Tips For Moving Into Your First Apartment

A woman carries a box with a plant into a room of a nearly empty apartment.

Whether you’re renting for the first time after years of homeownership or just starting out in life, a first apartment checklist can help you make the most of your new situation. From buying supplies to getting your new home ready for move-in, there’s a lot to manage as a first time apartment renter. These pointers from Central Self Storage will help you navigate the process like a pro.

Inspect Your Rental

A pre-move-in inspection is one of the top essentials for first time apartment dwellers. Schedule a walk-through with your landlord to spot both large and small issues in your rental. Document problems like dented walls, leaky faucets and spots on the carpet. Not only will an inspection draw attention to things that need to be repaired or cleaned, but you’ll eliminate the risk of being blamed for them later and losing your deposit.

How to Move Into Your First Apartment

Whether you’re moving in with a little help from your friends or relying on professionals, planning your move is a must. Knock out these move-in essentials for first time apartment renters to help ensure a safe, smooth experience for everyone involved:

  • Schedule time off work
  • Have a plan for your pets
  • Give advance notice to friends
  • Have drinks and snacks ready for your crew
  • Get a breakdown of costs from your moving company

Keep pet dishes, toothbrushes and other belongings you’ll need in an easily accessible bag. It’s easy to lose track of smaller items if they blend in with the rest of your moving boxes.

Set Up Utilities

Call your power company to ensure that you have lights and gas upon move-in. Water is often included with rent, but this isn’t always the case. Check with your landlord so you’re sure to have water for cleaning and a hot shower after a long day of moving. Don’t forget to protect your belongings with renters’ insurance. You can usually find a policy for little more than the cost of a streaming service.

Keep it Clean

Create a clean slate with a weekly cleanup regimen. Whether you schedule a regular cleaning day or carve out a block of time each day, a routine can simplify household chores. You don’t need to spend a fortune to keep your home sparkling, though. Whether you use them on their own or whip up a variety of DIY cleaners, the following items offer non-toxic, cheap and effective ways to clean your new home:

  • Borax
  • Vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Rubbing alcohol

If you miss the fragrance found in some conventional cleaning products, give your DIY cleaners an aromatic boost with your choice of essential oils.

Staying Organized as a First Time Apartment Renter

Keeping your place glowing is great, but you’ll also want to maintain a tidy, clutter-free existence. Cull the clutter herd by inviting a friend over, turning on some tunes, and having snacks and drinks handy. Grab a few bags or boxes and toss anything damaged or worn. Donate items that you never use anymore but still have some life left in them. Consider selling other belongings that have outlived their usefulness but will have value for someone. You’ll have less to cart to your new place, and you might even end up with extra funds for decorations or a night in with friends or family. 

Invest In a Storage Unit

If you find yourself with more items than you have room for but don’t want to let go of them quite yet, locate a nearby storage facility and rent a unit. If you just have a few items that don’t fit in your apartment or you don’t want around, a small 5’ x 5’ storage unit is a great solution. These spaces are about the size of an average closet and perfect for storing seasonal decorations and clothing, camping gear, and small furniture such as side tables and lamps. 

Storage units are available in a variety of sizes meaning you can stash your stuff even if you need a bit of extra room. Units measuring in at 5’ x 10’ can hold larger furniture items such as a couch while a 10’ x 15’ unit can fit the contents of a one-bedroom apartment should you need to store all of the items you own. Our helpful unit size calculator can suggest a unit based on what you plan to store. 

Get Decorating Inspiration

You’re probably excited to decorate your new digs, which can become expensive quickly. However, there are ways to move into your first apartment without breaking your budget. Try these affordable tips for beautifying your home base:

  • Ask for help from stylish friends
  • Browse decorating magazines and books
  • Look to Pinterest and other online sources
  • Photograph, paint, draw or collage your own wall art
  • Restore furniture found at garage sales and thrift stores
  • Make custom wall hangings, bedspreads and other accessories

Even if you have no art or crafting experience, DIY decorations are within reach. Don’t expect perfection; just have fun creating an atmosphere that’s exactly “you.” You can always find videos demonstrating sewing, crafting and other art techniques.

Create a Supply Stash

It’s hard to think of everything you’ll need for daily living, especially for first time apartment renters. Here’s what to do when you first move into an apartment and need to stock up on everyday items:

  • Pick up a toilet plunger
  • Purchase a basic tool kit
  • Buy a variety pack of batteries
  • Snag an extra set of sheets and towels
  • Keep a flashlight, candles and matches on hand

Other items on your first apartment checklist will vary depending on your needs and location, but these basics will get you through power outages, small emergencies and everyday situations.

Stock Your Pantry

Having a pretty, well-maintained place is great, but you’ll need to eat, too. From having extra food on hand for emergencies or times when money is tight to getting ready for those first few meals, start with these basics to ensure that you always have something on hand:

  • Rice
  • Sugar
  • Vegetable oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Canned beans and veggies
  • Vegetable- or meat-based broth

Of course, this list doesn’t take dietary restrictions or preferences into account. But for most people, even those with limited cooking skills, building meals around these cooking essentials is relatively cheap and easy. You can also pick up most spices for next to nothing, especially at Aldi and other budget-friendly stores. Finally, YouTube offers an amazing variety of videos that show you how to feed yourself on a dime.

Create a Budget

Whether you jot down numbers in a notepad or download the latest app, tracking your income and expenses can help you stay on track financially. It can be tempting to overspend as you fill your new space with the things that make you happy and comfortable. Accounting for every dollar allows you to shop for everyday expenses and make the occasional splurge without guilt.

Enjoy Your New Space

Knowing what to do when you first move into an apartment can seem tricky at first. We hope our first apartment checklist helps you make a smooth transition. Central Self Storage helps first time apartment renters keep clutter in check with secure, well-maintained storage units. With facilities around the U.S., it’s easy to find a convenient location near you. Reserve a unit online today!