9 tips for moving apartments

Turning Points 3 min read

The big day is finally here: apartment moving day. You’ve signed the lease to your new apartment, but you know that the calm always comes before the storm. No matter how many times you’ve moved before, moving day never gets any less daunting. Need a to-do list for moving apartments? Keep reading for 9 apartment moving tips that will help make your move to your new apartment as smooth and pain free as possible.

1. Coordinate with the apartment building

Do you have to reserve your apartment building’s elevator or loading dock before you move? Most of the time you do (and you’ll want to have the ability to stop the elevator while it’s being loaded and unloaded), so make sure you coordinate with your apartment building’s management team before setting the date. They will likely hang pads over the elevator mirrors too, to ensure that they don’t get damaged.

2. Be flexible

Despite having an anticipated start time, there is always a chance that movers will be late. (And if you expect them to be late, they will inevitably be early and you’ll get caught on your heels!) Sometimes they have to finish up another job that went long before moving on to yours, so be flexible and patient, but don’t be afraid to call the moving company if there are ever any issues.

3. Plan to have your kids offsite

Moving requires your full attention, so if you have young children (and if it’s feasible), try to have your kids out of the apartment on moving day. It’ll be less stressful for you and you’ll be able to focus better on the task at hand. If a sitter isn’t doable, then split the effort with your significant other and take turns taking the kids to the playground or on a walk.

4. Pack a cooler with snacks and drinks

Moving is hard work for everyone involved. It’s always nice to offer your movers something cold to drink, or at least offer to let them store their own drinks in your fridge. Offering some affordable, individually packaged snacks is a thoughtful idea too. Goodwill can go a long way sometimes!

5. Offer to provide lunch to your movers

It’s generous to want to provide lunch to your movers, but make sure you ask beforehand. One time we offered to buy pizza for the crew, but they turned us down because the default meal that most people seem to offer is pizza and they were a little tired of it.

6. Make sure bathrooms are stocked

Guests in your home for hours at a time will inevitably lead to them needing to use the restroom. Even though you’re moving in and haven’t spent much time in your apartment yet, make sure to have plenty of toilet paper, hand soap, paper towels and a trash can or plastic back for trash.

7. Have a plan

More likely than not, your new apartment will have a different configuration than your old one. Ensure that you have a plan to help direct where boxes go. Sometimes it can help to label the door with a sticky note (girl room, boy room, master, his closet, her closet, playroom, office, etc.) so that your movers will know where to place each box. Likewise, have an idea of where you’d like your furniture and rugs placed. It can save a lot of work for you later if you have the movers get it right from the beginning!

8. Ask for an unpack

This is a matter of personal preference, but after having done it both ways during my family’s countless military moves, I always like to ask for a full unpack because it allows the movers to take away all of the boxes and packing paper. Many times, unpacking is included in a moving contract, especially if the same company packed you up when you left your last apartment. It can be a little overwhelming to suddenly have to decide where to place kitchen items (I just have them fill shelves and drawers to help clear counter space, since I know I’ll wash and rearrange things later), but I think it’s better than having to collapse and dispose of packing materials myself. Lots of boxes and paper can be especially difficult to dispose of/recycle if you live in a city apartment building or if you have a small car, so make sure you plan ahead. If your apartment building has a trash chute, make sure you follow the guidelines and don’t throw boxes down the chute!

9. Have cash on hand

It’s always great to have some cash on hand if you think your movers did a great job. It’s not required but a tip is always a good way to say thank you!

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