Moving into a new apartment can be exciting. It can also be stressful. Some apartment communities have moving day stipulations by which you’ll need to abide, and there should be some concern regarding your neighbors, property management companies and landlords, that you’ll need to consider in advance.
No need to dread moving day. Planning ahead and following these tips for a smooth move-in can save a lot of headaches on moving day.
Make a Checklist of Things You Need to Ask Your Landlord or Property Management Company in Advance of Moving Day:
- Measure twice
Are you sure your over-sized sofa will fit through the door or up the stairwell of your new place? Measure exterior and interior doors, hallways, and stairwells before moving so you can plan ahead if there might be an issue with tight spaces.
- Reserve the Elevator
If your new digs are on the second floor or higher, check with the property management company to see if you can reserve the elevator ahead of time. Many apartment complexes don’t allow tenants to use the main elevator for move-ins or move-outs since it inconveniences current residents. If this is the case, ask if there is a service elevator you can reserve.
- Ask About Rules Regarding Moving Containers
If you decide to DIY your move, you may consider using portable moving containers. First, check with your landlord or property manager to make sure they can be delivered and stored on the property at your new residence.
- Parking Space
If you’re hiring professional movers, ask your landlord or property manager ahead of time if your movers can park their truck in front of the apartment door or entranceway, or if they need to park in a designated spot. Can you reserve a space close to the door? This applies to self-moves too, whether you rent a U-Haul or have a couple of friends helping with their pickup trucks.
- Certificate of Insurance
If you decide to hire movers, your leasing office may require you to provide a copy of the moving company’s Proof of Insurance. Make sure to ask before if this is required before move-in day.
- Take Pictures of your former apartment at move–out, and your new apartment at move—in
When you’re moving out of a rental, take photos of every room after you’ve cleared everything out to help ensure you get your security deposit back. And, when you’re moving into a new rental, take photos of every room prior to moving in and keep the photos in a safe place in case you need proof of any existing damage, no matter how insignificant it may seem, when you move out. You don’t want to be held responsible for an existing carpet stain or broken blind when the time comes to move out.
Next: Plan your move meticulously to make it as smooth as possible
If there was ever a perfect time to downsize and get rid of excess items you don’t use or need anymore, it’s moving time. Sell, donate, or toss the flotsam and jetsom rather than carting it to your new apartment. Remember to get a receipt for donated items so you can claim the tax credit.
- Pack early
A positive moving day begins with preparation. Anxiety will rear its ugly head if you are still packing up your old place on the morning of the move. Begin packing a week, or even a month before your move date. Begin by packing up things you don’t need or use daily, including excess clothing, linens, knick-knacks, books, photos, and the like. Save any last-minute packing for your coffee-maker and toothbrush.
- Consider hiring professional movers
Hiring professional movers can make all the difference when it comes to ensuring an easy move. Moving can be difficult and exhausting, especially if you will need to move boxes and furniture up a flight or more of stairs. Hiring movers also helps avoid any risk of injury to your or your helpers.
- Pack an Essentials Box
Pack a box or overnight bag with whatever you need to get you through 24 hours.
This includes clothes, toiletries, snacks, bed sheets, a shower curtain, the coffee-maker, a couple of mugs, medicine-whatever you’ll need during your first 24 hours in your new place, so you’re not digging through boxes at midnight. Also, bring a doormat/welcome mat to help minimize dust and debris being tracked in with your belongings.
- Label Your Boxes
Label each box you pack according to the room it’s destined for. Using color-coded stickers offers an easy, at-a-glance way to know exactly where each box belongs when it comes in the door.
- Cosmetic Renovations
If you plan to paint or make cosmetic renovations such as changing light fixtures or replacing carpet, etc. in your new apartment or rental home and the landlord or property manager permits it, ask him or her if there is a specific contractor or company they prefer you hire.
Whether you’re moving into your first apartment, or you’ve done this before, the right planning can make your movie into a new home the exciting occasion it should be. Make a note of these tips—you’ll be oh, so grateful you did. Landlords and property management companies also like to see that a tenant has inquired on any potential questions prior to moving in.