Check your lease
Most people haven’t read their leases thoroughly since moving in, so it’s a good idea to reacquaint yourself with the steps you’ll need to take before you move out. These steps can include notifying your landlord that you won’t be renewing your lease and finding out what it will take to get your security deposit back. We recommend taking a look at your lease about 90 days before you plan to move out, which will give you plenty of time to get everything in order.
Repair any damage
Before you move out, it can be a good idea to evaluate any damage to your apartment that may have occurred while you lived there. It's generally a good idea to make repairs to any damage you might have caused yourself. This can include repairing dents and scrapes to the walls made by furniture, deep cleaning the carpet, or cleaning out dusty air vents. If there is any major damage to your home that you can’t repair yourself, keep in mind that this might affect how much of your security deposit is returned to you.
Set a moving budget
Moving can be expensive, so it could be beneficial to set a budget before you start looking for a new place. Consider one-time expenses like security deposits, as well as how much you can afford to pay in utilities and rent. Having a set budget may help you find a rental that fits your needs.
Give notice to your landlord
Most leases require renters to give notice that they’re moving out at least 60 days in advance so that the landlord has time to search and prepare for new tenants. Your lease should tell you how far in advance you need to notify your landlord.
Update your renters insurance policy
Satisfied with your current renters insurance policy and want to keep it? Consider reaching out to your insurance company and updating your policy information to reflect your new address and any other needed changes before you get settled in your new place.
If you’re happy with your renters insurance policy and current utility providers, consider transferring your service to your new address. If you’re looking to try something different when you move, look into providers that offer utility services in your new area and consider starting service for your new home.
Change your mailing address
When you move, it’s important to ensure that your updated address is shared with the companies you do important business with, such as the bank, car insurance, phone and electricity companies. If needed, you can also update your voter registration address and use the U.S. Postal Service to forward your mail from your old address to your new one.
Reducing clutter as you pack is a great way to make the process more efficient. Think about throwing away or donating things you no longer need as you pack so you’re ready to start fresh in your new home.
Reserve a moving truck or book professional movers
Whether you’re hauling your belongings to your new place yourself or leaving it up to the professionals, consider making arrangements for a truck rental or professional movers well ahead of time. This could save you any additional stress as your move gets closer.
Gather packing supplies
The thought of packing for a move is enough to convince anyone they should never move again, but ensuring you have the essentials can go a long way toward relieving any stress you may be feeling. Consider purchasing moving boxes, packing tape, markers and other necessary items so you’ll have everything you need for the big day. For more packing-specific guidance, check out our packing tips and checklist.
Make a plan for children and pets on moving day
Moving can be hectic enough without having to look after kids and pets. Consider making a plan for childcare and/or pet-sitting for the day of your move so you can ensure your furry friends and children are safely out of the way.
Pack everything up
You’ve notified your landlord, secured a moving company or truck rental, accumulated moving boxes and signed a lease on your new home. Now it’s time to start packing! A helpful tip you may want to keep in mind: Don’t pack your essentials. Consider keeping items like toilet paper, trash bags, your toothbrush and a towel out of your moving boxes so you can easily locate them on your first day in your new place.
Once your boxes are packed and your furniture is loaded up, you may want to quickly clean up your empty rental. Vacuuming the carpet, mopping the floors and cleaning the bathrooms are great recommendations for making sure everything is left in great shape for your landlord’s final inspection.