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Moving Into First Apartment: Tips and Information

August 21st, 2013 - 8:54 AM

How to Move Into Your First Apartment

You’ve got the keys and you’re ready to move in! Now what? Moving into your first apartment is a sort of rite of passage into adulthood. And let’s face it; moving out on your own can be scary when you think about all of the unknowns. When moving into your first apartment, you’ll probably have no idea how to connect utilities, how to buy furniture, or how to live on your own.

For me, I lived in dorms during college, but moving into my first apartment was totally different. I took some time to think back on that experience and came up with some great tips and information to help you make the transition to your first apartment. Let’s cover finding the apartment, moving in, buying appliances, and more.

Moving Into Your First Apartment – Finding the Apartment
The first step to moving into your first apartment is finding the apartment! There are several ways to go about this. If you know of apartment complexes where you would like to live, just call and ask about vacancies. You can check the classifieds (both the paper and online, like Craigslist) as well, or you could call a professional. A realtor might be of help (that’s actually how I found my first apartment) in finding great places around town. Using a realtor doesn’t cost you anything since realtors work for the apartment complex owners – they’re there to help you find an apartment that fits your budget and location needs. For more information on apartment hunting, check out our apartment hunting guide here.

How to Move Into an Apartment – Connecting Utilities
Once you know where you’re moving to, you can start arranging for utilities to be turned on. Your landlord should be able to give you a list of service providers for your apartment. You’ll want to check for water, electric, gas, sewer, trash, cable or satellite, internet, and phone providers. You might have options for some services, such as cable/satellite, so be sure to ask about rates and discounts or bundle pricing before you chose which company you want to use. Once you find the providers, arrange for set up times or start dates. We recommend connecting utilities the day before move-in day. Some services require a credit check or deposit, so be prepared for that as well. Check out this helpful post about connecting utilities.

Your First Apartment – Buying furniture and appliances
Since you’re moving into your first apartment ever, you’ll likely need furniture. If you’re able to “borrow” items from your parent’s home, consider yourself lucky! Some people have to start from scratch. Unless you’re moving into a furnished apartment, you’ll need living room seating (couch and chair), a bed, table and chairs, and maybe a desk. You may also want items like side tables, a dresser, and a TV stand. Many apartments come equipped with major appliances but some don’t. So, before you sign the rental contract, make sure to ask about appliances that you might need, like a microwave, or washer and dryer. This post details some things you may need to buy when moving into an apartment.

Buy used. If it’s your first apartment and cash is limited, consider buying used appliances. Check local consignment stores, used appliance stores or the classifieds. If you’re looking in the Yellow Pages or online, try the headings “used major appliances,” “appliance sales and repair,” “electric appliances,” or “furniture consignment stores.”

Keep in mind that fabric furniture may carry ugly things like bed bugs, mites, or lice… and you don’t want to move those critters into your apartment. Buy fabric items new if you can afford it.

Buy new. When you visit furniture stores, know that it’s ok to negotiate prices and ask for discounts. The same goes with appliances. Some stores offer no-interest payment plans, so take advantage of those when available. Just make sure you’re not putting yourself into debt by putting thousands of dollars of furniture or appliances that you can’t afford on a credit card! Make your payments on time and pay off the total within the time period allowed to avoid extremely high interest fees. If you’re not able to do that, avoid financing.

Stick to your budget! And speaking of what you can afford. One of the wisest things you can do when you’re moving into your first apartment is create a budget and follow it. I use a smart phone app called Ace Budget2 to keep track of income to expenditures. It’s also a great idea to keep a calendar for payment due dates. Sticking to a budget is one of the biggest challenges you’ll face moving out of mom and dad’s house into your first apartment. If it’s not handled responsibly, you can quickly destroy your credit.

Making the move to your first apartment
Because you don’t have much to move, moving into your fist apartment is actually much easier than moving a huge house. Enjoy it while you can! U-Pack offers great packing tips and a very helpful moving checklist so you don’t forget anything.

But what’s the best way to move your stuff if you’re moving long distance? A small moving container works perfectly. It holds all of your stuff and doesn’t take up a ton of parking space at your apartment complex. If you’re moving long distance, then U-Pack is ideal for out-of-state apartment moves! U-Pack offers the ReloCube moving container which holds the contents of a typical studio apartment and it fits easily into a standard parking space. Or you can use the moving trailer option, where you pack your stuff inside and just pay for the space you use (with a 5 foot minimum). Using U-Pack is easy, but it’s affordable, too (great move when you’re moving out for the first time!). Just pack your stuff inside, and we deliver it right to the parking lot of your first apartment! Get a free moving quote to see how much it will cost to move into your first apartment with U-Pack. U-Pack makes moving simple!

Congrats on your first apartment! If you have any questions about moving into the first apartment, leave us a comment. We’re happy to help.