How to Move Out of an Apartment: The Essential Things to Do

How to Move Out of an Apartment: The Essential Things to Do

You’re ready to move on to better or cheaper horizons. Although apartments can differ depending on their layouts, rent, and amenities, the steps to move out are the same.

Moving out of your apartment is never an easy task, but you can make it less daunting by knowing the proper steps to take. Read on to learn how to move out of an apartment the most efficiently!


Before you do anything, doing some initial planning will help keep you on track in terms of your budget and timeline.

  • Establish a moving budget, such as for movers and packing materials
  • Remember to request time off work
  • Start researching your new community

Give Ample Notice

Many leases require tenants to provide landlords with a 30-day written notice before moving. However, double-check your lease – some will require a 60-day notice. You should have a notice written out as soon as you decide to move so you don’t forget.

If you forget to notify your landlord, your lease could automatically renew. This may require a large amount of money to break the lease, or your landlord will withhold your initial deposit.

Forward Address

It’s smart to change the address of any subscriptions, credit cards, and employee info. you may have. An extra step to ensure that your mail goes to your new apartment is by filling out a change of address form on the USPS website or at your local post office.

This allows you to choose the date when you’d like your mail to begin forwarding to the new address. A good rule of thumb is to do this at least 2 weeks in advance.

Shut Off/Transfer Utilities

You’ll need to shut off or transfer any utilities that you’re responsible for, such as water, electric, and cable. You can go to your provider’s website or call them for instructions on how to do this.


Come up with a standard system so that unpacking will be easier. You’ll save yourself a lot of future frustration when you need to find a specific item that’s packed away in one of your boxes.

This system could be color-coding depending on the room, grouping similar items together, and separating necessities from decor items.

As you pack, remember to set items aside that you’d like to donate, sell, or throw away. The fewer things you’re taking with you, the easier moving will be.

Take time to carefully pad easily breakable items, such as:

  • Drinking glasses
  • Plates
  • Lampshades
  • Mirrors
  • Computer equipment


Make sure that all of your possessions are cleared out of the apartment. Hiring apartment movers is the easiest way, which you should schedule as soon as possible. Otherwise, management will charge you extra for the labor of cleaning for you.

Your apartment needs to be in pristine condition before you move out, discounting normal wear and tear. If it’s not, you won’t get your deposit back – and management companies are notorious for doing everything they can to hold onto them.

Make sure you:

  • Clean the oven and stove
  • Disinfect dishwasher
  • Clean drawers, counter surfaces, and mirrors
  • Wash out the sink
  • Remove food from your refrigerator
  • Unplug and defrost the refrigerator
  • Clean the freezer
  • Scrub shower and tub
  • Clean toilet
  • Mop and vacuum floors

If you don’t have time to clean yourself, then you can also consider hiring professional cleaners.

Take Photos

Once all of your packing and cleaning is finished, remember to document your clean and empty apartment. This is something you should have done when you first moved in. This will give you leverage and/or proof if there are any misunderstandings or issues to show that you weren’t the cause for damages.

Gather Keys

Make sure you locate all your apartment keys, amenity keys, and gate keys or cards. If you don’t have them, you’ll be charged for their replacement.

Final Walkthrough

Once your apartment is cleaned and your keys are delivered, it’s time to schedule a final walkthrough. You need to be there to ensure everything is faithfully recorded. You can also make your case if there are any discrepancies – this is when your photos come in handy.

Depending on what state you live in, the exact time you schedule a final walkthrough can vary. Some states require an inspection two to three days after the tenant moves out. Other states provide more leeway and can be done up to two weeks after.

Not all states require a move out inspection. In those that do, it’s usually your landlord’s responsibility to inform you of when it will be scheduled through a written notice.

After the inspection is conducted, your landlord will tell you of things that need to be fixed or clean. This gives you the opportunity to make those fixes without money being taken out of your security deposit.

How to Move Out of an Apartment for Peace of Mind

No matter how many apartments you’ve out of, it’s never a completely stress-free process. However, by focusing on one step at a time and sticking with a clear timeline, you’ll have significantly more peace of mind once it’s time for the final walkthrough.

Knowing how to move out of an apartment doesn’t just help your bank account – you’re reducing stress!

Need more ideas on how to move out and move in with the least amount of stress as possible? Keep reading our blog for more informative articles, tips, and strategies.


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