Stress-free moving sounds like an oxymoron. But it doesn’t have to be! Figuring out how to move into an apartment without hassle requires, above all, preparation.

Packing up all your belongings into cardboard boxes can be a sweet walk down memory lane. Picking out funky furniture pieces to fit into your new apartment allows you to unleash your creativity. If you aquire the necessities when moving into a new apartment, then the big life event will feel less crazy and more exciting.

Ultimately, most people feel uncomfortable with change. Moving into your own apartment is a huge milestone — don’t let stress rain on your moving parade! With proper planning and this moving guide from Southern Management, you can figure out  what to do before moving into an apartment, and enjoy a stress-free (or at least stress-less) move from there.

What To Do Before Moving Into An Apartment

Before moving into an apartment, there are a few important steps that are critical to ensure the logistics are ironed out. Before you start wrapping your belongings in bubble wrap, read over these helpful moving tips.

Reread your current housing’s lease. After deciding to move into a new apartment, make sure to take a look at your current lease. You’ll need to follow the stipulations laid out in your lease for notifying your landlord that you’ll be moving. If you break your current lease agreement early or don’t give proper notice, you may be responsible for additional charges. Also, make sure you take every step to ensure you get as much of a refund on your security deposit as possible. Ask your current landlord for a list of common move-out costs so you can devise a plan for avoiding them.

Recruit a moving team. Book movers for moving day as far in advance as possible. A professional moving company will be best equipped to handle all the large items that you need packed up and carefully delivered to your new apartment. Get quotes from several different moving companies and read customer reviews online to ensure you’re hiring a reputable team. For local moves, companies typically provide their services with an hourly rate, so if you’re looking to save, securely pack and seal your boxes before the movers arrive. Moves that require more mileage will typically charge by distance and weight. If you’re tight on cash, ask some of your friends to help out. If you promise take-out or a gift card, a few brave souls might step up to get you set up in your new digs. Moving trucks can be rented for approximately $30 to $40 plus a per-mile fee of under $1 per mile.

Sort and pugre your belongings. Moving provides an opportunity for you to minimize the amount of “stuff” you live with.  Everything, from those old jeans in the back of your closet to the sixteen half-used post-it note pads, can be on the chopping block. Plan in advance so that you can tackle one area at a time without becoming overwhelmed. Decide what you want to keep, sell or donate. Pro tip: look for charity organizations that will pick up unwanted clothing and household goods from your home. This saves you the time and hassle of delivering donations yourself.

Purchase moving supplies.There are several necessities when moving into a new apartment. Make sure you are equipped with all the materials to make your move go smoothly. You might be asking yourself “how much do I need to move into an apartment?” The answer: it can be much less than you’d expect. A few key supplies will ensure that your packing and moving processes are as efficient and effective as possible. These items will help you stay more organized and make unpacking feel easier:

  • Various-sized boxes
  • Packing tape
  • Box cutters
  • Bubble wrap
  • Twine
  • Labels
  • Permanent market
  • Tool kit for assembling and disassembling

Another pro-tip: purchase multiple rolls of packing tape and permanent markers. Having one of each per room will keep you from losing your mind while searching for these necessities among the inevitable moving mess.

Pack your belongings. There’s an obvious answer to the question “what to do before moving into an apartment.” Pack! This daunting task might seem imposing, but if you tackle packing one room at a time, it’ll be much more manageable. Start with your décor and nick knacks (the things that take up space but that aren’t actually USED). Then move on to items that serve a potentially unnecessary purpose, or that you’ve got a back-up for. Next, pack anything that is not essential to your everyday living (such as the television remote, your can opener, or your toiletries). And at the very end, pack everything else. Put all packed boxes in one area of each room so they’re out of the way and ready to go when your movers arrive. Doing all the tedious work early-on is the best strategy for how to move into an apartment.

Update your new address.One thing that many people forget during the chaos of a move is to update their address on important accounts. Call your utility company to transfer your services and update your renter’s insuranceto cover your new apartment. Forward your mail with the U.S. Postal Service so all the new furniture you ordered online will be delivered to the correct address. You’ll also have to change the billing address on your credit cards and update your driver’s license or any other official government documents.

Clean your old space. If your old place charges a fixed fee for cleaning then you may not need to deep clean before returning your keys. However, to get a refund on your security deposit, it’s a good idea to leave your old space looking better than it did when you arrived. Fill in nail-holes, wipe down all surfaces, give your appliances a good clean, and vacuum the carpet. Once you clean your old space, you can focus on making sure your new space is free of dust! It’s a good idea to do a sweep of your new place before unpacking all your items. It’ll be easier to do chores when your space is empty so you don’t have to work around boxes as you unpack.

Unpack and decorate.The hardest part is over! Relax!. Don’t feel like you have to unpack all of your boxes in one day. There are many items on the ultimate first apartment checklist, but that doesn’t mean you need everything at once. Prioritize your unpacking, starting with the essentials like bedding, towels, toiletries, and clothes. Box by box, room by room, your new space will begin to feel like home.

Live Your Best, Move Without Stress

If you’re asking, “how much do I need to move into an apartment” then look no further. Southern Management provides everything. We offer apartment communities in Virginia and Maryland with units that can come fully furnished to suit your needs. Talk about no hassle!

Moving is an exciting experience and the Southern Management team works hard to keep that excitement alive even after you’ve settled in. With no hidden fees or unpleasant surprises, you’ll have peace of mind moving into one of our 25,000 apartment homes — that’s the Southern Management difference.

Contact us to talk about moving into one of our apartment communities.