Maybe you’ve hired a moving company so you can relax while they carry your stuff down five flights of stairs or maybe you’ve shoved everything you own into garbage bags that you piled in your friend’s truck. We’re not judging. Either way, once the actual moving process is over, you’ll be left with an empty place and a big to-do list. Keep reading for some moving tips to make sure you’ve got all your bases covered after moving out (because getting that deposit back feels REALLY good).

Clean it like you own it

On moving day it’s extremely tempting to pack up your stuff and get out as fast as possible. Even if there’s a deposit you’re hoping to get back, when you’ve spent all day moving the money can seem less appealing than calling it a night and waving goodbye to the mess you left behind. If you can, the best solution here is to divide moving into two days and make the second day just for painting, cleaning, and packing up the weird relics you accidentally left behind. If you’ve only got one day to get everything done, enlist in the help of friends and repay them with a housewarming party at your new place.

Forward your mail

The new tenants might appreciate getting your J. Crew catalogs, but you should probably try and avoid a headache by forwarding your mail beginning the day you plan to move out. Fill out official post office forms here, but keep in mind that the USPS only forwards your mail for a year so you’ll have to manually change the mailing address for most magazines and mailing lists.

If you’re feeling extra assertive, now is also a good time to change your address on sites like Trust me, one-click ordering is not as easy when you accidentally send your package to your old address.

Turn off utilities

If the utilities are under your name, make sure they’re shut off when you move so you’re not paying after you’ve left. You can set the date ahead of time by calling or scheduling it online through most companies. Let your property manager know you’ve scheduled the end date so they can be sure to switch it over. They might appreciate the reminder, like in the case of one renter who moved out during winter and had the water shut off.

Unfortunately, the landlord was out of town for the holidays and forgot to switch it on under their name. The pipes froze and then burst, leaving the property with thousands of dollars worth of damage. Although it’s not your legal responsibility as a tenant and any responsible property manager will have it covered already, it’s always nice to remind the landlord if they don’t ask about it.

Prepare for a walkthrough

Many rental properties are going to require a final walk-through before they give you back your deposit. Before this happens, find a copy of the forms you filled out when you moved in that note all the prior problems and damage. If you and your landlord used Rentler, these forms will be readily available. Plus, you can go through any archived online maintenance requests to make sure that the damages were documented.

Once the walk-through is finished, get it in writing. This is crucial to make sure that when you get your security deposit return back, the amount is what you expected. Finally, figure out your state’s laws regarding security check interest. Did you know that in some states you’re entitled to get back whatever interest was earned while your security deposit was in the bank? This will vary based on your contract agreements and where you live, but doing some research beforehand could pay off.

Any questions? Let us know and we’ll do our best to answer them. If you also want to share some epic move-out stories we wouldn’t be opposed to that.

Amanda Mears
Amanda has worked as a journalist, an SEO copywriter, and a social media specialist. Her aim as a Four Walls contributor is to provide something worth reading and create a community for people who lease and love it. She’s also a real person, not just a mysterious internet writer, who loves silversmithing, podcast-binging, and trying to figure out how to fix her rented apartment’s bad linoleum floor (see, just like you!)