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OMG, you are getting a new apartment. It sounds exciting and it is but there are loads of things you may not think of when finding a new apartment. And when moving in, you are overwhelmed and always forget something important. That’s where a good apartment checklist can help. Don’t feel ashamed when you forget something, it happens to all of us.
Finding a new apartment- Things to Know before you sign a lease.
- Is the new commute going to suck?
How are you going to get to work, school and friends?
Mass transit? How far away are your options? Can you walk to places you need to go?
Where do you park your car? Can you store your bike on your balcony? How many spots do you have? Visitor parking?
Are there services/restaurants/stores nearby? What about a doctor or dentist for that emergency pain on a weekend? How noisy is the street? Any noisy bars near by? You don’t want to find out on a Saturday night when you have to go to work at 5am.
- How old is the building?
What shape is the building in? Are they taking good care of it? Is there maintenance on site? An office? Is there going to be months of construction soon?
- What about utilities? How are they paid? Can you get cable and high speed internet? Do you have to haul your garbage a mile to the dumpster?
- Who are going to be your neighbors?
Find out who lives around your unit. I sure remember the neighbors below me who cooked stinky food all day every day.
You don’t want to find out the next door neighbor has a little yappy dog that barks from 8am-5pm until they get home.
- Apartment rules
Make sure you know them ahead of time. The fines can be expensive. Other apartments may be too lax and anything goes.
Do they charge you to get packages? Yes some do, they have fees for everything now.
- Fire drills
Do they have regular fire drills or frequent false alarms?
- How frequent is the turnover in units?
Moving is noisy and frequent turnover means people are not happy. Unhappy neighbors are not fun to be around.
- What amenities do they have?
Pool and fitness centers are nice unless your apartment is too close to them.
- What are tenant responsibilities?
Choosing a new apartment is not something to rush. Look at a few different units and a few different buildings to choose a good one. Where is the sun going to be glaring in the windows? Or are you stuck on the shady side? Is the traffic noise or parking lot noise going to be acceptable?
OK you have signed a lease. Congratulations. Now it’s time to move in. Moving is stressful. Make sure you get some volunteers to help you out.
Here is my Apartment Checklist:
The bare basics…
- A couple of chairs (type of your choosing)
- Table (small one is ok to start)
- Sofa( nice to have) Loveseat works ok.
- 2 Lamps minimum
- Coffee Table
- Bookshelf or Large TV Stand with storage
- Dresser for bedroom
- End Table is nice to have
Ok that is a basic apartment furniture setup. Can’t go wrong with that to start. It’s comfortable.
Nice to have extras:
Better furniture that looks nice and matches.
Somewhere to eat – Dining room set
Extra storage – dressers and side tables
Extra chair in the bedroom
Now that’s already a lot but there’s more…
Pots and pans
Plates and bowls
Glasses and cups
Spices and condiments
Cooking tools – spoons, ladle, tongs, hot pads
Don’t worry you don’t have to get these all at once. You can live on frozen for years if needed 🙂
Depending on how dedicated they were in cleaning your apartment after the last tenant. Bring cleaning supplies. Sponges and towels and rags will help.
For the bathroom, you will want several important items.
Toilet plunger! Never be without this one.
Toilet brush and cleaner
Towels and wash cloths
A floor mat is nice
You may need a shower curtain
See how much fun moving is? lol
It will be great after you settle in. Any new place takes some adjusting and getting used to. No rush, you can unpack later. Just get your stuff moved and you will be able to relax a bit.
Don’t try to unpack everything the first night.
Some moving tips:
Mark all boxes with what is inside.
Separate the items so they are organized by room they go in.
Bring snacks and buy pizza for your volunteers.
When you are packing, separate important papers and things you need all the time so you can find them easily later. Nothing worse than trying to remember where you packed it. Moving throws your whole system out of whack.
Make a list of your most important items.
Bills, checkbook, photos, important records, Phone numbers and banking account numbers.
Know your account numbers and company phone numbers to change your address.
Now that you moved you have to change all those addresses.
Remember to say goodbye to your favorite neighbors and get their contact info. You might want to network with them in the future.
Here are a couple of good apartment checklists online:
But I think I covered the basics pretty well. Leave a comment if you see something major I missed.
Have fun in your new apartment.
And don’t forget you need apartment renters insurance a.s.a.p.
See already I found something I forgot to mention…
Security! Make sure the building is secure and your apartment has good locks. Getting an extra level of security may be worthwhile.
They make some apartment door locks that you install from the inside that really secure your door well.