When you move into a new rental unit, you can expect the apartment to have bare walls and floors, and little to no furnishings.
Although some apartments may come partially or fully furnished, that is not always something to count on. Moving into a new apartment is not only moving boxes and appliances from one place to another, you also have to update your billing address, stock up on household supplies and schedule a move-in date with your landlord and apartment complex. Moving to a new place can be extremely stressful, but if you prepare as best as you can for the unexpected, you can focus on figuring out the layout to your new place and not worrying about spending the first night in darkness because you forgot to contact the electric company. If you do not prepare for move-in day, you can make mistakes, many of which are easy to avoid, that waste time and money.
Your lease agreement will state the length of your lease and how much you will need to pay each month, but it may not cover your move-in date and time. Before you ask to borrow a pickup truck or put down a non-refundable deposit with movers, you need to make sure that you schedule a move-in date with your landlord. By not planning a move-in time, you are risking moving into an apartment with wet walls from recently being painted, or not cleaned properly from the last tenant. So, to make sure that you can move in when you want and when the apartment is ready, run it over with your landlord first. You do not want to plan your move-in date for the same date that your landlord is expecting the repairman. By planning this ahead of time, you will not face any surprises on the move-in day.
Your landlord may give you the okay to move in to your apartment on a specific date, but did the apartment complex? It is common for property managers only to allow tenants to move in on weekdays, which can be a problem if you have not scheduled time off work. So, make sure you check with them beforehand. If you are moving into an apartment building, check to see if you have to request an elevator and if there is an elevator or moving fee. Be sure to ask how long you can have moving vehicles parked out front of the apartment. These answers may be in your lease agreement, so read your copy thoroughly before talking with the property manager.
Before you move into your new rental unit, you must ask your new landlord how you transfer the utilities to your name and also how you set up the accounts. Typically, a landlord turns off the utilities to a rental unit once new tenants have signed a rental lease. Although there was electricity and running water when you first saw the apartment and during your inspection, the apartment is now your responsibility, and you are now responsible for signing up for utilities. Do not worry because many of the services are easy to activate. To turn on the water, workers do not have to enter the unit, and the same goes for electricity. Workers can do so from outside of the unit without you needing to be there. If you want to set up cable and internet, you will need to do so when you are at the unit, since they will need access to the actual apartment to get you connected. Depending on the service, you may be able to transfer your service from your old place to your new home, but you are going to need to find out before move-in day.
It used to be that your address was only needed to receive statements about your credit cards, car payments, and the occasional birthday card. But with more people having online subscriptions like Netflix, iTunes and Spotify, neglecting to change your billing address for a credit card can interfere with these services. Before you move, write down a list of addresses that you need to change. Do not forget magazines and newspaper subscriptions, and online retailers like Amazon that may store your address. You can even start to change your address on services that you do not frequently use ahead of move-in that way when you move in, you will not have a laundry list of services with billing addresses that you need to update. You should also register your new address with the USPS, so any subscriptions that you forgot to change are forwarded to your new address.
You do not want to spend your first night in your new apartment without toilet paper, paper towels, box cutters or lighting. When moving in to your new apartment, make sure to create a checklist so that you have the essentials your first night in your new apartment. It is easy to overlook basic items that can help you ease in to your new place, such as basic kitchen utensils and appliances. Before moving, make sure to review packing tips to help you prioritize move-in day must-haves. If you start planning ahead of time, you will not spend the first night in your new place without toilet paper, a shower curtain or a cold fridge.
Even if you are moving into an apartment by yourself, you should not have to move in alone. Moving is often an all-day process, and many items you need to move may be impossible with only one person. Ask friends and family to help you pack to speed the process, and also to help you lift furniture on move-in day to take off some of the burdens. Help from family and friends can help you save on some moving costs if you are on a tight budget. Enlisting the help of even one person will make the task more manageable and less strenuous on your body and could also be fun. Offer to buy them pizza or takeout for their time. Nobody likes moving, but if you give your friends and family incentives for helping you move, everyone will feel rewarded.