Congratulations on signing the lease of your very first apartment! Now that you’ve taken care of the paperwork and forked over the deposit and first month’s rent, what’s next? Keep your apartment to-do list under control with this straightforward guide—including insight from hyper-organized experts—on what you need to do before, during, and after you move.
What to Do Before Your Move-In Date
Help moving day run smoothly—and ensure that you’re on track for a good first week in the apartment—by taking care of these essentials beforehand.
Set up utilities. Reach out to utility companies—gas, electric, cable/internet, and any others that will serve your apartment—to set up an account and turn on service. If you’re not sure where to start, your landlord should be able to help you figure out which companies serve the building.
Get movers. Whether you’re using friends and paying in pizza or opting for professionals, you’ll need to have movers scheduled for moving day. If it’s a DIY move, take advantage of your AAA Member discount of 12 percent off truck rentals and moving supplies from Penske.
Pack, declutter, and store away. Take time to declutter before you move, and pack only what you need, recommends John Monte, a co-founder of Elegant Simplicity, a Seattle-based interior design and professional home organizing firm. Not sure if you should bring an item? You can always put things in storage.
Set up renters insurance. It’s worth it to get this low-cost insurance, even if your landlord doesn’t require it. “The big reasons to get renters insurance are to protect your stuff and protect yourself,” says Gary Reid, manager of insurance operations and specialty products marketing for AAA. Renters insurance covers your belongings, and also provides you with coverage if something goes wrong. “In the event that something happens—fire, overflowing toilet, whatever—you’re responsible for the damage to other apartments,” Reid notes. That can add up.