A first apartment is like a first relationship– a pretty big personal step that’s exciting, exhilarating, and pretty terrifying. If you’ve already hunted for apartments, found your new place, and scheduled a date for the move in with your landlord, you probably have an inkling of how it feels to have your own apartment.
But don’t get ahead of yourself, because the moving process can be pretty exhausting, especially if you don’t plan ahead. That said, here are some foolproof do’s and don’ts to help you keep calm and organized while moving into your first apartment:
Do Know Your New Apartment’s Layout
If you’ve already found a place and signed a lease, it’s likely that you have some idea of what it looks like (ideally, you’ve been able to see it in person). A walk-through isn’t just important for deciding whether you like a place and the neighborhood or not– it’s also an important step in the moving process.
In order to know what you can and can’t bring, you have to know your new apartment’s layout, as well as a few important dimensions. If possible, get into the apartment again to take pictures and measure the windows (for curtains) and any areas you’ll need to fit furniture, shelving, and decor.
If you live out of town, a lot of this will be guesswork, but see if your landlord or a friend or family member could go in and take a few good pictures and some measurements for you.
Don’t Put Off Packing
Packing isn’t fun– almost everybody agrees. But one of the key ways to stay organized (and sane) while preparing for your first big move is to pack early. If you start a few weeks before moving day, you’ll be able to pack almost all of the nonessentials (like out-of-season clothes, linens, kitchen and bathroom supplies, etc.), and then you can shift your focus to the more essential stuff during the days leading up to the move.
Do Read the Rules
Does your new place have an elevator deposit or moving fees? Are you expected to move within a two-hour time frame? Should you use the freight elevator? Read your lease or talk to your landlord before the move so that you know exactly where to go and who to talk to when you arrive on moving day with a truck full of furniture.
Don’t Discount Organization
There are a lot of things you have to keep track of when making a big move. What you have already, what you don’t have and need, what you don’t have and want, should you hire movers, when to pick up the keys, when to pick up the moving truck, what time slot you’ll be able to move in, the list goes on. That’s why getting (and staying) organized is crucial toward making the move to your first apartment successful.
The best way to stay organized is to keep all of the information about your move in one place. There are a few ways you can do that: First, try a basic spreadsheet– include any contact information for your future landlord, the moving truck company, a local Pizza Hut (believe me, you’ll need that number while you’re unpacking), and so on.
Or, you could download a moving app. Try Moving List or Moving Planner, depending on whether you have an iPhone or an Android.
Do Coordinate Deliveries
Since this is your first apartment, it’s not likely you have all of the big-ticket items you need already. So, you may have to order things like a couch, bed, mattress set, TV, and more, and have them all delivered once you’re moved in.
Some apartment buildings are strict about big deliveries, so aim to have everything brought over during the time you’re moving in– that way, the delivery people can just bring the furniture straight up.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
Moving is not an easy task, and it’s certainly not something you should expect to handle by yourself. Enlist your friends and family members throughout the process to make everything a bit easier and a great deal more fun. Have friends help you pack and see if your parents can help you pick up the truck or hit Target and Ikea with you.
Don’t Forget the Basics
If you’re moving away from your parents’ house, there are a number of basics that you may not have and might not realize you even need. Things like a vacuum cleaner, for example. Or dish towels. These items are all important parts of living alone, so check out apartment checklists to make sure you aren’t forgetting anything essential.
Do Have Fun With It
Sure, moving can be stressful– especially to your first apartment– but try not to let the stress overtake the excitement. This is your first apartment and that’s no small thing. So, have fun!
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