The decision to move out of an apartment is usually prompted by one of two things: you’re moving in with your significant other, or you’re leaving your parents’ home for the first time and moving out on your own. Either way, you may be feeling stressed about finding an apartment to rent and packing up all of your belongings.
Before you start driving yourself crazy, take some time to create a checklist of things to do before you move out of an apartment. Here are some tips on creating your moving out of an apartment checklist.
If you don’t intend on living in your current apartment after moving out, it’s a good idea to disconnect utilities such as electricity and water. Doing so could save you a lot in fees. Utilities must be disconnected before you move out; otherwise, your landlord may have no choice but to deduct these fees from your security deposit. Call up your electric company or local municipality for help with utility disconnection; if possible, ask them how much time you should give yourself before switching off services (the answer varies by location).
Moving from one city to another is stressful enough, and you don’t want your finances getting in the way. If you don’t use a credit card that much and aren’t using any special perks on it, consider canceling it. Most credit cards charge a fee for closing an account—but if you’re not using it, why pay?
Remember: Closing a credit card account will lower your credit score, so only do so if you need to. And remember: There are plenty of things you can do before moving day besides canceling old accounts!
It’s very important to make sure you return any borrowed items before moving out. This could include things like tools, gardening equipment, kitchen appliances, or tools that you may have used in your apartment. You should also ask your landlord if they require an inventory list—and then create it and get it signed by all parties. Failing to do so might be considered theft and/or a breach of contract. If there is anything left on the lease term that you haven’t completed (such as painting walls), make sure you schedule these small tasks before moving out and schedule enough time for them.
The last thing you want to do when you’re ready to pack your belongings and move out is to haul trash cans from your apartment or rental unit. But, if you’re forgetful, putting off trash day could land you in a tight spot on moving day. Instead of forking over money for another month-long rent payment, spend a few bucks and buy some new trashcans (you’ll need them anyway if you intend on living in your next place). Once they’re purchased, label them with a note stating where they should be placed, make sure they’re emptied, and put them where they belong. Any future renters will thank you.
After you’ve packed up your belongings, take time to scrub down your apartment or house. Make sure all surfaces are spotless, including appliances and windowsills. This is a great time to clean out your fridge as well—if you’re moving in with a friend or family member, now’s a good time for both of you to go grocery shopping together. If you’ll be leaving behind something that shouldn’t be tossed, like a lamp or dining table, write yourself a reminder note so it doesn’t get lost in the shuffle. And don’t forget about small things like light bulbs! You don’t want to come back from vacation only to find out none of your light fixtures work and no one’s there to fix them for you because everyone else has moved out as well.
The first and most important thing you need to do is schedule a final walkthrough with your landlord. During your walkthrough, check each room and make sure you haven’t left anything behind that belongs to you. If there are any damages or missing items, write them down so you can mention them later when talking with your landlord. And if any repairs need to be done before the move-out day (such as holes in walls or chipped tile), take pictures so both parties can remember what condition everything was in before the move-out day.
Most landlords will require you to give at least 30 days’ notice and won’t return your deposit if you move out earlier. Landlords typically count on a certain amount of time for finding a new tenant, cleaning and preparing for their arrival, etc. Wait until it’s really necessary before you consider moving out early. If you can arrange with your landlord, see if he or she is willing to put some money toward your security deposit in exchange for leaving a little early. It never hurts to ask!
If you have cable or Internet, inform your provider that you’re moving out. Give them your new address so they can cancel your service. Do likewise with newspapers and magazines, and consider contacting friends on social media for similar updates. It’s also important to let people in your building know when you’re moving out, so they can keep a lookout for movers during office hours.
Now that you have your final list, you can sit back and relax until moving day. Remember everything is easier when it’s broken down into manageable chunks. And it’s better if you get started sooner rather than later.