Moving apartments? Here’s your complete checklist

If you’re the kind of person who waits until the night before to start packing for a trip or studying for a test, planning for a move might feel overwhelming. You have to figure out how to get all your belongings from one place to the next; pack your things in an organized fashion, manage logistics with a moving company, utilities providers, and the postal service; and keep on top of a budget.

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Table of contents

Complete moving checklist4 weeks before moving day4-2 weeks before moving day2 weeks before moving day1 week before moving dayMoving day

Want a moving experience that’s hassle-free? Bungalow shared homes are designed to save you time and money when you move in: Wifi and utilities are set up for you; monthly cleaning services are on the books; common areas are furnished and kitchens are stocked. Find a Bungalow near you.

Complete moving checklist

From creating an inventory sheet to holding a garage sale, here’s your comprehensive guide to creating a moving to-do list.

4 weeks before moving day

  • Request time off from work. Even if your move date is on a Saturday or Sunday, consider whether you’ll need a vacation day to achieve any of the other items on this list.

  • While you’re at it, let the HR department in your office know you’re moving so they can update your address on file. 

  • Fill out an online change of address form with the USPS.  

  • Change your address on the accounts for your credit cards, subscriptions, and other important items you receive in the mail. 

  • If you have the funds, choose and reserve a moving company. Either print their quotes and put them in a file folder, or make PDFs and put them in a digital file on your computer.

  • If you are using a moving company, don’t forget to talk about moving insurance with them. According to, moving companies technically aren’t licensed to sell insurance—but they can extend coverage to you. There are three different types: 

    • Released value protection: This is the standard offering and covers $0.60 per pound for items lost or damaged during the move. Usually this is included in your quote from the moving company.

    • Full-value protection: Costs extra and replaces the full value of your lost or damaged items, excluding items valued at more than $100 per pound.

    • Third-party insurance: Offers protection if you need more coverage than the other two options provide.

Pro tip: Save on moving supplies by collecting items like cardboard boxes for reuse. Save your own cardboard boxes, and consider asking your friends, family, and even your local corner store if you can take any empty boxes off their hands. Gather magazines, newspaper, and stray bubble and plastic wrap as well.

4-2 weeks before moving day

  • Set aside time over these two weeks to sort through your stuff and dispose of things you don’t plan on taking to your new place (even block off time on your calendar). While you’re sorting:

    • Make a list of things you plan to sell on Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, or at a garage sale and begin taking nice-looking photographs of the items.

    • Make a list of things to give away. 

    • Start making regular trips to a donation center.

    • Decide what you’re keeping.

  • For the things you’re keeping, start creating an inventory sheet, a spreadsheet on your computer organized by room that includes all your items. Once you start packing, you can create columns for how and where you’re packing each item so it’s easy to find it when you get to the new place. Try labeling each box with a number and adding the number to the spreadsheet. Add a group of items to the list every couple of days until a week before your move date.

Pro tip: The inventory sheet you make for your move will come in handy when you get renters insurance, if you don’t have it already. Renters insurance providers will need you to estimate the value of your belongings to determine how much coverage you should get, and your inventory will be a great tool for calculating this.

Pro tip: Apps like Poshmark (for clothes) and AptDeco (for furniture) can help you find buyers for the stuff you want to give away if Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace are too overwhelming.

2 weeks before moving day

  • Check in with your current landlord about your security deposit

    • When will they inspect your place?

    • Are they willing to do a walk-through and give you a chance to fix any problems on your own?

    • How will your payment be returned to you? Do they have your new address or PayPal or Venmo information? 

  • Transfer your utilities like electric, gas, and water to your new place. If you live with roommates who are staying behind and the utilities are in your name, transfer the accounts to someone else.

  • If you’re having a garage sale, choose a date and start advertising it. 

  • If you’re selling things online, create the listings.

  • Double-check with your new landlord to see if there are any restrictions or requirements for the moving process such as reserving the elevator, using a separate entrance, or move-in hours.

  • Switch your renter’s insurance to your new address.

  • If you’re using a moving company, take pictures of your valuable items in case they’re lost or damaged during the move.

  • If you’re not using a moving company, figure out who’s helping you move, what vehicle you’ll be using, and how you’ll thank your friends for their time. 

  • Start packing! Do a little bit at a time. Start with the things you won’t need for the next two weeks, like:

    • Off-season clothing

    • Books, media, and other items on shelves

    • Rarely used kitchen appliances

    • Keepsakes and memorabilia

    • Board games and hobby supplies

    • Extra linens

  • Find a place in your current apartment to stack the moving boxes. If you’re living with roommates who are staying after you leave, make sure this is okay with them.

Pro tip: If your move dates don’t perfectly line up with your monthly rent billing cycle, reach out to both landlords to see if they’ll prorate your final month’s rent.

1 week before moving day

  • Pack, pack, pack! Now’s the time to make sure everything’s stored away in moving boxes, you have all your packing supplies, and your inventory sheet is updated.

  • Host your garage sale.

  • Distribute the items you sold or arranged to give away.

  • Confirm with your moving company or friends that the date and time still works for them.

  • If you’re doing a DIY move, make sure you know how to disassemble your furniture and have all the correct tools to do so. You might also need to purchase moving blankets or other packing supplies.

  • Start eating all your leftovers. Nothing’s more annoying than figuring out what to do with three Tupperware containers of stir fry when your entire life is already a jigsaw puzzle.

Pro tip: Clothing and linens can double as packing supplies—try wrapping your breakables in your socks and scarves.

Moving day

  • Wake up early and head over to your new home. Is the space clean? If it’s not, best to give it a scrub-down before you fill it with all your worldly possessions. You might even want to see if your landlord will let you do this the day before.

  • Take pictures of your old place after you’ve moved out so you can challenge any disputes with your landlord over the security deposit.

  • Keep your inventory sheet by your side—it’s your copilot today.

  • If you’re using a moving company, make sure you have cash to tip your movers. Conventional wisdom says $4-5 per hour per mover is a standard tip. Make sure you give each mover their own tip so there’s no confusion.

  • If your friends are helping you move, you’re also their host on the day of the move. Make sure everyone has water, there’s a plan for lunch, and you’re buying dinner.

Moving can be overwhelming. But if you resist the urge to procrastinate or take a free-wheeling approach, you’ll have a smoother moving day, and you’ll get practice for future seamless moves throughout your life.

Bungalow is the easiest way to move. With affordable private rooms in turnkey shared homes across 10 cities nationwide, an easy-to-use mobile app for seamless leasing, and a vetted community of roommates, Bungalow offers coliving at its best. Find a Bungalow near you.

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