Checklist for Moving into Your First Apartment | My Move

Checklist for Moving into Your First Apartment

Author: K.C. Roads

Moving into your first apartment is an exciting prospect, but it can also be overwhelming. From securing a place to hiring a moving truck, you need to time everything so that you’re not left driving around town for packing materials the evening before moving day. The following first-apartment checklist suggests a timeline for all of the actions you need to take before moving day in order to enjoy a well-organized and successful move.

First Apartment Checklist

  • Two to three months before your move-in date: Secure a place. This involves finding an affordable apartment you like, signing the contract and transferring the deposit and other requested funds. This is also when you agree on a move-in date with your landlord. If you’re not sure about any of the details, include your questions on your first-apartment list and discuss them with your landlord before you sign the contract.

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  • Six weeks before moving: Get the basics. Make a note on your first-apartment list of all of the furniture, appliances and other housewares you need in order to manage your household independently, and go in search of them. For the most affordable solutions, ask family and friends what they can donate, and look for yard sales and thrift stores for bargains.
  • One month before moving day: Set up utilities and home services. Find out which gas, water, electric and telecommunications companies you need to contact and set up accounts with them. Make sure to start all of these services on your move-in date. If any of the companies needs to send a technician to your new place to hook up your services, make a note of the appointment on your first-apartment checklist so you don’t forget!

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  • Three weeks before moving day: Reserve a moving truck or hire movers. No matter whether you’re doing a DIY move or using a moving company, it’s best to reserve your dates at least three weeks in advance. If you’re planning to move during early summer or fall, which are usually the busiest times of year, you might not be able to get the dates of your choice if you wait too long. Always make sure to get an agreement from the company that specifies the dates and costs, and remember: a quote isn’t a reservation!
  • Three weeks before you move: Enquire about permits. Some cities require moving permits, while others simply require parking permits for moving trucks or to block the sidewalk for a couple of hours. Contact your city’s traffic department to find out what you need to do to avoid getting a ticket on moving day.

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  • Two weeks before your move-in date: Change your address. You can change your address with the USPS either online or by sending in a form. This will redirect your mail to your new address, but you’ll also have to notify companies and acquaintances separately. Most banks, insurance companies and subscription services have online forms to change your address in a matter of minutes. To notify your acquaintances, simply send a group email or do it the old-fashioned way with change-of-address cards!
  • One week before moving: Get packing materials and start packing! You’ll need moving boxes, as well as padding and packing materials. Remember to make an inventory of your stuff and label each moving box as you pack. Keep your inventory with your first-apartment checklist so you can find it easily.
  • Moving day: Receive the key to your apartment from the landlord and do a walk-through of the unit. Make a list of any damages and get the landlord to agree in writing to fix them or sign off on the list.