We found a lot of articles about how to move into an apartment on the internet…
But all of them started at two months out, and very few included timelines.
We wanted to provide a resource that covers the whole process-- from the moment you start to think about moving until moving day. We hope this guide helps make your move that much smoother!
Six Months - Two Months before Moving Day
This is the scary planning stage for most people. A lot of questions might be popping into your head because of the amount of uncertainty that comes with moving.
The biggest question you might be facing during this period is this: “How much does it cost to move? I can’t afford much!”
Luckily, we’ve done some research and we’ve crunched the numbers.
If you’re moving far, you might want to consider a U-haul (you’ve probably already thought of this). The cost varies depending on the distance of your move -- around $99 if you’re moving across town, up to around $1500 if you’re moving halfway across the country-- so you’ll want to make sure you punch in your to/from zip codes at their website to get a close estimate.
For the more extreme moves or if you just want help moving , there are some moving companies that can carry the load. Some of them are even able to move you across the country. These costs average out around $4000.
Another cost to consider is a security deposit. If you’ve taken amazing care of your current apartment, you might be able to transfer it to your new apartment. But just in case, it’s safe to save up enough money for a security deposit. This is typically around the same as one or two months of rent. Make sure you know what you can afford before you start looking for a new apartment.
After finances, you’ll want to start narrowing down where you want to move. We love Pittsburgh (😉) but it’s up to you!
Last but not least: are you moving to a new city or state? Do you need a new job because of this move (maybe you’re moving because you want a new job…)? This is the perfect time to figure out what kind of job you’ll want to look for.
Two Months before Moving Day
Step 1: Decide when you’re quitting your current job, and finalize a start date for your new job.
Step 2: Start looking for a place to rent or buy. Typically you’ll want to have this whole process finalized one month ahead of moving day. (If you’re looking at renting in Pittsburgh, see what we have available here.)
Step 2: Tell your current property manager or landlord that you’re planning to move.
Step 3: Start making a list of items you’ll want to sell (if any). List them on Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, or have a moving sale on the next weekend. Make sure the moving sale is soon-- you’re going to be busy the whole month before, so you don’t want any more on your plate.
Step 4: Make a list of all the places you’ll have to change your address, billing information, or other information to make sure your move is up-to-date as you go about the process. Here’s a list that might help you.
Step 5: Line up any past-due doctor appointments for your household. It’s best to get these things out of the way, along with other regular appointments, before moving starts to become a bigger task.
Step 6: If you’re moving far (or just want to sneak in time with friends), it might be a good idea to line up those evenings or weekends during this month. Next month will be busy!
One Month before Moving Day
Step 7: This is when you’re going to want to start packing. Get all the boxes you can from friends and family, then go buy whatever else you need as you go about the packing process (you might have to make a list of these things: sharpies, packing tape, bubble wrap, box labels, blankets to move furniture…). Some of your bigger furniture might be hard to move, so this is when you should recruit your local friends and family to help on moving day, too (if you haven’t hired a moving company). If you’re moving into an apartment and there’s an elevator not available to the public, you might be able to work with the property manager to get access to it.
Step 8: If you’re moving far, it’s time to take your vehicles to the mechanic! Ask the mechanics to get your cars and vans “trip-ready”. They’ll know what that means./
A Couple Weeks before Moving Day
Your packing progress should be coming along pretty well by now… But it’s probably not going as well as you wish. That’s just reality for most people! Keep at it at this stage. You’ll be just fine.
Step 9: Make sure you’ve packed up all of your most-valuable belongings, and know exactly where they all are. Work with your utility companies to schedule a date where the utilities will get turned off, and work with new utility companies to schedule a date where your utilities will get turned on or installed at the new place.
Step 10: Maybe make one last run to the grocery store, or plan when you’re going to do it next week.
The Last Week Before Moving Day
Step 11: Pack up the remaining things you’ve had to use up to this point, but keep them somewhere you can still use them. Toothbrush, drinking glasses, toolboxes, pens and paper, and all your personal items could be examples of these types of items.
Time to clean! Make a cleaning checklist and have at it.
Have a binder for all your moving documents. You’re going to have to sign some things, so make sure you keep copies safe (maybe keep these with your personal items).
Last but not least: MOVING DAY
Step 12: Do a final walkthrough of the old place. Once you get to the new place, make a vow not to unpack too much. Just get settled :) You did it!
It’ll be a process to unpack, but that’s alright. Take it slowly. Hope this helps,
-the Birgo Realty Team