Guide to Moving Out of Your Apartment

Now that you’ve procured an awesome new studio on the Westside, there’s another aspect to getting a new place. Moving out of your apartment doesn’t just consist of renting a van and throwing shit in the back of your truck. You have to be organized and methodical about the entire process, from dealing with your landlords, calculating truck size and space to save money, to packing things carefully so you don’t smash your microwave when you unload. And because Mum’s not always going to be there to help organize and label everything, we’ll try to fill in the gaps with these tips.

Dealing with landlords

Beware! They are the lords of the land. The last thing you want to do is end up on Judge Judy countersuing a landlord over a few grand. Be as transparent and easy as possible. Breaking leases or moving out on short notice is a headache for them, especially when they have only a few days to get it up on craigslist, start showing the apartment, and finally signing another deal with another bonehead like you. It’s a vicious cycle. So if you approach them with some gratitude and lightness, you’ll get a lot farther. My old man always says,

You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.

…Or something like that. What he means is that, it’s easier to get what you want by flattering people and being polite to them than by making demands and being a prick. They deal with that on a daily basis; throw a wrench in their day, but for the better. I’m not saying be a pushover and lay down, but there are ways to get what you want than don’t involve losing your head. Here are some things you can avoid when moving out.

Remember to turn off all utilities

Remember the process it took just to get water, gas, and cable set up in your 40 x 40 sqft studio? Yeah, you have to do it again. Make sure you hop online and discontinue auto-pay and find out when Time Warner (or whoever) will come to get their equipment. You don’t want to be paying for power you don’t use Oh, also don’t forget to redirect your mail, I’m probably certain the new tenant won’t want your monthly subscription to Sluts magazine.

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Planning the move

Where are you going and what are you taking? Sometimes if you move into a smaller place, your skis that you used once in college are going to have to go. Can you ditch some stuff and get your buddies pick-up truck or does this job require a Uhaul? Let’s face it, it probably requires a Uhaul because you have so much shit that has sentimental value you just can’t let it go. Whoever thought having regular people self-pack and transport their belongings is a good idea is a real fucker. The only rooms I packed and unpacked were my college dorms, and even then I packed my clothes in trash bags, and threw shit underneath the bed or out the window if I didn’t know what to do with it.

So making a reservation at Uhaul requires some inquiry and patience. See, the $19.99 price on the side of the truck really doesn’t mean much because you’re going to have to pay a lot more than $19.99. That just covers the rental of the truck, it costs to drive the sucker too. It’s upwards of 89 cents/mile, so make sure you calculate your mileage and if you want to add any hazard insurance or some furniture cloth that eerily reminds me of what the smallpox blankets white settlers gave to Native Americans might have looked like, that’ll be a bit extra, partner. C’mon, that was funny.

Calculate how much truck space you need because You don’t want to pay for more space than you want. Start eyeing your furniture to see how things might fit together. Grab a tape measure and start measuring the width of things. A 10ft uhaul will usually fit a studio apartment. But if you have a buddy who will do this for you, that works too.

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Pro-tip: don’t forget to buy a padlock. The trucks don’t have locks, you need your own if you want to leave it overnight. I don’t know about you, but I’m more afraid of finding a homeless guy in there than getting my stuff stolen.

Box it up, carefully

For a one bedroom you’ll probably need about 5 or six medium size boxes. It’s important you also bring a Sharpie to label each box before you pack it. It’s hard to draw on the side when it’s already packed. If you need help, here’s a video on how to make a strong and sturdy box.

Move from one side of the room to the other in one fell swoop; don’t jump around. Each space should have it’s own box. Keep a trashcan in the middle of the room to throw away junk you don’t need. This time can also double as spring cleaning. If you have artwork that you’re awesome friend Sadie made you, be sure to wrap it in a t-shirt and even some bubble wrap. The idea is to make sure you know where you put everything! You know what’s worse that packing? Unpacking. No I just made that up; they both suck.

Remember to not pack all of your cleaning supplies. You will need a swiffer, a vacuum, 409, paper towels, a duster.

Grab a buddy and be grateful

Carrying a bed is hard. It’s one of those appliances that are literally only good for what they are designed to do. You at least need your strong neighbor to help you. Make sure you give them all the information about where to be at what time and don’t forget to compensate them for helping you. It’s not fun getting up early on your day off to lift some heavy shit in the sun. Offer to buy them lunch or a 6 pack; it doesn’t hurt if you’re cute. It also doesn’t hurt if you have another friend on-call as back-up in case the first guy get’s sick or can’t make it.

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Concurrently, communication about your moving out date needs to be addressed with your landlord. If you’re subleasing, make sure they know what’s going on with the contracts and cash flow. That’s all anybody ever cares about; the name of the game is to not get fu*ked. Talk to them about where to leave the final check and keys and how you will receive your security deposit back.

Clean clean clean

Now that everything is packed and in the truck, it’s time to clean that thing like if Dexter and Monk had a baby (serial killer/OCD spotless). The apartment should look exactly how you found it. Part of that security deposit goes to cleaning the place for the next tenant, spend an hour making that thing look great and it’ll pay off. Dust all the windows, blinds, and high surfaces, clean the sink and countertops, vacuum everything even the ceilings and closets, then sweep, then swiffer (wet kind) all the floors, and as any good college kid knows, soak that place in Febreeze.

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You’re done!

Make sure you have somebody to receive you on the other end and help you unload. Return the truck with the same amount of gas you started with, or they’ll charge you.

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