There are few things more exciting than moving to your very first apartment! Whether you’re signing a lease or closing on a purchase, moving to a new pad gives you the freedom to decorate and design a home that fully represents you. Before packing up your things though, be aware that moving to a first apartment comes with a great deal of responsibilities. For helpful first apartment tips, as well as a list of what you’ll need to make your place feel like home, read our advice below. Good luck and happy moving!
15 Tips for Moving to Your First Apartment
- Add a fresh coat of paint –Personalize your first apartment by adding a fresh coat of paint to the walls. If renting, make sure to ask your landlord for permission first. Another way to infuse personality and fun into a rental is by applying peelable and removable wallpaper. Since this wallpaper can be easily removed after you move, it’s typically approved by landlords.
- Figure out your mail situation – Does your apartment building have a community mailbox center where you pick up your mail? Or does your individual apartment have its own mail slot in the door? Does a doorman store packages when you’re away? Or will you need to ask a neighbor to pick them up? You’ll also want to check to see if mail and packages are left outside your building. If they are, you may want to consider setting up a PO Box. These types of mailboxes are located inside of a post office, and are safe and secure. Many post office locations also offer extended business hours and 24-hour access to your mail. Read how to set up a PO Box when you move.
- Set up utilities –If you’re buying your first apartment, you’ll need to call all utility service providers a few weeks before the move to schedule installation dates and times for after you move in. Utilities include cable and internet, water and sewer, gas, electricity, satellite, security system, trash and phone. While some utility services can wait until a week or two after the move (think: cable and internet), others will need to be set up on moving day or even the day before (think: water, electricity and gas).
- Spruce up your entryway – Want to make a good first impression on friends and guests? Spruce up your entryway with wall hooks, baskets, organizational shelving, shoe racks, and/or umbrella stands. All of these entryway accessories give you a place to put your belongings while also making your apartment look neat and tidy.
- Purchase cleaning supplies – Give your apartment a good clean before moving furniture inside. Make sure to vacuum and mop all floors, dust surfaces, and clean bathrooms thoroughly. Don’t forget to also pick up disinfectant wipes and spray, as well as vacuum bags and soap when purchasing supplies.
- Get an extra set of keys made – Don’t forget to have an extra set of keys made for your apartment. Otherwise, you could find yourself locked out one of these days. It’s a good idea to keep a set with a trusted friend or family member in case of emergencies.
- Purchase furniture – Before moving to your first apartment, be sure to take measurements of the rooms. This way, you can figure out whether your existing furniture fits or not. Most people moving to a first apartment will need to purchase at least a few basic pieces of furniture. If on a budget, try investing in a comfortable couch and bed. The rest can be found at consignment stores or local donation shops.
- Have an extra set of sheets and towels on hand – To avoid washing the same sheets and towels over and over again, have an extra set or two on hand. This will also come in handy if and when you decide to host guests in your apartment.
- Meet your neighbors – Living in an apartment means living in close quarters with others. To make the experience more pleasant, introduce yourself to the new neighbors after you move in. Not only will this give you a sense of community (and new friends!), but your neighbors will also greatly appreciate the gesture.
- Replace smoke detector batteries – As soon as you move in, replace all smoke detector batteries with new ones. Not only is this the safe and smart thing to do, but it’s also the only way to prevent your smoke detectors from constantly chirping (and driving you crazy!).
- Get a toolbox – If you haven’t already, go ahead and purchase a tool box to bring with you to the new apartment. Even a small, portable one is better than nothing. Tool boxes should come with all of the wrenches, hammers and screwdrivers needed to hang wall decor, put together furniture and fix mishaps in the home. Of course, for the more difficult fixes, we suggest calling a qualified handyman. However, you and your handy toolbox should be able to handle basic modifications.
- Buy a plunger – It’s a good idea to have a plunger on hand just in case the toilet begins to act up or overflow. Fortunately, purchasing a plunger won’t cost you an arm and a leg. Plungers typically run anywhere from $5 to $20 and can be found at your local home improvement store.
- Change your address – When moving to your first apartment, remember to let your bank know as soon as possible. Be sure to update credit card information with your new billing address. Also, don’t forget to let friends and family know you’ve moved. To ensure that you receive your mail, go to Doorage.com and choose the date you wish to begin forwarding your mail.
- Figure out trash pickup days – Since trash and recycling pickup days vary from city to city, make sure to ask neighbors for the details. You can also call your city’s sanitation department for more information.
- Explore your neighborhood – Get out of the house and explore your new neighborhood! Walk, drive or bike around the area to get a good sense of where you are and what’s around you. Make a point to locate nearby grocery stores, parks, schools, museums, libraries, hardware stores, hospitals and pharmacies. Discover more about your neighborhood through Moving.com’s Neighborhood Guide.