Ultimate Guide to Apartment Moving: 10 Steps for Success

Apartment moving 101 

Moving into or out of an apartment is exciting, but it can also be challenging — especially when you’re on your own for the first time and moving to a new state. Fortunately, there’s an experienced long-distance mover like U-Pack® to help the process go smoothly.  

Let’s examine how to have a stress-free small move so you can focus on the excitement of exploring a new city. 

Stacks of boxes, furniture and other furnishings as person moves from an apartment.


How to move apartments in 10 easy steps

Once you’ve found a new place, it’s best to start the relocation process as soon as possible to avoid delays or unpleasant surprises. Our moving experts have developed a plan to help you stay on track. 

Still looking for a place to live? Our ultimate guide to apartment hunting will help! 

1. Set the moving timeframe

Your moving timeframe may be set for you with the start of a new job or the end of a lease, but if not, you’ll need to decide when to move. 

It’s best to plan a move at least 1-2 months in advance to make sure there’s enough time to take care of all the details like giving notice, paying deposits, setting up utilities and packing. 

2. Examine the lease

Examine your current lease (if already renting) and the new rental agreement. The lease document is essential for knowing the rules of each apartment complex, which may differ between cities. 

Here’s what to look for: 

  • Rent amount, due date and how to submit the payment 
  • Deposits and what’s required to get them back 
  • Length of the lease (common ones are 6-month, 12-month and month-to-month) 
  • Fees for breaking the lease 
  • Length of notice required to move out (usually 30-60 days) 
  • Rules or regulations regarding parking, pets, guests and noise 

If anything is unclear, get clarification from the landlord or building manager before signing the lease (when moving in) and always keep a signed copy of everything. 

3. Give notice (if already renting) and start utilities 

If you’re already living in an apartment, notify the landlord or building manager of an upcoming move. It’s best to give notice in writing by email or with a printed letter. Most leases require 30-60 days’ notice and may have fees for breaking the lease.  

You’ll also need to contact utility companies to start service at the new apartment or make arrangements to transfer services to the new place if you’re already established with companies that serve the new state.  

4. Hire a moving company

Asking friends and family for help or renting a truck works well for in-town moves, but for out-of-state ones, hiring a moving company like U-Pack is the best way to make relocating hassle-free.  

U-Pack’s ReloCube® moving containers are perfect for small moves since they hold the contents of a studio apartment or one large room. With U-Pack, you handle the packing and loading, and then we transport everything to the new place. 

5. Get permission to park 

When moving into or out of an apartment, you might need permits or permission to park the moving equipment to avoid tickets or fines on moving day.  

Depending on the apartment complex, you may need to reserve parking spaces in advance. ReloCubes fit in a standard parking space and work great for complexes where parking is often limited.  

If there isn’t space to park the moving equipment, it’s possible to schedule loading or unloading at a local service center and save money! 

6. Make personal travel arrangements 

Make any personal travel reservations you’ll need, like airfare or hotel. By booking early, you can save money and avoid extra fees for last-minute arrangements. 

7. Update your address 

An essential part of moving is updating contact information with banks and other companies. Our complete moving checklist will help determine which places to contact before and after the move.  

If you need a new bank, research which ones have branches in your new state. You can often set up a new account online or with a local branch in your current state so it will be ready when you arrive at the new apartment. 

8. Declutter and pack

Before moving is a perfect time to declutter belongings. One to two weeks before the move, go through your things and get rid of anything you don’t want to take to the new home.  

Next, start packing so you’ll be ready for moving day. 

Moving for the first time and not sure what you’ll need? Start with this list of what to buy when moving to an apartment.  

9. Clean and inspect 

It is much easier to give an apartment a deep clean when it’s empty or everything’s packed in boxes. Allow time for some last-minute scrubbing after loading stuff when moving out, and be prepared to clean the new place (if needed) before moving in. 

Whether you’re moving out or in, do a walk-through of the place — with the landlord if possible — while it’s empty to locate any damage.  

Document and take photos of any issues like stains, holes, scuff marks, broken items or electrical issues to share with the landlord before moving in or out, and don’t forget to keep a copy. This will come in handy when discussing security or pet deposits later. 

Here’s what to examine: 

  • Flat surfaces: walls, ceilings, floors, trim and countertops 
  • Doors and windows  
  • Accessories: blinds, outlet covers, hinges and knobs 
  • Appliances: Refrigerator, dishwasher, stove/oven, microwave, garbage disposal, heater, air conditioner, laundry machines, water heater 
  • Fixtures: ceiling fans, lighting, light switches, electrical outlets, toilets, sinks, tubs and showers (don’t forget the hardware) 

10. Be considerate on moving day

Be mindful of other residents by not blocking stairwells or tying up the elevators for too long when loading or unloading belongings.  

When moving in, wait until everything is inside before unpacking. 

Let U-Pack take the stress out of your apartment move

Moving to or from an apartment in a new state is easy with U-Pack. Get a free quote online or call 844-362-5303844-594-3077 to speak to one of our consultants about letting U-Pack handle your out-of-state move.  

If you have any questions, let us know in the comments. We’re happy to help! 

Suggested reading: What is the cheapest way to move a one-bedroom apartment cross country?