A Checklist for Move-In Day

Moving house is a crazy time and a difficult transition. Making sure you have all of your bases covered can be stressful and it's easy to forget important things. Following this checklist as you're packing and after you arrive at your new apartment will help keep things in order and ensure that you're not forgetting important details.

Cardboard boxes stacked up in an empty room, ready for moving dayImage courtesy of Nicolas Huk via Flickr

Before You Move

1. Pack Smart

Space your packing out. Start early and make a plan for each room of your home. Start with things you know you aren't going to need as soon as you get to your new place. Your old family photos, childhood toys, and game systems aren't top priority and can get packed away first. Starting early and planning everything out will stop you from burning out too quickly.

Pack everything in one room in the same boxes. That means if it was in the kitchen, it should go in a box with other kitchen stuff. This will stop you from having to sift through every box looking for silverware for your first meal in your new home.

If you're moving with a professional moving service, ask the movers ahead of time for wardrobe boxes. This way, the movers will take your clothes and hang them right up in the box. When you arrive at your new place, you'll just pull them right out and hang them right back up. No annoying ironing necessary.

2. Start Early

Don't lie to yourself, you're not going to get around to unpacking everything for at least a month. You don't want to have to dig through every single box searching for your toothbrush and contact case. Instead, take the essentials to your new place before the movers come so that you'll have some of the basics there before you arrive.

3. Renters Insurance

Make sure your renter's insurance is in place before the move. Especially if you have friends helping to move furniture in. Clumsy friends might be cheaper than professional movers but they're not exactly the most adept. Amateur movers are much more likely to injure themselves or your new apartment and renters insurance should cover that.

4. One Final Clean-Up

It's not just an old Girl Scout rule - you should leave your old place cleaner than you found it. Start the cleaning process as you pack everything up but do a final once-over after everything is in boxes. It makes it easier to see what needs cleaning.


After You Move

1. Check the Apartment Over

Make sure there is no new damage since the last time you were there. Take photos and make note of any scratches, chipped wallpaper, or broken light fixtures. This will help save your security deposit when the time comes.

2. Clean!

Your new apartment was probably already cleaned before you moved in but it certainly doesn't hurt to do another round of cleaning. A deep clean will make sure that no remnants of the old residents are left behind.

3. Each Box In Its Place

As the movers bring all the boxes in, be sure that the boxes are going in the correct rooms. If you packed smartly, everything for each room should be in separate boxes already and if they were labeled properly your movers should probably put them in the appropriate rooms already. However, if it's your friends moving you in, they might not be quite as courteous. Once everyone has left, start moving boxes into their respective rooms.

4. Say Hi!

Your neighbors can make your time living in your rental either a wonderful experience or a nightmare. As you're moving in, be sure to say hello and introduce yourself. Being friendly to your new neighbors will help you establish a good relationship from the get-go.

Staying organized as you move can really make a huge difference between unpacking within the first week or still having stuff in boxes when you move out three years later. Most importantly, don't panic. Moving days can sense your fear and will react accordingly. Stay calm!

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