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Moving into your first apartment is an exciting milestone! To help you stay organized and ensure a smooth transition, here’s a comprehensive move-in checklist:

Before Moving:

  1. Secure the Apartment:
    • Sign the lease agreement.
    • Pay the necessary deposits and fees.
    • Obtain renter’s insurance.
  2. Utilities and Services:
    • Set up electricity, water, gas, trash/recycling and internet services as applicable. Some leases include utilities so you may not need to do this step.
    • Schedule installation appointments if required.
  3. Change of Address:
    • Update your address with the post office.
    • Notify relevant parties of your new address (school, banks, employer, subscriptions).
  4. Packing:
    • Gather packing supplies: boxes, tape, bubble wrap, packing paper, markers.
    • Start packing non-essential items early.
    • Assume your boxes will be bumped, dropped, and stacked. Your help may not care about your stuff as much as you do.
  5. Declutter:
    • Sort through belongings and sell, donate or discard items you no longer need.
  6. Labeling:
    • Clearly label boxes with their contents and the room they belong to.

Moving Day:

  1. Essential Box:
    • Pack a box with essentials like toiletries, a change of clothes, medications, and snacks.
  2. Furniture and Appliances:
    • Coordinate transportation for larger items.
    • Have tools handy for assembling furniture if needed.
  3. Cleaning Supplies:
    • Bring cleaning supplies to clean before unpacking.

Upon Arrival:

  1. Inspect the Rental Unit / Residence:
    • Check for any existing damage and document it (photos and notes).
    • Review things like paint, flooring, lighting, hardware for doors and cabinets, and check appliances for proper operation.
    • Report any issues to the landlord.
    • Your landlord may provide an inspection form. If they don’t, be sure to prepare your own writeup or use a form like this.
  2. Unpack Room by Room:
    • Start with essentials and gradually unpack other items.
  3. Set Up Furniture:
    • Assemble and arrange furniture to suit your space.
  4. Kitchen Essentials:
    • Unpack kitchenware and organize cabinets.
    • Stock basic pantry items and cleaning supplies.
  5. Bathroom Setup:
    • Set up bathroom essentials like toiletries, towels, and shower curtain.
  6. Bedroom Setup:
    • Make the bed and organize clothing and accessories.
  7. Utilities and Services:
    • Confirm that all utilities are functioning properly.
    • Test internet connectivity.
  8. Safety Measures:
    • Check smoke detectors and replace batteries if needed.
    • Ensure proper locks on doors and windows.
  9. Grocery Shopping:
    • Stock up on groceries for your first week.


  1. Update Documents:
    • Update your driver’s license, ID, and any official documents with your new address.
  2. Explore the Area:
    • Familiarize yourself with local shops, restaurants, and public transportation.
  3. Meet the Neighbors:
    • Introduce yourself to neighbors, if comfortable.
  4. Change of Address (Online):
    • Update your address for online accounts, subscriptions, and services.
  5. Decorate and Personalize:
    • Add personal touches to make your apartment feel like home.
  6. Finalize Organization:
    • Organize storage spaces, closets, and cupboards.
  7. Relax and Enjoy:
    • Take time to settle in, relax, and enjoy your new space!

Remember that moving can be stressful, so take things one step at a time and ask for help if needed. This checklist should serve as a guide, but feel free to customize it according to your preferences and specific needs.

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