You finally did it! Maybe you’re moving from a college dorm to a place off-campus or you’ve recently graduated and can’t handle the thought of moving back in with your parents. Whatever the situation, moving into your first place is exciting. We’ve compiled a list of tips for moving into your first apartment to make it a seamless transition into the next phase of your life.
1. Take inventory of what you already have
Go through your home now (or the basement in your parent’s home you’ve been calling home) and decide on what you’ll be bringing to your first apartment. Takedown or request a floor plan and measurements in the new place to decide whether or not to bring certain items. It would be a shame to bring a couch (or worse pay a moving company) that ends up not fitting in your new living room.
Storage space is usually much more limited in an apartment than where you’re moving from. Try to declutter as much as possible as you will likely have less closet space than you’re used to. If the home you’re moving from is close to the new place consider leaving things like winter clothing (during the summer) and vice versa there to save on storage space at the new apartment.
Creating a solid inventory list is also a great tip for the next section: DIY or hiring a moving company.
2. To Hire Movers or DIY
Sometimes this question can be answered without much thought. If you’re moving long-distance or interstate it’s often best to leave it up to professionals. This is also true for especially bulky or especially fragile items you plan on moving. That fish tank that you have in your room, for example, requires special packing and handling and should be left to the professionals.
For local moves, you have the decision of renting a truck or enlisting the help of friends to help with your move. While this may seem like the cheaper option, between a truck, fuel, boxes and moving equipment the costs can quickly add up. Combine this with a lack of experience and the higher risk of broken or damaged items, hiring a moving company is generally the best option.
Use our simple form on Unpakt to input your details and your inventory to compare quotes from multiple different, reputable moving companies.
3. Utilities and Mailing Address
Take the time to contact your post office and change your address. This can also easily done on the USPS website.
This is also a good time to set up your utilities in the new place. Ask your real estate agent or building management who to contact for electricity, WiFi and cable services.
4. Stocking the new apartment
If you’re not bringing furniture from your parent’s home, make sure to take measurements of your rooms to see what will fit in the new apartment. While that L-shaped couch looks incredibly comfortable, make sure you have room for it before making the purchase. Coming up with a solid floor plan with measurements is a great way to make furniture choices.
Things like toilet paper, paper towels and cleaning supplies are easy to overlook in the whirlwind that comes with moving, but that doesn’t make them any less essential. At the very least, you should have a healthy stock of paper towels and toilet tissue, a kitchen specific cleaning product, a bathroom product with bleach, a toilet scrubber (and plunger), a broom and a dust bin along with a wet mop or Swiffer for the floors. It’s also a great idea to have a couple of sets of towels to avoid washing the same towel after every use.
In terms of stocking your kitchen, while the urge to order food for delivery is ever-present, at the very least purchase basic spices (salt, pepper, steak/chicken seasoning) and a few go-to easy to cook meals (think pasta, rice, frozen or fresh veggies, and meat depending on your diet).
For bedroom items, make sure to have a couple of sets of sheets and pillowcases to avoid washing the same set over and over again. This also comes in handy when having guests over!
Prefer to see a list of everything you’ll need? Print out our new apartment checklist.
It’s also a great idea to purchase other essentials like a small toolbox for odd jobs that will definitely come up (that hex key supplied with your disassembled furniture just doesn’t cut it) as well as batteries and power strips. On the topic of batteries, we highly recommend replacing them in all smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. Not only do you not know how long they’ve been in there, but there’s nothing worse than hearing a “low battery” alert beeping in the middle of the night.
5. Making your apartment a home
If you’re renting, clear it with your landlord, but a fresh coat of paint can really spruce up a room. Things like pictures of family and friends, posters or framed artwork and plants can make your new place feel like a home. It’s also a great idea to bring certain sentimental items with you from your last home. If you have the space for it that book collection or trophies from your little league days can really add some much-needed comfort in a new place.
If you’re in a new place, exploring the neighborhood will quickly help you feel at home. Go to local cafes, restaurants, and shops. Don’t be afraid to mention that you’re new to the area, people are often more than happy to give you recommendations and insider tips on the neighborhood. Thanks for reading and if you’re ready to receive a quote on an upcoming move simply fill out the simple form on Unpakt!