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Moving In Madison

August 2021

From freshmen to seniors, associates degrees to PhD’s, the cheese state’s capital city is a crowded, collegiate community. So when August rolls around, it can only mean one thing: moving. For some of you, it may be the first time seeing your life quantified by boring beige boxes. It can be scary and intimidating for those with many questions that don’t seem to have an answer. While others- who know how to pack a box like a game of tetris- find the unknown exciting and refreshing. Here at JD McCormick, there are a few things we’ve personally noticed about moving in Madison that can make your transition a little easier. 

Moving Out:

No matter how quickly you can pack a box, don’t procrastinate. Although you have until 12:00pm on August 14th to turn in your keys to the office, packing your apartment that morning is a stressful start to your move. Packing takes longer than you expect and if your keys are not turned in by noon on the 14th, deductions are made on your security deposit. Don’t waste your money and be prepared to move. Apartments are expected to be empty, any remaining items will be thrown away. That includes all the items that may have stayed out of sight for the past year, like your Christmas decorations, the dusty waffle maker, the unopened box of rollerskates, all the way down to the missing sock that always threw your sock inventory off. On top of packing, it is required to clean your apartment before leaving too. That’s why you’ll want to be ready to go before August 14th. Here’s some tips that may lighten the load of moving out. 

Cancel your Accounts Cancel your auto payments, electricity account and internet account on the last day. Some of these accounts will continue to take the auto payment you’ve had set up. The last month’s rent was due on July 15th, so if you’ve paid that, you’re paid up! Don’t overpay a month when that money can go towards your new rent or a celebratory dinner after the move. 

Pack a Bag Since you’ll be moving all of your things, you’ll want to be ready for the day without searching through boxes. Pack a bag for the night, or however long you’ll be living out of boxes, with spare clothes, a toothbrush, hair brush, etc. That way, you won’t feel completely discombobulated. It wouldn’t hurt to throw a first aid kit in there just in case any exposed nails or cardboard cuts occur during the move. 

Declutter Get rid of the things you haven’t used. This could be clothes, shoes, kitchen appliances, meaningless knick-knacks, broken furniture, and trash in general. Go through all the drawers, cabinets, rooms, and closets and throw away or donate items so you don’t have to move what you don’t need. 

Pack by Room Don’t throw a bunch of different items in random boxes. No one wants their spatulas by their toilet brush. When you get to your new place, it will be so much easier to have designated boxes for each room so you can start unpacking right away instead of identifying what’s in the box. Make sure you label your boxes so you can move them into the right room, right away!

Move Heavy Stuff First While you have the energy, move the big stuff first. Your body will slowly grow tired after each trip and you’ll regret saving the recliner for your last trip. Not to mention those boxes will seem a lot lighter. Eventually you’ll need a place to crash while you’re moving in, even if it’s just for a minute. Move your bed or couch in first to get it out of the way and set it up for little breaks throughout the day! 

Clean! Clean your furniture before you move it into your new space. Every landlord requires the former tenants to clean the apartment when they leave, so don’t bring old dust into your new place! That being said, you’ll need to clean your apartment too. Follow the cleaning tips below to get more money back on your security deposit!

During the Move:

With a high concentration of students and young adults in the Madison area there aren’t many apartments left vacant through the leasing year. This leaves property managers in a tough spot to determine when they need to say goodbye to the residents moving elsewhere to prepare for the next renters. You may have heard past-moving-masters refer to the week around lease turns as “Homeless Week”. This is when someone needs to move-out of their home days before they can move-in to their new home; they are left homeless. At JD McCormick we don’t expect you to sleep under the stars or crash on a couch for a week. That’s why our move-out date is the day before the move-in date! Although it may seem silly, within those quick 24 hours, your apartment is not empty. It is filled with carpet installers, painters, cleaners, construction teams, maintenance crew and of course your property manager making sure your new apartment is ready for you to comfortably call it home. While all are busy preparing for you, it’s up to you what you want to do. Here are the most commonly asked questions about moving in Madison. 

Where do I sleep on the 14th?:

If you’re moving with JD McCormick Properties you can get a discount at the Best Western PLUS InnTowner Madison! Be sure to use the rate code “HELP- Moving Day Discount” for a discounted rate of $99 a night. Looking elsewhere? You can plan a stay at one of Madison’s downtown hotels like The Edgewater, Hilton Garden Inn Madison Downtown, AC Hotel by Marriott, Hampton Inn & Suites, or Hotel Indigo. Many of these places will even offer to hold a few of your boxes (that does not mean all of your boxes). This is an excellent way to explore Madison if you’re new to the area or at least stay out of the heat. 

If you don’t want to spend any money on a place for the night, phone a friend. Many residents choose not to move during this time. If you have a friend or a family member in the area with an extra room or a couch, give them a call.

Check out Airbnb or VRBO! Some homeowners in Madison who travel in the summer may be offering their home for that weekend. Maybe you can find a bed and breakfast nearby!

What do I do with all my stuff?:

Reserve a trailer for the night! U-Haul being the most common may be running out of availability so act quickly if this is the option you decide. Otherwise surrounding companies like Mid-State Equipment and I-39 Supply have trailers you can rent by the day. 

If you end up staying with family or friends, see if you can temporarily store your belongings in a garage or basement. 

DO NOT leave your items unattended outside. Madison turns into “Hippy Christmas”, a free-for-all, city-wide rummage sale during moving time. When people don’t want to keep furniture, they put them on the curb for other movers or garbage crews to take. Even when you’re moving your items out of your home, be sure to keep an eye on the pieces you intend to keep. Many people won’t ask before hauling your favorite lamp into their trunk. So if you’re looking for a book shelf or one more kitchen chair, take a stroll through the streets of Madison and play treasure or trash? Keep in mind, furniture like couches, arm chairs, and mattresses may acquire some pests that you may not want to take into your new home. Make sure you do a thorough inspection of the item before you claim it as your own. 

What do we do while we wait?

Summers in Madison offer an endless list of possibilities during the day. 


Dane County Farmers’ Market

Start your morning with a trip to the Dane County Farmers’ Market to get some fresh snacks for the day of moving out. For over four decades, Madison and surrounding cities have hosted America’s largest producers-only farmers’ market. Whether you’re looking for fresh fruits and vegetables, squeaky cheeses, elegant bouquets, or Stella’s spicy cheese bread, a colorful walk around the capital is a must to get the Madison experience.  

The Great Taste of the Midwest

This year, right off Lake Monona at Olin park, The Great Taste of the Midwest will be serving beverages, little snacks and live music from over 190 brew pubs around the nation. This is the second longest running craft beer festival in  North America! 



Take a quick bike ride to loosen up the joints or take the 12 mile bike ride around Lake Monona. With pit stops like breweries, coffee shops, boutiques, and scenic views along the way. A bike ride is an efficient and economical way to tour Madison. For only $10 an hour, rent one of Madison’s electric BCycles and conserve your energy for the heavy lifting later. 

7 Iron Social

Swing up to 7 Iron Social, a true sports bar where you can choose from over 12 sports to play on virtual simulators. Reserve an hour of game time where you can choose from football, soccer, lacrosse, hockey, baseball, dodgeball, rugby, and of course golf courses and driving ranges. 7 Iron Social has something for everyone to enjoy including bites, beverages, and air conditioning. 

I/O Arcade Bar

Spoil your inner child with an entire room of pinball machines. With custom cocktails, craft beers, and Salvator’s pizza, I/O is another great way to get out of the August heat. With over 70 traditional and newer arcade games to choose from, you can set a new high score on your own or duke it out with friends. Ever heard of four player PACMAN? If the screens get too bright, you can always settle down with a board game. 

Food and Drink

Memorial Union

The Memorial Union Terrace is one of the best places to watch the sunset call over sailboats or to enjoy the breeze off lake Mendota. Stop inside to discover boutiques and treats like pastas and pizzas from Strada, traditional Wisconsin eats from Der Rathskeller, ice cream sundaes from Daily Scoop and a nice shot of espresso or latte from Peet’s Coffee. 

Capital Square

Madison’s state capital sits in a square of restaurants, from upscale dining on highrise rooftops to basement dive bars. Experience Wagyu beef at Rare Steakhouse, swordfish with succotash at Graft, spicy tofu buns at Tavernakaya, the shake of the month at DLUX (it’s cookie dough), or Wisconsin’s best cheese curds at The Old Fashioned. 

Willy Street

Williamson Street, also known as Willy Street, is keeping Madison weird. Here you’ll find the food and beverage scene equally as courageous as the capital square. Whether you check out Ha Long Bay for their Bánh mì sandwiches, Grampa’s Pizzeria for their brussel sprout pizza, A Pig in a Fur Coat’s jerk rabbit, or Sardine’s .. well… sardines, Willy Street will welcome you with open arms and a whole lot of charm. 

Monroe and Regent Street

Monroe Street, located over towards Edgewood College, is home to hole-in-the-wall home cooking, wherever you may be from. Start with Marie’s Soul Food who specializes in comfort food and collard greens, then take a trip to the middle east at Kosharie. Take a quick trip north to Brasserie V where you’ll experience french cuisine or keep going west at the Taste of India. While some of these places seem like a trip, you can always go to Sweet Home Wisconsin where you can enjoy the Wisconsin classics in a biergarten setting. 

Moving In:

an be exhausting and liberating. That’s why we want to get you into your new apartment as soon as possible. Pick up your keys or send one roommate to pick up the keys while you get a game plan in place. Keys will be available from 12:00pm to 3:00pm on Sunday, August 15th at JD McCormick’s downtown office. If that doesn’t work, shoot us an email and we’ll figure another time out. Be sure you have everything turned into the office before you expect to get your keys. If you haven’t paid the security deposit, rent, or turned in your co-signer forms, you will not receive your keys. Since we value your security, we will require to see the photo ID of the roommate picking up the keys too. After your keys are picked up, you’re ready to move in. Make sure your laces are tied because with one move-in day, you’ll be surrounded by new neighbors moving too. It’s a big day for a lot of people, that’s why we ask to be kind and considerate to others around you. 

You may be moving in and see your neighbor across the hall have something you forgot! That’s why we’ve made a list of essential items you may need for your new apartment. 

After you’re all moved in, be sure to document anything wrong with your apartment. If you notice a scratch on the oven door or a cracked tile in the bathroom, be sure to add that to the Condition Report. You’ll receive the Condition Report along with other helpful materials when you pick up your keys. If you are able to take pictures of the issue, that will help you and your property manager in the future. If there are things like a broken window screen or running toilet, you can enter a maintenance request and maintenance will respond in order of when the request is received. The things we can fix will be fixed in a timely manner so don’t hesitate to request maintenance as soon as you notice something is wrong. When you’re done with the condition report and entering any maintenance you may request right away, you’re all moved in! 

Moving in Madison has proven to be a unique time of the year and we hope this blog helped you prepare. The good news is, you’ll have the option to renew your lease soon so you won’t have to do this whole process next year. If you have any other questions, give us a call or shoot us an email. We too love living in Madison and will be happy to help our new residents the best we can.