Your Move Out Check List

(Image courtesy of mbtrama)

You're on your way! You've signed a new lease, your bags are why do you still feel like you're forgetting something? During all the hustle and bustle that comes with a move, it's easy to forget some of the little details that will make your transition easier to manage.

We know the last few days are full of stuffing cardboard boxes into the back of a moving van, taking a last look through cupboards and drawers and getting used to the idea of not living in your apartment anymore; it's enough to make your head spin! Use this checklist, courtesy of to make sure all your bases are covered as you move-out.

Give 30 Days Notice Before Moving

The majority of leases require that the tenant give the landlord written notice that they intend to move out at least 30 days before the move. Be careful about getting this done, because if you wait too long your lease may renew or you may have to pay an additional month's rent. If the lease renews because the notice was received late there's also a good chance you won't get the deposit back.

Change Your Address

You can pick up a change of address form at your local post office or complete the form online at the USPS website. On the form, select the date for when the post office should start forwarding your mail based on when you anticipate you'll be in your new apartment. Try to get everything set up two weeks in advance. If you live with someone else who will also be making the move and they have a different last name you'll both need to fill out a change of address form. It's best to also contact your credit card companies, cable company, phone provider, etc. to let them know you'll be moving.

Shut Off or Switch the Utilities

Any utilities that aren't handled by the apartment complex will need to either be scheduled for shut off or your account will need to be transferred on the day you make the move. You'll most likely be dealing with the the electric, water and gas companies. Most companies have FAQ sections that answer questions about starting, stopping or transferring service.

Clean, Clean, Clean

In order to get your full deposit back the apartment must be in the exact same condition as when you moved in, minus normal wear and tear. That means you'll need to deep clean the apartment. Even if you regularly clean your apartment you're likely to find a little messiness once everything is moved out. Give everything a good scrub down and consider renting a carpet cleaner for the floors. You'll also need to remove any staples or nails that you put in the walls. Do so very carefully and fix any holes.

If anything is broken do what you can to replace it yourself so that your deposit doesn't get deducted. After you are done cleaning and replacing any fixtures take pictures of each room. That way there is documentation that you thoroughly cleaned the apartment.

Gather Up All the Keys

You'll need to give back all the apartment keys, including:

  • Front door keys

  • Mail keys

  • Gate keys

  • Schedule the Final Walk Through

It's best to schedule the walk through for the day you know everything will be moved out of the apartment. You'll want to be there during the inspection so you can handle any discrepancies on the spot and make sure everything is recorded accurately.

Beware of rental ad scams: Rent Jungle is a rental search engine for apartment hunters and is not responsible for the content of rental listings found on the site. Rent Jungle encourages you to use common sense while apartment hunting. Beware of fraudulent listings. Click here to learn about common scams.