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May 10, 2018

A checklist for moving out

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Moving out? Use this advice to make the process less stressful and more successful.

Moving out may be temporary -- like if you're leaving college and heading back in the fall -- or permanent if you've graduated or are simply swapping apartments. No matter the circumstances, taking on this task in an efficient and focused fashion means you can get the work over with and enjoy your new space. Here's a checklist that will make moving out a more organized and less labor intensive affair:

1. Plan and work ahead to avoid crunch time when moving out.

If you haven't been there yourself, you probably know someone who has. Delaying all of your moving out responsibilities to the last minute means a lot of stress and potentially leaving loose ends hanging.

Your first step should be making a quick list of everything you personally need to do before moving out. Hit the big stuff, like packing up your belongings and shutting off any utilities, as well as the small stuff, like securing the property by locking doors and windows as you leave. Put your tasks in chronological order and make a calendar to follow. We've created a checklist to help you stay organized.

Doing a little work here and there gives you a greater sense of control and means no worrying about getting everything done at the last minute. Even if you only have a few days before it's time to leave, starting now instead of the night before will still make the job more manageable.

Two people preparing to move out of a house.

2. Figure out what you need to do - and what you don't.

Whether you're moving out of a dorm or apartment, there are probably a number of tasks expected of you. From basic cleaning to returning the keys to your unit, there will be plenty on your plate. Nationwide shared a detailed list of specific duties to consider, and many of them are likely relevant to your situation.

You may have to deep clean certain areas of your living space and might need to put in a lot of time and hard work. The last thing you want to do in that case is take on a job that you're not responsible for.

Speak to your landlord - or RA or residential life department if you're moving out of university accommodations - to clarify what's expected of you. That way, you can focus on what absolutely needs to be done and avoid making your schedule even busier with non-essential tasks.

Taking this approach also helps make sure you can get your security deposit returned. There's nothing worse than losing some of that money because you missed a small but critical job, like cleaning your oven or locking up as you leave - especially if you spent that valuable time on something else that wasn't required.

3. Tying up odds and ends.

Heat, power, cable TV, internet, landline phone - how many of these services do you use in your current space? If you're in a dorm, you don't have to worry about it, but renters should schedule shut off of their services to avoid extra expenses.

Similarly, if you have any other services, like a monthly visit from a cleaning professional or a dog walker, make sure you get in touch and let them know you're moving. A little bit of work now keeps more money in your pocket.

4. Finding a great partner for your next move.

Whether you're moving home for the summer or heading to a new apartment, make sure you have a partner you can count on to do the heavy lifting and keep your belongings safe. Get a moving quote from Atlas to start working with professional movers and packers who are happy make the process as easy as possible for you.