There are plenty of reasons why you might be moving to a new apartment or condo, and all of them come with certain stresses. You might be downsizing. You might be upsizing, choosing an apartment that has more amenities or is closer to work. There’s a lot going on with you right now, no matter what your circumstances are.

Eager Beavers has seen a lot of apartment moves turn more complex than they have to be. That’s why we’ve taken the time to compile this list of moving tips. We want your move to go as smoothly and as effortlessly as possible so that you can get on with enjoying your new place.

Get to know your new apartment or condo before you commit to it

No two apartments are alike. There can be vast differences in size, storage space availability, rules, and regulations. A good move starts during the apartment or condo selection process.

Measure your furniture. Then measure each room as you look at your apartment or condo. Grab some graph paper and make floor-plan layouts before committing a single dollar to an application fee. Will your new apartment be too cramped with your old things? Will you need to buy new things to fill up the increased space? Will the movers have trouble getting your couch where it needs to be?

Lifestyle issues are another factor. That larger kitchen may be short one dishwasher. That duplex may look cool with its hardwood floors, but it might have older electrical wiring and a broke landlord who isn’t willing to shell out for repairs. Make sure you look for hidden pitfalls!

You also need to know about legal issues. For example, renting a condo looks like renting an apartment, but they aren’t the same. A condo comes with a Home Owner’s Association, and that means a lot of extra rules and regulations you’ll have to follow—rules you won’t have a say in, because you’re not an owner. You also need to make sure you trust the owner to keep paying his mortgage and HOA fees—otherwise you might find yourself right in the middle of a foreclosure proceeding through no fault of your own.

Understanding the differences in the way things work in your new home is the key to a long, successful tenancy—one where you don’t have to do this whole “moving thing” again for some time.

Realize you have more stuff than you think you do

We have met a lot of frustrated renters who ran into problems because they simply didn’t realize how much they truly owned. They assumed they could pack up the whole place in a weekend. Many of them wound up frantically shoving items into boxes hours before the moving crew was scheduled to arrive.

Your possessions may seem paltry when compared to your homeowner friends, but packing is always a big job. Start early, or take advantage of our professional packing services. After all, packing isn’t your only responsibility right now, and it might be wise to let someone else take on the work.

Don’t let distance determine packing habits

You’re transferring to a new unit within the same apartment complex, so you don’t really need to pack boxes, right?

Wrong. You’ll make a ton of extra work for yourself by adopting this mentality, even if you’re simply moving across the parking lot. You’ll be dragging odds and ends around all night if you think this way.

This warning holds for people who are moving fifteen minutes down the street in the same city, too. We’ve come into houses where people have left all sorts of stuff unboxed. We can only take the furniture and the boxed stuff—and so they end up ferrying carload after carload of miscellaneous items over to their new place.

We can only imagine what loading, unloading, and sorting through this mess did for their stress levels. It probably wasn’t pretty.

Moving is moving. Take the time to pack your boxes, pack them correctly, and get them moved by a professional. You might feel a little silly if the move is very short, but you’ll thank yourself once your move goes smoothly.

Don’t rely on your friends

Many renters resist calling movers because—again—they just don’t think they have that much to move. They figure all of it will fit into a pick-up truck, and that they’ll get it all hauled and put away with the help of a few good friends.

Your stuff might fit into a pick-up truck, but that doesn’t mean your friends are going to be particularly happy with you for asking them to haul it. They might do it, because they love you, but you’ll owe them for a long time. You’ll also put yourself in a bad position because moving is dangerous. You’re asking people to haul heavy items around. You may be asking them to climb up and down stairs with those heavy items.

Professional movers know how to avoid injury. We’ve been trained in this kind of work. We get paid to take these kinds of risks.

Pizza and beer is not enough to compensate someone for a broken leg or a herniated disc. These things happen all the time when friends and family members try to help renters move.

A professional move is better for your stuff, too. Do you really trust Uncle Vernon to know how to keep your TV safe in the back of that DIY van?

Get the keys before moving day

Professional movers are paid by the hour. Leasing offices always take longer than you think they will to go through all of the move-in paperwork, especially if other customers come in to view an apartment or sign their own leases.

You don’t want to be in the position of having to pay movers to sit around and wait, idling in the parking lot while you get keys. Yes, you’ll pay an extra day of pro-rated rent before you actually live in your new home, but you won’t have to wonder if you’ll be able to let the movers in on time.

You also get time and breathing room to go through the check-in process; taking photos of the apartment’s condition, and going through the move-in damage checklist. You’ll have time to take care of an end-of-tenancy cleaning and a walkthrough with old landlord on that day too, instead of running out to the new place right away because you’re trying to beat the movers. It’s tempting to skimp on all of these items when moving chaos is going on all around you, and that can complicate your rental history later on.

As a bonus, you won’t have to be nervous about keeping up with a huge certified check on moving day. You can place it into your new landlord’s hands and scratch that item off of your list.

Book elevators if you have the option to do so

Some apartment complexes do have elevators. If they do, make sure you reach out to your landlord and get them booked so we can use them on moving day, especially if you’re up three flights of stairs or more. This can really save a lot of time, money, and headaches.

Are you ready to enjoy a smooth move?

Call 780-434-1100 today to discuss your upcoming apartment or condo move.