Checklist for first apartment: (25 Time Savings tips & Free checklists)

Moving sucks. You need a good plan and checklist for your first apartment to make the process easier. We have moved several times and have put together a handy guide to help guide you through the process and make your move a little easier.

You will learn & get:

  • Moving plan
  • 25 Tips to move into your first house, apartment or dorm
  • Downloadable customizable checklist for your move
  • Pre-move tips
  • Post-move tips
  • Pre-move out tips and checklist so you can get your security deposit back

Moving Plan

Checklist for First Apartment: Premove

1. Save

You need to save some money so that you can pay:

  • the security deposit as well
  • as the rent for the first few months
  • Cover the furniture, necessities you will need
  • In addition to this, you should have sufficient balance in your emergency fund for handling any unfortunate emergencies.

2. Plan out your budget

Making a budget is considered to be a crucial part of adult life. You need to keep a budget so that you can pay for your rent and food.

  • Budget for the move, identify every cost.
  • Monitor your money
  • Make a list of everything you need to buy. Look for deals to save $$$.

After covering the necessities, you need to have sufficient balance in your account for shopping, buying a nice meal. Do not forget to save a certain amount for the rainy day.

3. Have a steady job

Now that you have decided to live on your own, it is necessary to have a job so that you can pay your bills without being dependent on your parents.

It is not a wise decision to leave your home, depending just on your savings. Even if you are moving out with the savings, it is a must to find a job in no time so that you can earn sufficient funds for a comfortable living.

4. Know Your Score

Credit check: Your landlord WILL run a credit check on you to see if you pay your bills. This is often overlooked by renters.

May have
2 months
580-669FairPay higher

Know your score so you save time. Get your free credit report from Experian, TransUnion or Equifax.

Adverse action can result in a denial of your application, but it can also include a requirement for a cosigner, a request for a larger deposit, or an increase of the monthly rent offer, according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

5. Rent an affordable place

How big is your apartment?

You might be accustomed to living in a luxury environment where there was no shortage of money. As you plan to move out of home for the first time, choose a place with affordable rent

Ready to be a First Time Home Buyer? We show you how here!

Ready to be a First Time Home Buyer? We show you how here!. However, do not choose a budget-friendly place while compromising safety. Make sure to conduct thorough research and look for different properties and make the right decision accordingly.

6. Record the apartment condition

Pro tip: When you do the walkthrough of the apartment you will be renting, do a video walkthrough of the apartment and record everything… before you sign the lease. Look at all the imperfections on the floor, cracks in the walls, and stains on the carpet, etc so you are not blamed when you move out. This is often overlooked and is a critical part to verifying that you didn’t destroy the apartment.

Checklist for first apartment : Postmove

7. Basic amenities.

Such products include the basic amenities, necessary for living which includes water, drinks. basically, your grocery shopping here., and shelter.

A few of the most common household necessities include appliances, furniture, kitchen, window coverings, bedding, and linens. Other prominent household items include various cleaning amenities such as brooms, vacuum cleaner, which is a prerequisite for keeping the home clean.

8. Scrub a dub.

Besides this, you need scrub brushes, dishcloths, sponges, cleaners, mopping buckets, mop, laundry basket, laundry detergent, toilet brush, and paper towels to maintain a clean and hygienic environment to the home.

9. Personal hygiene products

These include the list of basic household items include paper, toilet paper, deodorant, conditioner, shampoo, shampoo cream, mouthwash, dental floss, etc.

10. Kitchen checklist

  • If you are planning to decorate the new house, you should ensure to have the required amenities in the kitchen so that you can cook meals for the members of the family as well as for entertaining the guests. You do not need to eat from outside anymore as you purchase this kitchen equipment.
  • Few of these kitchen essentials include casserole dish, baking sheet, small frying pan, large baking sheet. You should also ensure to keep forks, knives, spoon, and bowl while moving in. You can purchase more stuff as you settle into the home.
  • It is better to opt for washable dishes as it will be beneficial in saving an ample amount of money in the long run. In addition to this, it is necessary to keep a toaster, microwave, and blender for running the kitchen smoothly.
  • Furthermore, you should also keep plastic bags, storage containers for preparing the meals and keeping the food fresh for some days. Again, you can fill the refrigerator in the kitchen with fruits, grain, dairy products, meats, water, vegetables, so that you do not starve if you feel hungry at midnight.

11. Kitchenware

You can save a lot of money as you prepare your meals. Hence, it is a prerequisite to investing in kitchenware which includes dishes, baking sheet, gas stove or induction top, pans, pots, drinking glasses, spoons, coffee maker, etc. Besides this, you need a dish drying rack, dish towels, oven mitts, garbage can, etc.

12. Food

As you keep stock of food in your refrigerator and kitchen, you can enjoy eating healthy food and avoid unnecessary expenditure on food.

Some of the basic food items, you need to keep in your kitchen include bread, rice, sugar, flour, cereal, tea, coffee, oats, nut butter, grains, cooking oil, canned tuna, snack food, salt, spices. Keep jam, fresh vegetables, fresh fruits, cheese, butter, milk, jam in the refrigerator.

13. Amenities for the bedroom

You need to invest in the bedroom essentials to have a relaxed sleep. If do not have sufficient money to purchase a bed now, you need to invest in a good quality of the mattress, pillows, sheets, lamp, comforter, storage essentials, etc.

14. Bathroom amenities

Toothpaste, toothbrush, shampoo, deodorant, body wash are the primary amenities for the bathroom. Apart from this, you require certain things for keeping the restroom functional and organized. A few of these amenities which are a must for the bathroom include a toilet cleaning brush, shower curtains, hand and face towels, bath towels, wall hooks, bathmats, toilet paper, toilet brush, small trash can.

15. Cleaning supplies

Now that you are living on your own, you need to keep your home clean and hygienic. Few of the must-have cleaning supplies for your home include dustpan, broom, sponges, garbage bags, anti-bacterial wipes, microfiber cloths, soft rags, bucket, paper towels, handheld vacuum, mops, wood cleaners, multi-purpose sprays, wood cleaners, rubber gloves, dish soap, laundry detergent, etc.

16. Furniture

You need to keep certain furniture at your home so that you can enjoy comfortable living in your new apartment. A few of these furniture items that should be purchased for the first apartment include a coffee table, sofa, chairs, dining lamp, and floor lamps.

17. Know how to do basic repairs.

Checklist for First Apartment: college dorm

18. Basics

The idea of moving out of your parent’s home and start living into the first college apartment appears to be a bit overwhelming. But it is necessary to step back and make a list so that you can live comfortably into the apartment without facing any hurdles. Here is a list of the amenities, according to the checklist for first apartment; you need to buy, to move into your first college apartment:

Other than mattress, bed frame, sheets, and pillows, there are a few other pieces of furniture which is a must for the apartment if you are studying in college. A few of this furniture includes a desk, chair, storage, etc.

19. Optimize your space with Organizers

Minimalism. Don’t buy anything you don’t need. No dresser or coffee table needed. Use space maximizing containers to utilize every nook and cranny of your dorm. This will help you and your room mate to live in a cleaner space. No one wants to live with a slob.

Organizers. Invest in products such as shoe racks, closet organizers, hangers, laundry basket that don’t take up a lot of space. If there is sufficient space below the bed, you can keep some clothing bins for storing non-seasonal clothes.

20. Kitchen, what kitchen?

You are going to spend most of your time in college dorm and you do not need to buy a lot of kitchen amenities. However, you should ensure to have the basic amenities so that you can cook meals for one or two times. Hence, buy a set of cooking utensils, spatulas, spoons, toasters, microwaves, coffee makers, and a set of dishes.

Besides this, keep the necessary toiletry products, paper items, basic cleaning items, kits, safety products, for the dorm. Some other amenities which are required for the apartment include fans, rugs, adhesive wall hooks, window AC units, extension cords, power strips.

You can consider investing in some decorative items for enhancing the aesthetic appeal of your home. However, they are not the must-have amenities for your dorm, yet people prefer to choose them to complement the beauty of their home.

The above-mentioned checklist has each and everything, you need for the dorm. You are going to feel at home in your dorm in no time as you make the right preparations and invest in the required basic amenities.

Checklist for First Apartment: Moving out

21. Pre-move out inspection

What do landlords look for in an apartment inspection when you move out?

During the apartment inspection, a maintenance worker, the property owner or the manager of the property will come at your place and monitor to check if everything works.

  • They usually take pictures or fill out an assessment form
  • Test all the appliances
  • Look for any big nail holes in the walls
  • Stains on carpets
  • Holes in carpets
  • Holes in walls?
  • anything broken?
  • burns?
  • paint?
  • spills?
  • pet hair?

They check out if any damages have been done to the unit if you have made any changes in the interior of the building during your stay. In addition to this, they also look at whether you have made any modifications to the outer part of the property.

22. Sweep, sweep, and sweep again.

Chances are your vacuum sucks after 6 months and is really bad after a year or two. The suction power is not as good as it once was.

  • Clean the filter.
  • Cut the hair
  • Sweep up all the pet hair.

23. Clean everything.

  • Clean under the cupboards, under the sink.
  • Bathtub, tiles
  • Remove the shower curtain. Replace if necessary.

24. Turn in keys in person.

  • Fill out any final forms so you don’t miss anything.

25. Ask about security deposit

  • Record the conversation
  • Get it in writing

Why all this cleaning? If you want your security deposit back you need to make sure your apartment, dorm is cleaner than when you moved in. This will ensure that you get your deposit back quickly and you don’t have to pay any cleaning fees.

Anything Else?

Let us know if we missed anything and we will add it to the post.

Comment below on what you use for your checklist.

Thanks for reading!

Researched Sources

Virginia Movers & Warehousemen’s Association

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration: Protect Your Move

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration: Moving Checklist

D. Hahn

DIY guru, dad, husband, blogger. When I'm not creating life hacks I'm teaching my kids how to fix stuff after their dad breaks it.

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