Stay confident and organized by planning ahead!

We all know the moving process is stressful, with so many moving parts to manage from choosing your perfect apartment until the final box is unpacked.

Having a strategy will help you keep track of each step, still there will be some pressure from the amount of time and money invested in moving.

So here is our ultimate moving checklist to prepare for what’s ahead. manage everything that has to get done to avoid making costly moving mistakes.

When should you start gearing up to move?

Ideally you want to start planning for a move about two months out. This gives you time to notify to your property manager, schedule movers, maybe even organize a yard sale.

Most rental leases require 30 days’ notice before moving out. By scheduling your move two months in advance, you’ll be well within this range, unless your lease says otherwise. So be sure to read the fine print or ask the leasing office if you’re not sure.

Remember to put your notice in writing. It does not have to be several pages a quick email with saying who you are and when you’re going will do the trick.

Since you’re already in writing mode, this would be a good time to jot down a budget, make a note of any important dates during this time so you can add to the handy dandy checklist we made for you here.

6 to 8 Weeks Out

Since you already have a timeline and budget, this is time to decide how your going to get your property from one place to the other.

There are 3 main options to this: doing it yourself, hiring professional movers, or a combination of the two. Each of these choices comes with its own pros and cons so lets take a look at them.


This seems to be the cheapest option and the most time-consuming. You must find a rental truck or ask your friends to volunteer theirs. Then every box and stick of furniture has to be loaded and driven to your new place before the joys of unloading begin.

If you have enough friends loading and loading is synch. However, if anything is damaged or misplaced it can be quite expensive to replace.


Hiring movers requires a little more money upfront and is much easier on you. They will be responsible for loading the truck, driving to the new location, then carrying everything up to your new place.

Just be sure to hire a company who is bonded and insured. Also, it doesn’t hurt to give them a quick search on Yelp or even FB to see what people are saying about their service.

When scheduling movers it’s important to get everything in writing.

This means the estimated costs, as well as a schedule for their arrival. Especially, if your move falls on a busy day or time of year for moves.

The busiest time of the week is on the weekend so some moving companies in Houston, like 3 Men Movers, provide discounts for moves done during the week.


Yes, this is an option too! You can save a lot money and your back by packing all the boxes yourself and having the movers just load it up and get it to where they need to go safely.


  • Visualize moving day. Think of what you can move and what you’ll need help to handle. Even if you’re doing it yourself, you’ll probably need a moving truck. Go ahead and schedule take care of that now to ensure one’s available when you move out.
  • Adjust your moving budget. Add the cost of movers (or pizza and beer for your friends), packing materials such as boxes and tape, as well as anything you already know you’ll need.
  • Check your I.D. and tags. If you’re moving to Houston, find out when you are required to get a new driver’s license and tags once you move to your new apartment. Here’s a link to the TxDPS.
  • Centralize your important documents and information. We recommend keeping digital copies on your phone or physical copies in a file folder this makes it easier to find them in the moving clutter. Definitely, don’t keep them in your car.
  • Schedule sometime to declutter your apartment before you start packing to avoid wasting time and money packing up items that you’ll never use again, so make 3 piles: trash, cash, donate.
  • Sell or donate things you don’t want, and you can make some money, or improve your Karma at the same time. One of the advantages of living in the 21st century is you can do this all online with apps like
  • Request time off with 1-2 days on either side if you can. This gives you time for all those last-minute challenges, and time to settle in a little bit before returning to the grind.
  • Checkout sites like Culture Map Houston, Paper City Magazine, and Houston Trend Magazine as local FB groups to learn more about the area. If you’re coming from far away, finding new doctors, schools and other professional services would be a good idea.

4 to 5 Weeks Out

This is the time to start updating your contact information with your monthly utilities and verify with them you can transfer services. If you used Rebate Apartment Finder to locate your new place, then you will already know what utilities service the property.

It wouldn’t be a bad idea to shop around to see if there are any specials available to you now that weren’t before especially for electricity and internet.

Don’t forget to cancel any services or memberships you won’t need after your move too. Your new apartment community probably has a lot of amenities on site so you may save a pretty penny by taking advantage of them.

Here’s a list of some common monthly expenses you to update during this time:

  • Apartment property management
  • Bank and credit card companies
  • Insurance companies
  • Utilities: Phone, cable, internet, gas, electric, water, trash
  • Medical providers, to transfer prescriptions and records
  • School Fees

Start collecting all free boxes as you can, purchase extras you might need. Remember to pick up packing paper, strong packing tape, and Sharpies for labeling.

Decide on how to organize your boxes. You can find some amazing ideas on Pinterest here. Knowing what goes where and being able to tell boxes apart will be a life saver during unpacking.

You probably will find some items you no longer need during this time so remember to sell or donate the anything you probably never use.

If you’re moving with pets or kids, now would be a good time to plan where they will be while you move and make sure those opportunities are available.

If it’s been a while get your pet to the vet for their checkup and to get updated copies of their immunization records. Make sure pets have a nametag and if they’re chipped make sure that is in order too.

This is also a good time to start clearing out your fridge and pantry of any frozen foods or can goods you can easily replace later. Remember the more boxes the more expensive the move will be.

2 to 3 Weeks Out

It’s time to start putting things in boxes if you haven’t already. We recommend starting with things you don’t use often and working your way to the stuff you use every day.

Plan your wardrobe for the week of the move and set those clothes aside. This way you have what you need ready in a suitcase or two when you’re finally at your new apartment.


Be mindful when you are putting things in boxes especially if you put this off to the last minute because you don’t want to have to replace a bunch of broken items.

Some things to be extra careful with are:

  • Glassware
  • China
  • Art
  • Mirrors
  • Electronics

Also remember when your preparing your furniture to pad and wrap it well too.

Don’t forget to take some time to live your best life. Moving is stressful so spend some “you” to recharge yourself and keep a level head for the week ahead.

Check your old lease again to make sure there’s no surprises about collecting all of your deposit.

The Week Of

It’s crunch time and aside from finishing packing there are few other things to plan for because there will probably be a million unexpected things come during this time too.

Schedule the walk-through of your current apartment so you get back your security deposit. Also, double check their policies on where you can have the moving truck parked.

Clean as you pack up each room. If you hired a cleaning service, confirm your appointment to make sure everything is ready for the walk-through.

Make sure the important boxes and your luggage are kept separate from the other boxes and furniture.

Confirm all interconnected plans such as child or pet care, utility installations and the moving day schedule.

Withdraw cash for moving day expenses like tipping the movers.

Start changing your address, all the mobile apps that store your contact information like Amazon, Netflix, and Uber Eats.

Moving day

Stage all your boxes and furniture near the door to make the process go by faster. This can even save you some money if you hired movers since it will make the job go faster.

Do your last trash sweep and freshen the air before the walk-through.

Confirm any services you booked for the move and make sure they have the right contact information for you.

When you get to your new place check in at the leasing office to be clear on where to have the truck parked, know what elevator to use, and possibly even get the key for the elevator so the unloading can go as quickly as possible.

This is also the best time to have the property management do a quick walk through and take pictures of the current state of the unit. This may come in handy when it’s time to move out and collect your deposit.

Then if there’s time, unload your car and put everything in a place like the bedroom closet where it will be out of the way.

If you hired movers, then be available to direct them where to put things as they unload and answer any questions they have.

It wouldn’t hurt to show them some Texas hospitality by offering them some water while they work too.

When they finish, make sure to walk them out, collect the elevator key, tip them, and lock up behind them.

Congrats! You’re moved in. All that’s left to do is unpack and get situated.