Recent studies show that the average American will move five times during their life. The big question, however, is: how do you handle it?
See, a lot of people are what we call “panic packers.” No matter how big the move is, they’ll wait until the last moment to start preparing for it. And though this approach can work, it’ll likely leave you feeling overwhelmed.
Are you looking to make your moving process more organized and enjoyable? Start by taking note of this apartment moving checklist!
Set up Your Utilities
Before moving into your new home, you should ensure it’s comfortable. This involves taking care of physical utilities like gas, water, and electricity. If transferring utilities isn’t an option, you’ll need to find a new utility company.
Ideally, you’d set this up at least a few weeks in advance of your move. This gives you plenty of time to ensure everything is in order. If you’re setting up a new service, don’t forget to disconnect the one in your old place.
Schedule Home Improvements
During the buying process, you’ll likely find that your new home needs a few repairs. If so, get this done before you move. That way, you won’t have to deal with issues like windows that don’t lock during moving-day chaos.
While you’re at it, consider taking care of less essential projects as well. For instance, if you want to install a built-in bookcase, why not do it right away? Any excuse to shrink your to-do list is usually worth it!
Update Your Address
Your address is essential in many aspects of your life, from forwarding mail to maintaining subscriptions. That’s why updating your address, as well as your delivery services, is a key step in the moving process.
Fortunately, the postal service makes this task straightforward. All you need to do is go to the USPS website and choose the date for forwarding mail. You’ll also want to apply for a new PO Box online or at the local post office.
Get Rid of Items You Don’t Need
The fewer things you have to move, the less expensive your move will be. Plus, we all have a collection of assorted junk we only keep out of habit. If you never wear some pieces of clothing, why take them with you?
If you can’t sell the stuff you don’t need, consider donating. Many charities may still find some use for your old clothes or furniture. If donating isn’t an option, a junk removal company will take any items off your hands.
Take Inventory of Belongings
Once you’ve tossed the items you don’t need, make a list of those you do. That way, you’ll know if anything goes missing during the move. No matter how careful you or your moving professionals are, accidents can happen.
The best way to take inventory is to sort it by the room it’s in. For important items like your TV, you should take photos as well. This will serve as proof that your valuables weren’t damaged before the move.
Study the Floor Plan
If you’re a first-time homeowner, you may neglect the value of the floor plan. This simple drawing contains your home’s layout and measurements. As such, it can be a great help when deciding what items will go where.
While studying the floor plan, pay attention to furniture size. For example, is the bedroom big enough for your current bed? Being mindful of available space can make it much easier to decide what to leave behind.
Decide on Your Moving Method
Your moving method will depend on your needs and budget. For smaller moves, a DIY truck rental or moving container will do the trick. If you’re only moving a few items, using a shipping service may make sense.
For bigger moves, your best bet is to hire professional moving services. This is the most expensive option, but also the most convenient one. If you’re moving a car, don’t forget to use this car shipping cost calculator.
Clean Your New House
One of the first things you should do when you buy a home is to deep clean it. Getting into the nooks and crannies is much easier when the house is empty. Plus, nobody enjoys moving into a home that’s already dirty!
During the cleaning process, it’s best to start higher up. Overhead fixtures, ceiling fans, and similar features can get grimy as well. They’ll also sprinkle dust and dirt below them when scrubbed, so clean them first.
Pack Your Stuff Methodically
In general, packing takes longer than most people think. To avoid having to do too much at once, start packing a few weeks before moving day. Pack a few boxes each day, starting with the least essential items.
For best results, label or color-coordinate your moving boxes based on the destination room. If the contents of a specific box are fragile, mark the top and sides of the box to let the movers know about it.
Keep Essentials With You
Every move requires some first-day essentials. These are the things you’ll need to survive the first 24 hours in your new home. To avoid any issues, put these items in a moving bag that you’ll keep with you.
The contents of your moving bag may differ, but it should always hold your phone, wallet, and keys. Medications and basic toiletries should also go here, along with baby items, pet food, and important documents.
Have Some Cash on Hand
If the move goes well, it’s customary to reward your movers with a tip. Moving is hard work, so it makes sense to give a little extra for the effort. To do that, you’ll need to have some cash on hand.
The amount you tip is up to you, but there are a few guidelines you can follow. For a simple move, $20 per mover should be enough. For a long-distance move, consider tipping $30-$50 per mover.
Crafting an Apartment Moving Checklist
Without an apartment moving checklist, even a simple move can get tricky in a hurry. A checklist helps you stay organized, reduces stress, and makes the process of moving into a new home much easier.
Want to learn more about the moving process? Keep checking out our Home Essentials section!