can easily access the contents of this suitcase even before your move, saving you from the trouble of accidentally unpacking other packed items. For the rest of your essentials, pack them in a special box or carry them in a backpack.
  • Confirming details – Finalize the details of your move with the moving company or your friends if you are using a rental truck to iron out any confusion. Don’t forget to confirm the installation dates of the transferred utilities with the respective companies as well.
  • Apartment cleaning and repairs – Clean your apartment thoroughly as stipulated by your lease agreement. This is also the time repairs on the damaged items in the apartment are made.
  • The move-out inspection – After cleaning is properly done and the necessary repairs made, your landlord will conduct a walk-through of the apartment. It is important that you are present during this process in order to be able to point out to the landlord any damage that you found when you moved in. This way you’ll be able to justify getting your security deposit back. It is also important to ensure that you receive a signed-off inspection report from the landlord that proves the inspection took place.


Moving day

Activities on moving day include:

  • Last-minute packing and cleaning – Pack the last few items in their designated boxes, and then check to see if there is anything you might have forgotten. Remember to take out the trash that may have accumulated from the last-minute activities as well.
  • Dealing with the movers – If you are moving with the help of professional movers, swap contact information with them so that you can be in constant communication. Confirm the method of payment you will use as well.

If you opted to rent a moving truck, pick it up early and inspect it thoroughly to make sure it is in good condition. If your friends are helping you, be prepared to buy snacks and cold drinks or take them out to dinner afterward to express your gratitude.

  • Leaving the apartment – After removing all your belongings from the apartment, leave your keys on the counter or hand them over to your landlord.
  • Moving in – Make sure you arrive before the movers to unlock your apartment to allow you to have a walk-through with your landlord. This is the best time to take photos and detailed notes since your new place is still empty. This is important when you need to provide proof in order to get your security deposit back. Even though your new landlord may have already gotten the place cleaned, consider doing it yourself just to be sure.


Related Questions

  • Are there any penalties if I move out before the lease ends? If you terminate a lease for no legal reason or without going through the proper procedure that you agreed upon while signing the lease, your former landlord may decide to sue you for the uncollected rent. You can also expect to lose a month’s rent which is given to the landlord as damages.
  • How can I label my boxes effectively? One of the easiest and most effective ways of labeling moving boxes is using a black marker. In labeling the boxes, ensure you group items that belong in one room together.

Melanie Asiba

Melanie is an author. She enjoys traveling, reading and trying out new things. In addition to writing for Apartment ABC. Connect with her at [email protected]

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