Blog October 7, 2021

What You Should Do Before Moving From a House to an Apartment

Posted in Moving 101
Gemma Collins

Gemma is an NJ local that has explored all the US states, making her the perfect person to write about moving.

Changing environments by moving from a house to an apartment can be an excellent way to make a difference in your life. It doesn’t have to be a move to another country or an expensive trip – living in a building could be enough. Here’s what to do before relocation day so that the new life can start without a hitch.

Before Moving From House to Apartment, Find a Place that Suits Your Basic Needs

Relocating to a residential building from a single-family home will often mean downsizing. Even if you have a large family, it’s possible to settle into a condo and make it work. If you are a mother of three, think of all the reduced space you’ll have for cleaning up – no more taking the whole day off to do a deep clean of all the bathrooms and hallways.

Learning how to downsize from house to apartment starts the moment you call a real estate agent to help you find a place. Getting tips from an expert might help reduce your anxiety about moving interstate and increase the chances of having a stress-free relocation.

Scour the Marketplace for an Apartment That’s Up to Your Needs

Downsizing from a house to an apartment will help you define your needs. There are options to get as many bedrooms as you wish, but consider if you really need them. Maybe you’ll enjoy having fewer rooms but more options to turn every bit of space into something useful. It could be cramped at first, but as with everything, you’ll get used to it.

Since you are looking into the option of relocating to a condo, your reasons to move are likely already defined. Maybe you just need a slight nudge of encouragement to start searching for possibilities. When you find the place you like, try to meet the new neighbors right away to see if it’ll work or if you should look elsewhere.

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Check That You Don’t Accidentally Rent a “No Pets Allowed” Space

Of course, the most important part about relocating to a building is to check the amenities and if relocating with pets is allowed. Your furry friends need care and attention during the move as much as anyone. Start by immediately searching for apartments where they allow keeping pets to eliminate the possibility of an awkward encounter with a landlord later.

Because saying bye to friends of the furry kind is out of the question, ensure the place you find accommodates them, too.

an empty apartment with hardwood floors and white walls
Is living in an apartment better than a house? If you're diligent about finding the one that works, then it's definitely better

Measure the Furniture and Rooms for an Easier Transfer and to Save Space

If you wonder, “how do I move my house into an apartment”, consider if relocating the entire place is the right course of action. It’s alright to plan out how to move your furniture, but it may not be that easy to move your pool table together with all of that. This is a step you might miss if relocating for the first time. Relocation wakes up feelings of excitement and confusion at once because you are eager to start but probably not sure where.

To cover all your bases, the first step should be measuring doorways, rooms, and the furniture you wish to bring. Movers offer furniture assembling and disassembling as part of their packing services, taking care of the more complicated aspects of the furniture shifting process. Measuring it helps with prioritizing what to pack and what to leave behind.

The act of measuring doorways and room dimensions is purely for practical purposes – can the couch be carried out of the room if it’s wider than the door frame? Is it too large for your new living room at the condo? Don’t get stuck with things that are too bulky if they’re just going to get replaced.

How to Downsize When Moving from a House to an Apartment – Use Multipurpose Furniture

Downsizing is the cheapest way to move out of state. It means fewer items to pack and carry and makes you happier knowing you can still move out of state on a budget. As a bonus, interstate relocation services are charged according to a household inventory list. Obviously, a smaller list of items means lower costs of relocating.

Something pretty trendy and immensely useful are multipurpose or multifunctional furniture pieces. A foldable desk that’s attached to the wall, a Murphy bed, or one that has storage drawers in its frame – the list is endless. Places like IKEA have this kind of furniture since their designers typically consider small apartments when creating it. If you don’t care for IKEA, look for locally-owned furniture stores like it that could make it worth your while.

Something is exciting about finding functional storage items that double as key furniture in your home. The video below shows twelve of those kinds of things, and they’re all pretty cool ideas for a downsizing adventure.

Decluttering – Save Money by Taking Extra Items Out of the Way

Another word for downsizing is decluttering. When we say decluttering, we mean getting rid of everything unnecessary in your home, from smaller decorations to extra shirts in the closet and the grandfather clock in the corner left from the previous homeowners. This process is good to do, whether it’s a last-minute relocation, a long-planned one, or just any Sunday when you have a bit of time to reorganize.

We already mentioned that the cost of interstate moving reduces with less stuff packed, but saving money isn’t the only benefit of throwing out everything you don’t require anymore. With every relocation, the process of decluttering should be a priority. Train yourself not to get attached to many things because it’ll be more challenging to get rid of them later.

An interesting approach to tidying up is the Konmari method, created by the lifestyle guru Marie Kondo. She approaches packing and cleaning out stuff from a somewhat emotional perspective. Take an item and hold it for a moment. If you feel positive about it, it should stay; if you don’t, there’s no reason to keep it. This method may cause the packing to take a while, but it helps deal with guilt after throwing things out.

a room full of boxes ready for interstate moving
Ensure you only bring essentials that impact your lifestyle in the best way possible

Check With the Landlord If Utilities Are Readily Available

Something you’re not used to in a single-family home is worrying if you’ll have utilities at the end of each month. At the time you moved in, you registered the new address and simply paid your bills every four weeks. Relocating to apartments is a bit different. Something to add to the checklist for moving state to state is discussing utility payments and plans with the landlord.

Rent Depends on Utilities and Amenities

Higher rents are usually a sign that the landlord is taking responsibility for the utilities. Here are the benefits of having the utilities in their name:

  • Landlords respond to tenants’ calls about broken or dysfunctional utilities, so you don’t have to pretend to be a handy person,
  • They pay the monthly bills (but reserve the right to ask for more rent money,)
  • You don’t have to worry about setting up power and water when you arrive,
  • You save them and yourself the trouble of trying to transfer utilities (which is almost impossible.)

The benefits of having utilities in your name are:

  • Keeping tabs on the expenditure of utilities,
  • Deciding for yourself which amenities to sign up for,
  • Being fully responsible for all changes and repairs in your condo.

If you’re relocating to another state alone, choosing to be in charge of utilities could be the best course of action. You alone are likely to use up less electricity, gas, or water, so you will have all the responsibilities in a new, smaller home. That is unless you’re awful at being responsible and keeping tabs. In that case, search for apartments where landlords pay all the utility bills. We think both options are good. You should learn what works best for you.

Change Your Address While You’re At It

Organize your move in such a way that everyone in the family envies your planning skills. A way to achieve this is by adding an address and voter registration change to the list of relocation essentials.

These things are often forgotten and overlooked by people leaving home, but they’re vital parts of the process. They’re things you can’t really see; they don’t occupy any space except in our heads, and as humans, we tend to forget stuff like that. Writing it down in a list will be helpful.

Even if you are relocating for love to a partner’s home, you must register an address change. Someone who receives your mail may throw it out, even though that’s illegal in the United States. Additionally, bills and anything else you receive in the mail won’t be delivered to you, but unpaid monthly obligations could cause even more problems.

a woman browsing documents before moving interstate
Should I move from a house to an apartment? Absolutely. Just ensure you have all the utilities you need and change your address

Check If Your State-to-State Movers Can Pull Up to the Building

When movers pack a relocation truck and load your car onto a carrier for interstate car shipping, you have to tell the company if door-to-door delivery is available. They will likely provide terminal delivery options for the vehicle, but for the relocation truck, it all depends on zoning laws.

For example, in New York City, commercial vehicles are prohibited from parking in city streets unless they’re altered according to the law aimed at controlling traffic. There are signs there saying “No Standing Except Trucks Loading and Unloading,” and these zones allow for commercial vehicles to park there for the purpose of delivery. This is something you should check with either the landlord or the local office before heading out.

If you realize your building is in a non-park zone after you’ve already packed everything, try taking a few trips back and forth to the next possible location of delivery, or bring some stuff with you. You can also use the state-to-state movers’ storage service to keep things you don’t immediately need there.

a truck full of items parked in a busy street in the rain
Check the zoning laws in your residential area, so you don't have any unpleasant surprises when you arrive

When You Downsize, Life Will Feel More Efficient and Easier

Getting hit with depression after relocating is tough, but you should expect it to last no longer than a few weeks while the adjustment period lasts. Everything you do during that time will help you answer the dilemma of “how do I adjust to apartment living” because you’ll be learning more about yourself in a new environment.

Checking and double-checking everything necessary to do before and after relocating could be of great help when it comes to easing stress and anxiety. This is why we recommend and expect you to try organizing the move, and your thoughts alike, as much as possible. Don’t worry too much, though. You’ll be fine no matter what since you’ve done something exciting and fresh to spice up your life.

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