Chicago Guide for Moving Out of an Apartment

April 29th, 2019
By Brandon Boyewsky

Follow our tips to have the best chances of getting your deposit back.

The spring and summer seasons are typically considered moving seasons in The Windy City. That means moving trucks will soon be lining the alleyways as some people leave their apartment while others move in.

If you’re planning to move out of your Chicago apartment, we have a few tips to help make your move a smooth and efficient one.

Should I hire a mover to move out of my Chicago apartment? Or, should I do it myself?

That’s the million dollar question for some people. It’s highly dependent on the size of your budget and what you have to move. You’ll also want to consider whether or not you’ll be able to have friends or family help you move if you do it yourself. No doubt, it’s cheaper if you move out of your apartment on your own, without the expense of hiring a moving company. But, if you have a lot of breakables or expensive items and you’re not an experienced mover, you may want to consider hiring help. If you hire a licensed moving company, at least you’re covered if anything expensive breaks. Once you analyze all these factors, you’ll be able to better determine which way to go.

What’s the best way to pack?

Before we talk packing, let’s talk decluttering. We all have heaps of stuff laying around that we just don’t use or need. As you go through each room and pack, you may want to designate a few boxes for unwanted items. You can either donate them or have a yard sale and earn a few extra bucks. That’ll leave you with less to pack and less to move. Now, about packing. The best advice we can give in that regard is to avoid waiting until the last minute. Moving is not as bad as it seems when you plan ahead and take things slowly. It’s when you decide the week of the move that everything has to get done all at once that things get real messy.

So start early. Pack boxes appropriately and label them on the sides with the room name that it’s to go in. For instance, the nifty album collection and phonograph that you keep in the living room would be placed in boxes that are labeled “living room” on the sides. Drinking glasses and coffee mugs from your kitchen would be placed in a box labeled “kitchen”. And all of your hanging clothes can be kept on hangers — all you need to do is cover them with a large garbage bag that has a hole punched at the top for the hangers to go through. Easy peasy. Don’t forget to protect breakables and valuables by wrapping them well. And anything small and valuable should probably just be kept aside near you for safe protection.

How can I be sure I’ll get my security deposit back?

Getting your security deposit back will no doubt be high on your list when you move out of your Chicago apartment. Your landlord will want to make sure of two things before releasing your deposit. (a) That your rent is up-to-date. Otherwise, they’ll deduct any arrears from your deposit. (b) That your apartment is empty and clean. Though some apartment managers just look to make sure there’s no damage to the apartment and want the floors swept clean, some will look for an excuse to withhold your deposit. So, try to make sure you do a general cleaning to impress the landlord, giving them little excuse to keep your money.

Here are a few things to keep in mind as you clean:

  •      Walls – Make sure walls are free of smudges and stains. Remove any nails or screws you put in and fill holes with putty.
  •      Kitchen – Wipe out cabinets and countertops. Polish appliances. If the refrigerator belongs to the landlord, ensure that it’s clean inside and out with nothing left behind.
  •      Bathroom – Wipe mirrors clean and make sure tile is free of mildew. Clean out all hair and mildew from all areas. Sanitize sink, bathtub, and toilet.
  •      Other rooms – Simply make sure all rooms are swept clean and mopped. Spot clean areas where dust has accumulated to rid them of dustballs.
  •      Floors and Carpets – Make sure all floors are clean and mopped and that any carpeting has been vacuumed.
  •      Outside areas – Make sure exterior areas are tidy and garbage emptied.

Once everything’s moved out and the apartment is clean, snap a few pictures as evidence that you left it in good condition.

If you want to improve the odds even further of getting your deposit back, you may want to consider hiring a professional cleaning company.

A cleaning company, like Sweep Home Chicago, offers move out cleaning services that can ensure that your old apartment gets a good cleaning. It’ll also take the burden off of you so you can just concentrate on your move. Consider contacting Sweep Home Chicago to learn more about how they can help.

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