Moving into your first apartment is exciting, to be sure, but also a little overwhelming. After all, you may never have lived on your own before. Maybe you’re just out of college or maybe you are getting a divorce and need to start over. Whatever the case, moving into an apartment will give you the chance to be independent and free; it will also bring many challenges and responsibilities as well.
Settling on the right apartment for you and organizing a safe, smooth relocation is not always easy. Check out these Do’s and Don’ts to simplify your move and make sure you’re ready to move into your new home sweet home.
1. Save Up
It’s important to feel financially comfortable with your decision to move into a new apartment. Costs will quickly add up and you need to know you can cover them. It’s wise to have enough cash saved up to pay moving costs, first three months’ rent and utility bills, any security deposits, living expenses for at least two months, and a small emergency fund.
2. Make a Budget and Stick to It
It’s important to plan your finances carefully so you have enough for all the essentials. You should:
- Estimate your moving costs
- Plan for the purchase of necessities such as furnishings, cleaning supplies, pantry items, bathroom essentials, and more.
- Know your net monthly income and determine what your average monthly living expenses will be. Then figure how much rent you can afford (it shouldn’t be more than 30 percent of your disposable income).
3. Choose the Right Location
Consider factors like:
- Proximity to your workplace and other places you have to visit every day.
- Transportation options, such as traffic patterns, road infrastructure, parking issues, public transport availability, etc.
- Amenities: hair salons, grocery stores, shopping centers, bars and restaurants, entertainment and recreational options, parks, etc.
- Safety and crime rates
- Quality of neighborhood schools
4. Tour Potential Apartments
Look at a variety of properties in your price range and preferred neighborhood before making a decision, making sure you:
- Assess the overall condition of the property, looking for signs of water damage, poor upkeep, HVAC issues, etc.
- Check for pest infestations
- Consider security issues, such as alarm systems, fire escapes, possible window access for intruders, etc.
5. Pack Items Safely and Efficiently
Proper packing can spell the difference between receiving intact items in the new place and receiving damaged items. Follow these tips:
- Pick up the appropriate packing supplies
- Start packing as early as possible
- Pack your boxes correctly and efficiently
- Pack fragile items and valuables with extra care
- Protect furniture, appliances, and electronics adequately
- Pack an essentials box
- Label all items and boxes clearly
- Hire professional packers if you don’t have time for all of this
6. Try to Handle the Move on Your Own
Hiring a professional moving service is your best bet if you want to ensure a smooth and successful transition. Experienced professionals can take the stress and hassle out of your move, handling all the heavy lifting and logistics for you. Make sure to book your movers as far in advance as you can to ensure you get the slot you want.
7. Forget to Make Reservations
You should also think about reserving a parking space at the new apartment for the moving truck, as well as the elevator for the day and time of your move. If you can, reserve a freight elevator that can help the movers transport heavy and bulky items up and down each floor. This will speed up the unloading process, saving everyone time and energy. Tell your landlord when and what time you’ll be moving in. If necessary, let your immediate neighbors know. By being conscious of moving day activities, you can make the process stress free on everyone involved, especially yourself!
8. Neglect to Coordinate Deliveries
Arrange to have all your belongings delivered all at the time you’re moving in, so you don’t have to worry about storage or buying new things in the interim. If you have large or oddly-shaped items that don’t fit in the elevator or through the doors and corridors, you may have to inquire about hoisting services. Always discuss these needs with your movers beforehand, as they will have to bring special equipment the day of the move.
9. Forget to Have Your Apartment Ready Before Move-In Day
You should make sure your new place is completely ready to move in by the time the movers show up.
- Complete any necessary repairs ahead of time.
- Consider repainting the walls and ceilings, polishing wooden surfaces, etc. to make your new living environment more enjoyable.
- Have the most essential utilities up and running on move-in day, such as electricity, gas and water.
- Thoroughly clean the apartment.
- Secure your new apartment by changing the locks, installing smoke detectors in every room, placing fire extinguishers in convenient locations, etc.
- Make sure all paths are clear so movers don’t trip.
10. Hole Up in Your New Place
You are now a part of a new community, so get out there and explore! Take a walk, meet your neighbors, check out the corner coffee shop. The sooner you do all that, the simpler it will be to adjust to your new life. Don’t hide out in your new apartment; remember, a whole new world is waiting for you! Here’s what you can do:
- Explore your new surroundings, getting to know the area.
- Sign up for the gym, classes, etc. and start joining groups.
- Meet your new neighbors.
- Get involved with the community and volunteer.
- Make new friends, invite them over, have a barbecue.
Contact Best Fit Movers
When it’s time to book your move to your first apartment, contact us in San Diego, Orange County or San Francisco. We would be happy to supply you with a free quote and an outline of things you should have ready for us on the day of the move. We offer moving, storage and packing services for all apartment moves.