CategoriesRental Property

Moving In – A Checklist for Tenants

Moving into a new house is stressful–since moving in to a new place means moving out of an old one, it’s hard to keep track of what you’re supposed to be doing and where. It’s easier if you can separate your tasks into pre-move and post-move blocks, and make a checklist for each so you’ll have electricity and internet when your moving truck rolls up to the new house.

After you’ve signed the lease and paid the security deposit to ensure the house is yours, expect your landlord or property management company to work with you in preparing for your move in day. This encompasses everything from recommending movers to confirming the HVAC and water heater are in good working order, but refer to this cheat sheet to help you stay focused on your move without undue freaking out.

How Are You Moving?

  • First, determine how you’ll move. If this is your first house out of college, chances are good you don’t have a lot of stuff and you can handle things with a couple of buddies and a U-Haul trailer. On the other hand, if you’re relocating to Memphis and bringing the family, professional help is in order. Know your moving budget, and plan around that number–if you can afford a full-service move, or if you’ll need to rent a truck and drive yourself, or anything in between.
  • Allow yourself plenty of time to pack up, and get everything out of your old apartment. Landlords want your old living space to be “broom clean” when you leave–that means vacuum, take out the trash, clean out the fridge, and tidy the kitchen and bathrooms.


  • Schedule utilities to be put in your name. Power, internet, gas, telephone (if you have a landline) and water all need to be done prior to move-in, and some require several days to set up a new account if you’re not just transferring service.
  • Notify the Post Office of your new address–you can do this online at
  • Notify your auto insurance carrier and the DMV of your move, and get a new driver’s license with your new address.
  • Transfer renter’s insurance. If you’ve never rented, contact your insurance agent (or your parents, if you’ve never bought insurance) to buy a policy.
  • Get information on trash and recycling pick up, and find out if you can schedule a bulky-item pick up for your moving boxes.
  • If you get the keys before moving day, go ahead and clean the house so it’s spick and span for you. While broom-clean seems perfectly fine when you’re leaving, most people want a deep clean upon arrival.
  • Walk through the house with your landlord when you get the keys, and take photos and notes of any damages. This means scratches on the walls, dirty appliances, broken windows or doors, or any cosmetic or structural damage that needs to be repaired. If you were promised the grass would be cut, make a note. Documenting damage upon move-in will help you get your security deposit back when you move out.

Move-In Day

  • Plan to get to the new house before the movers, and figure out the best place to park, and the best way into the house–avoid stairs and tight turns as much as possible. Put down some sort of floor covering to protect carpet from dirty boots and wear and tear–wherever you got your packing supplies will have heavy duty paper to lay down.
  • Turn down the heat, or turn on the AC. You’ll get hot.
  • Check that promised repairs are complete; if not, document via photos.
  • Surely you labeled your boxes? Now you know which rooms to put them in. Nobody wants to find their unmentionables in the pantry, or the grill tools in the bathroom.
  • Tip your movers. If you used professionals cash is preferred; if your fraternity brothers helped out they might prefer pizza and beer.

Since 2006, Reedy and Company has provided comprehensive services to support tenants and property owners in greater Memphis, and surrounding areas of Arkansas and Mississippi. Contact us today to learn more!