Moving day is no picnic, given the crabby family members, tired arms and awkward maneuvering of bulky furniture.
Plan ahead with the help of this handy checklist, and you can avoid major hassles and setbacks that can mar the day.
1. Purge the old stuff you no longer want or need.
Do yourself a moving-day favor and clean up never-used, broken and out-of-date belongings. Before you start packing, go through drawers, closets, cabinets and unpacked boxes from the last move — it happens! Sort what you’re not taking with you into three piles: Sell, toss and donate.
2. Work it out with your landlord.
When giving notice that you’re moving, this is a good time to have a discussion about the requirements you need to follow to get your deposit returned. Even if you anticipate a difficult conversation over a broken lease, realize this is probably not your landlord’s first go-round with that situation. Discuss your options, such as subletting and payment plans, so you don’t ruin your finances (and your credit score) trying to cover two rents at once.
3. Knock out the notifications.
Don’t be left in the dark at the new place, and don’t get stuck paying the new tenant’s bill from the old place. A few weeks before the move, give notice to your current gas, water and electric utilities. It’s especially important to pay off any lingering balances now, so you’re not hit with a higher rate or a deposit when you sign on with your new providers.
4. Give yourself ample time for packing and cleaning.
The last thing you want is an all-night packing and cleaning session. Leave yourself plenty of room to get it all done, and always accept help when it’s offered. Don’t skimp on clean-up, especially if you need the cash from your security deposit. Along with the usual chores, such as scrubbing the tub and countertops, you’ll want to wipe the walls and the insides of cabinets, fill nail holes, dust the ceiling fan, and rent a carpet cleaner.
5. Check in on the new place.
The ideal time to schedule a check-in at the new apartment is a few days before you move — not while your volunteer crew waits for you outside with your couch. Do a walk-through with your new landlord, taking time to test appliances, doors, locks, faucets and light switches. Be sure and note any marks or cracks on walls and floors, so you’re not held responsible for damage you didn’t cause.
6. Be courteous to your new neighbors.
For your new neighbors, your moving day will bring a few hours of loud feet, loud voices and banging sounds. Show consideration and head off a negative first impression with a pre-moving-day introduction. After your check-in is finished, this is a good time to knock on some doors and introduce yourself and let them know the date and time they can expect the moving-day cacophony to commence. If they’re not home, print off a short note. Either way, the warning will give them a chance to make other plans.
7. Pack an overnight bag.
When your day of hard labor and stress is done, reward yourself with a refreshing shower. And trust us, nothing will feel more amazing. That’s why you’ll want to pack a first-night bin stocked with everything you need for that moving-night shower, including a new shower curtain and your favorite soap. Other first-night bin items should include paper plates and cups, phone chargers, sheets, pillows, personal items, and whatever you need to get through the first night (and first morning) at the new place.
8. Plan for takeout.
A few days before the move, scout out some carry-out places that offer delivery, and save them in your phone. You’ve worked hard, so go ahead and upgrade to something high calorie and extra delicious, whether it’s that top-rated neighborhood barbecue joint or the place with the gourmet burgers.
With a little planning, moving day can go smoothly. Better yet, it can end on a happy note, which is a great way to launch your new beginning.