Moving from one apartment to another is exciting, full of potential for new beginnings and opportunities. However, the moving process itself often turns into a stressful venture as you try to keep track of to-do lists, schedules, and all of your worldly possessions. Whether you’re a part of the 25% of rental residents who prefer to live in an apartment rather than a house or if this apartment is just a stepping stone to homeownership one day, take a deep breathe and take the move piece by piece with these helpful tips.
Preparing Your Move
The first thing to do once you’ve decided to move out of your current apartment is re-read your lease. You’ll need to follow the proper procedure for notifying your landlord that you are moving. Typically, landlords need a written notice 30 to 60 days prior to your move. Make sure you also know the details of getting your security deposit back, how damages are handled, and if there are cleaning fees.
The most daunting part of preparing a move is packing. The average household in the United States has about 300,000 things in it. Before you start packing, try cutting down on this vast amount of objects by selling or donating anything you don’t need or want.
Once you’ve purged some of your belongings, it’s time to start packing. You should start packing about two weeks before moving day. Try packing at least one box a day and start with the decorations, books, clothes, and kitchen supplies you won’t need immediately when you move in. Put anything you’ll need on moving day in one box, including cleaning supplies. To save space as you pack and money on bubble wrap, use your towels and sheets to wrap up your more fragile objects. Make sure you label each box with what room in belongs in, or use a color coding system for top-notch organization.
The Big Day
The actual moving day tends to turn into a whirlwind of activity and it can be a challenge to remember everything you need to do. Whether you’re using a professional moving company or you’ve gotten a generous group of friends together, you’ll need to make sure everyone is on the same page for the timing and process of the move.
Before you start unloading boxes into your new apartment, you’ll want to thoroughly clean it first. A carpet that looks clean can hold as much as one pound of dirt in a single square yard, so be sure to vacuum and deep clean carpets as needed. Wash windows and mirrors with glass cleaner to rid them of smudges and dirt. Wipe down counters, cabinets, and appliances to remove dust that has gathered there.
Make sure to take pictures of your old apartment and your new one to avoid any charges for damages that you didn’t cause. When you move out of your old apartment, photo evidence will prove that you left it in a clean condition. Photos of your new apartment before you move in can help show any pre-existing damage in case your landlord tries to blame you for it when you eventually move out.
It may seem like all of the work is done once your things are in your new apartment, but you’ve got a little ways to go. The unpacking process can be intimidating, especially if your new apartment is a different set-up than your old one. Go with your gut, and try knocking on a neighbor’s door if you’re struggling with how to set it up. They may have a similar layout and what they’ve done with it could serve as good inspiration.
Once you’ve unpacked and are settled in, it’s time to introduce your friends, family, and neighbors to your new place. Make sure you clean all appliances and furniture beforehand to make a good impression. Even seemingly low-maintenance objects need some attention, as in leather furniture that should be conditioned every six months. Once your apartment is spick and span, put out some good food and drinks and let everyone gush over how nice your new home is.
Moving into a new apartment can be extremely rewarding once the hard parts are over. You can find ways to get through those hard parts with set lists and schedules. There are even moving apps out there to make the whole process easier, like Sortly and Moving Day. Whether you find assistance through technology, friends, or your own perseverance, you’ll get through moving just fine once you steel your resolve and just do it.