Whether it’s your first place on your own or the latest in a series of homes, moving apartments is an exciting time in anyone’s life. 

You can start anew with a fresh trove of local eateries, outdoor activities, cultural amenities, and—of course—new digs with plenty of opportunities for decorating, hosting, and lounging on your couch for a weekend of binge-watching.

That said, if you don’t know how to start your move, all you need is a dash of preparation (including a good personal storage option), a sprinkle of organization, and a moving-to-a-new-apartment checklist that ticks all the boxes. In this guide, we’ll include the ultimate first apartment checklist and outline the ideal moving timeline to complete each of your to-do’s. If you’re moving out of state, be sure to review our moving to another state checklist. If you’re curious about a checklist in regard to moving to a new house, we also have resources to help you feel prepared when making that upgrade.

6 to 8 Weeks Before You Move

It’s a good idea to prepare for your move several weeks before the big day. In most cases, you’ll need more than a month to adequately prepare for your move. That means savvy movers start preparing six to eight weeks before moving day.

These weeks are crucial when it comes to scheduling and planning your haul. Use this time to decide whether you’ll be hiring movers to help with your move. If so, be sure to give yourself enough time to choose a loyal moving company. If you’re moving a long distance, such as to a different state, these weeks are crucial to an organized moving process. Read up on our checklist for moving to a different state to make it less stressful when moving across state lines.

During these initial stages, you should also: 

  • Schedule a rental moving truck, if necessary
  • Book a self-storage unit, if necessary
  • Finalize your move date with your current and new landlords
  • Apply for and obtain local permits and parking permissions, if necessary 

4 to 5 Weeks Before You Move

With only about a month to go before your move, it’s time to begin gathering supplies to streamline move-out day. You’ll need boxes, tape, and protective padding like bubble wrap or packing peanuts to protect your fragile belongings.1 You may also need moving pads to protect the floors and walls in your new and old apartments, among other supplies. 

Now is also a good time to : 

  • Start packing your nonessential belongings 
  • Cancel, transfer, and/or start utility services 
  • Begin the process of changing your address 

2 to 3 Weeks Before You Move

As your move draws closer, it’s time to ramp up your efforts. 

If you’re following this moving to a new apartment checklist, by now, you’ve already started packing up your personal belongings that don’t serve everyday purposes, such as decor, books, and artwork. 

Now, it’s time to kick your packing into overdrive. Start packing anything you won’t need in the next few weeks, including: 

  • Non-essential clothes
  • Kitchen items and appliances
  • Blankets and linens
  • Jewelry
  • Beauty supplies

Additionally, take advantage of these final weeks to make final decisions about what will go with you to your new apartment and what you’ll store in a self-storage unit

If you’re moving to a smaller apartment complex, you may want to consider placing extra furniture, clothing, or decorative items in storage. Think of it as your own personal shop that you can frequent to redesign your new space whenever the desire arises. 

1 Week Before You Move

With one week to go, your move is closer than ever. And it goes without saying that this final push is one of the busiest weeks of the process. Fortunately, if you’ve followed this moving to a new apartment checklist to a T, you’ll have very little to worry about. 

That said, here’s what you’ll need to check off days before your move:

  • Organize and pack your apartment essentials – These are the items you’re going to need first when you’re settling into your new place, such as cleaning supplies, tools, towels, essential clothing, kitchen supplies, and hygiene necessities. Pack them last and keep them handy. 
  • Schedule a walk-through of your current apartment – Now’s the time for you and your landlord to look at the apartment you’re leaving together. This is usually a crucial step to getting your security deposit back.2 If you’ve drilled holes in your wall, you can quickly fill them with spackle and a layer of paint. 
  • Confirm utilities – Reach out to the companies that provide utility services at your new location to make sure everything’s ready to go when you arrive. You may also want to set up autopay with these companies as well as your landlord for rent payments.

This week is also a good time to make sure you have cash on hand for tipping your movers if you’ve hired a company. If you’ve planned for childcare on the big day or booked a self-storage unit for the belongings you aren’t taking with you, now’s a good time to double-check those arrangements before you make your move. 

Moving Day Checklist 

If you’ve gotten this far on your moving to a new apartment checklist, congratulations! You’ve made it to your new home. And if you’ve followed every step, you’re more than ready to tackle the challenge that’s before you—and successfully navigate any surprises it throws your way.

On moving day, you’ll want to:

  • Do a final clean-up of your old apartment
  • Return any old keys or access passes
  • Confirm your new address with your moving company
  • Pack up any essentials you kept out of storage, such as your clothing or hygiene items
  • Bring along scissors and tools to assist with unpacking
  • Tip your movers after a job well done

Once all is said and done, and you’ve executed the perfect move, only three tasks remain:

  • Kick back
  • Relax
  • Enjoy your new apartment 

Price Self Storage: For Peace of Mind 

Once you’ve checked everything off your moving to-do list, there’s only one thing left to do: book a self-storage unit with Price Self Storage.

Price Self Storage provides reliable self-storage units sized to accommodate all of your storage needs in Northern and Southern California. And when you need a little extra help, we have resources for planning and pulling off a stress-free move—and making your new place feel like home when you get there.  

When you book online, your first month’s rent is free*. Choose Price Self Storage for a storage solution that makes your move a breeze.


  1. My Move. The Complete List of Moving Supplies. https://www.mymove.com/moving-checklists/moving-supply-checklist/
  2. Allstate. Apartment Walkthrough Checklist: 6-Step Guide. https://www.allstate.com/resources/renters-insurance/the-apartment-walkthrough-checklist