New Apartment Checklist: Stay Organized During Your Move

new apartment checklistAre you moving to a new apartment? Whether this is your first move or you’re an old pro at moving, having a handy checklist can make everything go much more smoothly than simply throwing things into boxes and hoping for the best. My boyfriend was in the military, so I’m no stranger to moving. Here are my best tips, along with helpful checklists for every part of the move!

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What You Should Ask When Apartment Hunting

The first step to moving into your new apartment is to actually find a new apartment. What you want in a home depends on your personal tastes of course, but there are some questions you should ask when you go to see an apartment no matter what you’re looking for. Here’s a checklist to help you remember to ask these questions:

_ How much is required for a security deposit?
_ How long is the lease?
_ Do you take care of outdoor maintenance?
_ Which utilities am I responsible for paying and how much do they cost per month, on average?
_ Do you allow smoking in this apartment or other apartments in the building?
_ What are the other tenants in the building like?
_ Does the apartment have assigned parking spots and are their spots for guests?
_ Is the building door locked at night?
_ How close is shopping?
_ When is the apartment available?
_ Why did the previous tenants move out?

Moving overseas? Check out this blog post that can help you prepare for a big move to a different country.

Before You Move In

Before you move a single box to your new apartment, there are a few things you have to do. If you don’t use any other checklist in this article, at least use this one. It could save you from legal and financial problems in the future when you deal with apartment issues or decide to move out.

_ Sign the lease. Review and sign a lease with your landlord before you move in. This lease should cover how long you’ll be renting, how much is due for rent, what other bills you’ll be responsible for covering, who you should contact about any problems, and how much notice you need to give before moving out. Don’t just skim and sign. Go over the lease with a fine toothed comb and ask for revisions if you aren’t happy with the terms.

_ Do a walk through. Before you move in, you should walk through the apartment, preferably with your landlord or their agent. If you’re moving from out of town and can’t be there beforehand, at least walk through the apartment before moving any boxes or furniture into the apartment. Take pictures, especially if you see anything that is worn or broken. If you don’t, you’ll be liable for these damages when you move out.

_ Get renter’s insurance. Your landlord’s insurance most likely only covers the building itself, not the contents inside. Renter’s insurance will cover your personal possessions, such as furniture, jewelry, and other valuables. Most policies also include liability insurance, which covers you in case someone is visiting your new apartment and hurts themselves. You want this insurance before you move in, since your movers (or friends/family helping you move) could be hurt or damage your possessions.

Items to Purchase for Your New Place

The furniture and other possessions you’ll need for your new apartment vary based on your lifestyle and the size of your apartment. However, there are a few other things that every new apartment needs, and that often are forgotten until you move in and realize that you don’t have them! Here’s a brief checklist of items you should buy for your new apartment:

_ Cleaning supplies
_ Shower curtain
_ Bath mat
_ Towels and washclothes
_ Hand towels/dish towels
_ Outdoor items (shovel, rake, lawn mower, etc.) if you have an outdoor area to maintain
_ Kitchen tools (pots, pans, utensils, etc.)
_ Curtains and/or blinds for each room
_ Welcome mat

If you’re be welcoming a new baby into your apartment soon, you’ll also need childproofing gear and other items. Check out this newborn checklist for tips on how to prepare for your new baby.

Moving Day: A Checklist to Help It Run Smoothly

So the time has come to move into your new apartment! Here’s a helpful checklist to make sure that the day goes smoothly, whether you are working with a moving company or doing the move on your own. These items should all be completed within a week or two of moving, or during the big day.

_ Verify the move date with your moving company. Most of the time, things will go off without a hitch, but there’s nothing worse than sitting around and waiting for the truck to show up only to realize that it’s never coming because your reservation was lost. The day before, you should call the company to confirm the date, time, truck size, address, and number of movers who will be showing up.

_ Label every box for the new apartment. Don’t label based on the place you’re moving out of. For example, if your old place had an office but your new place doesn’t, labeling boxes “office” will be confusing. It should be clear where each box needs to be taken in the new house.

_ Stock up on supplies. You should have packing tape (not duct tape), newspaper or bubble wrap, markers, a tape measure, scissors, a hammer and nails, old blankets, and pens/pencils on hand. Don’t pack these supplies! Keep them in a separate bag with you so you have them write away as you’re moving in, not just for moving out.

_ Donate and throw away items you don’t need. We all accumulate unnecessary items over time. Moving day (and the weeks leading up to it) is a perfect time to get rid of possessions so you’ll have fewer items to move. You can even have a yard sale a week or so before you move to make a little money on the side! You can also sell unneeded items on eBay. Learn how with this great step-by-step eBay selling course.

_ Make an inventory of the items being moved. Take pictures of your more expensive possessions and once moved in, unpack boxes quickly to ensure that nothing is missing or damaged. This is especially important if you’re moving a far distance or have your stuff in storage before moving into your new apartment.

_ Put valuable documents in a safe place. Collect your family’s passports, birth certificates, and other important paper items and make sure they are together and tracked carefully during the move.

_ Turn in your change of address form at the post office. This will ensure that your mail gets forwarded to your new address for at least a year while you work to correct records with anyone that has your old address on file.

_ Pack some outfits and necessities in a suitcase. Carry this suitcase with you in your car or on the plane. That way, even if your other items arrive at your new apartment damaged or take longer to arrive than expected, you’ll have a backup.

_ Purchase any new items you may need. Does the new apartment come with all the appliances? Do you have furniture for every room? If not, have these items purchased and set for pick-up or delivery on the day you move so you can arrange furniture, fill your fridge, and otherwise get your house in order all on the same day.

_ Get some cash out of the bank for tips. If you’re working with a moving company, you should expect to pay movers 10% to 15% as a tip if the job was well done. Even if you have friends and family helping you move, you’ll want to use that cash to order pizza as a thank you for the hard work.

With these helpful checklists, hopefully moving into your new apartment will be a snap! Want even more tips to help you organize your life? Check out this “Get Organized” Booster courses right here on Udemy.