Erin Doman on January 18, 2016 0 Comments Moving into a new apartment can be an exciting new beginning in your life, but leaving your old home can be a hassle if you don’t have everything in order. If you’re in the process of switching addresses, keep these tips in mind to ensure as smooth a process as possible. 1. Inform the Landlord First thing’s first: You have to inform your landlord of your intent to move out. If you haven’t already done so, be sure to do it as soon as possible–and make sure it’s in writing. Your lease should include specific instructions regarding how much notice you have to give. Check it far in advance to ensure you don’t miss the deadline. 2. Create a Checklist Start by creating a checklist for all tasks that don’t involve cleaning. Include items such as changing your address at the post office and with your bank, scheduling your utilities to switch to your new address and, if you are using them, scheduling with a moving company. Spend a few cents to purchase a folder and keep your checklist in it, along with important items and documents such as your old apartment’s inspection checklist and your new apartment’s lease. If you don’t have an inspection checklist for your old apartment, ask your landlord for one. This ensures you don’t miss anything and get your full deposit back. Once you have all non-cleaning items in order, it’s time to create the cleaning portion of your list. Theses are typically the main areas that you need to tackle: Bathroom Kitchen Living Room Bedroom(s) Windows Yard 3. Begin in the Bathroom Typically, the bathroom and kitchen will need the most work because these are the rooms that tend to get the messiest. In the bathroom, you can begin by packing up everything you won’t need before the move. You’ll probably want to leave out the necessities, like a toothbrush and toothpaste, shampoo and conditioner, hand soap, etc. Be diligent about this to avoid more work further down the line. Pack up everything you can live without until you are officially moved into your new place. If you haven’t used a certain lotion or body wash in a while, go ahead and pack it up. If you suspect you’ll never use it again, just toss it. By getting rid of needless items as you come across them, you will ensure that you have less to unpack at the new place. Once you have everything packed, ensure you remove any liners, dust, hair and other debris from the cabinets and drawers. Bleach the sink, shower and toilet to be sure that they are perfectly sanitized and unstained. Wipe down any mirrors, but be careful to avoid leaving streaks. Next, wipe down walls, cabinets and doors. Clean out all of the drains so no water gets stuck in the pipes for the next occupant of your apartment. Finally, sweep and mop, using a sponge or cloth to get deep into the corners if your mop won’t reach them. 4. Move to the Kitchen In the kitchen, the steps will be nearly the same–it’s only the appliances that will be different. Before you get to those, pack up any dishes, non-perishable food items and small appliances you won’t be using before your move. If you have perishable food items you won’t be eating soon enough, donate them, move them to the new apartment if you already have a key or simply toss them if necessary. As for the cleaning, go ahead and tackle the stove, refrigerator and oven, removing any shelves and drawers to clean them separately if necessary. Use warm, soapy water in the refrigerator to get rid of any food odors. Don’t forget about cleaning the dishwasher, if you have one to clean. After that, clean the sink, wipe down drawers, cabinets and walls, and sweep and mop the floor. Don’t forget to get behind the appliances. 5. The Living Room and Bedroom Once you move everything out of these rooms, vacuum the carpet. If you notice any stains, either rent a carpet cleaner or have someone clean them professionally. Some apartment complexes will require you to hire a professional for this part of the cleaning and moving process, so make sure you know what your landlord expects of you and be prepared to offer proof. Wipe the walls clean of hand prints and other smudges and repaint areas that require a fresh coat. Don’t forget about the light fixtures and ceiling fans–these areas tend to collect a lot of dust. If any lights have burnt out or your smoke detector or alarm system are low on power, be sure to change the old bulbs and batteries. 6. Wash the Windows Sometime during your move, be sure to pay attention to the windows. Windows are easy to forget to address during a move. Not only should you clean the glass, but be sure you take the time to clean the sills and remove any dirt and cobwebs. Just like with the mirrors, use one motion on the windows to avoid streaks. If you have a screen door with glass on it, don’t forget to wash it, too. 7. Consider Your Outdoor Space In most cases, you won’t have much outdoor space to worry about in an apartment setting, but take a look around anyway. Remove any welcome mats you have and pick up any stray trash, even if it isn’t yours. Keep your porch or balcony swept and remove all furniture, plants, or whatever else you might accidentally leave out there. 8. Final Walkthrough On your final walkthrough, pay close attention to vents, corners of the rooms and the walls. If you notice dust on vents or in corners of the rooms, clean them again. When checking the walls, look for any small holes, nails you forgot to pull or other scuff marks. If you find any, fill in the holes with putty and repair the scuffs with a small amount of paint. Go through closets, drawers and cabinets one last time to make sure you packed everything. 9. Have the Landlord Do Your Inspection Once you believe the apartment is as clean as it was when you moved in, the next step is to have your landlord inspect it. You should stay with him or her during the process to ensure both parties are satisfied with the outcome. Get the results of the inspection in writing and add it to your folder. Don’t forget to find out exactly how much of your deposit you’re getting back and when and how it will be returned. If the landlord is keeping any of the money, find out why and ensure it is part of the written information. Be sure he or she checks all faucets and appliances and notes their working condition in the report. Again, when the inspection has been completed, make sure you get a copy of your landlord’s notes for your own records — you never know if you will need that information again. Hopefully your landlord is an upstanding person, but in rare cases a landlord can try to claim appliances weren’t working when you moved. Noting they work in the report will prevent this from being a future problem. 10. Take Pictures of Your New Apartment Before getting too settled in your new place, there are a couple of preparations you should complete. Among other things, it is important to thoroughly search your new place for any damages. Be sure to take pictures of the condition of your new apartment. If there are tears in blinds, malfunctioning appliances, broken wall sockets or any other issues–even minor ones–be sure to document them. This way, when it comes time to move again, you will have proof of the condition so your landlord can’t claim you damaged something that was already damaged to begin with. Every move is different, but this list of tips will help you get started on the right path, and you can always tweak it according to your specific needs. With the help of your organized checklist, the moving process can be a breeze.