Moving into your first apartment is one of the most exciting experiences you’ll ever have. Whether you’re moving in with friends or going it alone, embarking on a new career or starting college classes, staying in your hometown or relocating, this time in your life is full of possibilities!
Unfortunately, moving can also be pretty stressful. There are so many steps involved and tasks to complete that by the time the moving truck arrives, you might be feeling pretty overwhelmed.
This is doubly true when it’s your first move, and you don’t know what to expect. Read our list of tips and tricks to make sure your move is as smooth as possible!
Nine Helpful Hints for a First Move
1. Make a Checklist
Do yourself a favor and make a moving checklist. It’s a great way to keep yourself organized during this chaotic time and to prevent forgetting any important steps.
Dedicate a three-ring binder or folder to your moving-related paperwork. Put your checklist right in the front, and consult it often to be sure you’re on track with your first move.
2. Make Sure Your Utilities Are In Order
You don’t want to get to your new apartment only to realize there’s no electricity, internet service, or water. Some places come with these amenities included in the monthly rent, but if not, be sure to contact the utility providers as soon as you know your move-in date.
It’s a good idea to schedule utilities to be turned on a day or two before the actual move; this will ensure that there are no hiccups and that you’ll be able to turn on the lights and use the Internet once you’ve unloaded the last boxes.
3. Change Your Address
You can register a change-of-address with the post office online, which makes this step easy. However, don’t forget to let your bank, insurance company, and workplace or school know that you’ve moved. If you subscribe to any magazines or monthly crates, change your address on their websites, too. There’s no point in missing out on your goodies.
4. Consider Using Professional Movers
The number-one way to eliminate stress on moving day? Have someone else do the literal heavy lifting. It might be tempting to save money by asking your friends to haul your boxes and furniture, but what happens if your friends don’t show up or if they drop your belongings?
Professional movers have the skill and experience to transport your belongings safely and efficiently. They’re also insured, just in case anything goes awry. And hiring people to do this job means that you don’t have to exhaust yourself on this already stressful day.
5. Don’t Forget the Small Stuff
Chances are good that as soon as you decided to move, you started lining up necessary furniture items, kitchen appliances, lamps, etc. But don’t forget that when you embark on your first move, you will also require some things you’re not accustomed to buying for yourself.
Having these essentials on hand as soon as you’re all moved into your new place will make your life a lot easier. Here are some things to stock up on beforehand, if possible:
- trash cans (and bags)
- a dish drainer
- shower curtain and bath mat
- light bulbs
- extension cords
- paper towels and toilet paper
- a broom, mop, sponges, and cleaning products
- laundry baskets and detergent
- storage containers
6. Pack an Essentials Box
Particularly if you’re moving a long distance, you will want to have certain items packed in a separate box or bag that will travel with you, not with your moving company. In the event that your belongings don’t make it to the new place at the same time you do, it will be good to have:
- a change of clothes
- a travel bag with your personal care items
- a roll of toilet paper
- a roll of paper towels
- some paper plates and plastic silverware
- a few garbage bags
- your laptop
- chargers for your phone and other devices
- non-perishable snacks and water bottles
7. Label Everything
Besides your moving checklist, one of the most invaluable items you’ll need during the packing process is a large Sharpie. Use it to label all of your boxes clearly, on the sides and on the tops.
In addition to noting the contents of each box, write the room it belongs in. This will make things much easier for your movers, and for you. There’s nothing worse than looking for your coffee maker and opening box after box of books or plates.
Be sure to indicate whether or not the items within are fragile, too! Of course, your professional movers will take care with all of your items, but it never hurts to be extra cautious.
8. Plan a Few Meals
The first move is over, the movers are gone, and you’re alone in your new apartment. It feels great — but you’re starving! Of course, you can always Google pizza places or Chinese takeout, but that’s going to get expensive pretty quick.
Go ahead and treat yourself on that first evening, but consider bringing along some frozen meals, boxed mac-and-cheese, or even a loaf of bread and some peanut butter to get you through the first few days. Once you have a few things unpacked and have started to settle in, you can find the nearest supermarket and do a big shop to stock up.
Similarly, if you can barely open up your eyes in the morning without a cup of java, make sure to pack and label your coffee maker and everything you need to brew up a pot, so that you’re not wandering around your new neighborhood bleary-eyed, trying to find the nearest Starbucks.
9. Relax and Have Fun!
Even if you’ve followed all these tips, you might forget a few things during your first move. It’s OK! Don’t be shy about taking a few moments for yourself to shake off the stress, whether that’s by doing some yoga, seeing a movie, or even taking a quick nap.
Your boxes will be there to unpack later, and before you know it you’ll be all settled into your brand new home, knowing that your first move is behind you.
Check out our mission and you’ll see why we can make your first move a smooth one.