Apartment Moving Tips for First-Time Renters

Moving into your first apartment is exciting. For the first time, you have the freedom and responsibility to be entirely on your own.

Here are some tips to help that first move go more smoothly.


Take a careful look at all your monthly expenses to determine how much you can pay for your apartment. Generally speaking, you should spend no more than 30 percent of your before-tax income on housing, including utilities. If you have large car payments or student loans, you may be able to afford less.

Also, consider the expenses associated with moving. For example, you’ll need to pay a security deposit and also will likely need to pay utility deposits unless the utilities are included in the rent. You’ll also need to budget moving costs, including professional movers, boxes, and packing materials.

Research Thoroughly

Use online resources such as Apartments.com and HotPads to help you understand what apartments are available for your budget and to find those you’d like to explore further.

Then call the apartment manager to schedule tours. Allow plenty of time for each walkthrough. Make sure the apartment building has ample parking for you and your guests. Also, notice whether you encounter any unpleasant smells in corridors or the apartment. Finally, ensure that security is adequate.

Read Your Lease

Read the lease thoroughly before you sign it, asking questions about what you can’t understand. Then, before you move in, walk through your apartment with your landlord, taking photos of any scratches, torn carpet, or other issues. Email the pictures to the landlord as soon as possible so that you’re not responsible for this damage.

Find out what the rules are for moving into your apartment. For example, some buildings allow moves only on certain days or during certain hours. They also may require a reservation to use the freight elevator. For instance, many facilities don’t want you moving your mattress in through the front door.

Contact Utility Providers

Some leases include some utilities, while others do not. Be sure to call the service provider for those utilities that are not included well ahead of your move. You’ll want your services connected by move-in day.

Gather Essentials

You’ll need some essentials right away in your new home.

Kitchen essentials include

  • Pots and pans
  • Dishes
  • Silverware
  • At least one chef’s knife
  • Potholders, dish towels, and a dishcloth or sponge
  • Dishwashing detergent
  • Small appliances, such as a coffee maker, toaster, and can opener
  • Trash cans and trash bags

You’ll also need bathroom essentials such as

  • Towels and washcloths
  • Toilet paper
  • Shower curtain and rings unless the shower has a door
  • Toiletries
  • Plunger
  • Toilet brush
  • Trash can
  • Bath mat

You’ll also need sheets, blankets, a spread for the bedroom, and general household products such as laundry detergent, cleaning products, mops, buckets, lightbulbs, and a vacuum cleaner.

Learn Your Neighborhood

Once you’ve moved in, meet your neighbors and explore your neighborhood. Learn where the best coffee shops, restaurants, and grocery stores are. Ask your new friends for recommendations on services such as doctors, dentists, and pharmacies. Find your favorite gym.

Moving On Up!

We can help with your move, whether moving to your first apartment or for the 20th time. Contact us, and we’ll provide you with a free quote.


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