Young woman packing moving boxes

Apartment Move-In and Move-Out Checklist

Updated April 2, 2021 . AmFam Team

American Family Insurance provides a moving apartments checklist to help you stay organized and stress free as you transition from one apartment to another.

Moving from one apartment to another shouldn’t have to be a stressful event — after all, it’s an exciting time of change and an opportunity to re-establish yourself.

As long as you’re prepared, you can get from point A to point B without a hitch. Follow our moving apartments checklist to stay organized and stress-free as you transition to your new humble abode.

Table of Contents:

Steps for Moving Out of Your Apartment

Eight Weeks Before Your Move

Four Weeks Before Your Move

Two Weeks Before Your Move

One Week Before Your Move

Post-move Apartment Checklist

Protect Your New Apartment with Renters Insurance

Steps for Moving Out of Your Apartment

While it may feel tempting to put things off and simply pack up a week or two ahead of a scheduled move, having a comfortable timeline in place can help prevent feelings of being overwhelmed during the last few days when you're in between residences. No one wants to experience the stress of a top-down cleanup 24 hours before you're due to turn in keys!

Plus, leaving the apartment in tip-top condition can help you get more of your security deposit back!

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Eight Weeks Before Your Move

For a seamless move, start planning your exit early. We recommend laying out an action plan at least two months in advance to help you better budget your time and effort. This will really help reduce the stress and anxiety that comes with crunch time clean up and last minute hauls between apartments!

Get in touch with your landlord

Give your landlord a call and go over any moving requirements for your apartment. Find out what cleaning is required on your part and if there is anything else your lease states you must do prior to moving out. That way you and your landlord are on the same page and there aren’t any surprises come move-out day.

Research moving companies

Do you plan on hiring a moving company? If so, make sure you book quickly! Most moving companies will schedule moves two or three months in advance and tend to fill fast, especially toward the end of a month. Look at reviews, compare prices and ask friends for references. Schedule your move-out date with the company of your choice, and make sure to get a confirmation of your moving date and itinerary.

Again, remember, the earlier the better! Moving companies tend to have variable rates that can change based on factors like proximity to your desired move date and the availability of staff on the date you’re choosing. Secure your spot — and rate — early!

Collect moving supplies early

Start gathering moving supplies, like boxes and packing tape, weeks before you move out. Are you going to purchase boxes or get them from other sources, like friends or family? Don’t wait until it’s the week of the move! You’ll be happy you planned ahead and already have boxes on hand.

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Four Weeks Before Your Move

By putting a plan into action early on, you can help to ensure that you have enough time to prepare your things to be moved, while also budgeting time to restore your lived-in apartment back to a move-in-ready state.

Pack non-essentials early

Once you have some moving boxes, start packing up non-essentials. Whatever you don’t use on a daily basis can be packed away until it’s time to move out of the apartment. Things like decorations, seasonal clothes, shoes and books can be packed away weeks before you move. Pre-packing also gives you a chance to start getting rid of things you don’t need for the new place.

Choose what to keep

This is also a great time to evaluate your things and determine if you'd like to keep, sell or donate something!

If you have a lot to get rid of or find there are just some things you don’t want to haul to your new apartment, consider a visit to a donation center, or having a yard sale.

Transfer renters insurance to next apartment

If you’re wondering if renters insurance can transfer from one place to the next, the answer is simple — yes! It’s easy to transfer your renters insurance to the next apartment. Simply call up your insurance agent (Opens in a new tab) and they’ll help you take care of the switch in no time at all. Keep in mind, it’s important you ensure your renters insurance is transferred right away. If you don’t give your insurance agency the new address and you face a loss sometime down the road, you might run into coverage issues.

Don’t have renters insurance? Find out everything you need to know about renters insurance, including why you need it, how much it costs and how it financially protects you from the unexpected.

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Two Weeks Before Your Move

During this time, you may find that it’s a great opportunity to focus on getting addresses changed with service providers and the postal service. Taking steps to manage where your mail goes could save a lot of headache and hassle down the line.

Fill out change of address form

You’ll want to make sure you take care of this step a few weeks prior to moving to a new apartment so your mail is forwarded to your new address. You can fill out a change of address form (Opens in a new tab) provided online by the United States Postal Service or by going to your local post office and requesting a Movers Guide.

Make arrangements with utility companies and internet

You’ll want to schedule the cancellation or transfer of your utilities, such as gas and electricity, as well as your internet and cable service. Scheduling ahead will make the process go faster and ensure that the utilities in your apartment are ready by move-in day!

Label your moving boxes

This one seems obvious, but it’s the simplest way to keep things organized when moving from one apartment to another. Clearly label your boxes by the type of items it holds (e.g. dishes, bath towels, clothes, etc.) and the room in which they belong (e.g. kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, etc.), so when your movers or friends help you move to your new place, they know exactly which room to set the boxes in.

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One Week Before Your Move

The last week at your current residence should focus on some of the finer details of your relocation. This is your opportunity to do some deep cleaning, make minor repairs and get the last of your things packed up and ready to be moved.

Schedule a walk-through with your landlord

Many people opt to skip this step, but doing so means you won’t be able to argue any security deposit decisions your landlord makes. However, by doing a complete walk-through of your old apartment with your landlord, you can explain what is and isn’t your fault (something that should have been noted when moving in) and you’ll have a better chance of getting more back on your deposit.

Your apartment walkthrough checklist could look something like this:

  • Are walls free of damage?
  • Are floors cleaned, vacuumed and free of damage?
  • Are vents and fans free of dust?
  • Are windows cleaned and free of cracks?
  • Is the stovetop and oven cleaned and degreased?
  • Are appliances like the refrigerator and the dishwasher cleaned?
  • Are bathrooms — including toilets, bathtubs and mirrors — cleaned and scrubbed?
  • If you have a fireplace, is it free of ash and debris?
  • If you have a balcony, is it swept and free of debris?

Clean your apartment and make any minor repairs

Better your chances of getting your security deposit back by focusing on clean up and repairs to damage your may have caused. Inspect your place for common damage like holes left in the wall from hanging decorations, or dents and dings from moving objects around.

Pack essentials in a marked box

Manage the stress of your move with simple strategies like marking boxes that contain your living essentials. Few moving experiences are worse than sorting through a room full of indistinguishable boxes in search of a plate to eat from. Do yourself a huge favor and keep essentials marked and sorted together for quick and easy access!

Confirm itinerary with your moving company

Things like weather or staffing changes could impact your move. It’s a good idea to confirm details with your moving company ahead of time to make sure you’re covered on your move-out/move-in day.

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Post-move Apartment Checklist

Settling in? Follow our post-move checklist to transition into your new apartment with ease.

Now that you know the right steps to take when moving out of your apartment, you can focus on pursuing your new chapter.

Bonus: Here are some more tips for a stress-free move!

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Protect Your New Apartment with Renters Insurance

Of course, no moving checklist would be complete without a renters insurance coverage review. Renters insurance helps protect you financially by replacing your things if they’re stolen as a result of theft, or damaged in a fire or storm, and by covering liability claims made against you if a guest were to be injured in your apartment or home.

Existing and first-time renters alike should carefully consider a renters policy that will protect you and the possessions you cherish and work hard for. Get your quote online or contact an American Family Insurance agent (Opens in a new tab) today!

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