Checklist for a Self-Service Move

A do-it-yourself move should save you money, but staying on top of all the important details will be a challenge. That’s where this self-service moving checklist can come in handy. Use our checklist throughout the entire self-service moving process to help keep your moving efforts organized. This checklist is separated into sections according to a timeline. If your timetable is faster than this, simply adjust your to-do items to meet your schedule.

The planning phase.
Eight weeks before your self-service move A successful do-it-yourself move is an organized move. Set yourself up for success by creating a plan of attack well in advance of your moving day. This part of the moving checklist will help you assess the scope of your move so you can create a moving plan.

Make a self-service moving budget.

Get a clear picture of how much money you have available for your move before you start researching options. Decide when you want to move. Pick an alternate date in case your first choice doesn’t work out. Check your current apartment lease to see how much notice you have to give to move out. Give your written notice when appropriate. Take inventory of the belongings you’ll be moving. Do some research on the area where you are moving. You might refer to Apartment Guide’s resources to research local schools and cities. Who will help you with your move If you’re thinking of using family and friends, make a list of the people you plan to ask for moving help. Create a moving file to keep all moving-related paperwork organized. Items to keep in your moving file include this checklist, receipts, a calendar, moving truck reservation information, a copy of your new apartment lease, and any other important papers.

The prep phase.
Six weeks before your move.
Now that you’ve planned your self-service move, it’s time to get the ball rolling. This part of our moving checklist will help you take the first important steps towards moving out of your current place and getting into your new apartment.

Secure a reservation to rent a moving truck.

Decide whether you will be driving the truck or if you wish to hire a professional driver to handle that task for you. Don’t forget to reserve items like dollies and other essential tools for do-it-yourself moves. Gather essential packing supplies. Start going through your belongings. Donate or throw away items that you don’t want to move to your new apartment. Find new care providers for you and your family (doctors, pharmacists, child care options, etc). Transfer school or medical records, if necessary. Make a list of who to notify when you move. Provide each of these individuals and companies with your new address and its effective date. Finalize the details of your new lease with your new apartment community. Ask your property manager if there are any special regulations or parking arrangements you’ll need to make for move-in day. Start to pack non-essential items.

The packing phase.
Two to four weeks before your move.
With many of the critical details taken care of, it’s time to start packing up so you’ll be ready for moving day. Make a list of valuable items for which you have to make special packing arrangements. Start packing. Set priorities, beginning with the least-used items and furniture. Start using up household items like cleaning supplies or food that you won’t want to move. (You may want to make a menu plan so that no food goes to waste.) Contact family and friends who will help with your move. Make official reservations with them so they know when to arrive on moving day. If you’ll be borrowing a friend’s truck, make an official reservation for the truck, as well. Arrange for a temporary storage unit, if needed. Call your current utility providers and arrange to have utilities shut off (or transferred, if possible) after your move. Utilities to cancel may include phone, cable, Internet, power, andor water. Research new utility providers, and set up utilities at your new apartment. Have service activated a day or two before you move in. Talk to your employer and schedule a day off of work for your self-service move. Make arrangements for someone to watch your children or pets on moving day. File a change of address online through the United States Postal Service. Take care of your driver’s license and car tags. Check your state’s DMV Web site for instructions on how to update your address or get new tags. Review your current lease agreement to find out how to clean up before you move out.

The final details.
The week of your move.
With move-in day fast approaching, this part of our self-service moving checklist will help you double-check important details and make last-minute preparations. Confirm all important reservations and appointments, including Travel and childpet care plans Arrival time of family and friend moving helpers Reservations to rent a moving truck and other supplies Appointments for cable or Internet hook-up Print directions for your moving helpers and yourself. E-mail the directions to your helpers and print out extra hard copies to keep in your moving file. If you are hiring a driver for the moving truck, provide your cell number so that you can be reached, if necessary, en route. Make a plan to finalize packing. Keep important personal items and essential toiletries that you’ll need right away at your new place in a priority box. Perform final cleaning of your current apartment. Schedule an appointment to check out of your current apartment. Schedule a walk-through of your new apartment to discuss any issues with a community manager.

Move-in day checklist
Complete your old apartment walk-through with property management. Do your own personal walk-through to make sure you have not forgetten anything. Turn off all lights, shut all windows, and lock doors when you leave. Keep an inventory list of items being loaded and unloaded from your rental truck. Provide a cooler with water and snacks for your moving helpers. Check your rental truck agreement to make sure you know what to do before you return your rental truck.

Refer to this moving checklist often throughout your do-it-yourself move. There may be many tasks to complete before moving day, but if you attack this list one step at a time, hopefully, your responsibilities will seem easier to tackle.

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