While moving may leave you feeling stressed and overwhelmed, the process doesn’t have to be chaotic. If you keep yourself organized and prepare ahead, moving can be relatively effortless. The following is the ultimate moving guide for renters. From finding simple solutions for utility setup to streamlining the packing process, we have every tip you need to become a moving pro.
Organizing, Packing & Prepping
One of the biggest tasks you will take on when moving is the actual packing and transportation of all your belongings. Anyone who has moved has had that sinking realization that you own far more than you realized.
Use moving to get organized and to downsize things you don’t need anymore. While it can be overwhelming to box up your entire house, tackling one room at a time will keep you the most organized. Start with rooms you use the least, such as guest rooms, and work your way to the areas you use most, like your kitchen. Don’t put off packing until the week before you move. Begin far before your move date ever arrives.
Pro Tip: Don’t break the bank on boxes. You can find free moving boxes in a variety of places. From liquor stores to Craigslist to bookstores, you can find free boxes if you hunt. Opt for small boxes rather than large. Packing dozens of small boxes is far easier on your back than packing everything into massive boxes. Put your lightest items in large boxes, such as puffy comforters, and pack your heaviest items, such as books, in a suitcase on wheels.
When you tackle each room, create a list of the items in the room and number your boxes as you pack them. Use your master sheet of belongings to correlate box numbers with belongings. This will help you when you unpack, as you will be able to tackle the most important items first. If you utilize a computer to do this, you can create a searchable spreadsheet, which will make locating important items after you move simple and quick.
Pro Tip: Don’t forget when you get down to packing some of your last belongings to create yourself an overnight bag. Depending on how far you are moving, you might need a full week’s worth of clothes and toiletries. Be sure you keep medicine in your overnight bag as well.
Have Pets? If you are moving and you own pets, don’t forget to pack them an overnight bag too! Create a small bag of items they will need, such as food, snacks, and toys.
Cleaning & Getting Your Deposit Back
As a renter, you likely had to place a deposit down when you moved into your apartment or home. When you are moving out, you undoubtedly hope to get every penny of your deposit back. However, in order to successfully receive your deposit back, you need to leave the property in as good of condition as it was in when you moved in.
Check out the following tips for getting back your deposit:
- Deep clean every part of the home. It is important that you take the time to truly clean every component of the property before you leave. Wipe down baseboards. Clean blinds. Take apart your fridge and clean every piece. As you pack up each room, clean every surface from shelves to drawers to everything in between.
Bonus Tip: To make baseboards, walls, and every white surface in your house look new again without hours of painting, opt for magic erasers. Be sure to test the eraser on a small surface area first to ensure you don’t make matters worse.
- Take note of any damages and have them repaired. Did you leave nail holes in the walls? Is there a stain on the carpet? Make sure you take care of every one of these details before you leave the property. Fill in holes with spackle and paint over with a matching paint color. Hire a professional carpet cleaner if needed.
- Take photos before you leave. It is ideal to do a walk through with your landlord before you leave to ensure you are on the same page about the condition of the property. However, if you cannot do an in-person walkthrough with your landlord to have them sign off on the condition, be sure to take clear photos of every room and every appliance. The more photos you have to prove the condition of the property, the better. It is hard to fight the word of your landlord without solid proof.
The best way to get your deposit back is to be a responsible renter and to communicate clearly with your landlord. If you have taken good care of the property there is no reason to not get your deposit back in full. However, if you know you have damaged the property, be realistic about how much of the deposit you can recover.
Pro Tip: Do a mock inspection with a friend. Have them look for any damages or areas that have not been thoroughly cleaned. A second set of eyes can help you notice things you otherwise may have missed.
When it comes to actually moving your belongings, there are a few different approaches you can take. You can hire a team of movers to pack up the moving truck, drive to your new place, and unpack it. You can hire a team to pack your entire house and move it as well. Alternatively, you can DIY and rent a moving truck that you pack, drive, and unload on your own.
The decision will ultimately come down to your budget and how many belongings you have. For a small apartment move, doing it yourself might be the best bet. However, if you own a large amount of furniture, appliances, and other heavy objects, hiring movers might be worth every penny.
If you do hire movers, be sure you document everything. Take photos of the condition of everything you own prior to the move and keep track of every valuable item.
Pro Tip: When the day of your move arrives, be sure you do a walkthrough of your new rental before you begin unpacking the moving truck. Fill out a condition report and take photos of any damages you notice. Ideally, you should do a walkthrough with your new landlord the day you move-in, but when this isn’t possible take detailed notes with corresponding photos to ensure you don’t lose your deposit down the road for existing damages.
When you are moving from one rental to another, be sure you don’t neglect to update your renters insurance. If you don’t currently have a renters insurance policy, now is a great time to purchase this helpful resource.
Renters insurance will protect your belongings from damage, theft, and most forms of destruction. In fact, renters insurance will provide you with the following helpful coverage:
- Your belongings everywhere you go. With renters insurance, you will not only protect your belongings when they are at home but you will also protect your belongings wherever you go.
- Protected against lawsuits. If you hurt someone or cause damage to another person’s property, your renters insurance can protect you against lawsuits and the correlated expenses.
- Covered for reasonable medical expenses. If someone gets hurt while they are visiting you at your rental, you can utilize your renters insurance to protect yourself from high medical costs.
The good news is that as a renter, you can purchase insurance for extremely low costs. With plans starting as low as $8 a month, it is simple to protect yourself from financial loss. Learn more about the benefits of Renters Insurance here or click the button below to purchase a plan.
Utility Setup & Address Change
Prior to your move, you will want to place an address change notification with USPS. This will help prevent your mail from getting lost while you transition to a new location. While it is important to update your bank account information with your new address, an address change will at least ensure any important bills and letters arrive at your new rental.
One of the most time consuming and often frustrating tasks when you are moving is turning off your current utilities, transferring services, and setting up new utilities. Depending on where you are moving, different utilities will be handled by either private companies or city utilities.
If you have the option for private utilities, be sure to shop around for the best price.
Pro Tip: To save time and make setting up your utilities extremely simple, opt for a service that easily locates every option you have. TurboTenant can help, click here to for a simple way to set up all your utilities at once.
In some cases, when you move from one rental to another you will be losing square footage or extra storage space. While you might be able to get rid of some belongings, there may be items you truly need or are of enough value they are worth storing. In this case, look for a storage unit near your new rental.
The following are some tips for finding the best storage unit deals:
- Always look online: looking online will provide you with better pricing. Ask for specials and current deals if you go in person to find a unit.
- Depending on the market, shop early: If you are moving to an area with a limited supply of storage units, begin looking a month in advance.
- See if you can get a moving truck included: A lot of storage facilities also have moving trucks available. Oftentimes, if you are renting a storage unit you will be allowed to use a moving truck at no additional cost.
Pro Tip: When choosing a storage unit size, use the following easy chart to determine which size is right for you.
Setting Up Your New Home
Once you have packed up your belongings, cleaned your old place, and endured the physical move, it is time to set up your new home. Take a deep breath and realize the worst is truly behind you. Now it’s time to unpack and create your new space.
While staring at piles of boxes and stacked up furniture can leave you feeling overwhelmed, take it one step at a time. Start by measuring your new space to determine the best layout for all your belongings. Determine where bookshelves, couches, chairs, desks, and beds will go. Once you have the furniture in place, you can begin unpacking your belongings.
If you followed our organization tips from above, open up your spreadsheet of belongings and determine which numbered boxes are a high priority. If any boxes are in the wrong room, move them to the appropriate place.
Start by unpacking your must-haves. Usually, items on this list include kitchen goods and clothing items. Books and decor can wait until later. Start with one room and unpack all high priority items. Be sure to organize as you go, breaking down boxes and keeping areas clean. This will prevent you from feeling buried in a mess while you unpack.
Pro Tip: Part of moving into a new home is understanding what the expectations are for you in this new place. Read over your lease thoroughly and be sure you clearly understand what responsibilities you have to your landlord. When in doubt, contact your landlord for clarification. This will help your transition to a new property go smoothly without any misunderstandings between you and your new landlord.