How to Move Into An Apartment For The First Time
Moving into your first apartment comes with a bag of mixed feelings: You’re excited to get started on a new adventure, but it can also feel overwhelming, as it comes with a new set of challenges and responsibilities.
From finding the right apartment to rent to signing a lease and furnishing your new living space, there are a lot of things you will need to consider in order to make your move a success. It’s a big step into the unknown, but when you’re armed with the right information, you can make your move feel like a breeze.
Here are some tips to help turn your move into a breeze:
1. Make savings
Moving always costs a lot more than you originally anticipated. Start your moving budget by finding out how much you actually can spend on rent. Make sure you have enough money to cover the first and the last month’s rent at least and renter’s insurance.
Other fees could crop up, such as an application fee and a pet deposit if you have a pet. Additionally, there could be other costs associated with your lease, such as parking or storage fees.
You will also need extra cash to cover the moving costs, utilities, and other living expenses. Finally, stay prepared for anything that could happen outside your control with an emergency fund. Always have that extra cash for a rainy day ready.
2. Find the right location
Before you decide on the ideal apartment, find the ideal location. You might want to consider proximity to your workplace and other spots you need to get to on a daily basis.
Also, think about your potential commute and whether you will use your car or public transportations — traffic patterns and availability of public transport should count heavily when you decide which area you will be living in.
Consider access to local businesses, grocery stores, and entertainment venues to ensure you get access to everything you need.
If you choose to live in a smaller apartment to save on rent, you might want to add self-storage to your budget. It’s a convenient way to keep bulky and seasonal items out of your space without cluttering your living space.
Most people rent a 10×10 unit, but if you’re just moving into your first apartment, you could probably fit your things into a 5×5 unit.
3. Tour several properties to find “the one”
Once you decided on a neighborhood, shop around for the ideal apartment in the area. When touring an apartment, look at the overall condition, making sure there are no signs of water damage or property damage such as leaking faucets, dirty carpeting, and others.
Security is equally important: does the building have a security system and fire alarms? If you decide to rent the apartment, keep records of the property’s pre-existing conditions — take pictures and make videos in case you need evidence of the initial state of the apartment when you try to claim the deposit back at the end of the lease.
4. Pay attention to the fine print of the lease
Now that you found the apartment of your dreams — or close to it, anyway — find out all the rules that come with signing a lease. Pay attention to the section discussing maintenance and rules regarding visitors.
Pet policies are also significant sections of your lease as you might want to bring your best furry friend with you to your new home.
Make sure you have a good open line of communication with the landlord once you get settled in. Having a great relationship with the landlord will make for a much more pleasant living arrangement.
5. Pick the right roommates
You may or may not have had roommates previously, but living with other people can come with various pros. You can split the rent and bills and enjoy each other’s company. It sounds like an ideal situation, so it’s important to discuss their job schedule, personal habits, and their situation before signing a lease.
Go through each detail of your apartment life, from creating a chore schedule to personal pet peeves. You could write up a roommate agreement — not a legally binding document — that you can think of as a set of rules helping you navigate the intricacies of sharing your new living space. This will help you avoid ending up in an unpleasant situation in the future.
6. Buy apartment essentials
You will need a bunch of things to get your new life started. But where to start? Begin with the basics. Make a list of what you think you’re going to need and the space your apartment comes with before you shop.
Before you think about decorations, you will most likely need a good place to sleep, so investing in a bed and nice bedding seems like a great place to start. You will also need furniture — think of smaller pieces if your apartment is already small.
A smaller couch, a nightstand, a table with chairs are just some of the apartment essentials you will need. Buy the basic kitchen tools that include pots and pans and strainers; leave fancy juicers for later.
You will most likely need to keep the space clean, so getting a good handle on cleaning supplies will help you enjoy your apartment so much more.
7. Change your address and set up utilities
Moving can be overwhelming, especially when you’re getting settled into your first apartment. Remember to change your address in order to have your mail delivered to your new address.
It’s a swift process and can be done online on USPS’s website. Don’t forget to notify your internet provider and your other utility companies (gas, water, electric) of your move to ensure service is set up by the time you move.
8. Be smart about packing
Start your move before you actually move. Get packing supplies and make lists with your belongings and even label boxes as you pack. This way, you can keep track of your belongings, and it will be easier to unpack once you’re at your new apartment.
Don’t pack towels separately — instead, use them to pad the packing boxes. It would be a good idea to have a few blankets for wrapping larger or sensitive items such as the TV. Wrap the blanket around the item and use tape to secure it.
If you need to disassemble any devices, take pictures beforehand to ease the assembly in the new place. Place small nails and pieces belonging to furniture in sandwich bags so you can easily find them when it’s time to reassemble them again.
9. Get ready to move in
Once your lease is signed, schedule your move-in day. You might think that you don’t have many things to move, but you’re better off prepared. Start by renting a moving truck and even ask friends to help you. Now you’re ready to move and start a new chapter of your life!
Moving into your first apartment is a big step in one’s life. Practice being patient so you end up making the right decision. Rushing is only going to increase the potential for mistakes.
Hopefully, you have enjoyed the tips for moving into your first apartment!