Checklist: Moving into an apartment for the first time

The excitement of moving into your first apartment can soon turn to dismay if you realize you’ve forgotten to bring a towel, cutlery, toothbrush or pillows.

This room-by-room checklist will help ensure you don’t suffer that inconvenience.

Kitchen and dining room 

If you are not used to being in charge of food preparation, it is easy to forget items like can openers, cutting boards, and cookware. Cleaning up afterward is also important so don’t leave out dish towels and soap either.

Try and tick off as many of the following as you can:

  • Aluminum foil
  • Blender
  • Can opener
  • Cookware
  • Coffee maker
  • Colander
  • Cookie sheets and cake tins
  • Corkscrew
  • Cutlery and organizer
  • Cutting boards
  • Dinnerware
  • Dish soap and sponges
  • Dish towels
  • Food containers
  • Garbage bags and trash cans
  • Glasses and mugs
  • Hand mixer
  • High-quality knives
  • Ice cube trays
  • Kettle
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Microwave
  • Mixing bowls
  • Oven mitts
  • Placemats
  • Serving spoon
  • Table and at least two chairs
  • Tablecloth
  • Toaster
  • Trivets (for laying down hot saucepans)
  • Utensils
  • Zip-top bags
apaprtment

Bathroom

While leaving your toothbrush or shaver at your old house is a minor convenience, not bringing any toilet paper could leave you red-faced.

Run through the following to avoid any embarrassing mishaps:

  • Bath mats
  • Bath towels
  • Hairdryer
  • Hand towels
  • Razor or electric shaver
  • Scale
  • Shower caddy
  • Shower curtain, liner and rings
  • Small trash can
  • Tissues
  • Toilet brush and plunger
  • Toilet paper
  • Toiletries. Bath soap, hand soap, lotion, sanitary products, shampoo, shaving foam, etc.
  • Toothbrush and holder
  • Towel hook (over the door)
  • Tweezers
  • Washcloths. Include extra for visitors.

 

Living room and office area 

The living room is the place where you will kick back and relax after a hard day’s work (or study). A couch is just one of the essentials for your list. Here are some more:

  • Bookshelves
  • Coffee table
  • Floor lamp
  • Laptop, router and cords
  • Pens and paper
  • Printer
  • Sofa/couch
  • TV and stand

 

Bedroom

It’s a good idea to get your bed made first thing because you won’t want to do it at the end of a long, hard day of moving.

Take a look through the following list and see if you’ve forgotten anything:

  • Alarm clock
  • Bed
  • Blankets
  • Curtains/blinds
  • Dresser
  • Duvets
  • Hangers
  • Also protectors and pads if needed
  • Night lamp
  • Night table and chair
  • Pillows and cases
  • Sheets

Other apartment essentials 

Finally, here is a list of apartment essentials that don’t fit in one specific room:

  • Basic tools. At least a wrench, screwdrivers (flat and Phillips Head), hammer, nails, screws, pliers, duct tape and a box-cutter.
  • Batteries
  • Broom
  • Carbon monoxide alarm
  • Cleaning supplies. Disinfectant, rags, all-purpose cleaner, window cleaner, bleach, stain remover, laundry soap, etc.
  • Dustpan and brush
  • Emergency kit
  • Fire extinguisher
  • First aid kit
  • Flashlight and spare batteries
  • Ladder or step stool
  • Light bulbs
  • Matches and candles
  • Mop and bucket
  • Smoke alarms. These should be provided by your landlord but make sure you check them.
  • Storage. Never underestimate the amount of storage you might need. Even household cartons can serve as a temporary solution.
  • Trash can/s
  • Vacuum cleaner

Final preparations

Before moving into a new apartment, you will need to change your address details with the USPS and set up utilities, cable and any other ongoing services you are responsible for.

You might also want to give the fridge a thorough clean and disinfect it to make sure it is as fresh and hygienic as possible.

A few weeks ahead of the move, order in some multi-purpose household cartons or, even better, specialist moving and storage cartons. It is best not to rely on recycled store cartons as they could be weaker than they appear.

To avoid the risk of being charged for pre-existing damage, document the condition of the apartment on arrival, take some photographs and mail the details to your landlord (keeping a copy for yourself).

Then it’s finally time to wind down and enjoy your new life of independence.