Signing that least for your first apartment is an exciting moment. You’re about to get that first taste of freedom from family and the place you’ve called home, and experience what it’s like to live independently. Now before you take off head first to go out and buy all new stuff and leave your John Hancock on that lease, take a look at these actions and considerations you should take when getting and moving into your first apartment.
Obviously you know that since you’re going to be living on your own that your bills are going to be more expensive than they used to be. But you’re going to need to save up even more at first to cover the amount of the security deposit for the apartment, and the first and last month’s rent which is often required from many rental residences upon signing a lease. Not to mention additional funds to purchase supplies (food, furniture, plates, toiletries, lamps, etc.) to stock up your new apartment with!
While you should always hope for the best, you also need to prepare for the worst. The best way to do that with a new apartment is to insure it. Renters insurance is a liability insurance that covers your personal property in case of fire, theft or vandalism. If your apartment ever becomes uninhabitable, renters insurance will pay those unexpected expenses. If a pipe happens to burst, a fire breaks out, or you’re the victim of a home robbery, you’ll be protected by renters insurance instead of having to pay for all of that damage and loss of personal property out of pocket.
Take inventory of what you have!
Just because you’re getting a new apartment doesn't mean that you need to go out and buy all new stuff! Take a look at what you already have, like your bed, dresser, desk, etc. and fill in the gaps with new things. Before you do that though, in order to so save some dough, ask around and see if you can acquire anything you need for free from friends and family giving items away or selling them at a discounted price.
You need to protect yourself the best that you can when living on your own. That’s where preventative measures step in! Invest in a small fire extinguisher and stow it away in your kitchen, change the locks on your doors and put new batteries in your smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector. Then test them! Be sure to have a first-aid kit, flashlight and extra batteries of various sizes in your apartment as well. You can never be too careful.
The last thing you want when settling into your new apartment is to realize that you forgot to setup the electric, turn on the water and hook up your new place with WiFi/cable. While some landlords include certain utilities like gas, water and electric in with the price of rent, some do not. Make sure that these are set up so that there is no delay when moving in.
Change your mailing address!
If you want to get your bills, magazine subscriptions, packages and other mail delivered to your new residence, you’re going to need to change that through the United States Postal Service. You can have your mail temporarily forwarded to your new address but since that is not a permanent fix, you’ll need to go through the steps to actually change your address with the USPS. Depending on where you’re moving to, you may also need to renew your driver’s license, vehicle registration and car insurance so that it is updated with your new address.
Before you even begin moving your belongings into your new apartment, you should take pictures of the condition that the apartment is in. Look for anything that the landlord might try to charge you for/take out of your security deposit later on. Get close-up photos of holes in the wall, scuff marks, damage to appliances, etc. and then take photos of the overall space depicting entire rooms/areas. Once you take those photos, back them up somewhere safe so that when your eventual move out day comes, you’re covered with photographic evidence.
Get outside help!
Moving into your first apartment while exciting, can also be overwhelming. If you’re not ready to move everything into your new pad all at once, store your belongings with an on demand storage company like Zippboxx. Instead of dropping off everything to your door in one large haul, your belongings can be delivered back to you steadily as you need them.
Lacking storage space in your new apartment? Keep the things that you don’t need on a regular basis in storage!