10-Step Guide for a Pain-Free DIY Apartment Move

So you’ve decided to take your apartment move head-on and do it yourself, rather than hiring movers. The good news is, DIY apartment moving is typically easier than moving a full house on your own. There are also things to keep in mind with moving an apartment that will differ from a house move. Here is your step-by-step guide on the most efficient way to move your apartment.

  1. Pre-move preparation

The sooner you start preparing for your move the better, we suggest 1 month out. Some initial steps include collecting boxes, switching your USPS address/cable/internet, decluttering, organizing, and getting rid of stuff.

  1. Start packing

Start packing at least 10 days prior to move out day. Be sure to pack like items together and label each box in detail. Use the right box for the right stuff. Typically you want to pack small and heavy items (more dense items such as books, paper weights, etc.) into small boxes. Large, bulky items such as bedding and coats should go into large boxes. Dishes should go into dish boxes to provide more protection. If it will fit into a box, put it into one. This will make moving go much faster by consolidating items and reducing trips onto and off the truck.

  1. Leave out the essentials

Make sure to have a personal bag for all of your essentials – toiletries, medication, etc. Also be sure to leave some cleaning supplies unpacked. Bonus tip – keep a couple rolls of toilet paper out. You will thank yourself and the people moving in will thank you too.

  1. Enlist help

Enlist family and friends for help and let them know well in advance about your move. The more people the better. Just be willing to return the favor at a later date.

  1. Order the right truck

When renting your moving truck, be sure to get one big enough. It will make loading much easier and ensure that you do not have to take multiple trips.

  1. Park close

Park as close as you can to the entry door. Street parking at apartment buildings can be tricky, especially in larger cities. Here’s a bonus tip – if parking in a no parking spot means a faster move, go for it. It is very rare that you will get towed or even ticketed as long as you have a moving truck.

  1. Delegate work

Now that you have everything packed, the truck, and a moving crew, have a quick pow wow and delegate tasks based on skills. Assign someone to load the truck. Someone to station items next to the elevator, someone to unload the elevator, etc.

  1. Do a walk through

Once the truck is positioned and work is delegated, do a walk from the truck to the apartment. Analyze the shortest route, best doorways to go though, etc. Make sure you prop open doorways and clear the path as much as possible.

  1. Wheels are your friend

“Work smarter not harder” could not be truer with moving. Use a moving dolly any time you are moving boxes. It is well worth the $10 add-on to rent the dolly, trust us.

  1. Elevators are your friend too

If you have an elevator, use it. Also be sure to load the elevator fully before sending it down. Station items next to the elevator, have an “elevator runner” and have someone to unload the elevator (remember, delegation!)

Bottom Line

Moving your apartment is no easy undertaking. You may have many stairs to navigate or a long way to carry the items. By preparing well in advance and enlisting the right people and tools, you can have a pain-free apartment move – for nothing more than the price of a rental truck.

About the Author

Kevin is a blogger for Move Honcho, an online moving resource company. As a former mover in Iowa City throughout college, he brings his experience to a wide audience to help simplify their move.

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