How Long Does It Take to Move Into an Apartment?


Moving out of your old apartment and settling in your new home is among the most exciting steps for anybody. Nonetheless, if you are running late or in a rush, and your current contract is almost over, the pressure can add stress to the process. Get the timeframes right and enjoy the moving out/moving in the process!


Once you have found the perfect one, moving into an apartment will only take you around 10 hours. However, looking for the perfect home, getting approved by the landlord, packing, and moving in can take over two months. 


Check out the timeline of moving out of an apartment and into a new one below. And don’t forget to check out the tips to shorten the process!

Moving Into an Apartment – A Timeline

Here is a rough timeline that you are likely to recognize while looking for an apartment. This can help you estimate the timeframes you are now looking at, but we will examine each step below.


2 to 3 months before the ideal move-in date find out about searching lead time and options in your area.
1 to 2 months before the ideal move-in date Viewings of at least 8 to 10 apartments
At least 1 month before moving in
  • Get approved by the landlord (can take up to 5 business days)
  • Give notice to your current landlord
2-weeks before moving in
  • Search for and book movers or vans
  • Start packing
Moving date Up to 7 days to be fully settled in 


Your own schedule, time off, and other responsibilities can increase this timeframe.

Looking for Suitable Apartments

Arguably, looking for a suitable apartment to move into is the most effort- and time-consuming aspect of changing homes. This part of the moving process can be as short as a few days or as long as a few months. The availability of apartments in your area, your budget, and personal preferences can significantly increase the process’s length.


Check out some helpful tips to save time on looking for the perfect apartment in the video below:



What Is the Searching Lead Time in Your Area?

To estimate it will take you to be considered completely settled in, you need to start by understanding your area’s searching lead time. This means how long it will take for you to find the right apartment in the area you need it to be.


To know how long it takes to find an apartment in your area, start by looking at listings and estate agents’ announcements. These will also include the move-in date, so you can find out more about how long it takes to move into an apartment in your area – on average. 


In bigger cities, you are likely to find a higher availability of options, as well as in some college towns.


The considerations you need to make are:


  • If you are looking for extremely close move-in dates (for example, 1-2 days), you might be limiting your options to lower-quality homes.
  • Your move-in date should consider what your moving-out date is. If you are moving from your previous apartment, you might need to notice not renewing the contract. So, if you move in too early, you might end up paying double rent for a period.

Searching Time

Once you have understood how long it will take you to move into the apartment you have found, you have to think about actually finding the apartment in question. Searching for suitable listings and booking viewing appointments can be extremely time-consuming.


Ideally, you should spend 2-4 weeks looking for suitable options, then go on a few outings and check out a few apartments (2 or 3) each time. Overall, you should at least check out 8 to 10 apartments.


Even if you had the feeling you found the perfect one on your first outing, keep searching. New options might come along, and this strategy allows you to settle only for the first deal.


Moreover, shopping around can give you a better idea of the area’s price range, and you won’t run the risk of settling for an overpriced apartment.


If you wish to keep the searching time to a minimum, we suggest searching for different listings and options and then book all the viewings for a weekend. So, you can decide in a matter of days.

Getting Approved by the Landlord

The approval process for an apartment is a screening and background check that your landlord will conduct on your finances, credit, and record. These checks aim to make sure that you are in credit and will be able to keep up with monthly payments.


Moreover, they can help to build a healthy, trustworthy relationship between you and your landlord. While it can be a cumbersome process, it is necessary, which means that you will have to go through it before moving into your new place. So, starting this process in advance can significantly reduce the stress of moving in.


The approval process will require you to show evidence of:


  • Sufficient income
  • In case your income is too low, you might need a guarantor.
  • Credit score
  • Rental history
  • Criminal background
  • Cover letter


A tenancy application will be similar to the form you can find here. You might need to pay to submit such an application process because landlords often use third-party agencies to conduct the checks. This will be around $30 or $40 – but some cities have implemented a cap to ensure potential tenants are not being overcharged. 


Check the average price of these applications in your area before submitting one.


Two considerations about this timeframe:


  • A tenancy application form can take up to 72 hours to be checked and approved. However, holidays and weekends can get in the way of such a timeline.
  • Be prepared for potential rejections. These can happen if your income is too low; you have a criminal history or poor credit record. While you can apply again, this can extend the timeframe.

Moving Out of Your Old Apartment

Moving out of your old apartment is a cumbersome step, but you can easily shorten the time needed for it by getting ready in advance. Start by packing, then – once you have a better idea of what you need help with – you can get in touch with a suitable moving company or agency. 

Packing Can Take Time – Start Early

Packing can take quite a lot of time, especially if you are also creating an inventory of your home items. The best way to face this step is to start setting aside enough time every day. This can save you stressful times and help you properly pack – something that can help you save time later.

Dedicate the Whole Day to Moving

The moving day will take you the whole day. Even if your current and future apartments are small, you will need to transport your items between the two and organize them properly. If you wish to be more comfortable with your timeframes, taking a whole weekend for it can help you be prepared in advance.

Getting Settled in Your New Apartment

Getting settled in your apartment can take a few hours (3 to 5 hours for a 1-bed apartment and 10 hours for a 3-bed apartment). However, if you are also working or juggling other pre-existing responsibilities, this can take up to a few days. 

The Factors That Will Influence Your Moving Time

Once you have found the perfect apartment, some factors can influence the time needed to get settled into a new apartment. By knowing them in advance, you can find solutions and limit the amount of time wasted. These include:


  • Amount and size of boxes and furniture you need to move
  • Movers and moving truck accessibility (the more the movers need to walk and climb stairs, the more expensive and prolonged their services will be)
  • Your building’s elevator’s size
  • The level of assembly and disassembly
  • The quality of your packing (unpacked or lose items will take longer)
  • Number of fragile items you need to move
  • How many people help in the move
  • Weather and traffic
  • Distance between your old and new home


Moving from an apartment to another is an exciting process, but it can also be stressful. Starting to look for your new apartment and getting ready in advance can not only help you face the process with serenity, but it can also shorten the time frames necessary. However, generally, it can take up to 3 months to look for an apartment, get approved, and move in.