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Full Apartment Move Out Checklist for the Unprepared

2021 August 19
Written by Make Space Storage

Are you considering moving out of your current apartment but feel unprepared and unmotivated to start your planning process? We want to help you kick start your move out checklist through this complete to-do list. This move out checklist for the unprepared details everything you need to when you move out!

Our complete apartment move out checklist has you covered at every stage of your moving preparation. Ideally, you want to have two months in advance to properly prepare but sometimes that is not possible. The checklist below is suitable to start two months in advance or less, depending on your circumstances. We want to provide you with an easy list to help guide the unprepared on how to move out of an apartment efficiently and effectively. Now let’s dive in!

How Much Time Do You Need to Completely Prepare to Move Out of an Apartment?

Moving out of a rented apartment can be time-sensitive, that’s why we want to provide you with the ultimate moving out checklist. Ideally, you want to start your moving out process two months in advance to give you time to plan for your move and work out all the details. Two months will give you the necessary time needed to get everything in order to have a successful move from start to finish. 

Sometimes two months isn’t an option when it comes to moving out of an apartment. Life happens and we want you to have an easy guide to expedite your moving process when time isn’t on your side. So whether you have two months or only a few weeks before, we’ve got you covered on what to do when moving out of an apartment!

The Complete To-Do List Before Moving Out of an Apartment 

Look into your lease terms

First on our moving out af an apartment checklist is to assess the terms of the lease agreement you signed when you moved into your current apartment. It is important that you are aware of the lease time frame you signed. Whether that be a month-to-month lease agreement, a short-term lease or a long-term lease. This will determine when you are able to move out without being charged for breaking your contract. You also will want to look at the lease terms in regards to your move-out guidelines created by your landlord or property owner. This will detail your cleaning, damage and move-out renters checklist required upon moving out. 

Evaluate damages and make a repair plan

Depending on the terms of your lease, you may need to assess smaller damages before your landlord comes and does a walk through. Touching up small things could result in you ensuring your security deposit is returned. Small things to touch up can include patching up walls where you hung pictures, scrubbing a few areas of the walls, removing stains from the carpet and doing an overall deep clean. 

Give written notice to your landlord or leasing company 

Type out a letter to send to your landlord or leasing company outlining the details of your move out plan. Include the date you will be moving out, then your landlord or leasing company will decide if you have provided the required timeframe prior to moving out based on your leasing agreement. You should be aware of these terms in order to get your security deposit back. 

Plan for your move

Decide what you need when you move out, from packing supplies to a moving company. Arrange to get boxes, tape, sharpies and cleaning supplies in order. You also will need to decide if you will book a moving company, rent a portable storage container or do it solo with the help of friends and family.

Cancel or change your renter’s insurance 

If you are moving into another apartment you need to inform your renter’s insurance company of this by providing move-out dates. Your insurance should then be transferred to your next apartment or home to ensure you are covered if anything out of your control happens. 

Start decluttering and packing up your apartment 

The best thing to do before moving out of an apartment is to declutter before packing. Start by creating a keep, donate, sell and trash pile to assess what stays and what goes. We recommend focusing on highly cluttered areas of your home first, for example, your closets, storage spaces, junk drawers and bathroom cupboards. These are places that tend to collect junk that you may want to get rid of prior to packing. 

After you are finished decluttering, start packing up non-essential items that you do not need every day such as seasonal decorations, decor, wall art, storage rooms and non-essential kitchen and bathroom items. 

Once you get closer to your move-out date, we recommend 3 weeks prior, you can start with your everyday items such as clothing, kitchen cupboards, bathroom cupboards and bedroom items. The worst thing to do is leave packing too close to your move-out date because there will always be things you forgot about or need to focus on more time sensitive packing requirements. Stay organized and pack early to avoid those last week’s moving stressors!

Confirm the plan for moving day

If you hired movers to help you move into your new apartment, confirm with the company the date and time they will be booked for. If you ordered a portable storage container for delivery, call and confirm the delivery date and time, as well as when you would like it picked up and delivered to your new address. Or finally, if you asked family and friends to give you a hand, confirm they know what day they are needed to give them time to make proper arrangements with work or kids. 

Talk to your landlord about moving truck access 

Ensure your building is able to have a moving truck parked out front and book the elevator for a specific window of time to ensure you are fully prepared at your time to move. 

Finish packing and make a moving essentials tote 

Now that we have the logistics of moving sorted out, it is time to finish packing up your apartment. You are now closer to your move-out date and have followed the necessary steps to prepare until this point. Now its time to pack up the essential everyday items, we recommend doing so it travel bags and suitcases to give you the ability to access these tolitres, clothes, electronics whenever you need them.

Start the cleaning and repair process

Now that you have decluttered and packed the majority of your household items into boxes, the deep clean and repair process begins to get your apartment back to move-in condition. As mentioned at the beginning of our checklist you should have created a list of small repairs needed to ensure you get your security deposit back. Such as small paint touch-ups, scrubbing marks off the walls, filling in holes on the walls where pictures were hanging and removing any stains or marks from carpeted areas. After these repairs, you should do a deep clean of your apartment to ensure your landlord is happy with you as a tenant and gives you a great reference down the road. 

Complete a final walkthrough inspection with your landlord 

Your landlord will want to assess the state of the apartment prior to you moving out. Arrange to be there during that time to walk your landlord through the apartment. If you are unable to be there, take pictures prior to avoid any liability issues that could arise. 

Get ready for the stress of moving day

After following this checklist for moving out of an apartment, you should be organized and prepared for the long day of moving. Get to bed early the night before, so you can wake up early on the morning of your move. In the morning you should finish packing up last-minute items like taking the food out of the fridge/freezer and grab your everyday toiletries and suitcases.  

Complete another walkthrough after moving is complete then return your keys … 

Ah, you are finally done this part of your move … onto unpacking at your new place! Before you leave you should do a final walkthrough, double-checking areas where things get left behind such as:

  • The fridge/freezer
  • Kitchen cupboards
  • Bathroom cupboards
  • Washer and dryer for any left behind clothing 

Once you are done, hand your keys over and head on over to your new apartment or home!


We hope this checklist for moving out of an apartment helps you have an easier move-out experience.  Moving can be stressful, especially when you are unprepared which is why we have provided you with some great packing and moving tips to stay organized and move efficiently! Check out our moving out of an apartment checklist below so you can print it off and use it as you go!
Here at Make Space, we want to ensure all your moving needs are covered! Have you considered renting a portable storage container for your next move? It’s simple, we deliver it to you, you pack it up, then we deliver it to your new apartment. Or if you need storage between your moves because you have a later move-in date for your new place, consider renting a self storage locker at one of our facilities! Check out how our portable storage containers work or how our self storage lockers are safe, secure and a great between move storage option.

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