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First Apartment Checklists, Top Tips and Must-Haves

A man and woman stand in the doorway of a new apartment.

Moving into your first apartment is an exciting milestone, but it can also be overwhelming. Here’s a complete guide to help you transition smoothly, featuring essential checklists, helpful tips and motivational messages to keep you confident and looking forward to your new space.

Essential Checklists

Cleaning and Maintenance Supplies

You’re finally getting your own place, and we know you’ll want to show it off. Here are the essentials to keep your first apartment clean, tidy and ready for your housewarming party. Plus, these will come in handy when it’s time to clean up after the fun.

  • Cleaning Supplies: Dustpan, broom or vacuum, multipurpose cleaner, trash bags, sponges, dish soap, toilet scrubber, toilet cleaner, disinfectant wipes and spray.
  • Basic Tools: Screwdriver, hammer, nails, step stool, power strips, extension cords, duct tape, plunger and toolbox.
  • Safety Essentials: Smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detector, fire extinguisher and extra batteries.

Furniture and Household Items

Now that you have your own space, it’s time to infuse it with your personal style. From cozy couches to chic decor, these essentials will help you create a home that’s uniquely yours. Get ready to express yourself and make your new apartment feel like home.

  • Living Room: Sofa, coffee table, end tables, TV and console table, curtains, rug, lamps, decor, bookshelf and blankets.
  • Bedroom: Bed frame, box spring, mattress, pillows, sheets, blankets, nightstand, dresser, hangers, laundry hamper, shoe rack and mirror.
  • Bathroom: Toiletries, toilet paper, towels, hand soap, bathmat, shower curtain and liner, trash bin, plunger, toilet brush and shower caddy.
  • Kitchen and Dining: Table and chairs, pots and pans, dishware, drinking glasses, coffee mugs, coffee maker, utensils, oven mitts, dishrags, dish soap and sponges, baking trays, measuring cups, Tupperware, dish drying rack, paper towels, aluminum foil and trash bin.
  • Miscellaneous: Household cleaners, iron, ironing board, Wi-Fi router, desk and chair, air mattress for guests, extra set of keys.

Tips and Tricks

Moving can be challenging, but don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. These tips and tricks will help you navigate the process smoothly, from budgeting to setting up utilities. Follow these steps to ensure your move is as stress-free as possible.

1. Plan Ahead: Visit your new apartment a day before moving to clean and set up essentials. Start gathering household items gradually to spread out the cost and ensure you have everything when you move in.

2. Know Your Budget: Renting an apartment involves various costs beyond monthly rent, such as utilities, security deposits and furnishing expenses. Be sure to account for these in your budget.

3. Understand the Rental Process: Prepare necessary paperwork like identification, pay stubs, bank statements and references ahead of time to streamline your application process.

4. Research the Neighborhood: Check the safety, commute times, nearby amenities and schools (if applicable) to ensure the location meets your needs.

5. Ask Questions: When touring apartments, inquire about lease terms, utilities, maintenance and parking for you and your guests to avoid surprises and ensure you understand your responsibilities.

6. Get Renters Insurance: Protect your belongings and yourself from unexpected events by getting renters insurance. It’s affordable and often required by landlords.

7. Set Up Utilities: Ensure all utilities (electric, gas, water, internet) are set up before you move in. This prevents any inconvenience on moving day.

8. Change Your Address: Update your address with the USPS, your bank and any subscriptions or services to ensure you receive all your mail and important documents.

9. Clean Before You Move In: Cleaning is easy when there is no furniture in the way. Even if the previous tenant cleaned, give your new place a deep clean before moving in to ensure it’s up to your standards.

10. Meet Your Neighbors: Introduce yourself to your new neighbors to build a sense of community, make new friends and make your living experience more pleasant. Embrace the excitement of this new chapter in your life! Moving into your first apartment is a big step, and we’re here to help you make the most of it. Stay positive, stay organized and remember — this is your space to create amazing memories.

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