When to Start Packing for a Move

Post by 
Jenna Gnieski

One of the least appealing aspects of living in an apartment is the inevitable move out process. We get it, it’s not fun. That’s why we’re providing you with a comprehensive timeline so your move out process can go as smoothly as possible. 

Four Months Out

Take some time to figure out whether or not you will be renewing your lease for another year. If renewing is not an option for you, we suggest apartment searching as soon as possible. 

To make your search easier, we’ve compiled a list of apartment hunting tips for you below:

We highly recommend touring an apartment or home first to get a feel for the layout . Renting an apartment sight unseen can be risky so you’ll want to make sure the environment is right for you.

If you found your next home already but it doesn’t align with your current lease, put in a request with your property management company to go month-to-month. This will give you more time during that gray period to plan and pack. 

Many of our properties at Birgo Realty offer month-to-month leases, so we encourage you to ask your property manager for more information!

Three Months Out

It’s still a bit early to start packing for your move, but we recommend coming up with a moving plan. If you’ll be needing help, connect with friends and family to see their availability.

Now is also a good time to schedule movers or a moving truck. They’ll take care of everything the day of your move including loading and unpacking the truck to make it easier on you. 

Additionally, start taking notes in your head of items that you’ll want to sell or get rid of prior to moving. You can slowly start listing these items on Facebook Marketplace or another similar buy-sell platform. 

Two Months Out

Now that you’ve already completed all the pre-planning, it’s time to put everything into action. If you haven’t already, post unwanted items online or donate them to a local organization.

Next, start collecting boxes and labeling them. Pro tip: use a different marker or sticky note color for every room. Labeling and color coding your moving boxes will help with organizing your new space. 

And don’t forget to request off of work! Some employers require you to request off far in advance so make sure to do so.

One Month Out

Now that you’re one month away from moving, things can become more stressful.

Dedicate an evening to packing up clothes you won’t be needing for the rest of the month or season. If you have any valuables, keep a running list of which boxes you pack them away in. 

Take some time each day to take down decor. Since you’ve already labeled boxes, your items should already have a dedicated place. If you have more delicate items to pack, we recommend wrapping them in a towel or a sweatshirt to act as a protective barrier so they won’t get damaged. 

Don’t forget to cancel any gym or other memberships you have if you’re moving away from the area. Your credit card will thank you later!

Two Weeks Out

Prep meals for the next two weeks. Once cooked, you can store them in the freezer for lasting freshness. That way when you don’t have time to cook a meal, you can simply thaw one out that you’ve already made. It’s one less task on your to do list!

One Week Out

Finalize packing up your boxes. It’s inevitable that you’ll have the necessities laying around until moving day, but having the rest of your belongings packed will make you feel more at ease. 

This week, we also recommend taking a walk through your apartment to see if you need to repair anything. If you do need to make a repair, schedule time to head to the home improvement store to buy the necessary supplies.

Clean out the fridge, freezer, and microwave! Many landlords and property management companies require you to clean your appliances prior to leaving. 

In the days before your move, take a broom and sweep up any dust bunnies and dirt and then. Clean and wipe down the other rooms of your apartment including the bathroom.

Moving Day

Happy Moving Day! 

Today, you may want to give the bathroom another quick cleaning as well as the floors. With movers and other helpers, there will be lots of foot traffic coming in and out of the door. It’s crucial to wipe those away so you don’t receive a cleaning fee!


We hope we were able to provide you with some advice on when to start packing for your move. Give yourself a big pat on the back for starting (or completing) this arduous process. It’s long, but completely worth it so that your move is as organized and stress-free as possible.

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